Saturday, May 17, 2014

Percent of men winning custody

Q:  I reviewed a sample of 95 appellate New York State cases involving custody. 57 % of the time, the lower court awarded custody to the father. 93 % of the time, the appellate court affirmed the lower courts decision. Roughly 75 % of the time the courts followed the opinion of the forensic report. Does this comport with your general experience?

A:  David's Answer:  Preliminarily, are you doing research for an article you're writing, or are you involved in an actual court case? If the former, getting anecdotal evidence from a few attorneys may be a bad way to do research. That said, your stats do not comport with my experience. I'd probably reverse the percentages & say mothers win roughly 2/3 of the time. I also do not believe the % of affirmance on appeal is quite that high - it's probably around 60-70% or so (one must count not just reversals, but also remittals & modifications on appeal).   -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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