A man from Albania migrated to the United States. He had lived in Brooklyn, New York for a few years when he went back home to Albania on a visit and met the woman who would become his wife. They married in Albania but a few weeks after their wedding, the man left his wife with his parents in Albania to go back to the US. The man visited his wife yearly for a few weeks at a time until their firstborn son was about three years old and he had the boy circumcised. After the circumcision, the boy asked to be taken to the bathroom often. The bathroom was an outhouse in the back corner of the man’s parents’ house. The man told his wife not to give in to his repeated demands but the wife felt that the boy must be in some discomfort so she took him to the bathroom. When she came back in, the man slapped his wife that her head hit the wall.
A New York Criminal Lawyer explained that the pattern of physical abuse began. A few years later, the man was able to secure green cards for his wife, his son and his parents and brothers and brought them all to America. All the time that the wife lived with her husband in the United States, he was controlling her every activity and her every movement. He refused to give her money, refused to allow her to find employment and refused to allow her to leave the house unless accompanied by one of his relatives. He started calling her names and refused to address her by her given name. He even refused her pleas to get pre-natal medical care for the three successive children she had been pregnant with.
According to a Nassau County Family Lawyer, when she was pregnant with their fifth child, the man took his wife and children back to Albania to attend a relative’s wedding but instead of bringing them back with him to the United States, he left his pregnant wife and four children in the care of the man’s parents and brothers. He took the passports of his wife and his children. It was at this time that the man first started accusing his wife of having affairs with other men when they were living in New York. He claimed that the child the wife was carrying was the product of her adulterous relations.
He left his children and his wife in Albania and only visited them occasionally. When he did visit, he refused to see his wife. He refused to allow his wife to visit with her own parents and family even while she was living in Albania.
A Queens Family Lawyer claimed that he filed divorce proceedings against his wife and applied to deprive his wife of custody over their children. The judge dismissed the divorce proceedings. Later, the man told his wife that her mother was grievously ill and so she should go and see her. The wife left the man’s parent’s home, carrying her youngest child with her because she was still breastfeeding the baby. She went to see her mother but when she got to her mother’s house, her mother was not sick at all. The man then refused to take back the wife into his parents’ home. He refused her custody of her children and refused her any visitation. Later, the man took his four children back to the United States leaving his wife and their youngest child.
The wife, through the help of friends and associations in the United States was able to go back to the United States. But when the man heard that his wife was able to go back to the United States, he instituted divorce proceedings against her. Not knowing that her husband had filed divorce proceedings against her, she filed a petition for the issuance of an order of protection for her and for her children, for support and for the legal and physical primary custody of her children. The Family Court decided to consolidate the two actions and to hear them jointly.
The Court found that the wife’s version of the facts was more credible than that of the husband’s which consisted mainly in outright denials. The Court also chose to believe the wife because she presented a tape recording made by a friend of the wife and the husband arguing. The Court noted that it was a one-sided argument as the man was berating, insulting and calling his wife names while the wife was just pleading with the husband to be allowed to see her children.
The Court also appreciated the numerous times that the wife called the police whenever she would pick up her children from their school and the plaintiff would physically block the wife’s way and threaten her verbally until the police arrived to take the wife and her children to her apartment.
The Court notes especially that even while at the police station where the wife was waiting for the husband to bring the children for her weekend visitation with them, the plaintiff berated, threatened, annoyed and alarmed the wife in the presence of so many people. The father’s behavior was even imitated by his own youngest children. And when their father had left, the children apologized to their mother for having said the nasty things to her and imitating their father’s verbal abuse of their mother.
The Court was especially bothered by the fact that the eldest son has begun to call his own mother names and to accuse her of taking drugs and having love affairs with men. A New York Family Lawyer commented that the boy is only ten years old but he exhibits symptoms of having been influenced by his own father’s attitude toward women in general and his mother in particular. He has been constantly brought up to believe that his mother is evil.
If only to keep the children from developing the same low opinion and disrespect of women particularly their own mother, the wife is entitled to the order of protection she asks for. The husband has exhibited abusive behavior that can only escalate to domestic violence. The children must be protected from his example; they must be protected from seeing this kind of behavior perpetrated before them with impunity for fear that they will adapt the same behavior and the same values.
Aside from this, the Court has appreciated the fact that the man is actually an absentee father. He is with his children but other people are taking care of his children. He is uninvolved in their lives and in their formation as individuals. He cannot give the nurture that his children need at this time in their lives. The Court granted the wife full custody of all the minor children of their marriage.
The Court for now grants the wife legal custody over eldest son but gives the husband physical custody of the oldest son. This arrangement will be temporary while the son is undergoing therapy to modify his attitude toward his mother. The temporary custody over the eldest son is conditioned on the willingness of the father to allow their son to go into therapy and to visit with his mother. The husband must promise to modify his behavior and if he continues to alienate the affections of the son from his mother, the Court will not hesitate to deprive him of all visitation rights except strictly supervised visitation with a social worker present the whole time.
The Court granted the divorce prayed for by the husband and the child support prayed for by the wife.
Are you a battered wife? Are you a victim of domestic violence and spousal abuse? Do not suffer in silence. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates and ask to confer with legal counsel to help you obtain an order of protection for yourself and for your children. Our legal team can help assist you in filing for a divorce and obtain child support for your children.