How To File For Full Custody In New York Online

by ECL Writer
How To File For Full Custody In New York Online

Filing for full custody of a child can be a difficult and emotional process, but it may be necessary for certain circumstances. If you’re a parent in New York seeking full custody, you may be wondering where to begin. The good news is that you can now file for full custody online in New York. This not only saves time and effort but also makes the process more accessible to those who may not have easy access to a courthouse or legal assistance. In this article, will guide you through the steps of filing for full custody in New York online, as well as provide tips and resources to help you navigate this important legal process.

Determine Your Court And Type Of Case

First, determine if you’ll file in family court or the supreme court.

Parents seeking divorce file a case in the supreme court. (They must meet the residency requirement.) These parents generally resolve custody as part of their divorce, but some file a custody case in family court before filing for divorce in the supreme court. Paternity cases, domestic violence cases, and custody petitions go through family court (unless they’re handled as part of a divorce).

In the supreme court, cases are considered contested when parents disagree on one or more terms. In an uncontested case, parents agree on all terms.

Complete Your Forms

Use black ink to complete all forms. Use double spacing when typing. Additionally, print documents single-sided if you’re printing them. Self-represented individuals should not include an attorney’s contact information but rather their own.

family court cases

Complete General Form 17 to petition for custody or visitation.

Check the box beside:

  • Article 4 if you’re asking for child support
  • Article 5 if you’re asking the court to name a legal biological father
  • Article 6 if you’re asking for custody or visitation

This tells the court which article of the Family Court Act applies to your case.

Note that the petitioner is the person filing and the respondent is the other parent (or whomever the petition is against).

You may attach a proposed or agreed-on parenting plan now or submit one later.

If necessary, you can also complete a Family Offense Petition to request a temporary protection order. Attach photos or other evidence.

If disclosing your address or other identifying information would pose a risk to you or your child, complete an Address Confidentiality Affidavit.

supreme court

When parents don’t agree on the terms of their divorce, New York doesn’t make it easy for them to open a case without a lawyer. You may use the following documents and ask your court if it requires others — but things will be much easier if you use a lawyer.

If you’ve already agreed on all divorce terms, your paperwork depends on your location:

Any time you reach agreement, turn in the stipulation of settlement that you’ve agreed on, which will include a parenting plan.

In all divorces, the person filing is the plaintiff and their spouse is the defendant.

Leave any spaces labeled index number blank for now.

If you can’t afford filing fees, fill out a fee waiver application along with a Notice of Motion, and attach a sworn affidavit explaining your finances. Contact your court to find out what specifically should go in your affidavit and what proof of income, if any, is necessary.

Finalize Your Paperwork

Make two more copies of every document you have. Then go to a notary public with your papers. Any affidavits, documents containing a notarization section, and your agreement of settlement (if you’re beginning an uncontested divorce) should all be notarized.

Turn In Your Paperwork

Many courts allow electronic filing. If yours does, you can e-file your forms to start your case.

If your case is in family court…

There are no filing fees in family court.

Unless you’re filing online, take your documents to the family court clerk. They’ll stamp the papers with a file number for your case, then keep one copy and return the others to you.

If your case is in the supreme court…

You’ll have to pay $210 to file your index number application. There’s an additional $35 fee if you’re opening an uncontested case. Contested cases will have more filing fees throughout the court process.

Unless you’re filing online, take your documents to the county clerk. The clerk will stamp them with your index number, keep one copy and return the others to you.

Serve The Other Parent

The act of officially telling the other parent that you have filed a case is known as service. The server sends the defendant or respondent copies of the documents you have filed. They must to additionally deliver a Notice of E-Filing if you filed your case online. You cannot serve the other parent yourself unless the judge grants you permission. As an alternative, you may ask a stranger or hire a process server or the local sheriff. Whoever you select must be a resident of New York and at least 18 years old.

Be sure to follow the many rules for service and have the server file a notarized affidavit with the court afterward.

If your case is in family court…

Service must occur at least eight days before the other parent needs to be in court.

Ask your court if it has any special requirements. For example, some counties require a sheriff to serve.

This is the last step in your filing. You and the respondent will both receive a summons in the mail stating when and where to report for your next appearance.

If your case is in the supreme court…

You can skip service if you’ve filed for a joint divorce together.

Otherwise, the defendant must be served dated copies of either the Summons with Notice or both the Summons and the Verified Complaint within 120 days of the initial filing.

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