Gavel main.jpgIn an April 26, 2012 decision, the Third Department affirmed the order of Delaware County Family Court Judge Carl F. Becker which failed to vacate or modify a prior order granting the mother custody of these unmarried parents’ two children. The order also had refused to provide the father with visitation rights.

In Ildefonso v. Booker, the appellate court noted that the father’s petition requested custody: “I want to see and be with my FAMILY & KIDS OR NOTHING. ALL TOGETHER.”

The courts noted the father’s anger and other mental heath issues and the history of domestic violence:

[T]he father ‘has serious mental health issues, that he is in serious need of anger management, among other things, and that until he recognizes those needs and obtains that treatment it is not in these children’s best interest[s] to have any contact with him whatsoever.’ For example, there was testimony regarding, among other things, the father’s animosity toward the mother, domestic violence incidents during which the children were present-some of which led to the father’s conviction of various crimes and his incarceration-the father’s lack of respect for court orders and his lack of insight into his conduct and emotional issues and their effect on the children. In our view, the evidence was sufficient to establish exceptional circumstances, and we discern no abuse of Family Court’s discretion in determining that visitation with the father would be inimical to the children’s well-being.

The mother was represented by Thomas F. Garner of Middleburgh. The father was represented by Teresa C. Mulliken of Harpersfield.