Olean, NY asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for New York

Q: How can i file contempt on my ex husband for not letting me see my son while im in another state

my son is 8 i had him most his life his dad was big on drugs etc i thought he had cleaned up his act but he hasnt i am not sure what to do he is barely letting me see him or talk to him and my son says he hits him... im worried scared and im in NY due to some stuff ill be moving here and want my son back with me i let my son go with his dad to see if maybe he could get him back on track and i was wrong .... and now regretting it HELP!! please also there was a domestic violence situation in front of my son by his father and his girlfriend....

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Oliver Wolff
Charles Oliver Wolff
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Trumansburg, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You file a petition in family court in the county where your son resides (Cattaraugas County). But which petition? If there was no court ordered custody arrangement, you file a petition for custody/visitation. If there was a court order (or it's contained in a divorce decree) you file a petition for modification of order for custody/visitation. You can find the forms here: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/forms/familycourt/custodyvisitation.shtml. Because your son claims abuse, there is a place on the forms where you can allege abuse as a family offense.

This can get tricky so you should consider hiring an attorney. The court will appoint an attorney for your son (often called a "law guardian") which will cost you & your ex nothing; the law requires that your son have his own attorney. There will be conferences with the family court clerk trying to resolve the matter short of a court hearing, these are usually "attorneys only" but a party can attend if they are unrepresented. It's a good idea to be in the courthouse during conferences so your attorney, if you retain one, can find you and discuss potential resolutions, saving time & money. Depending on your income & expenses, you, yourself, may qualify for a free lawyer, you can try & apply here: https://www.cattco.org/public-defender.

Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions...

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