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Asking a Judge For Temporary Custody In NY

Bronx, NY |

I’m in a custody battle with my son’s mother, Our First Court date is this week and I Plan on asking the Judge for Temporary Custody until our case is finished. Is this even an option in NY courts? I have my son 4-5 days a week already, I recently placed him in pre-school and I’m the Parent who takes him to school and picks him up and would like to keep this routine until things are settled between us. I’m scared once we start the case his mother will try to keep him from me as much as possible and disrupt his routine.

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Attorney answers 4


You definitely should ask the Judge for temporary custody by oral application, however, if your son's mother shows up with an attorney and you are pro-se (representing yourself) then you may be 'outlitigated' and may not have much time to speak. I have rarely seen a Judge change a custodial situation at a first appearance especially for someone who doesn't have an attorney speaking for them. Your reasons for asking for an immediate change in custody will have to be compelling and will have to warrant a child being uprooted from their home. The Court will also be assigning an Attorney for the Child to represent your son. It is also unusual for a Judge to order a change in custody without first hearing from the Attorney for the Child. I STRONGLY urge you to retain an attorney and go to this first appearance with a lawyer by your side.


Certainly, you can ask for an Order of Temporary Custody--it sounds like you already are the primary residential parent if your son is with you the majority of the time. Yes, the mother probably will become very protective of her "position" and if she has an attorney she will be advised how to do so effectively. I suggest you have a confidential consultation with a local attorney immediately to fully review your case and strategize before the first court date. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


You have the right to file a Petition for Custody. It is not recommended to do so without an attorney.


First, it is possible to ask for temporary custody. Second, you should definitely not handle a contested custody case on your own. You should immediately schedule a consultation with a Bronx Child Custody attorney.

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