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Ralph Duthely

Ralph Duthely’s Answers

345 total


  • Application for passport for my 7 yo daughter returned as there is not enough evidence that father is unavailable to sign

    My daughters' father and I were never officially married. We lived together until last April, I provided most financials, he is on her birth certificate. I left him, ever since he refuses contacts, does not want to see daughter, does not pay chil...

    Ralph’s Answer

    My advice, as a Family Law attorney, is that you file custody petition. A Judge or Referee in Family Court can issue an order that would allow you to apply for a passport for the child. I would advise that you file as soon as possible.

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  • I have sole custody of my children do I need my exhusbands permission to take the kids out of state for a weekend?

    I have sole custody and the current visitation order is that he has visitation every sunday I usually take the kids out of state two weekends a month. I have notified their father that in three weeks we are going away for a weekend but he says I n...

    Ralph’s Answer

    If the order grants the father visitation every Sunday, then a weekend trip would impose on his parenting time. Yo should file a petition to modify the order to allow some uninterrupted weekend and holiday time for you in order to be able to travel with the children.

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  • Who has custody when no official order of custody was entered, but support order calls dad "non-custodial" and mom "custodial"?

    An order of support was entered in 2009, and it refers to dad as the non-custodial parent, and me as the custodial parent. We were never married. He did not want the child, so I returned home out-of-state to have her. I returned to NY state withi...

    Ralph’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. You should file your own petition, alleging that the child has lived with you her entire life, specifying the limited contact (if any) that the father has had with the child, and that it would be in your daughter's best interest for the court to award your custody. The facts, as yu state them, are definitely in your favor. Good luck.

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  • I have sole custody and we have joint legal custody can he prevent me from leaving the state on vacation with the kids?

    I have sole physical custody and my ex an I share joint legal custody. He seems to think that since we share legal custody I need his permission to take the children out of the state for a weekend or vacation. I was told that I do not need his per...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Unless the order specifies otherwise, you have the right to travel out of state as long as it doesn't interfere with the father's parenting time. As a courtesy, you should notify him of any trip out of state but you do not need his permission.

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  • Do i need a family lawyer now?

    My wife and I had an argument and she called the cop on me. We have a 15 months old daughter. She got order of protections and I have a court date soon. I already have retained a criminal lawyer. Now do I need a family lawyer? A case ...

    Ralph’s Answer

    You absolutely must speak to a family law attorney before speaking to ACS. Any statements you make will be used against you in court. Anything you say against your wife may end up with your child being removed and placed in foster care. Speak to an attorney asap.

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  • For pro-rata purposes in my divorce settlement, do I have to show my ex my tax returns?

    For figuring out pro-rata, is there a way to show my ex the number needed (which i think is adjusted gross income) without him having to see my income tax returns every year? Especially if I remarry, I dont want him seeing my future husbands and m...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Whatever documentation that you have to provide for purposes of your divorce settlement would be prior to remarriage. Once you are divorced, unless you file for a modification, you would not need to produce any joint tax returns filed with a new husband.

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  • How do I access records of past and present acs cases in nyc

    am trying to find all available information to be able to get legal custody of my sons any help is greatly apprecated

    Ralph’s Answer

    If you have actually filed a custody case, you can ask that the court order a COI (court ordered investigation). That will include basic information about any prior child protective history of both parties. Otherwise, if the case is going to trial, your attorney can subpoena records. If you don't have an attorney, you are making a big mistake.

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  • Can a child be removed by cps or acs in NYC based solely on previous cases?

    My friend had a newborn baby and was told because she had prior charges against her with cps they are going to take her child from the hospital. They were not abuse charges but neglect charges. In all three cases she signed custody to her mother v...

    Ralph’s Answer

    Mr. Bliven, whom I've known for many years and who has extensive experience in family court matters is absolutely correct. ACS wields a great deal of power in their efforts to combat child abuse and neglect. If a parent has prior cases, especially recent ones, it is not unusual for ACS to remove a newborn and file a petition as to that child. Of course, there are many factors which go into their decision. The extent of the ACS history, the nature of the prior allegations, as well as the recency of the past conduct are some of the factors considered. Also important is whether the parent has completed services aimed at curing the past deficiencies. The mother should definitely consult with an experienced family court attorney.

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