Queens, NY asked in Family Law for New York

Q: How do I prove I am no longer a risk to child if mental health hospitalized in 2019 for regulation for medication.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: There is a difference between "proof" and legally admissible evidence. The asker does not tell us what kind of case she is involved in, but from its placement in the "family" category, we can narrow down the matter to either a custody proceeding or a child protective proceeding.

Whether for custody or child neglect, a drug-using parent always goes to the bottom of the barrel. Government's signals are perfectly mixed when people hear of how legal cannabis is now. A parent who uses cannabis stands to lose her child, so what may apply to the general public does not apply to the mother of a child. Moreover, if a family court hears that a parent is on prescription medication, or has a history of hospitalizations, this could cause a removal of the child from the parent. In these courts, the safety of the child is paramount, and statutes like ADA are set aside.

Whether for custody or child neglect, the family court will not change an order unless there is evidence presented by the claimant showing changed circumstances. In the world of medical evidence, the asker would have to pay for and present her physician as a witness in the case, and obtain from that witness testimony supporting the asker's contentions. Without such testimony, there will be no evidence, and the asker will lose the matter.

Lastly, the asker must be aware that the federal government pays a fortune to each state for child protection. In most cases, that's the tail that wags the dog, and even the most compelling medical testimony may not change the course of the asker's case, whatever it is.

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