Child Custody cases are typically filed in Family Court when the parent seeking custody is not seeking a divorce or legal separation as well. Standalone paternity cases and custody petitions are heard directly in Family Court, while divorce proceedings including custody matters are heard in Supreme Court. If you are filing a standalone custody petition, it must be filed in the county where the child lives.
If your case is being brought in Family Court, you must complete General Form-17 to petition for custody. The attorneys at Capetola & Divins are highly experienced in custody filings and are here to help you complete the petition. When preparing General Form-17, you must specify what article of the Family Court Act applies to your case. Article 4 cases relate to child and spousal support while Article 6 cases are for child custody. In this petition, you will specify where the child lives, and your relationship to the other parent. Once your petition is complete you should make extra copies for your own records and deliver them to the Family Court Clerk. From there, your petition will be processed by the Family Court, and you will be notified when a hearing will be held on the matter. Custody and visitation petitions are determined based on the best interests of the child. The Court will evaluate several factors including: parenting skills of each parent, the parents mental and physical health, which parent has been the primary caregiver, work schedules and childcare plans, etc.