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Legal Information: New York

Custody

Updated: 
May 8, 2020

What options are there for physical custody?

If you have sole physical custody of your child, then your child lives with you primarily (although the child may spend time in the other parent’s home during visitation). A parent with sole physical custody is sometimes called a child’s “primary caretaker,” or “custodial parent.” If you are the custodial parent, you have responsibility for the everyday care of your child when s/he is with you and the decisions that affect that care.

Sometimes a judge can order shared physical custody. If you have shared physical custody (also known as residential custody), your child will live with you and the other parent, with both parents having frequent contact with their child. The child may or may not spend equal amounts of time with each parent, depending on what the judge believes to be in the best interest of the child.