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Special needs and custody.

1 Answers. Asked on Feb 23rd, 2013 on Child Custody - New York
More details to this question:
I have a 5 year old by who was diagnosed with ppd-nos about 3 years ago. The father and I were never married and separated when the child was only 3 months old. We have tried to maintain the custody matter out of the courts. My child has an IEP and its going trough several therapies. He has always lived with me and I have allowed him to sleep over at a hotel a night here and there when his fathers visits him. The father lives in California and We live in New York. His father usually visits him every 2 months and Skye's with him about twice a week. His father has been generous and far as education and support but now wants to take him in a four day trip out of state. First my son hates traveling on a plane and second he has never really been away from me. He has almost no language and I have become the bridge between him and the world. He is not independent he can not even dress himself and he has very clear routines that he enjoys and thrives on. Can he just distrup his routine?
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Answered on Feb 24th, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Ms. Sarmiento:

Currently, with out a  custody order neither of you have legal custody. Custody of the child is currently with you based upon the fact that your child "physically" resides with you. Moreover, because you were not legally married at the time of the birth, the father may or may not be the "legal" father of the child. Thus, with out being the legal father he may have no legal rights to the child  with out establishing paternity. It is therefore, important to know if he is on the birth certificate and/or signed an acknowledgement of paternity . If he is the legal father, he certainly can assert, his parenting decisions are just as valid as yours. However, parenting in all cases is about the child's best interest. If it truly is not in the child's best interest  to travel as described, it is incumbent upon you to fully explain and detail the basis to the father. If it becomes an issue or it is your belief that this will be the first of many differences that causes strife  in the rearing of your child, court intervention may be necessary. It is my belief, it is best to come to a meeting of the minds with out court intervention. The help of an attorney to formulate a global stipulation  may be the best answer to this and many other issues that will arise in the future. 

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Child Custody
Your children are precious, and issues of child custody shouldn't be treated casually. Even the most amicable splits and custody agreements should be negotiated with the assistance of child custody attorneys and approved by the courts. Once a judge has approved the agreement, changes in custody or visitation, as well as enforcement of child custody agreements, should be handled with the assistance of your lawyer. Child custody law firms can also work with grandparents and other parties other than parents who are seeking custody of a child.
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