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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 99526
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Just received paperwork support proceedings . I live

Customer Question

Just received paperwork for child support proceedings . I live in SC and the lawyer who handled my divorce (by publication) is not licensed to practice in New York. This is
complicated by the fact that the mother is a non resident alien who has refused until
now to disclose her location. She has never responded to my attempts to locate my son
who I have never seen and while I have no problem with support payments I would require joint custody in order allow the child the opportunity for a real education and
Bill Stewart
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. I am sorry to hear about this situation, Bill. Please tell me: 1) What state was the divorce finalized in?2) What state is the child support proceeding in?3) In the original divorce, did she get custody? This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Divorce was in SC - She refused to respond - have not seen or heard from her in seven years. This was basically an
Elian Gonzales event where the child now 7 years old was willfully hidden with the help of her cousin in Texas.
child support proceedings are in New York. In the SC divorce the judge acknowledged the child and my intent to seek custody - difficult until now. The proceedings have just commenced with a court date of june 1st. I wish to find a local lawyer that can represent me in this proceeding who is licensed in new York and attend by phone.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. You did not answer one of the questions I asked, or perhaps I did not understand. Please clarify - thanks in advance: 3) In the original divorce, did she get custody? In other words, was custody even ordered in the divorce?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
no custody was ordered only my intent to seek it
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. Got it. ow, what is your question exactly? For example: 1) Can I petition for custody?2) Do I use an attorney in NY or SC?3) Etc...
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I assume if she is asking for support I am entitled to at least joint custody so yes I wish to petition for custody.
I would like to have a SC attorney to simplify matters for me. Anew York attorney with experience and a high customer
satisfaction rating would be acceptable . a thousand mile drive to attend the proceedings is not a pleasant choice but it was
indicated I could testify by phone.
Expert:  Ely replied 6 months ago.
If she is filing for custody from NY, then this is where she likely lives, and where the child lives. Custody matters (original jurisdiction) follow where the child lives, so NY has jurisdiction. So you would need an NY attorney. If getting to Court is an impossibility, one's attorney can file a motion for telephonic hearing and the court can at its discretion allow you to appear by telephone/video. The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree to this. One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement. Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation may be granted by the Court. Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation. The visiting parent pays child support to the custodian, unless the custodian declines it. All states have a preset salary percentage calculation for child support, but this can be altered if both parties agree to a lesser or higher amount or do not put child support in the orders all-together; the Court will only impose default child support if the parties cannot agree. For NY, see HERE. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.