Does having a temporary order of custody, have any weight in determining the outcome of my custody trial? Do judges tend to favor the custodial parent even if it’s only temporary?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Yes - having temporary custody is indeed a factor the Judge will consider at the ultimate custody trial. This is because stability in the child's life is a specific factor which must be weighed. That said, there are numerous other factors which must be considered as well. For a full assessment, you're best advised to schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody lawyer.
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6 lawyers agree
Family Law Attorney
This is a bit difficult to say. There is more than one answer and I will explore two extreme situations.
Situation 1: Mom agrees she cannot care for the child and the court grants temporary custody to you. Here, there is a very high likelihood of getting a permanent order of custody.
Situation 2: You blindsided mother and filed a petition you did not serve. The judge did not hear from the mother at all and she learned later that you pulled a trick on her to steal the kid (maybe to avoid having to pay child support). In this extreme example, it is highly unlikely that you will get a permanent order until after the judge/referee examines what happened and who indeed was the child's primary caretaker.
Other than these two extremes, I have no idea how it is you ended up in court and what other facts may impact upon a permanent order of custody to you.
I hope you are not going it alone in family court. Having a lawyer re[present you is the best way for you to preserve your link to eternity.
Family Law Attorney
I agree with both Mr. Blivens and Mr. Lometevas who have given you good but different answers, but I would tend more to agree with Mr. Lometavas and think the better answers are "not necessarily" and "it depends".
The final order will be based on a more in-depth examination of all the factors that enter into the decision based on "what is in the best interests of the child". The opinion of the child and/or the Attorney for the Child will come into play, especially if the child is older (and especially if the child is a teenager).
In my experience, the parent who "files first" in a divorce or custody action often acts to gain a temporary advantage by "sandbagging" the other parent by striking first with a very lopsided and distorted view of the facts that, of course, favor the moving parties' position, especially if the order is an ex parte (only one party appearing) Order to Show Cause which alleges some immediate dire need to award one parent custody, like abandonment, neglect or abuse.
So, in that situation, temporary custody will not be the best indicator of the final result, especially if both parents are represented by counsel. On the other hand, if all the relevant factors were put forth in the temporary custody proceedings and the permanent proceedings are going to be a "replay" of the same facts with a few more embellishments, the temporary custody decision might be a good bellweather for the final decision.
But, "it depends" on which situation you fall into, like Peter said above.
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