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New York Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: Sons father is in jail for the next year . His mother has never met my son but is taking me to court for visitation.

Living in New York State . The father abused me , was on substances and is in jail for a serious charge . His mother supported his actions/ enabled him . I have not heard from her in years but it is not safe to have my son around her (he’s a toddler ) or his father . What are my rights with this... Read more »

Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Dec 4, 2022

While a grandparent has a right to petition the court for visitation, they do not have an automatic right to such. A grandparent who has had little to no contact with the child would have a hard time justifying visitation rights.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for New York on
Q: Hi Do you have any court cases that went through for a common-law wife that claimed maintenance?
Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Dec 2, 2022

New York does not recognize common law marriage. Spousalsupport can not be granted if the couple is not legally married.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for New York on
Q: Hi Do you have any court cases that went through for a common-law wife that claimed maintenance?
Mary Theresa Colwell
PREMIUM
Mary Theresa Colwell
answered on Dec 2, 2022

New York does not recognize common law marriage therefore no spousal support would be ordered. However, if you own property together you may want to contact an attorney to determine if you have a case for small claim, Constructive trust or partition.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: Do I Get Married Again in New York State to change my last name?

We are married outside of the USA (Canada) without a name change, and I'm a dual citizen of Canada and the USA.

We would now like to marry and join last names in New York State where we both live, are we best off getting a new license and marrying in the clerks office?

Thanks!

Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Nov 30, 2022

No need to get married again. Your Canadian marriage is fine. If you want to change your name on social security or diver's license you can simply show your marriage license. Or you could file a name change petition in court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for New York on
Q: Can I request a Lincoln Hearing on a custody modification petition appeal??

Father got full custody of children in August. I’m in the process of filing an appeal on that. Last month, I filed a custody modification due to ongoing reports of alleged abuse by the father. CPS was called by the ER and by the school. CPS worker blamed me for the calls and accused me of... Read more »

Sandra M. Colatosti
Sandra M. Colatosti
answered on Nov 24, 2022

No, the appeal is based on the evidence presented at trial or information presented to the Family Court judge. You cannot present new evidence on appeal. You could try making a motion to reargue or renew in Family Court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Constitutional Law for New York on
Q: What is case law on a non-custodial parents girlfriend being requested to give a hair follicle after already submitting

Drug test by an oasis State facility

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
answered on Nov 22, 2022

This is one of those questions that lack all of the detail needed to properly respond to. There is also missing an issue except to the extent that a "non-custodial parent's "girlfriend" already submitted to a hair follicle test.

There is a considerable body of case law...
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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for New York on
Q: I'm going to court November 29th for a divorce that I asked my husband for over 26 years no children should I persu

We are not legally separated and our relationship has been a roller coaster he is lying saying we got married after two years separated with no contact no support I have proof this is a lie this is been going on for two years because he's never prepared won't show is Financials... Read more »

David Ivan Bliven
David Ivan Bliven
answered on Nov 21, 2022

One cannot advise you whether your case is "worth pursuing" without a full assessment of the facts of the case. If your husband at least produced a net worth statement, then an attorney could send out subpoenas for corroborating documentation even if your Husband isn't willing to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Child Custody and Family Law for New York on
Q: New petitions have been filed change of circumstances have been filed no initial hearing date for first appearance was

That was postponed to a trial continues to get postponed have not subpoenaed my girlfriend into court but want to question her they have no witnesses they have nobody to testify my girlfriend is supply drug test reference letters certificates custody orders in regards to her own children and they... Read more »

Mary Theresa Colwell
PREMIUM
Mary Theresa Colwell
answered on Nov 21, 2022

If you are not represented by an attorney, I strongly suggest you consult with one immediately. If you are preparing for a custody trial where certified documents may need to be submitted, it is essential that they are done properly. An attorney can also move the process forward for you. You are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: I accidentally missed a pretrial hearing. A terrible mistake out of town for business, simply misread the date. Do I?

Despite court 12 months of overwhelming evidence that I’m fine (forced to prove myself with a false TOP), they suspended visitation of my son. (Very punitive and abusive) , also enter all discovery is collected- not for me, do I strike that NOI the plaintiff submitted?

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
answered on Nov 20, 2022

This question asks for legal advice as to whether to "strike" a note of issue, a filing the signals the end of the discovery phase of an action and commences the trial pages.

We here cannot provide legal advice. We are an information service that educates the public about the law...
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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: Can a father sign away his rights?

Can a father in NYS sign away his rights? Leaving only 1 legal parent?

Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Short answer, no. A biological father who is not the custodial parent, is responsible for child support regardless of whether he exercises other rights. Only if someone else steps in to adopt the child will the biological father be relieved of his responsibilities.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: In New York state does paternity have to be established for the father in order for him to sign his rights away?

My daughters father is not listed on her birth certificate and has not been involved in her 6 years of life. He wants to sign his rights away as her father. Do I have to establish paternity with the court first for him to do that?

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
answered on Nov 17, 2022

A parent cannot sign their rights away. The only way to lose your rights as a parent is have your rights terminated by the courts after a neglect petition has been filed or when the child is adopted.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for New York on
Q: What do I do if I feel my lawyer is not representing me properly?
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
answered on Nov 11, 2022

The asker can fire his lawyer at any time. The effect on the case could be dire, and the impression on the judge presiding over a case where a litigant does not get along with his lawyer could be disastrous.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: Family Court listed my address to my abuser in a generalized letter to us both. I cannot afford a lawyer. What do I do?

My ex filed a petition to reduce his support that he doesn't pay anyway. I am a domestic violence Survivor and have a protection order from him. I went through a domestic violence organization to be relocated. Family Court listed my address on a letter sent to us both. I am extremely low... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
answered on Nov 10, 2022

Check with the local bar association for programs that will provide attorneys at low or no cost to you. Also check with the domestic violence program to see if they can help.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for New York on
Q: When a mother name her child with the fathers last name and leaves the father part blank on the birth certificate.

Does the father have legal rights after that? Not mentioning any courts. Just the birth certificate part of the question please.

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
answered on Nov 9, 2022

Unless the parents are married or if not married they both sign an "Acknowledgment of Paternity" or there is a court order naming the father, the "father has no legal rights to the child.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: Can I give the baby the fathers last name on the birth certificate and leave father part blank and have no problems?

As long as father does not sign it’s okay to give the baby last name and be able to do things like file for passport without dads permission?

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
answered on Nov 8, 2022

We here cannot violate our ethical rules by teaching askers how to deprive a person's consortium with his children. Instead, honesty is the best policy even though it may invite decades of litigation.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for New York on
Q: Judge who signed order was my attorney for a different case and knew the both parties involved. Conflict? Invalid order?

My daughter’s grandmother filed for custody and was granted temporary relief many of reasons given in petition were false. The judge who signed the Show For Cause granting the temporary reliefs, including custody of my daughter, was previously my attorney as a district attorney who represented me... Read more »

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
answered on Nov 5, 2022

There are many convoluted questions here on Justia that give answering attorneys pause, and this is certainly one of them. The call of the question is whether the judge's order is ineffective given the facts of the question. Let's unpack the facts.

The asker's mother lied on...
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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Elder Law for New York on
Q: If a husband walks out, is he financially responsible for shared bills?

My mother has been a full time caretaker for her husband for over 10 years. He is continuing to decline and his behavior and needs have become unmanageable for her at her age. In October, he was hospitalized with CDIFF and we tried to get help through a hospital social worker with no support. She... Read more »

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
answered on Nov 5, 2022

This question also appeared on Avvo, and it gave this writer pause. A husband apparently contracted a serious digestive disease characterized by the infestation of a parasite. So, a very ill spouse manipulates marital finances and bolts. The asker asks us legal professionals what to do, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for New York on
Q: Can I legally marry my sister in-law's younger brother?
Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Oct 31, 2022

If you are not related by blood there is absolutely no restriction on marriage.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for New York on
Q: In NY can a parent keep a child from staying at the other's where the separation agreement is just verbal.

We tried mediation and it failed. We both want a divorce but haven't filed yet. We live in the same building for the time being and agreed to have our 13 year old on alternate weeks. Now they are having anxiety issues when with my spouse for more than a couple of days, but he dismisses me... Read more »

Sandra M. Colatosti
Sandra M. Colatosti
answered on Oct 26, 2022

If you prohibit him from having parenting time he can file a petition with family court seeking custody and/or parenting time. You also can file for the same relief to address the issue b

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for New York on
Q: My ex-husband agreed to pay college and isn't. What state do I start the legal process?

My ex-husband agreed to pay college and isnt. Divorced in CO. My son and I live in NY and the father lives in Minn. My son attends college in NY. Where do I start the legal process?

Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Oct 23, 2022

It depends on your divorce judgment. Typically jurisdiction lies where the child was residing for the past 6 months. Co tact an attorney to review the divorce.

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