A mother was working full time as a public elementary school teacher. After teaching hours, she held two other jobs supervising after school activities in other schools. She was divorced and had three children from two different marriages. The gap between the ages of her three children was large. Her eldest daughter was already a freshman at Princeton and living in the dormitory when the middle child, the son, was in 7th grade and the youngest daughter was just three years old.
A New York Family Lawyer explained that in February 14, 2008, the mother received a bill from an internet cable company for pornographic pay-per-view sessions. She had received a similar bill in the past from the same internet cable company for the same pornographic pay-per-view services. She talked with her son about it after the received the bill on the first time and warned him that pornography can be addictive and she surmised that it was probably the reason why his grades were failing. The son promised not to do it again.
The bill which arrived on February 14, 2008 was the second such bill and she wanted to discuss it with her son but he denied it and walked away from his mother. His mother was so frustrated and so angry that she took a belt and hit her son repeatedly. The boy resisted and fought back and then he tried to get away but his mother grabbed him and they both fell to the floor. The corporal punishment resulted in welts and bruises on the boy’s back, arms, chest and face.
When the boy succeeded in leaving the house, he took to the street on the way to see a family friend who had been a police officer with the NYPD but when he passed the Laundromat on their street, the people there told him to come in from the cold as he was not wearing any shirt. They called 911.
A Nassau Family Lawyer said that the police arrested the mother and neglect proceedings were initiated against her in the Familly court of Kings County. The Family court issued a temporary order of protection in favor of the two children. They were taken from the home and made to stay with a sister of their mother who lived in Manhattan but the mother was granted liberal supervised visits. All the time that the case was proceeding, the mother visited her children every day at their aunt’s house. She tried to have two meals with them each day; did their laundry; helped them with their homework and attended all their extra-curricular activities.
Without an order from the Family court, the school teacher found a parenting support program that offered parenting classes. She attended regularly all the Saturday sessions. She also enrolled in an anger management class which she attended conscientiously. She also sought help from a family therapist. And when her son finally agreed, she took him with her for family therapy so that he could address the issue of his addiction to pornography. They had sessions with the therapist to discuss what happened on February 14, 2008 and why the mother and the son seemed to be at odds all the time. A Queens Family Lawyer conceded that they had worked out strategies on how to deal with their anger and frustration as they continue to attend therapy together.
When the children’s aunt complained that she had great difficulty shuttling the children from her apartment in Manhattan to the children’s school in Brooklyn, the mother looked for a suitable home with a family friend who was a den mother for the local Boy Scouts that her son was in.
The boy had since finished middle school and had obtained a partial scholarship to a Catholic High School. He is doing better in school and is involved in basketball and practices after class until 8pm. Even the daughter is doing well in elementary school.
A New York Custody Lawyer said that the Family court thereafter allowed the children to stay with their mother on weekends before finally lifting the temporary order of protection and releasing them back in her custody. She had been in custody of her children for nine months when she filed a motion in the Family court to dismiss the petition for neglect against her. She claims that the children do not need protection against the threat of domestic violence from the Family court anymore as they have already established a loving family environment. She asserts that she has learned how to deal with the stress of her own life and how not to take it out on her children. She asserts that she loves her children and wants what is best for them. She is the only means of financial support for the children and if the petition for neglect is allowed to continue despite the great changes she has made in her life, she may lose her job and the children will lose the only parent who is supporting them.
The New York City Child Services and the Administration for Child Services opposed the motion of the mother stating that the school teacher should lose her job since the volatile anger that triggered the domestic violence in her home may also spill over and endanger all the public school children in her charge.
The Court notes the openness with which the mother has admitted her wrongdoing. She has sorted out her emotional issues and has learned what triggered her volatile outburst. She has asked forgiveness of her children and of the court for her inappropriate behavior and has since changed her parenting. Particularly, the Court was impressed with the story she related (and which her son corroborated) that they went to visit a family friend at his house and while they were there, some money went missing. When they got home, the mother confronted her son who promptly denied that he had taken the money. She admitted that at the time she was extremely angry and embarrassed but she allowed time for them both to calm down before discussing the matter. When they finally talked about it, the son admitted to having taken the money.
The Court cited numerous cases where the petition for neglect had been dismissed on evidentiary findings of fact supporting the claim of the parent charged with neglect that she has changed and has learned her lesson. The Court also noted with approval the sincerity of the mother in finding help for herself and for her son even without the Court ordering her to do it. The Court is satisfied that whatever emotional issues the mother and son have with each other, they are doing their best in working them out in the therapy they are in. The Court observed that the therapy session was never ordered by the court but was obtained by the mother at her own initiative because she wanted to further a good relationship with her son. The Court is satisfied that the mother poses no threat to the safety and well-being of her children.
Moreover, the Court reiterated that neglect proceedings are not punitive in nature. They were allowed by statute in order for the Courts to intervene in troubled lives of families which are marred by domestic violence and neglect to help them and assist them. When there is a fair showing that the parties to the case no longer need the help of the court as there is no more neglect of the children in the home, then the Court has to dismiss the petition for neglect. For this reason, the Court granted the mother’s motion and dismissed the petition for neglect against her.
Have you ever lost control of your anger and hurt your child? Has an order of protection been issued against you? But like this woman who truly wants to be a good mother to her children, you have mended your ways and you have done all that the court has required for you to do prove that your parenting skills have improved? You can get your family life back. And you can get the petition for neglect filed against you dismissed. But doing so involves a careful presentation of evidencing documenting the steps you have taken to learn how to be a good parent. You need the assistance of a sympathetic and able legal counsel to assist you and guide you to present your case and argue it so that you can get your family life back. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, they have competent and compassionate legal team who can assist you. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today and confer with one of our lawyers today; visit at any of their offices in the New York area. They are ready, willing and able to help you.