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Child Custody and Child Support

Matters relating to family law can be complex and emotional. In a divorce proceeding, it is one of the most common and contentious issues, which is why it is crucial to make sure that the legal team you work with is one that genuinely cares about helping you reach the most favorable resolution. While it may be easy to somewhat determine who gets certain property, determining who a child lives with and what is in her or his best interests is much more difficult. At Kule Seid–Vazana & Associates P.C., our attorneys have over 40 years of combined experience in a wide range of issues related to child custody and support. It is important that both parties fully understand the types of custody and what each type entails. When you are involved in a custody case, you want to do everything in your power to ensure the best results for your children. At Kule Seid-Vazana & Associates, P.C., you can breathe easier knowing that our attorneys will be by your side counseling and advocating for you and your child(ren). Contact us today for a free consultation.

Child Custody

Your role as a parent is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. Retaining an effective custody attorney can give you peace of mind with the assurance that your parent’s rights will be protected. The term “child custody” refers to a parent’s right to make decisions on behalf of their child(ren). Custody involves more than having the child live with you.  In New York, there are two types of custody: Physical Custody and Legal Custody. 

Physical Custody

Physical custody, also known as residential custody, grants a parent the right to provide shelter and to make decisions on a day-to-day basis. Parents have the ability to share custody in which case the parents trade off parenting time with the child(ren) according to a set schedule and agreement. Sole physical custody occurs when a child(ren) lives with only one parent and the non-custodial parent is allowed visitation rights. Joint physical custody occurs is when the child(ren) lives with both parents at different times. The goal is to provide the child(ren) with the arrangement that is in the best interests of the child (ren). 

Legal Custody

In most cases, both parents have the right to make critical decisions about how to raise their child and each will play a role in determining the child’s education, medical treatment, religious upbringing, financial well-being and general welfare. When parties are unable to co-parent and agree on what is in the best interests of their child or children, it is sometimes necessary to  be bound by a court’s determination, as to which party will have the power to decide decisions for their childrern.

Spheres of influence allow each parent final decision making authority in different aspects of their child’s life and may even involve a tie breaker third party in instances where the parties cannot move past a stale mate. For instance, one party may have sole decision making as it relates to a child’s education, whereas the other party will have sole decision making about medical and health related issues for the child.

Custody determination is based on factors some of which include whether the parent acted as the primary caregiver for the child(ren), each parent’s current physical and mental health, each parent’s willingness to cooperate with the other, any special needs that the child may have and the parents ability to provide for these needs, a parent’s work schedule and financial capacity to care for the child, if the child is old enough to make such a determination, emotional bond with the child(ren), evidence of domestic violence or abuse. The  analysis will sometimes involve insight from experts such as a child’s physician, psychologist or social worker. The Court can also appoint an attorney for the child(ren) who speaks on behalf of the child during a custody dispute and can appoint a neutral forensic examiner.


At KSV & Associates, we understand that one of the things you and your spouse will agree on is the importance of your child’s well-being. Many aspects will affect your divorce and child support is one of them. Every parent has an obligation to financially support their child. Just because parents are considering divorce does not mean that this duty ends and as parents, you will have to decide who will pay for your child’s care, health insurance, extra-curricular activities,  school tuition and other expenses.

Child support is the money paid to the residential spouse to cover the above-mentioned expenses as well as the expenses associated with raising a child such as food, clothing, sufficient housing and transportation. 

Factors in Child Support

There are several factors involved in determining the amount of appropriate child support whether it is by agreement between the parties or by a determination of a Court after a motion, hearing or trial. In all cases, the State has standard guidelines for calculating same known as the Child Support Standards Act. The factors that are considered include:

  • The child’s standard of living while the parents were together;
  • The income of parent with whom the child primarily resides;
  • Each parent’s income;
  • Whether one parent is paying maintenance to the other;
  • The special needs of the child and other factors.

By law, child support will continue until the child becomes an adult as defined by existing state statutes (21 in the State of New York), goes on to serve in the military, becomes self-supporting, marries, or is adopted by a new parent. In some cases, children who have special needs may need to keep receiving child support after they reach adulthood. An order for child support only becomes effective from the date that it was requested.

In New York, child support is governed by the Child Support Standards Act, which intends that the child be given the same standard of living he or she would have enjoyed if his or her parents had not divorced. A basic formula sets the specified percentage depending on the number of children that must be supported. 

  • 17% of your combined parental income for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • At least 35% for five or more children

Over 40 Years of Combined Experience in Matrimonial and Family Law.