Friday, May 24, 2013

Is ACS Normally this involved in custody cases?

Q:  We had our home Evaluations done last week, ACS investigator inspected my apartment, and all seems fine. She asked me a bunch of questions regarding our case and my son’s mother. Today I was called by the investigator and she told me she suggested to my son’s mother that I should have Residential custody of our child, she stated also in her report to the judge she will recommend that I have residential custody also .She seems to be in my favor but I didn’t know they were this involved in our case. She set up a meeting between us 3 (Me, Son’s mother and investigator) for tomorrow. She stated she wanted us to come to a agreement so the court wont dictate our son’s lives. Is ACS normally this involved? We don’t have any child neglect or abuse issues in our case.

A:  David's Answer:  An ACS home study is a relatively routine part of a contested custody case. That said, it is relatively inappropriate, unless there are concerns of child neglect, for an ACS caseworker to "recommend" custody, as its not their job to assess what's in the child's "best interests." Thus, unless there's a very good reason for the recommendation, expect it to carry little weight with the Judge. That said, for a full assessment, I suggest you schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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