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Court Decides Visitation Rights Issue

The matter before the court deals with support for a child under the Family Court Act, article 4. The respondent and appellant in the case is Dolores Schaefer Bolatin. The appellant and respondent in the matter is George Bolatin. The case is being heard in the court of appeals in New York.

Case Background

A New York Family Lawyer said the divorced wife, Dolores Schaefer Bolatin made an application in the Family Court of Bronx County to modify a judgment that was made in the Supreme Court of Nassau County. The judgment made in the Supreme Court of Nassau County granted the divorce and directed the ex-husband to pay the divorced wife $75 a week in support plus $17.50 each week for each of their two children. The order awarded custody of the children to the wife and the divorced husband received visitation rights.

The Family Court in Bronx County entered an order to raise the amount of child support to $40 per week for one of the children and $35 a week for the other child. The visitation rights of the divorced husband were then suspended.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court then issued an order that modified the affirmed order from the Bronx County Family Court. A New York Custody Lawyer said the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court modified the order to strike the suspension of visitation rights of the divorced husband. The Court held that because the order that was made by the Supreme Court granted visitation rights to the husband that the Bronx County Family Court did not have the jurisdiction to make any type of order that concerned the visitation rights of the father. Cross appeals were then taken to the Court of Appeals.

Court Discussion and Decision

The divorced husband argued that the Family Court lacked jurisdiction in the case to interfere with the visitation rights he was granted by the Supreme Court. He argued that under Article 4 of the Family Court Act the divorced wife failed to meet the requirements of demonstrating a change in circumstances. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said he argues that the order that was made by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court should be affirmed and the order from the Family Court that suspended his visitation rights should be suspended. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said he also seeks to have the increased child support reversed or to have the matter remanded to the Family Court for further findings.

After reviewing the facts of the case it is found that the Bronx County Family Court did not have the jurisdiction in the case to suspend the visitation rights of the divorced husband. A Queens Family Lawyer said for this reason, the order made in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that reversed this portion of the order is affirmed.

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