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What is the NYS Law on using evidence of events that took place prior to a custody order?

Q: In June 2016, I consented to an order granting physical custody to my ex. I have since discovered thru an ACS worker my ex called to investigate me (report was unfounded) that about 28 years ago my ex was hospitalized for a suicide attempt and diagnosed with major depression. Ex also had a crack cocaine history around the same time frame. I’m considering using this information to seek a custody change. Currently, there are no issues with the kids in her care. But, the issues aforementioned could resurface. I think a custody change would remove the kids from the danger of my ex possibly relapsing. I didn’t know my ex at the time of these events so of course we didn’t have kids. But I think people don’t change much and I’d hate for my kids to be subjected to a reoccurrence of my ex spouse’s former conditions.

A: David’s Answer: If her “issues” occurred that long ago, it’s unlikely to warrant a custody change in itself. And while you may not think people change, the reality is that they do – some people with depression in their lives at one stage may be completely cured (or “learn to cope”). Regardless, it would be complete speculation on your part to say she’s somehow “likely to regress.” Schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

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