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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34897
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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If the mother lives in another state (Syracuse New York) and

Customer Question

If the mother lives in another state (Syracuse New York) and the father lives in the state of Texas with their two children under the age of two, the father also provides a home and is raising these children on his own. The mother left the state of Texas about 3 months ago and she wishes to get custody of her children. CAN THE MOTHER FILE CUSTODY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK AND TAKE THE CHILDREN FROM THEIR FATHER? OR DOES SHE HAVE TO FILE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Good evening,

I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma.

First of all, the mother hasn't been in the state of NY long enough to petition the courts for divorce, support or custody.

Presuming that you were not married in NY, and never lived there as husband and wife, once she has resided in NY for 24 months she can file for divorce, however, because the court does not have personal jurisdiction over the children, the court is unlikely to be willing to rule on custody matters.

That being said, it is definitely against your best interest to allow a divorce to go forward in New York. If the court somehow gains the ability to order custody and support issues, you will find that they are more sever than Texas. For example, child support in NY continues not jut to age 18, but to age 21 in most circumstances.

I urge you, while you still hold all the cards, to file for divorce in Texas. You will be happy that you did later. If you file in Texas and get her served before she can file and serve you, you will definitely be in the superior bargaining position in both property distribution, custody and support issues.

I wish you and your children the best.

Thank you very much for having allowed me to assist you. It would be greatly appreciated if you would click the green Accept icon so that I can receive credit for having assisted you.

Best regards,


LawTalk and 6 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I forgot to mention we were never married.

thank you for your advice


Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
Dad, you are more than welcome!! I raised my children by myself for many years too. It is a lot of work, but very much worth it.

The fact that you were not married means that unless she has the children physically with her in NY, she doesn't have a leg to stand on. I suggest that you don't put them on a plane for a visit.

Again, you need to file custody in TX soon,--be first---you don't need the severe NY law dictating what you will pay, for how long, and who will have custody.

Best regards,

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i forgot to mention were have never been married and we never resided in new york she now resides there with a friend
Expert:  LawTalk replied 7 years ago.
That is all in your favor. Great.

Have a great evening,