Divorce: New York

Divorce: New York

Category Archives: Custody and Visitation

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Parental Alienation Sole Stated Basis For Change In Custody

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Enforcement of Support and Orders
The mother’s alienation of the children from the father was the sole basis stated by the Second Department while upholding a change of custody to the father. In its March 25, 2015 decision in Halioris v. Halioris, the court affirmed an order of Suffolk County Family Court Judge Bernard Cheng. The Second Department noted that… Continue Reading

Court Removes Forensic Evaluator In Custody Case

Posted in Custody and Visitation
In its January 28, 2015 decision in Carlin v. Carlin, the Appellate Division, Second Department, upheld the removal of the forensic evaluator previously court-appointed in the parties’ divorce action. On the renewed motion for the removal made by the wife, she submitted a letter from the Mental Health Professionals Certification Committee for the First and… Continue Reading

Keeping Dads Around After Divorce

Posted in Custody and Visitation
Children in families without fathers in the home are not doomed to failure, or anything close to that. So concludes an article in Scientific American Mind, “Where’s Dad,” by Paul Raeburn of the Knight Science Journalism Tracker, and author of Do Fathers Matter?: What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked. However, as… Continue Reading

Relocation Clauses Must Specify Radial or Road Mileage

Posted in Custody and Visitation
It is common for divorce settlements and custody agreements to contain “relocation clauses.” These provisions spell out the radius within which the residential custodian will be able to move without first seeking judicial approval. It is a proper subject of agreement between parents. It will almost always be honored, although such a provision can never… Continue Reading

Father Must Assist With Obtaining Renewal Passport for 10-Year Old Daughter

Posted in Custody and Visitation
A father has been directed to cooperate in obtaining a renewed passport for his now 10-year old daughter. Reversing the order of New York County Family Court Referee Marva A. Burnett in its December 11, 2014 decision in Matter of Noella Lum B. v. Kristopher T.R., the Appellate Division, First Department, directed the father to execute… Continue Reading

Appellate Reversals of Custody Decisions

Posted in Custody and Visitation
Two of three November 5, 2014 custody decisions of the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed Family Court determinations. In the only affirmance in Mondschein v. Mondschein, the Second Department upheld the order of Westchester County Family Court Judge David Klein which, after a hearing, granted a father’s petition to modify the custody provisions of the parties’ divorce… Continue Reading

Father Given Child Care Right of First Refusal By Appellate Court

Posted in Custody and Visitation
The Second Department has modified an order of Suffolk County Family Court Attorney-Referee Roseann Orlando to direct that when one parent is working, that parent, prior to making babysitting arrangements with a nonparent, shall first afford the other parent the opportunity to care for the subject child during such work period. In its August 27, 2014 opinion in… Continue Reading

Split or Shared Decision-Making: the Balance of Parental Power

Posted in Custody and Visitation
Increasingly, courts have closely examined the specific decision-making roles of each parent, whether or not the parties share joint custody or one parent is awarded sole custody. The general rule is that joint or shared custody, requiring both parents to agree on decisions, is inappropriate where parents have demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to cooperate… Continue Reading

Joint Custody: This Month’s Five Appellate Decisions

Posted in Custody and Visitation
Five appellate decisions this month have dealt with the propriety of joint custody awards. On March 20, 2014, the First Department upheld New York County Supreme Court Justice Lori S. Sattler‘s decision to continue the parents’ joint custody arrangement. In Boyce v. Boyce, the appellate court agreed that the mother had failed to make an evidentiary… Continue Reading

Relocation of Mother with Children Requires Showing of Economic or Emotional Enhancement

Posted in Custody and Visitation
A mother’s application to relocate with her children to Arizona was properly dismissed where she failed to establish that the relocation would enhance the children’s lives economically or emotionally. In its January 29, 2004 decision in Christy v. Christy, the Second Department affirmed the order of Suffolk County Family Court Attorney Referee Roseann Orlando that… Continue Reading

Parent May Assert Malpractice Claim Against Attorney for the Child as Defense to Fee Application

Posted in Custody and Visitation
Following a custody/visitation dispute, a parent may assert a malpractice claim as a defense to the application for the payment of fees of the Attorney for the Children. However, in its December 5, 2013 opinion in Venecia V. v August V., the Appellate Division, First Department, held that no malpractice had been committed, and no… Continue Reading

Hearing Ordered to Determine Custody of Dog in Divorce Action

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Equitable Distribution
Blending science, culture, compassion and philosophy with legal precedent, Justice Matthew F. Cooper, in his November 29, 2013 opinion in Travis v. Murray, agreed to hold a one-day, winner-take-all hearing to determine the fate of a divorcing couple’s dog, Joey, a two and a half year-old miniature dachshund.  Shannon Louise Travis and Trisha Bridget Murray were married on… Continue Reading

Same-Sex Spouse of Biological Mother May Seek Custody and Visitation

Posted in Custody and Visitation
The same-sex spouse of an artificially-inseminated biological mother is entitled to seek custody and visitation of “their” child in the the parents’ divorce action. Such was the holding of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in its November 6, 2013 decision of in Counihan v. Bishop. In May 2009, Ms. Counihan and Ms. Bishop traveled to Connecticut… Continue Reading

NYC Dept. of Ed.’s Policy Upheld: Primary Physical Custodian’s Directions Will Be Followed Despite Shared Legal Custody

Posted in Custody and Visitation
Absent a court order specifying which parent is entitled to make educational decisions, the New York City Department of Education will follow the instructions of the primary physical custodian. The policy was upheld in the October 22, 2013 decision of the First Department in Jennings v. Walcott. The appellate court reversed  the determination of  Supreme Court,… Continue Reading

Sporadic Visitation by Father is Basis to Increase Child Support

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Custody and Visitation
Where a divorce settlement agreement provides that the parties have agreed to deviate from the Child Support Standards Act formula in part because of the time the “non-custodial” parent is to spend with the children, a substantial reduction in that visitation may result in an increase in the child support obligation. Such was the holding… Continue Reading

14-Year-Old Daughter Should Not Have Been Made to Testify in Front of Parents in Custody Modification Proceeding

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Modification
Particularly in light of the allegations that the mother threatened to retaliate against her 14-year old daughter’s testimony supporting the father, it was an abuse of discretion for the trial Judge to require the daughter to testify in open court in this custody modification proceeding. The girl should have been interviewed by the judge in chambers… Continue Reading

Voodoo Not Accepted as Basis for Custody or Visitation

Posted in Custody and Visitation
A maternal grandmother, who claimed that her granddaughter’s injuries were not caused by her parents, but the result of a voodoo ritual, was denied custody and visitation by the Appellate Division, First Department. Its June 13, 2013 decision in In re Antoinette McK affirmed the order of New York County Family Court Judge Rhoda J. Cohen. Judge… Continue Reading

Mother’s Driving While Impaired Warrants Hearing on Father’s Application to Limit Mother’s Visitation

Posted in Custody and Visitation
The Appellate Division, Second Department, has held that a father’s application for sole custody and for supervised visitation for the mother, should not have been denied without a hearing, where the father had alleged that the mother operated a motor vehicle in a impaired state, posing a danger to the children. In Nusbaum v. Nusbaum,… Continue Reading

Custody Issues Considered in Five Second Department Cases Decided May 1st

Posted in Custody and Visitation
In five cases decided May 1, 2013, the Second Department continued to voice its concern when parents just don’t get along. Again, the court considered joint custody, hampering the child’s relationship with the other parent, private interviews of children by the judge, contempt for violations of visitation orders, and whether a non-parent may be granted… Continue Reading