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Court Rules in Custody Battle

A New York Family Lawyer related child custody and visitation proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, and related family offense proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act article 8, a Kings County Family attorney said that the father appeals, as limited by his brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, as, after a hearing, denied his petition to modify a prior custody order of the Family Court, Kings County, awarding the parties joint legal custody of their child with physical custody to the mother and liberal visitation to the father, so as to award him sole custody of the child, granted the mother’s petition to modify the prior custody order so as to award her sole custody of the child and to establish a visitation schedule for the father, and dismissed his two family offense petitions.

In adjudicating custody and visitation rights, the most important factor to be considered is the best interests of the child, which requires evaluation of the “totality of the circumstances”. Here, the attorney for the child has advised this court of significant new developments which have occurred since the issuance of the order appealed from, including the commencement of a Family Court article 10 child protective proceeding against the mother, the filing of multiple domestic incident reports by both parents, and the lodging of complaints against both parents with the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.

A New York Custody Lawyer said that in light of these new factual circumstances, which this Court may properly consider, the record before us is no longer sufficient to determine which custodial arrangement is in the child’s best interests. Accordingly, the matter must be remitted to the Supreme Court, Kings County, to be consolidated with the related petitions pending in the Family Court, Kings County, and for a new hearing and a new custody determination thereafter by the Family Court, Kings County. The Court expressed no opinion as to the appropriate custody determination.

However, the Court found no reason to disturb the Supreme Court’s determination that the father failed to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the mother committed family offenses warranting the issuance of an order of protection.

In another family case, in two related proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act article 10, the mother appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of an order of fact-finding and disposition of the family Court, Kings County, as, after a fact-finding hearing, found that she neglected the subject children and placed them in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services of Kings County until the completion of the next permanency hearing.

A Kings County Family lawyer said that the findings of neglect as to the subject children were supported by a preponderance of the evidence. The mother’s contention that the Family Court deprived her of due process by limiting her testimony as to the skin condition of one of the children is unpreserved for appellate review, as it was not raised before the Family Court, and, in any event, is without merit.

A Westchester County Family Lawyer said that since a fact-finding hearing was held, under the circumstances, the mother’s claim that the Family Court erred by refusing to hold a hearing under Family Court Act ยง 1028 is academic. A Westchester County Custody Lawyer said the Family Court erred, however, in not conducting a dispositional hearing, and, therefore, as the mother, the attorney for the children, and the Administration for Children’s Services agree, the matters must be remitted to the Family Court, Kings County, for a dispositional hearing and a new disposition thereafter.

Based on the foregoing, the Court Ordered for the modification of the order, on the law, by deleting the provision thereof placing the subject children in the custody of the Commissioner of Social Services of Kings County; as so modified, the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court, Kings County, for a dispositional hearing and a new disposition thereafter.

Here in Stephen Bilkis and Associates, our Kings County Family lawyer will give you an effective and beneficial advice for your family-related problems. We will ensure that your rights are always protected. We also have Kings County Order of Protection attorney who will help you obtain such writ in case there will be abuse and maltreatment by a family member.

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