Schenectady, NY asked in Adoption and Family Law for New York

Q: I have had legal custody of my nephew for 8 years. My sister is trying to get him back. What can I do?

In the past 8 years my sister has maybe seen my nephew 9 times. She has been drug dependent for years, in and out of jail and is currently incarcerated however will be released in October. She will not relentquish her rights. However I dont believe it is in his best interest to be with her when he doesn't even know her.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
Aubrey Claudius Galloway
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Scarsdale, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Well, she will have to file something called a petition to modify a permanent order of custody. Just to get into court she will have to show a “substantial change in circumstances”; you and your lawyer will have an opportunity to re-but this. If she does manage to get the case in the court is unlikely she will win as the standard is “the best interest of the child”. Furthermore, the court errors on the side of not making changes to the child’s current lifestyle and considering you had custody for eight years and the birth mother has a drug issue, assuming she can even get past the initial version of a “substantial change in circumstances “I find it almost impossible that she would be able to win back full legal and our physical custody. We handle these cases and require a $720 retainer. We bill there after at $180 an hour. If you would like a free consultation you may call me at 914–912–1555… Suffice it to say that even if you do not hire me the consultation is still covered under attorney-client privilege by law. Hopefully I can help you. Aubrey.

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