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Court Listens to Habeas Corpus Proceeding

In a family related case, a habeas corpus proceeding with respect to custody of petitioner’s eight-year-old son, the appeal is from an order of the Family Court, Kings County, A prior interim order had been made by the Supreme Court, Kings County, referring the proceeding to the Family Court and granting temporary custody of the child to appellants, with two-hour periods of visitation on Saturdays and Wednesdays to petitioner at appellants’ home. A New York Family Lawyer said the order under review modified said prior order of the Supreme Court so as to grant visitation to both parents of the child, at or away from appellants’ home, for three hours on Saturdays, subject to certain conditions. According to a Kings County visitation attorney, the permission to appeal from the order of the Family Court is hereby granted. Thus, the court Order was reversed, without costs, and petitioner’s application to modify the order of the Supreme Court denied.

In addition, a New York Custody Lawyer said the Court stated that it was an improvident exercise of discretion to modify the visitation provisions ordered by the Supreme Court in view of petitioner’s past conduct, an apparent inability on the part of her husband to control her actions at times, and a failure of proof that circumstances had changed since the date of the Supreme Court’s order so as to adversely affect the welfare of the child. Our determination is, of course, without prejudice to the issues to be determined after trial, which, as of the time of the making of the order under review, was scheduled for September 17, 1971.

A Staten Island Family Lawyer said an another family case, in a proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6 for grandparent visitation, the grandmother appeals from an order of the Family Court, Kings County, dated February 24, 2009, which, after a hearing, dismissed the petition.

A Kings County Visitation attorney said that the Court ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, without costs or disbursements, the petition is reinstated, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court, Kings County, for a new hearing consistent herewith, and thereafter, a new determination of the petition.

A Staten Island Child Custody Lawyer said that “although grandparents have no absolute or automatic right to visitation in New York State, Domestic Relations Law § 72(1) allows them to apply for visitation rights if the circumstances are such that equity would see fit to intervene'” Whether such visitation should be awarded lies within the discretion of the Family Court.

Under the particular circumstances of this case, the Family Court improperly dismissed the grandmother’s petition for visitation with the subject grandchild (hereinafter the child) without first conducting a full inquiry into the matter to determine whether such visitation was in the child’s best interests. The Family Court terminated the hearing held on the petition without conducting an in camera interview with the child and without permitting the grandmother to complete her presentation. Additionally, the Family Court failed to admit into evidence a forensic evaluation report prepared by a clinical psychologist at the Family Court’s direction, and did not give the parties an opportunity to examine the forensic expert. Finally, in determining that visitation with the grandmother was not in the child’s best interests, the Family Court failed to consider whether any alternatives to unsupervised visitation, such as supervised visitation and/or limited telephone contact, would be in the child’s best interests.

Accordingly, the Court remits the matter to the Family Court, Kings County, for a new hearing and, thereafter, a new determination of the petition. We express no opinion with respect to what the ultimate determination of the Family Court should be.

Once a divorce decree was issued by the Court, a proceeding as regards the visitation of the children by the parents may follow. Since the parent is entitled to visitation, the Court may approve such entitlement depending on the circumstances. Here in Stephen Bilkis and Associates, we, through our Kings County Visitation lawyers help parents who seek to visit their children who are not in their custody. For other family concerns, don’t hesitate to consult our Kings County Family attorneys.

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