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Is there a way to retain my legal right for custody of my children without going through a formal custody process?

Q: Wife left marital home with me and our 3 children and informed me that she might pick up the kids later and seek custody when she is settle in new state in the future. She kept contact with the kids so I understand is not abandonment in the legal sens. Hoping for a reconciliation but not wanting to loose out if she come to pick up the kids later, I am looking for a legal way to make some sort of "declaration" that I have full custody without formally starting out the custody process. How does a dad can guarantee that he will retain such a custody without going through a custody process? Wife has left home 5 months now.

A: David's Answer: "Legal" Custody refers to a court order. Thus, to obtain legal custody you'd need to file a petition in Family Court & have her served. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.

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