Valley Stream, NY asked in Child Custody and Family Law for New York

Q: How can I get full custody of my son?

My 11 year olds father has been in and out of prison since I was pregnant. He is currently in prison as well. He has never cared for nor paid any support for child. Could this be considered abandonment? Do I need to go to court for full custody or can this be considered abandoment? How can I get full custody? We reside on New York.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Andrew S. Tabashneck
Andrew S. Tabashneck
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Williamsville, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Based on the limited facts you have described, it seems best to file a petition for custody. It is possible the court could order some amount of limited visitation if the father shows up and argues strongly in favor of it. Although considering that he has played no role in the child's life, for 11 years, the fact that he is currently in jail, and the reality that he has failed to support the child in any meaningful way, it seems unlikely that the court would award any amount of substantial visitation. Depending on a number of other factors, the court could also find that the father is not "fit" and therefore he could be stripped of his parental rights. In the petition, it is important to clearly state that the father has not played any role in the child's life and has failed to support him. All off these factors will be considered and even the argument that he has effectively abandoned his parental rights by failing to involve himself in the child's life. Most importantly, however, you want to show that awarding you full custody and preventing him access to the child is in the child's best interest. List every fact that you can think of to make this case.


Andrew Tabashneck

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.