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Petitioner Seeks Support for Niece from Niece’s Father

A New York Family Lawyer said the complainant woman seeks support for her niece against her niece’s father. The support petition was originally dismissed by a hearing examiner. But, by order of a judge, the order of dismissal was vacated. Consequently, the matter remanded back to the hearing examiner to enter a temporary order in accordance with the law and for further proceedings. The judge stayed the proceedings until such time the court will enter an order providing for temporary or permanent custody or guardianship of the child.

A New York Custody Lawyer said that following the custody hearing, a referee, in a very carefully considered decision, reluctantly recommends the child’s custody to her aunt. The matter was then referred to a judge, who confirmed the referee’s findings of fact and issued a final order of custody to the child’s aunt. The matter was then administratively assigned to the court to decide the issue of child support.

The parties appeared, at which time it unsuccessfully attempted to settle the case. A Brooklyn Family Lawyer said the court also pointed out that the law might prevent the re-trial of certain facts material to the issue. A hearing was eventually held. Based upon the evidence presented, the court declines to issue an order of child support against the man.

The factual findings made by the referee reveal that the man was married to the complainant’s sister, who gave birth to the said child. Both husband and wife suffered from emotional and psychological problems. The said factors most likely drove the wife to take her own life.

At some point before the suicide occurred, the wife filed a matrimonial action seeking a divorce from the man and custody to her child. A Brooklyn Custody Lawyer said at that time, the wife alleged that her husband had sexually abused their child when she was an infant.

According to the factual findings of the referee, the wife’s emotional problems also led her to believe that there were worms in her food and that she had a tapeworm growing inside her. Moreover, the sexual allegations made by the wife in the matrimonial action led to the filing of a petition against the man.

Sources revealed that the judge presiding over the said action, apparently concluded that the allegations of sexual abuse were baseless, eventually adjourned the case in contemplation of dismissal, granted the man a supervised visitation with his daughter, and issued a temporary order of protection on the child’s behalf.

At some point, the wife was granted a divorce from her husband. The stipulation of settlement included liberal overnight visits for the father.

Based on records, in rejecting the evidence that tended to establish that the child had been sexually abused, the referee noted that the child, who had been in therapy, informed her therapist that she had been sexually abused by her father when she was 9 or 10 years old. The allegation was reported to one institution, which conducted an investigation and, apparently, determined that there was some credible evidence of the alleged abuse within the meaning of the law.

The referee made an observations and stated that the institution did not remove the man’s other child from his care or offer any services to the father and his family nor was any neglect or abuse case filed in the county. In addition, no criminal charges were also filed. The court also reviewed the caseworker’s notes from the latest set of allegations. No expert ever interviewed the child and the caseworkers wrote the following in their typed notes previously.

The sexual abuse allegations made by the wife against her husband in the matrimonial action did not, however, end with the resolution of the proceeding or the dismissal of the article ten of the request. The referee expressly concluded that, throughout the history of the case, the wife aided by her sister, repeatedly accused the man of sexually abusing the child.

The child was almost five years old when she was interviewed by a doctor. At that time, there were proceedings involving the couple in both the Supreme Court and Family Court and the child had refused to visit her father, an unwillingness the mother attributed to the alleged sexual abuse.
There were other individuals who reached conclusions that differed from the doctors who attended the child. Nevertheless, the referee rejected the evidence presented at the hearing that the child had been sexually abused by her father. And, on the record, there were rational and logical grounds for her to have done so.

Not only did the referee expressly reject the claim that the child had been sexually abused by her father, her findings reveal that the child’s memory of having been sexually abused by her father was implanted by both her mother and the complainant. Although the referee did not make the specific finding that the complainant was the one who initially conceived of the idea to convince the child that her father sexually abused her, the findings reveal that the complainant was as culpable as the wife in destroying the child’s relationship with her father.

In sum, the referee found that the child had not been sexually abused and that the woman, persisting in her belief that the father had abused his child, worked to undermine the child’s relationship with her father. However, in spite of the referee’s findings that the child had not been sexually abused by her father, at the hearing held before the court, the couple, who spoke out often during court proceedings, and her attorney insisted that an examination done of the child by a physician established that the child had been sexually abused.

The child was also checked for any sexually transmitted diseases. Contending that both the referee and the judge were completely incorrect in their assessment of the evidence presented at the hearing, the complainant relies on the doctor’s statement as proof that her niece was, in fact, sexually abused. The complainant’s attempt to establish at the hearing that there is adequate proof that the child was, in fact, sexually abused by her father.

The court further finds that the complainant had a full and fair opportunity to contest the prior custody determination. The woman was represented by an attorney who advocated vigorously for her. In fact, despite her egregious conduct toward the child and her father, the woman was awarded custody of the child. In the court’s view, she has failed to establish that she was deprived a full and fair opportunity to litigate the prior custody matter.

In the case of the woman, the record reveals that the complainant essentially was an active participant in destroying the child’s relationship with her father. Apparently, the child truly believes that she has been sexually abused by her father. And according to an affidavit of the woman, which is part of the court file, the man and his father have not seen one another.

The complainant woman’s request for an order of child support from the man is denied. The law guardian is directed to provide the child with a copy of the decision and to then explain to her that she has the right to file her own support petition or enforcement petition against the man and the woman. Further, the complainant’s application for child support is also denied.

It is important for every couple who decided to divorce to consider the child’s interest. If you want legal guidance with such matter, you can seek help from the Queens County Family Lawyer or Queens County Divorce Attorney. You can also ask the help of the Queens County Child Custody Lawyer for your child’s guardianship. For your queries, you can call or visit Stephen Bilkis and Associates office.

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