What is custody?
Custody is the legal responsibility for the care and control of your child (under 18 years old). When the judge issues a custody order, it will address two parts of custody: legal and physical.*
Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make major decisions about your child. Some types of decisions included in the right of legal custody are: where your child goes to school, whether or not your child gets surgery and what kind of religious training your child receives.**
Physical custody (also called residential custody) is the actual physical care and supervision of your child. It refers to who your child lives with on a day-to-day basis.***
For more information on custody in New York, you can read The Basics: Custody and Visitation in New York State prepared by an organization called Her Justice. (WomensLaw is not affiliated with this organization.)