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Court Awards Custody Father in Light of Neglect Allegations

A New York Family Lawyer said that, order of disposition, Family Court, New York County, entered on or about November 30, 2009, which, upon denial of respondent mother’s application to dismiss the neglect petition pursuant to Family Court Act § 1051(c) and a fact-finding determination that the mother neglected the subject child, among other things, released the subject child to the custody of non-respondent father, and order, same court and Judge, entered on or about November 9, 2009, which, to the extent appealed from as limited by the briefs, awarded custody of the child to the father, unanimously affirmed, without costs. A New York Family Lawyer said that, appeal from orders, same court and Judge, entered on or about February 2, 2010, which to the extent appealed from as limited by the briefs, set forth a visitation schedule for respondent mother, unanimously dismissed, without costs, as taken from a non-appealable order. A New York Child Custody Lawyer said that, the order, same court and Judge, entered on or about February 16, 2010, which, to the extend appealed from as limited by the briefs, modified the February 2, 2010 order and set forth certain travel and relocation conditions for petitioner father, unanimously affirmed, without costs. Order, same court and Judge, entered on or about April 8, 2010, which granted respondent father’s motion to dismiss the mother’s petition to modify the visitation orders, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

A New York Custody Lawyer said the issue in this case is whether the neglect petition pursuant to Family Court Act § 1051(c) and a fact-finding determination should be granted.

The court in deciding the case said that, a preponderance of the evidence supports Family Court’s finding that the child’s physical, mental or emotional condition was in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of the mother’s long-standing history of mental illness and resistance to treatment. The mother testified to multiple extended hospitalizations for mental illness, and the record showed her lack of insight into her illness and her repeated relapses due to noncompliance with treatment and medication. Family Court also properly denied the mother’s motion to dismiss the neglect petition pursuant to Family Ct Act § 1051(c), since the dangers the mother posed to the child had not passed and thus the court’s continued aid was required.

The Supreme Court properly identified the factors that were to be considered in rendering its custody determination. It also properly concluded that an award of the sole custody to one parent, rather than joint custody to both parents, was in the best interest of the child given the level of acrimony between the parties and their inability to function together in a manner necessary for a joint arrangement. It is also well established that the court must take into account any incidents of domestic violence when making a custody determination. This court will not minimize the domestic violence that occurred between these parties.

A Queens Family Lawyer said the totality of the circumstances establishes that the award of custody of the child to her father was in the best interests of the child. The evidence at the consolidated hearing on the disposition of the neglect petition and the father’s child custody petition showed that the mother was incapable of caring for the child and continued to have a lack of insight about her illness, and that the child is doing well while living with her father.

Because the February 2, 2010 visitation order was entered on consent, it is not appealable. Family Court did not abuse its discretion when it entered the February 16, 2010 visitation order, modifying the February 2, 2010 order, which set forth travel and relocation conditions for petitioner father.
Accordingly, a Queens Custody Lawyer said the court held that the Family Court properly dismissed, without a hearing, the mother’s petition to modify the visitation orders. The mother failed to make an evidentiary showing of changed circumstances sufficient to warrant a hearing. The court has considered the mother’s remaining arguments and finds them unavailing. The Decision and Order of this Court entered herein on May 19, 2011 is hereby recalled and vacated.

If a child is being subject of abuse, seek the assistance of a New York Child Custody Attorney and New York Order of Protection Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates in order to protect the child from further harm.

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