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Law Offices Of David Bliven
Law Offices Of David Bliven
  • White Plains Office 19 Court Street
    Suite 206
    White Plains, 10601
  • Bronx Office 3190 Riverdale Avenue
    Suite 1
    Bronx, NY 10463

What Is The Process To Petition For A Modification To A Child Custody Order In New York?

In family court, you would file a petition with the court. In Supreme Court, you would file an order to show cause, which is a type of motion or application that usually needs to be drafted by an attorney. The court can help you draft it, if you are representing yourself, but it is usually advisable to go through an attorney. A lot of attorneys, especially post-pandemic, offer arrangements where they will help draft applications for potential clients just to get them into court, without necessarily taking on the retainer. They may charge a reduced fee for just helping a person draft a petition or an order to show cause to get into court.

How Long Does It Take For A Decision To Be Made On A Petition To Modify Child Custody In New York?

The amount of time it takes for a modification decision varies with each case. You could have a determination made on the first day of court. Other cases become contested such that a hearing or trial is necessitated. It depends on what exactly is being tried. A full-blown custody case in the greater New York City area can last a year or more, but only about 5% of cases go through to a full trial. At some point, there is a resolution reached in the vast majority of modification cases.

If Both Parents Agree To The Child Custody Modification, Will The Modification Be Automatically Approved By The Court?

The court does not necessarily have to approve a modification merely because both parties are wanting it. For instance, if the court perceives that the resolution would put the child at risk of harm, the court can order a Court Ordered Investigation, allowing the state agency (ACS or CPS) charged with protecting children from abuse or neglect to weigh in on the issue before a decision is made.

Can One Parent Request A Temporary Change In Custody Or Visitation In New York If There Are Temporary Circumstances That Would Interrupt The Normal Schedule Of Custody Sharing?

There is a statute in New York that applies if a custodial parent is deployed overseas via the military. If they consent that the other parent gets custody of the child or children while they are deployed, then that consent cannot be held against them if they then come back and want to regain custody of the children. This can apply to other temporary situations as well. Obviously, the court is still tasked with determining what is in the best interests of the child or children at the point the modification case is filed.

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