Q: I have joint physical custody of my 10 year old son, his mother lost custody because of physical abuse. She had chargers pressed in criminal court for neglect and was given probation.this was 5 years ago. She recently took our son to my mothers home in an attempt to drop him after her scheduled visit instead of bringing him to my home as we had agreed. My mother didn’t answer the door so she kicked and stomped my mothers door breaking the locks in front of our son. I filed for full custody and no visitation. His mother countered and filed for custody of our son. I’ve had 3 court appearances and I feel the referee does not like me. We are scheduled to go to trail in September. I just want a fair chance and don’t think I will get one. I have an attorney. He said getting a judge after agreeing to see the referee would be hard. My son doesn’t want to love with his mother but he would like to visit her as he has been doing every other weekend. Can I lose custody because this referee doesn’t like me?
A: David’s Answer: It’s accurate that after you’ve consented to the Referee “hearing and determining” your case, it would be very difficult to get the case moved to a Judge – especially after a trial date has been set. I suppose the issue to discuss is whether you understood the Referee was both “hearing and determining” rather that “hearing and reporting” and whether you executed a written stipulation to that effect. For a 2d opinion, call a Bronx Child Custody attorney to schedule a consultation.