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While we write back and forth, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Sometimes I'm unable to read your entire question until AFTER I write back to you.
Although it's usually five minutes, sometimes there can be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be researching the answer to your question, helping other customers, or taking a break. If we are writing late at night, I may have to go to sleep and resume helping you the following morning.
I need the following information before I can answer your question:
Hi - thank you for being a repeat customer. I switched to "question and answer" instead of chat because your question is easier to read this way (for me).
Would it help me to know anything else before I begin to work? For example, would it help me to read your previous Just Answer question and answer?
Please be aware that JustAnswer.com and Eanswer.com are pay-for-answer web companies. You have offered to pay me $38.00 for my answer and I have accepted.
I'll look forward to hearing from you,
Jane Doe Deer
My pleasure. Since what you wrote is so long, mind if I just ask a couple of questions to get me started?
Do you have a restraining order against the ex-spouse?
Do you have a court-ordered right to visitation and/or custody?
I'll read through your whole question in the meantime.
All right - so far it sounds as though you were never married, and have never received any court orders regarding custody/visitation/child support.
Am I understanding your situation correctly?
Sorry, I know this isn't as easy as talking face to face, but bear with me.
Please correct me if my understanding is wrong.
Got it, thanks!
All right, two last questions, I promise -
How long did you live together?
When did you move out and why?
Thanks - as soon as I hear back, I'll starting working through all your options with you, all right? And I know you're real upset right now, so thanks for your patience, too. You have my promise that things will improve.
Waiting to hear back,
OK, I will be back with you in less than five minutes.
All right. One thing at a time. This blow-up just happened, but it sounds as though you have been an abused partner. The general public often thinks of women as being the victims of abuse, but men, like you, are often the victim.
If you do a Google search (google.com) you'll no doubt find all kinds of groups, free, for battered spouses and partners. Go a couple of times and see if the shoe fits.
Now, again, this just happened, but it's been building. What will happen with property division, custody, and visitation will be virtually identical to the process one follows for a divorce.
You'll need to do take several steps.
One is to start a court action in family court for property division, custody, visitation, and child support. Another is, at the same time this gets started, is file for an immediate hearing, to obtain an immediate (expedited) court order setting custody, visitation, child support, and real and personal property. You may even be able to get your ex kicked out of the house and have you stay there with the kids.
I'd like you to read this overview (which I neither endorse or not endorse) - read it even though it focuses on divorce, just as a starting point: http://www.divorcesource.com/info/divorcelaws/newyork.shtml
Next, you're lucky, in that New York has all the forms you need for getting started for free right here: http://www.nycourts.gov/forms/familycourt/index.shtml
If you want to hire an attorney, try to get a reference from someone you trust. Check references before hiring. Look for a Family Law attorney with at least five years experience. Expect to pay an hourly fee, and a REFUNDABLE retainer of $5000 or more.
Do you have any follow-up questions? If so, just write back - no extra charge!
Now, as for calling the police, etc.--how can I help you?
It's most likely not a matter of race or sex. More likely, the police see the situation as a "family matter" and they hate to become involved.
What to do - file an action in court, as a I suggested, and get a restraining order/order re: custody, etc, as I suggested. As part of this legal action, ask the judge for a return of your money AND at least ask for penalties. (This would all be as part of your family law issue).
As far as a criminal matter, I reread your question -- it sounds as though you filed a police report, but the police decided not to do anything. They often don't. However, you can "go over their heads" by contacting the prosecutor's office (district attorney) for your city or county (borough, whatever) and ask to make an appointment to ask them to consider a criminal matter.
No matter what you do, I urge you to sit down and write out a chronological list of what happened.
The first date should be the date you met your ex.
The birthdates of all children should be listed.
The date you bought your home together (both).
The date you moved out.
The date you were threatened.
Sit down, and write all this down, in no more than five pages, in chronlogical order.
If you can, do it on the computer (if you make the list in excel and use a column for dates, you can sort it easily).
What I'm saying is, you need to get organized, and have something clear and written out. Also, write on the list the date you prepared the list and sign it. Be aware that should you end up in court, you can use this list as one of your exhibits. The "other side" can question you about it, so make sure that everything on your chronological list is backed up with fact.
I think we're past race discrimination on these matters. I can't say for certain that we're past gender discrimination - men are more likely to get custody than they used to be, but it's my understanding that courts still tend to favor mothers for custody.
I'll be happy to write back, even after you "accept" my answer. That's what I'm here for. However, if you don't click "accept," I won't be paid even a dime for helping you.
Take care, and take a 15 minute time to relax and breathe.
I know this is a horrible situation right now, but it won't be for ever.
You're very welcome. Thanks for accepting, and my best to you.
Oh, no, you already accepted. Once is all. Goodnight. I hope you can get some sleep.
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