Why do courts award sole custody?

One of the most contested and emotional aspects of many divorces throughout Westchester County is that of custody. When a parent is told that they may not be able to see their child as much as they once did, they may be devastated. Often times, this is very difficult for the children to grasp as well. Most of the time, the courts of New York will award a joint custody agreement. This simply means that while one parent probably spends slightly more time with the child, they will still get to spend time with the other parent. In some cases, however, the court may find that one of the parents is “unfit” and therefore awards full, or sole, custody to the parent who is “fit.”

A sole custody award is very rarely granted because the court does understand that it is usually beneficial for a child to have a relationship with both of his or her parents. However, if the court finds that it is in the child’s best interest to not grant one of the parents custody, they will do so. The court will assess whether the parent has a history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or other criminal activity. If they believe that it would not be safe for the child to be cared for by the parent, sole custody is typically the safest answer.

If you are in need of experienced and dedicated legal counsel, please contact The Penichet Firm today and we will be happy to assist you in all of your divorce, family, and criminal law matters. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.