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Teacher Editor
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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  College Instructor
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I just today obtained counsel and he is going to file a petition

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I just today obtained counsel and he is going to file a petition for custody of my two children on Friday. I just want a second opinion because I'm concerned about something. The situation is as follows: Back in March 14 I called the police on my wife as she began an argument that was very belligerent and cursing alot. I threatened to call the police if she did not calm down as my daughter was crying hysterically (she's the center of my life). I walked away and she followed barking at me so I called the police.The officer said we needed to spend some time apart and for her to take the children for the day and that I pick them up later since I had a relatives birthday party to attend. I go to pick them up and they are locked in a bedroom in an unsanitary home as is mentioned in the petition. They were at her stepmoms and fathers home which is in a crime ridden area with known gang activity (I have friends that are cops in the area so I know this to be true). I was told to leave and the kids are staying there. I was threatened by the stepmom to "not do anything stupid or take legal action or something would happen to me". I left not knowing what to do plus I have the mentality that it is automatically in moms favor and the father is only good for a paycheck. A week went by and I saw my children every night at that unsanitary household (it is also stated in the petition). After a week she left me with the children for two weeks as she found an apartment 35 miles away so she needed to get it ready. After that we verbally agreed that I would have the kids Friday to Sunday afternoon and Monday into Tuesday. The rest of the time my mom and grandma would watch them as they have done since my daughter was born 3 1/2 years ago and my son was born 10 months ago. We have played "nice" since I had the kids in my household (I have moved back with my parents so we can all be together..we are from Argentina and family unity and life is imperative so I prefer for all of us to be together) for a majority of the time. However, she last week she filed for child support (even though my parents watch her and I provide all the medical, 529, savings and life insurance for the children and she has not contributed a dime) and in NYS it is automatically 25%. Two weeks ago she told me that she was going upstate NY to her cousins graduation. It was on a Friday and is only 3 hrs away. She said she was leaving Thursday and not coming back til Monday which meant I wouldnt see the kids for 2 weeks! I begged her to come back Saturday since the graduation was on a Friday. She told me too bad it's gonna be 2 weeks til you see them again. At that point I told her that now I would seek legal action because it is unfair and I provide everything for my babies and can't bear being away from them.!She cried and begged me not to do so because she can't afford an attorney??!?!We argued for a while until I walked away. She later sent me a text (which in NYS is admissable) that she would either commit suicide or leave the state and/or country with the kids if I filed papers! Regardless I sought out the best Father's right's attorney on Long Island.He is going to file the petition on Friday. However he dropped a bomb on me by stating the following: He advised me to keep the children in my possession (which is over 50% of the time anyway) when she comes to pick them up on Sunday. She has been violent towards me in the past by spitting at me, kicking and even punching me while I NEVER laid a finger on her. I am scared of how she'll react and my attorney said to call the police before hand and let them know we have a court date on July19
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 7 years ago.
I agree with your attorney as in this type of situation, when one parent isn't exactly stable, something could happen to your kids or you may not see them again. It is one thing when one parent just threatens but a completely other thing when they have kept the children away from you before and not let you see them. At this point, you have just as much rights to your children as she does and even though it may seem that the mother is usually favored, in many circumstances, when there is reason to believe the mother is not the best custodial parent for the children, the father does get custody. You should also keep that text message to use as evidence in court.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I plan on having the police show up before she comes to pick them up..I hope it is one that I know from the 3rd precint (I was a volunteer fireman and paramedic and they change shifts at my firehouse so I know some of them). How should I handle it when they show up? Should I show them the custody petition as well as the text? What should I do so that they stay with me until our court hearing July 19th. What are my best options to have the officer agree with letting them stay where they normally stay. Plus as mentioned she is going to go out of her mind when she hears the news and sees the Suffolk police in front of my house. Should the children remain in the house with my family while I wait outside and talk to the officer? What should or shouldn't I say when I meet the officer?
Expert:  Teacher Editor replied 7 years ago.
Hopefully the police will agree to let them stay with you, however, your attorney may need to get a temporary custody order before the hearing date if she starts to fight it as the police don't really have any legal document telling them that the kids should not be with their mother.
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