Child custody

Custody case at court or mediation in New York State(Suffolk County).

I and my fiance broke up in 2010 and have 4 yr old daughter.I have been the primary care giver,our daughter's father has never made any arrangement to spend time with our daughter so the other day I've mentioned about filing for petition for custody. We reached at 95% agreement for I will be the one who will be rewarded for physical custody. I read the court website and found out about mediation, In NY State would I be asked to choose either file to the court or go to the mediation when I file at the family court(I was suggested to go to the probation department for filing) or Do I have to mention when I file? I would like to solve with less cost and fast. We agree with the most, but I am very worried about it and I appreciate any advises for my situation. Thank you for your time and help.

Nathan’s Answer

A good strategy usually employed by individuals situated in a similar situation is to try mediation out, and see if the other side will give you what you want. If you don't get what you want, court is always there. While I am licensed in CA and am thus unsure of the NY family mediation process, be aware that fees may be associated with mediation even if it fails. But mediation may show the court you tried to resolve all issues amicably. You should be lauded for getting up to 95% agreement so far. Good luck.

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