Special Custody Circumstances
If you are going through a divorce, you may know that there are special custody circumstances that you have to figure out with your attorney. They can get complicated, so having a custody attorney can help you navigate this legal process.
Special Custody Circumstance | Can I obtain custody of my niece or nephew?
New York State courts prefer to keep children with their biological parents. You can, however, obtain custody of a minor relative by petitioning the Family Court and explaining your reasons. You may allege “extraordinary circumstances,” including abandonment, abuse, unfitness to parent, or consistent neglect as grounds for obtaining custody for a niece, nephew, stepchild, or grandchild. The “Extraordinary circumstances” requirement sets a high burden of proof. You will want to contact an experienced family law attorney before attempting to win custody of any child.
Special Custody Circumstances | Does my child have any say in custody?
A child will have a “Law Guardian” who will stand on equal footing with both parents’ attorneys in the court, arguing on the child’s behalf. In the eyes of the law, a minor doesn’t have the ability – or the right – to determine his or her best interests. Just as a child under 18 cannot leave home without parental consent, so too, in child custody proceedings, the court will not in any case grant an order solely based upon a child’s wishes. That said, the older a child gets, the more weight a court will give that child’s wishes. There are no rules determining this “weight,” however – this is subject to a judge’s discretion.
Special Custody Circumstances | I’m pregnant and going through a divorce. Can I move out of state before the divorce is finalized?
A court in New York State cannot force a child custody case or relocation case before a child is born. If you’re in the middle of divorce proceedings and anticipate a move out of the state, it would be wise to move before you give birth to the child, at which point, if you were to remain in the state, your spouse and the court could effectively “freeze” you.
If you have a special custody circumstance and you want knowledgeable guidance, please call our Saratoga divorce attorney today.