Saturday, August 17, 2013

What happens to my case now and future if I have a court date that I've filed a petition for and I do not attend the court date?

Q:  I filed a petition and have a court date to suspend visitation with the non-custodial parent who abandoned our child a year ago. However, I've been unable to serve the NCP as his whereabouts are unknown. I have been advised by a lawyer to just skip it but would like to hear other advice. I'm concerned that the NCP may be aware of court date and might have someone show up to represent him. I'm also concerned that even if he doesn't have someone there that my not showing up may hurt my case later if I file a petition related to visitation once NCP's location is determined. I have full physical and legal custody.

A:  David's Answer:  You're probably better off attending than not. If the father does show up, then you will look even more bad in not appearing. Moreover, if you qualify, the court may assign you counsel who then may assist you in getting an investigator appointed (who in turn may assist in locating the father). For a full assessment, you're well-advised to schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody lawyer. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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