What are the specific laws for sole custody and relocating for NY state? Any tips would be helpful.

Asked almost 3 years ago - Towanda, PA

I have to go pro se in my custody battle for my daughter. My ex wife currently was awarded sole custody not by anything I did horribly wrong. I didnt have adequate accommadations at my old place and the mother alienated me from my daughter by not showing for exchanges and though the court didnt believe me and my ex said I was to blame for not seeing my daughter.Now at present after fighting to see my daughter for a few years I am taking her to court to modify custody. I live in PA mother used to live in NY with child about 40 mins from me. Without my knowledge or the knowledge of the court she took off to TX. Is she really aloud to do that according to NY law? I can't find specific statutes stating yes or no.The area she moved to is severely unsafe! I miss my daughter please help.

Additional information

Thank you unfortunately I have been unable to get a lawyer to help because "the matter is already in process" or they want a huge retainer. The court in NY where my child is actually supposed to be living has ruled to keep jurisdiction. They will not let me file a change of venue. I am going to keep fighting to see my daughter. I know there must be things I can do to help my case. Just one more thing I wanted to add is the current custody is mother has sole custody with visitation with the father as agreed upon by the parties. I did once before try to get a set visitation order thats when they gave her custody.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Christopher Barrett Fay

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . First, this is a serious matter and your pro se attempts thus far have probably not given you the best chance of success. You should consider working with an attorney under a flat-fee arrangement or who will offer a payment plan if you can afford one. It is possible that you might qualify for pro bono legal assistance, but those organizations have strict financial requirements and are generally overworked and understaffed due to budgetary cutbacks. However, you should seek counsel of some kind going forward.

    Next, this appears to be a PA case, not a NY case, but without seeing the actual orders in effect and knowing all of the facts, I cannot be certain.

    For general information, and assuming this is a PA case for jurisdictional purposes, you should know that the "new" custody statute put into effect over a year ago has specific provisions for physical custody as well as relocation. There are several factors that a court will apply to the case to determine an award of custody in the child's best interests. You need to provide testimony and evidence in favor of your argument why sole custody is no longer appropriate and why the mother's move to TX should be prohibited.

    This is not a simple case and again, I urge you to seek counsel. I am sorry it has resulted in a separation from your daughter, but I hope that your future court proceedings help rectify the situation.

    Good luck,
    PS: Please mark this as a best answer if it is most helpful to you.

    The Law Office of Christopher Barrett Fay, 1325 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, chris@cfaylaw.com, (267)... more

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