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Child custody

Child custody is the legal term used to describe the legal and physical relationship between a parent and child; it comes into question in proceedings involving dissolution of marriage, annulment and other legal proceedings where the residence and care of children are concerned. In most jurisdictions child custody is determined by the best interests of the child standard.

Child custody in New York State

Where there are children of the marriage residing in New York State and under the age of 18, a demand for custody is mandatory in divorce actions. Where the children reside outside New York State custody may not be determined, except in some instances by stipulation. Custody may not be awarded to a person other than the father or mother, except under unusual circumstances which require a hearing. Children under the age of 21 must be supported by both parents to the extent that they are able to support the children under the provisions of the Child Support Standards Act.

See paternity for discussion of judicial recognition of filiation which may be necessary before custody or support may be determined.



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