Q: Custody/visitation – Filed motion significant change in circumstances Father recovering heroin addict. Three and half years sober – employed with same company for 3 years. Modification originally heard 3/ 2015 over two years ago. Both parties represented by attorneys. attorney fo child interviewed son at age 7 – said he wanted to see father. Father sending monthly gifts to son. No acknowledgement from mother. Paid out $ 19000 to attorney. Pages and pages of treatment records – opposing attorney not satisfied with records
Both parties now pro se. Second attorney for child spoke with child at age 9 does not want to see father and wants step father’s last name. Judge asked father how he wants to proceed. Taken by surprise. Attorney for child will continue to obtain more records. Can judge order no contact with father? forced to give up son for adoption? Attorney and judge treat father as if he is an active addict . Father feels discriminated against. Treatment records release given to attorney for child. mother wants records thinks dad is hiding something. Father had been on methadone tapered off 2 years ago and completed level one outpatient counseling program
A: First, you should have an attorney representing you – if you cannot afford an attorney, ask the Judge to assign you one. Second, while a Judge cannot terminate your parental rights or “force an adoption” under such circumstances, a Judge does have the discretion to enter an order of no visits or an order of therapeutic supervised visits. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.