While there are numerous factors that go into making a child custody determination, there is one thing that trumps them all – what is actually in the best interests of the child. Any judge will agree, and the far majority of time spent on a child custody case is spent evaluating a number of different scenarios to determine whether they will have a positive or negative effect on the child. Each stage of a child custody case relates back to whether a decision or arrangement is in the child’s best interests, and the ultimate goal of the court is to finalize a custody arrangement that allows the child to remain safe and nurtured for the remainder of their childhood.

Determining what custody arrangement is best for a child or could be potentially harmful to a child is no easy task. It involves evaluating a significant amount of evidence and may include the retention of experts, and even then, it is not always crystal clear as to what arrangement will provide the child with the brightest future.

Some of the factors that are considered by a family court in a custody case include but are not limited to:

  • The age and physical health of both parents
  • The mental health of both parents
  • The ability of each parent to provide for the child financially
  • The location of where each parent lives and its proximity to the child’s educational and social activities
  • The condition of each parent’s home and their ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child
  • The ability of each parent to take their child to and from school and social activities
  • The willingness of each parent to foster a continuing relationship with the other parent
  • Who the child has been living with primarily since the separation of the parents
  • The child’s wishes if he or she is old enough to petition the court
  • Whether there is a history of physical or sexual violence against the child or another parent

Primary Physical or Residential Custody

Shared Physical or Residential Custody

Parenting Time

Shared Legal Custody

Sole Legal or Physical Custody

Steven provides effective and diligent representation and advice to individuals and families, with a particular focus on the unique circumstances of each case. During law school, Steven sought out public service internships with various legal services organizations, including the Center for Family Representation. Additionally, Steven had the honor of serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Cardozo Journal of Law and Gender, and also participated in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program.