Plattsburgh, NY asked in Family Law for New York

Q: Hello, What paper work need to be filed to remove law guardian due to conflict of interest in custody case in NYS?

I am in a custody case due to a recent attempt to take my life. In this case a law guardian has been assigned to my child. This law guardian represented my ex wife in a prior custody case. The current custody case is with a different woman which is my current wife. She is in full support of having the law guardian removed as the attorney for our son. We both feel there is a conflict of interest here. What papers and how should I go about having him removed. We have already had our initial appearance.

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: You must go see a local attorney for a full discussion regarding all of these issues.

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You'll need a motion to relieve the LG. Assigning an LG to a regular custody case (V Docket in family court or divorce court) is not statutory and is at the court's discretion. Courts routinely abuse their discretion, for example when they assign an LG to an inarticulate (infant) child or assign one to a teenager.

The issue you bring up that the LG represented your ex in a prior case is not enough information. If that was a custody case, then you have a point. However, if that was an unrelated case, then you do not have a point. Lawyers can represent clients/kids in different cases, and this LG representing the child having once represented the mother is not in an of itself a basis to relieve the LG. However, if you can show that the interests of the child and mother divert, then you may have a point to relieve the LG.

Nonetheless, I imagine you'll need a top notch explanation of your suicide attempt. That can impact you adversely in a custody matter where it will be alleged that you are a danger to the child because of what you attempted. Getting rid of the LG may only make matters worse with a worse LG.

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