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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1503
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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If I marry a women with children and we get divorced do have

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If I marry a women with children and we get divorced do have any legal right to see the children? I live in New York State

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed New York attorney with 37 years’ extensive experience in family law, trials, appeals, contracts, landlord-tenant, and other types of law.

This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also, I’d like to review your question for a minute and type your answer. If I am not here for a few minutes, that means I am typing your answer. THIS IS NOT YOUR ANSWER YET so please allow me time to type it up for you. It may take a few minutes, so please understand that. Thanks!

Can you please tell me how long you were married and the ages of the children? Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Children are now 17 and 13 and been married for 5 years

Thank you. That's helpful, thanks.

Do the children want to see you? They are of an age where their input will be valuable. I'm an Attorney for the Children in NY (AFC), so I know what the courts are looking for as it applies to the kids.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
they but the mother said she won't allow it

Thank you for that. I'm sorry to hear it. If you have a solid relationship with the children, this is going to be an issue. I'm assuming that your relationship with the kids is a good one otherwise they wouldn't want to see you.

The bot***** *****ne is what is in the best interests of the children? If you have been in their lives for at least 5 years -- I don't know if they called you dad or step-dad or first name -- but if you were in their lives for at least 5 years, helped raise them, and were a constant presence in their lives, it could be said that it would be in their best interests for you to have visitation with them. Of course the mother is saying no because she's not in the frame of mind to be generous right now. That happens.

In a case like this, you can request this of the judge. I don't know if the divorce is in progress right now, but this is something you would want to include in the divorce complaint. If it's not in progress, you would want to either amend your divorce complaint to ask for visitation of the children as being "in their best interests" or make a motion for visitation with the children. We don't want this to get to Family Court if we can help it because it should be decided with the divorce action. There is case law in NY that would allow visitation here if you have a close bond, if it's in their best interests, and if not seeing you is going to be detrimental and devastating to the kids.

You have a chance to file for visitation. Do you have an attorney and has the divorce been filed yet?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Not yet

Not yet as to filing correct? Do you know if you will have a lawyer?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
If I was never married to her but was together for 10 years lived together 5 years would I have any right to see kids
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Not filed. No lawyer involved

If you were together that long, then the children have looked to you as their stepfather and possibly as even their father. You are all they know -- unless they know their dad --but you have been instrumental in raising them.

In NY, as the "stepfather" type and even boyfriend, you have the right to file for visitation as a third party. However, whether married or not, you still have to show extraordinary circumstances. The petition for this (in Family Ct, but this would be similar in Supreme) shows this:

There are extraordinary circumstances in this case, such that the court should consider a ''third party'' custody petition, and those circumstances include (check all that apply): I am a grandparent. The child(ren) (has/have) been in my physical custody for 24 continuous months. The child(ren) (has/have) been in my physical custody for an extended period of time. The parent(s) (has/have) abandoned the child(ren). The parent(s) (is/are) persistently unfit. The parent(s) (is/are) deceased. There are other extraordinary circumstances and they are: And you would say why there are extraordinary circumstances here -- that you helped raise them, that they know you as the father figure, etc. You would have a good chance of getting visitation, especially if the kids want to see you. They are of the age where the judge will want to hear what they have to say. (The underlined is what applies in your case).

You will have to prove two things: 1) that extraordinary circumstances exist, and they do because you lived with them for many years. You don't have to be a grandparent, and 2) that it is in the children's best interests, and I believe that it is from what you are telling me. Therefore, you have to prove it but I think you have a good chance, unless there is something I don't know about. Based on what you are telling me, you have a good shot at this. You would ask for this in your divorce complaint.

Does this answer your question or would you like additional information?

In other words, the "right" to see the children is not automatic, but I believe you have a very good case for visitation because you can show extraordinary circumstances, which the judge will understand here, and that it's in the best interests of the children because even they want to see you.

Thank you for letting me help you today!

Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with. That includes looking for lawyers. I’m happy to do so! I’m here most of the time (usually at night!) so you can always come back and talk to me (no extra charge) after I’m rated. If I’m not here, I will get an email if you leave me a question.

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FamilyAttorney and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I'm available here almost every day and am happy to help you with your NY questions. As an AFC, I represent children in custody, visitation, and other similar cases in NY on appeal even though I did trials for many years. I understand what the current law is in NY because I'm always doing NY appeals on behalf of the kids. I hope that you are successful and can override the mother's determination to keep you apart. I think the judge will listen to the kids if they present themselves as wanting and needing to see you. Best of luck to you!