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How do I file for divorce with a minor child involved?

New York, NY |

My wife and I have been separated now for 12 years and are both in agreement to divorce, however, I live in NYC and she in New Jersey. She has stated that she will not allow my minor child to visit me in NYC and that I would have to return to NJ in order to see her. This is a problem for me as I am planning to remarry and keep my life in NY. Does she have a legal right to pose those terms of visitation on me?

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

I agree with the other counsel as to the law. As to the facts, does your separation agreement address custody, child support and visitation? Have you ever been to Family Court in NY or NJ to address custody, support or visitation issues? These agreements and orders aren't automatically disturbed or vacated because you are taking the final step of becoming divorced. Take this up with your divorce attorney as soon as possible and bring him or her copies of any existing agreements or orders that bear on the issues regarding your minor children. If the issues haven't been formally addressed, you should bring a petition in Family Court in the state where the children have resided for more than six months (I presume this is NJ and your soon to be ex has sole physical custody). Also, you may seek "joint legal custody" which gives you decisionmaking power in conjunction with your ex for major decisions.

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Posted

Hire a lawyer to file suit in NY. She can't dictate where and how you may visit your child without a Court order. Once you file for divorce and if you agree for the wife to have temp. custody, then you should bring a motion in court awarding you temp over night visitation rights. In the end the Court will have to determine what is the best interest of the child with regards to visitation.

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Posted

Not unless there is a reason that visiting you in New York would be harmful/contrary to the child's best interests. I suggest you hire a lawyer and get a detailed custody/visitation schedule in writing so there's no confusion. If she won't agree you may have to have a hearing on the issue

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Posted

She cannot dictate how you exercise your patenting time with your child. Hire an attorney to address the custody issue in the context of the divorce. If you already have a custody order and it does not provide for travel to NJ, file a petition to modify the order.

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1 comment

Maria C. Tebano

Maria C. Tebano

Posted

I meant travel to NY

Posted

Your wife does not have the right to impose those terms on your visitation. If she refuses to provide the child for visitation, bring a motion for contempt.

It is always advisable to contact an attorney. For a consultation, please contact my office at 516-669-3295. We are located in West Babylon, NY and proudly offer very low rates and free consultations. <a href="http://www.LouisLSternbergLaw.com">Please visit us on the web.</a>

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Posted

If you have not been to court in NJ previously on issues pertaining to your children, you should immediately file for divorce in NY so the NY courts will be most likely to have jurisdiction over related issues in dispute, including child custody and visitation. Good luck!

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Essentially every attorney that has previously commented provided you with appropriate information and strategy. You need to synthesize everyone's comments and utilize them. There is no basis for your wife to prevent you from seeing your child in NYC unless there was some abuse or neglect that would make visitation with your child in NYC not in your child's best interests. Assuming there was no such issues, it seems she is trying to impose conditions on you that would not be enforced in court. She may very well be overplaying her hand and, based on my prior experience in these situations, if you cave on this issue you can reasonably expect that she will be emboldened to make unreasonable demands of you in the future. I recommend that you immediately contact an attorney to prepare the necessary legal papers and that you have those filed ASAP.

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