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Can my father get partial custody of my child without my knowledge?

Gloversville, NY |

Im 15 years old and just had a baby. my father went to court and said he got partial custody of my son the thing is i dont know how he did that because wouldnt i have to go to court and wouldnt he have to fight to get partial custody of my son. Or can they just give him partial custody without my knowledge?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

You can usually not go to Family Court and get any kind of custody, visitation or support without the petition being "served" on you and the parent filing the petition provide an affidavit that you were served with the court clerk. So the answer is no. Check with the Family Court Clerk to see whether the affidavit was served. The father may have lied and the order vacated and proceedings can be reopened. Or there may (improbably) have been some problem with their not having your address and the petition coming back in the mail and some kind of service by publication in the newspaper classifieds to provide notice if the father didn't know where you lived.

I would check with the Family Court clerk that issued the order. Make sure the father is telling you the truth about that and demand to see the official paperwork to make sure it exists. Hire a family court lawyer to investigate this, and if you are low-income, ask the Family Court clerk about assigned counsel or Legal Aid attorneys who can help you for free, or low cost fees. Good luck, something doesn't sound right about this if that's what's happened. Both parents always have a right to be heard in a court proceeding involving custody.

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Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

I'm also confused as to whether your father or the father of the child went to court to get custody. You know the age of consent in New York is 17 and both of you committed a crime by having sexual relations at age 14? Perhaps there is some proceeding in the Family Court Act for your father to get custody of this child where you have it under the age of consent. I didn't see that the first pass through the answer on Avvo and (unfortunately) unlike Facebook, there's no way to edit or cancel an answer.

Posted

This cannot be done without your knowledge. Additionally, as you are a minor, you should also be given your own attorney to represent you by the court.

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Posted

You would have to be served the petition for the Family Court action. You can check with the court and find out if there was an action and file a motion to show the court that you were not served. There are also free attorneys at the Family Court that can help you.
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Best Regards,
Morghan Richardson, Esq.
Richardson Legal PLLC
31-08 Broadway, Suite 204
Astoria, New York 11106
www.richardsonlegalpllc.com
T: 212-537-6744
F: 212-574-3337

Posted

The only way that your father could have received temporary partial custody of your child is if he went to family court and filed an Order to Show Cause setting forth allegations that would have caused the court ex parte (only one party present) to issue a temporary order in his favor. Ultimately, the OTSC would have to be served upon you so that you know about it and have an opportunity to appear in court and respond. If you have not received anything, then I doubt that happened. Your father would have a high burden in order to establish that he is entitled to any form of custody, especially if you are a new mother. Call the family court and find out if anything was filed or any orders issued. If none, then don't worry about it at all and deal with your father as you see fit. Good luck.

Posted

Since you are 15 years old, you are still a minor. If you still live with your father, and the child lives with the two of you, it is possible that he filed a petition seeking joint legal custody (there is no such thing as "partial" custody"). If he also filed an Order to Show Cause at the same time seeking temporary relief, the court may have granted the two of you joint (shared) custody until the court date. You can call the Family Court and find out if a petition was actually filed and any temporary Order issued. A temporary Order is just what it sounds like - temporary until you get to court to tell your side of the story. If he did file the petition, at some point, you will be served with the petition and any temporary orders and you will have the opportunity to appear before the Judge and tell your side of the store. Since you are a minor (under age 18), the Court will appoint an attorney for you at no cost. Where is the child's mother in all this?

Susan Jo Civic

Susan Jo Civic

Posted

I meant "where is the child's father...".

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