Albany Child Custody Laws

In the State of New York, courts make child custody decisions in the best interests of the child, as established in New York Domestic Relations Law §240. In practice, courts may consider a variety of factors to determine custody rights, including:

  • Your employment and ability to provide for your child
  • Your relationship with your child
  • Your mental and physical health
  • The child’s own wishes

Accordingly, a military parent may be able to obtain custody rights by showing that they have steady, permanent employment due to their military service. They may be able to use their service as evidence of excellent mental and physical health as well. An Albany military custody lawyer can provide more information on how you could make an effective case for custody rights as a military parent.

Types of Custody

Shared Custody

Generally, courts can award different kinds of custody rights depending on the circumstances. Shared custody generally refers to a situation in which both parents share almost equal parenting time. Both parents could share physical custody of the child. Additionally, both parents could, through joint legal custody, have the right to make decisions about the child’s education, health, and welfare.

Sole Custody

By contrast, sole custody usually refers to a situation in which one parent has primary decision making over the child. If sole custody is granted, the court would still award visitation rights for the non-custodial parent to visit the child while they are residing at the custodial parent’s home. These visitation rights are usually set for a specific length of time or for specific periods.

Specific Provisions for Military Parents

New York State law has specific provisions for accommodating military parents and enabling them to exercise their custody rights. Under NYDRL §240, a court in Albany may modify a custody order to enable contact between a military parent and their child while the parent is activated or deployed. For example, a court must provide for electronic or telephonic communication between a military parent and their child, including e-mail or webcam access.

Additionally, NYDRL §240 authorizes the court to establish a parenting and visitation schedule for when a military parent is on leave. The court must automatically consider a military parent’s return from active duty a substantial change in circumstances, which warrants a review and possible adjustment of custody rights. An Albany military custody lawyer can help with this adjustment process and provide additional information on visitation and custody rights for military parents.

An Experienced Albany Military Custody Lawyer Can Help

Being in the military is often a demanding profession. It can be even more challenging for military parents, who may not be able to see their children as often as they would want. As a result, custody rights are especially important for military parents.

Our seasoned attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC know the kind of challenges you have as a parent performing military service. We can review your situation to ensure that you receive the custody rights you deserve and can represent you in court if necessary.

If you are a military parent and need help with a child custody issue, assistance from an Albany military custody lawyer could be just what you need. Call us today at (518) 218-7100 or email  to schedule a consultation.

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