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Question regarding child custody?

Schenectady, NY |

A judge after hearing evidence gave the grandfather physical custody to the child and liberal visitation to the mother of the child. The father is listed no where in the custody papers. The father recently approached the grandfather saying that he has no right to move away and that he has the power to take away the child and threaten(saying "do you know what I can do to you") the grandfather. What can be done about this?

The father is into nothing but drugs and always into trouble with the law.

Attorney Answers 3


I usually don't suggest "ask an attorney" because we're supposed to give laypeople self-help advice, but your fact pattern is so abnormal and strange that there's much more going on here than meets the surface.

Usually grandparents don't get custody to begin with, against the wishes of the biological parents, and certainly without serving papers on them that makes them aware of a custody hearing and their right to participate. So I simply don't know what can be done, except discuss it with an attorney and be prepared to go into the strange circumstances here in some depth.

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Are you the father? If you are and you were not provided with notice of the petition and an opportunity to participate at the hearing, then you should file a petition for custody and get custody of the child. If the grandfather claims that you were served with notice but defaulted, then make a motion to set aside the default and ask for an opportunity to be heard. Non-parents can only get custody based on extraordinary circumstances. You haven't told us how he got custody. In any event, don't give in to the grandfather, what more can he actually do to you?

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Because you do not identify the party for whom you are seeking advice, it is difficult to provide answer your question. "What can be done" would vary greatly depending on the party. The advice the father would get would be entirely different than the advice the grandfather would get. You may wish to consult with an experienced attorney (or you may want to suggest to the father or grandfather that they consult with an attorney).

If you think this response was helpful, or a "best response", please indicate so. LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Rosen practices matrimonial and family law in Great Neck, NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. You are strongly advised to confer with an attorney in your own state to acquire more information suited to your particular circumstances.

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