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Seeking sole physical custody in NYS - have no idea where my husband is New York

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  • Seeking sole physical custody in NYS - have no idea where my husband is New York

    Hello all:

    I am married/estranged from my husband now for almost a year. My son and I live in upstate NY near Saratoga Springs. When my husband and I split he told me to take my son, since he was choosing to drink and drug and knew there was no way I would allow my son to be exposed to that. Well, almost a year later, all I receive is an occaisonal email, never sent a penny, never called our son on his birthday. Real gem this man is.

    I have decided to go ahead and file for sole physical custody of my son. The only questions I have are:

    1) I do not know where he is currently - last I heard he was somewhere in Iowa and had gotten out of rehab for the 7th time and was living with some woman he met there. Will they grant custody since I don't know where he is? He emails about once every 2 months.

    2) How much will filing and doing this cost? Do I need to hire an attorney? I am disabled and on limited income and receive no assistance from this jerk. But if I need to pay for it, I will find a way.

    This man is violent (he has 2 DVs on record from me) and an active alcoholic/addict, and I want to ensure my son's safety. I was told that even though it has been almost a year since I have seen him, he could still show up here and take my child since there is no legal custody established. My counseler at the DV Center is helping me file for this. And I intend to do so.

    If anyone could shed any light on this it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Originally posted by wolfmother View Post
    Hello all:

    I am married/estranged from my husband now for almost a year. My son and I live in upstate NY near Saratoga Springs. When my husband and I split he told me to take my son, since he was choosing to drink and drug and knew there was no way I would allow my son to be exposed to that. Well, almost a year later, all I receive is an occaisonal email, never sent a penny, never called our son on his birthday. Real gem this man is.

    I have decided to go ahead and file for sole physical custody of my son. The only questions I have are:

    1) I do not know where he is currently - last I heard he was somewhere in Iowa and had gotten out of rehab for the 7th time and was living with some woman he met there. Will they grant custody since I don't know where he is? He emails about once every 2 months.

    2) How much will filing and doing this cost? Do I need to hire an attorney? I am disabled and on limited income and receive no assistance from this jerk. But if I need to pay for it, I will find a way.

    This man is violent (he has 2 DVs on record from me) and an active alcoholic/addict, and I want to ensure my son's safety. I was told that even though it has been almost a year since I have seen him, he could still show up here and take my child since there is no legal custody established. My counseler at the DV Center is helping me file for this. And I intend to do so.

    If anyone could shed any light on this it would be much appreciated.

    Thank you!
    You will need to make a diligent effort to locate your husband to have him served. Each state has it's own rules for what steps need to be taken to be able to serve by publication. You should get a consult with a local attorney to find out what steps you need to take. Consults are usually inexpensive.

    You can ask the attorney you consult with what the filing fees will be, or you can ask your court clerk's office.

    Are you also going to be filing for a divorce?
    If you're not planning to, you should give it some consideration because it's possible that a Judge would refuse to issue a custody order for still married parents, since married parents have equal rights to thier children.

    Comment


    • #3
      Also see http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?t=212771
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am going to file for divorce as well. Believe me, I want *nothing* to do with this man. I am going to speak with Legal Aid at the DV Center on Thursday and hopefully they can help me with both.

        I am going to have to get an attorney afterall I would imagine (for the custody issue) but do I need one for divorce?

        Thank you all-
        Patti

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wolfmother View Post
          I am going to file for divorce as well. Believe me, I want *nothing* to do with this man. I am going to speak with Legal Aid at the DV Center on Thursday and hopefully they can help me with both.

          I am going to have to get an attorney afterall I would imagine (for the custody issue) but do I need one for divorce?

          Thank you all-
          Patti
          Since you will be filing for a divorce, the custody will be established during the divorce. It won't be 2 different cases. In your situation, having an attorney will really be best. Good luck, I hope everything works out for you.

          BTW- I like your name, especially since my name is the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you Xena. Always thrilled to meet another wolfmother =)

            I am obtaining a lawyer. Especially since both will be dealt with at once. To CYA, I sent my husband an email asking him for an address to send the papers to. If he refuses, will the courts still grant the divorce (domestic violence in the past, recent threats, and now he is committing adultery), and will they grant me sole physical custody? My son and I moved out from him last June and have been here in NYS ever since. He is enrolled in headstart and I have been and will continue to provide for him, while my husband has not sent a penny (or a phone call or anything).

            I am hoping they will grant me custody until he actually does provide an address. I was told that if I have him served with the papers and he doesn't show, then it will be granted to me by default. Does anyone know if this is true? I know if he gets served, he will cry poormouth and "not able to financially afford to come to NYS". So would that affect the hearing?

            Sorry again for all the questions. I just want to know what to expect. And do what is best for my son. I have no problem with his father coming and visiting him if he wants, but I will not allow him to visit an active alcoholic/drug addict (and I have proof of it with emails and his previous arrests). Really, I just want it so he cannot kidnap my son and ruin his life. That is my *greatest* fear. I do not want child support or alimony, just for my son to be safe and happy.

            thanks again.

            Patti

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wolfmother View Post
              Thank you Xena. Always thrilled to meet another wolfmother =)

              I am obtaining a lawyer. Especially since both will be dealt with at once. To CYA, I sent my husband an email asking him for an address to send the papers to. If he refuses, will the courts still grant the divorce (domestic violence in the past, recent threats, and now he is committing adultery), and will they grant me sole physical custody? My son and I moved out from him last June and have been here in NYS ever since. He is enrolled in headstart and I have been and will continue to provide for him, while my husband has not sent a penny (or a phone call or anything).

              I am hoping they will grant me custody until he actually does provide an address. I was told that if I have him served with the papers and he doesn't show, then it will be granted to me by default. Does anyone know if this is true? I know if he gets served, he will cry poormouth and "not able to financially afford to come to NYS". So would that affect the hearing?

              Sorry again for all the questions. I just want to know what to expect. And do what is best for my son. I have no problem with his father coming and visiting him if he wants, but I will not allow him to visit an active alcoholic/drug addict (and I have proof of it with emails and his previous arrests). Really, I just want it so he cannot kidnap my son and ruin his life. That is my *greatest* fear. I do not want child support or alimony, just for my son to be safe and happy.

              thanks again.

              Patti
              If he refuses to give you an address, he can be served by publication. The rules for that varies from state to state, but your attorney will know what is required.

              In situations where service by publication is made, or where service is perfected and the respondent does not file a reply, the court can grant a divorce without respondent being there. Also, in that situation, you would be given custody by default.

              If he does try to say that he cannot afford to make the trip for court, it might be possible for him to appear telephonically at the hearing. Again, your attorney will know aht the rules are for that. Either way, a final hearing and decree can be issued even if he's not there.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you again Xena

                I spoke with an attorney who said she can do the whole thing, divorce and custody, for $1500. I am going to go ahead and retain her and get the process rolling. I need peace of mind and to know that is this monster does somehow show up on my doorstep he cannot take my son.

                Thank you again. And I will let you know how it all turns out. Thank gods for this forum, and for the wonderful people who post on here.

                Patti

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wolfmother View Post
                  I spoke with an attorney who said she can do the whole thing, divorce and custody, for $1500. I am going to go ahead and retain her and get the process rolling. I need peace of mind and to know that is this monster does somehow show up on my doorstep he cannot take my son.

                  Thank you again. And I will let you know how it all turns out. Thank gods for this forum, and for the wonderful people who post on here.

                  Patti
                  That's great. Please do post and update. And, of course if you have any more questions.

                  Comment

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