Factors Considered During New York State Child Custody Hearings


Gordon Burrows

Gordon Burrows

An attorney with over 30 years of experience as a legal professional in the state of New York, Gordon Burrows is a lawyer who practices out of his private firm in White Plains. Since the start of his career, Gordon Burrows has focused on matrimonial and family law, including matters related to parental rights and child custody.

In New York child custody proceedings, there is a collection of factors that the courts consider when deciding which parent will receive custody. All these factors are evaluated with the “best interest of the child” in mind.

Though the definition of what constitutes the best interest of the child will vary slightly by state, New York emphasizes that “the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concerns.” While each case is different, the factors considered by judges include how much time a parent has spent as the child’s primary caregiver, the parent’s mental and physical health, his or her ability to provide childcare arrangements, whether or not the child has siblings, and a parent’s ability to provide for any special needs that a child might have. Factors such as a parent’s willingness to cooperate with the spouse from whom they are separating may also be considered.


An Overview of Divorce in New York State


Gordon Burrows

Gordon Burrows, an attorney with more than three decades of experience, has had a matrimonial and family law practice in White Plains, New York, since 2004. In this position, Gordon Burrows represents clients in divorce cases and custody and child support disputes.

New York is a no fault divorce state, meaning one spouse may begin divorce proceedings by claiming an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. In this situation, any marriage of more than six months duration in the state of New York can be ended by a divorce. There are a multitude of additional grounds for divorce, assuming an individual requires a more expedient dissolution of the marriage or has a legal incentive to describe their reasons for ending the marriage. Cruel and inhumane treatment by one spouse, abandonment, adultery, and a legal divorce following physical separation are a few common examples of grounds for divorce.

Prior to filing for divorce in New York, individuals must meet a number of residency requirements. In most cases, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of two years before filing. Exceptions to this rule range from the marriage taking place in New York or the grounds for divorce occurring within the state, in which case residency requirements are reduced to one year.