Changing Guardianship in New York State
Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances leave us with tough choices, especially when it comes to family. If you and your spouse or ex-spouse believe that it is in your child’s best interests to legally change guardians, we support your decision. Our Saratoga divorce attorneys are here to help you and your family get through difficult times. Read this article for important information about changing guardianship in New York State.
Changing Guardianship in New York State | Legal Process
If you and the other parent of your children have agreed that someone else will be taking guardianship of one of your children, or taking physical custody of them, we do need to prepare papers and submit them to the family court. Depending upon the reason for the request for a non-parent to have guardianship or custody, the general procedure that we follow is for everybody to sign a stipulation. We then submit that to family court with a petition and an order for the judge to sign.
Changing Guardianship in New York State | Child’s Preferences
We’ve had a number of cases where a teenage child has expressed a desire to live with a non-parent, and the parents haven’t consented. In general, in New York, that is not going to be easy for the child to affect simply because if someone other than a parent is seeking custody of a child, they first have to prove that they even have the right to seek custody in family court. To have the right to seek custody or to have standing means that they must prove extraordinary circumstances.
Some examples of extraordinary circumstances include abandoning a child or neglecting a child. Those are pretty extreme circumstances, and without those it would be very difficult for a non-parent to convince a court that they have a right to seek custody of the child. Even if they have proved that they have the right to seek custody, that doesn’t mean that they get custody, and a court would still have to determine what the child’s best interests were prior to awarding custody to a non-parent.
If you have any questions about changing guardianship in New York State, please contact our experienced Saratoga family law attorneys today.