Divorce and separation can be tough on families, especially when it comes to deciding who will have custody of the children. In New York State, parents can petition for sole custody if they believe it is in the best interest of the child. However, navigating the legal system can be overwhelming, and it is important to understand the process and requirements for filing a petition. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will provide an overview of how to petition for sole custody in New York, including the different types of custody, the legal requirements, and the steps involved in the process. Whether you are considering filing a petition or simply want to learn more about child custody in New York, this article will provide you with valuable information to help you make informed decisions for yourself and your family.
About Sole Custody
One parent is granted sole legal and physical custody of the kid when there is sole custody. While physical custody determines where the child resides, legal custody controls the right to make decisions. Even while sole custody severely restricts their time together, it does not necessarily mean that the non-custodial parent never sees the child. Some single custody agreements fully do away with visitation. If a parent requests sole custody, they should carefully consider if this arrangement is best for their child.
Sole Custody Petition
The New York State Supreme Court’s family division handles custody and visitation cases. Request a custody petition from the county clerk where the child resides to file your case. Complete all the fields on the form. A parenting plan must be attached to this petition per state law. Parenting plans specify the visitation schedules and time spent with each parent. A parenting plan may be given to you by the clerk or you may create one on your own. In addition to paying the filing fee, return the petition and parenting plan to the clerk.
Expert testimony has a lot of weight in New York family courts. Judges have the power to designate child experts to present testimony in court or file motions on the kid’s behalf. After looking into the situation, a guardian ad litem, a lawyer hired to represent the child’s best interests, may be appointed to give a recommendation to the court. Even if you disagree with the guardian ad litem, it is advisable to show her deference and courtesy. In the same vein, judges may commission psychologists to assess each parent’s mental health. Attend all of these psychologists’ meetings and share whatever knowledge you have about your child’s psychological condition and how the custody arrangement you suggest might enhance it.
Judges frequently order parties to mediation with a mediator chosen by the court. Your case will be scheduled for a judicial hearing if mediation fails to resolve it. You must defend sole custody as being in your child’s best interests at the hearing. You can question experts like psychologists and social workers as well as call witnesses and provide evidence. You must provide evidence for why your child will suffer from time spent with the other parent if you are asking for sole custody without any visitation or with restricted visitation. Bring police and medical reports proving any abuse if it occurred.
The judge will issue a final custody order after hearing the facts. You could be charged with contempt of court if you don’t follow this directive. The custody arrangements—including visitation—will be outlined in the decree. If your ex’s visiting privileges are entirely revoked, the court may issue an interim order, allowing him or her to request access once again after a specified amount of time has passed or once certain conditions, such as counseling or drug rehabilitation, have been satisfied.