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Parties Given Joint Custody and Joint Decision Making

Childs small hand in parents hand

In a custody dispute before Justice Matthew F. Cooper, sitting in Supreme Court of New York County, a mother brought a proceeding which claimed the father was argumentative, contentious and rigid. She alleged since the father was so difficult she could not co-parent with him. Therefore, she should be awarded sole decision making authority and also be awarded to have sole custody of the parties’ son.

The father also agreed that joint decision making was not viable. He argued that both he and the mother should each have final decision making authority. He claimed they should be deemed to have joint custody of their son.

Justice Cooper in his decision took into consideration what was in the child’s best interest. Justice Cooper’s ruling was it was not in the child’s best interest to have the father’s standing as a parent denigrated by designating him a non-custodial parent. He ruled the child’s best interests would be served if there was a shared decision making process. The judge rendered a hybrid decision that didn’t give either parent sole custody. He outlined in his decision that each of the parents was to have decision making authority in specific areas of their son’s general health, education, and well-being.


Attorney Elliot Schlissel

This court’s decision is an attempt to keep both parents who don’t get along, very involved with their son’s life. Unfortunately, my experience in situation of this nature is if the parents don’t put their child’s interest ahead of their animosity to each other, this judge’s decision will not work.