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Petitioner Files Action to Adopt Son

A New York Family Lawyer said a couple entered into a written separation agreement and was divorced by the decision of the Supreme Court. Subsequently, the woman married another man and moved into the man’s residence. The woman and her new husband filed a petition for the adoption of the woman’s son. It was alleged in the petition that the consent of the child’s father, the woman’s former husband, was not necessary because he abandoned the child.

A New York Child Custody Lawyer said the child’s father then moved for an order enforcing the visitation provisions of the separation agreement. The father’s order to show cause contained a term barring the woman from prohibiting visitation during the pendency of the case. The woman however moved for restriction and suspension of any visitation pending a determination of the adoption proceeding, seeking to hold the child’s father in contempt of court for failing to pay child support, seeking to consolidate the motion in Supreme Court with the adoption proceeding pending in Surrogate’s Court, and seeking an award of counsel fees.

A Brooklyn Family Lawyer said by order, the justice directed that the adoption proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court be consolidated with the proceedings in the Supreme Court. The matter was set for a trial as the submitted papers were complete with factual issues.

At the hearing, the woman presented a portrait of her former husband as being a man who had virtually no interest on his son, and who, despite her repeated requests, chose to have little, if any, contact with their child. Further, she asserted that the support of the child during some period were nonexistent.

A Brooklyn Child Custody Lawyer said the father, on the other hand, testified that he was always concerned with his son’s well being. He indicated that his repeated attempts to visit his child were thwarted by his former wife and that he was not permitted to see his child nor speak to his child on the telephone. He testified that he sent his son a birthday card every year, and on one occasion, left a gift for the child with his aunt. When he attempted to call his former wife’s residence, the woman repeatedly hung up on him and disconnected the telephone line. As to the support payments of the child, he admitted that he was in arrears, but testified that he had provided cash payments on some occasions. The only support payments subsequent to the divorce which he was able to verify were the receipts from eight certified checks for $50 each, all sent shortly after the proceeding for adoption was brought.

In the decision appealed, the proposed adoption was denied because it was found that abandonment had not been established. The court also instituted a specific schedule of visitation, and awarded the woman the sum of $7,700 as and for accrued support payments, calculated at the rate of $50 per week for 154 weeks. The sum of $1,000 was awarded for counsel fees.

Finally, the court agrees with the woman that the calculation of the arrears in the support of the child was erroneous. The separation agreement provided that child support was to be in the sum of $50 per week until the child’s sixth birthday, at which time the support was to increase to the sum of $60 per week.

The decision of special term was for $7,700, which represented back to the support of the child for 154 weeks at the rate of $50 per week. Therefore, for a period of 32 weeks, the decision provided for payments of $50 per week, when, according to the separation agreement, the father was responsible for payments of $60 per week. The decision is therefore modified to the extent of increasing the child support arrears to account for the extra $320 to which the woman is entitled. In all other respects, the decision is affirmed.

As parents opt to live separately, their children are the most affected in the situation. If you are experiencing the same dilemma, you can have the legal help of the Nassau County Divorce Lawyer or Nassau County Family Attorney. You can also have the legal services of the Nassau County Child Support Attorney for any legal issue you may encounter with regards to your child’s support and custody. Simply call or visit Stephen Bilkis and Associates office near you.

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