Saturday, June 22, 2013

How much detail should be included on a modification of custody petition?

Q:  I'm a father of two (8 and 4 years old), recently divorced, joint legal custody with ex, she has primary residential custody. Since signing our settlement, she has routinely violated visitation orders, refuses to engage with me regarding matters related to the children, and has refused to participate with the court ordered parenting coordinator. Further her hostility has started severely affecting the kids, and she has refused to participate in the kids therapy as recommended by their therapist. I plan on petitioning for sole custody, and will file pro Se. My question is, how much detail and fact should I include in the initial petition? Are a couple statements of fact and evidence ok, or should I give the full amount, which could run dozens of pages?

A:  David's Answer:  You should be as consice as possible while at the same time putting in a fair summary of each basis for the change of custody. Most of the time, this can be handled in a page or two. That said, you're well-advised to schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.   -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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