One of the most prominent reasons why a case involving child custody can last a long time is because the Court or one of the parties requests a social study. A social study is where a social worker investigates both parties, their respective homes and backgrounds, makes reference checks, etc. A trial can last hours, days, weeks, or, in extremely complicated cases, months. There is often a significant waiting period between days of testimony, as court schedules fill up and lawyers need time to gather evidence.
The length of a custody trial depends on the complexity of the case and the number of witnesses to be called. It can be from a few hours to a week or more. And according to the judge, trial days may not be consecutive. Another key question is the location of your case.
In certain states and counties, the court system schedules trial dates faster than in others. If you live in a busy county that has a lot of cases, you may have to wait months between trials. When a parent has more than 50% of the custody time with the child, that parent will be determined to have primary physical custody of the child, giving that parent some authority to make decisions in the absence of an agreement, as well as certain tax credits in the absence of an agreement. Under the New York Child Support Rules Act, the non-custodial parent must pay child support to the custodial parent according to the formula established by the State, which is a percentage of their gross income after deductions from their FICA withholding (which is 7.65% of their income).
Fourth, the Court will consider the relative fitness of each parent, including their ability to guide the child, maintain the child's general welfare, and foster the child's relationship with the non-custodial parent. The custodial parent determines how child support payments are allocated for the care of the child. The non-custodial parent is the parent who has less than 50% of the physical custody time with the child. If you and your spouse cannot agree on your child's custody agreement, then custody can be determined through Family Court or as part of a divorce lawsuit.
As long as you have more than 50% of the physical custody time with the child, you will be considered the primary custodial parent and will allow you to receive child support from the other parent. Complicated cases may require a forensic custody evaluation, which can be requested by either party or recommended by the child's lawyer.