If you don't have any orders of custody as yet, then there are many factors which come into play in a child custody case. For instance, when did you & the father physically separate? How active is the father in the child's life? Is there an order of support that the father is now violating (and if so, you should file a violation petition)? Does either parent have a criminal history? In any event, you should indeed file a cross-petition for custody. You should also schedule a consultation with a NYC Child Custody attorney for a full assessment. -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)