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Court Hears Combined Adoption and Visitation Proceeding

A New York Family Lawyer said in this combined adoption and visitation proceeding, the mother is seeking to have her son, adopted by her new husband. The father of the child however opposes the adoption and visitation request. The guardian of the child also opposes the mother’s petition and requests for forensic evaluation of the parties and the child.

This matter stemmed from the situation where the complainant mother and the father of the child never married or lived together.

A New York Divorce Lawyer said the mother of the child testified that she knew that the father of the child was married when she first met him, even if he told her that the marriage was over. The mother testified that after the father’s family arrived, their relationship ended, even if the father of the child continued to call her to discuss the child during the months that followed.

Subsequently, the mother met another man. The following year, the mother moved out of her apartment and move in with the man at his residence. When the mother moved, she submitted a change of address notification form to the post office. She changed her home telephone number but kept the same cell phone number, the same job, the same work address and the same telephone number at work. The mother also notified her landlord about her move. She testified that after her move, he occasionally stopped by at her new apartment to bring mail that was mistakenly delivered to the old address.

Afterward, a Staten Island Family Lawyer said the mother gave birth to her second child. Shortly thereafter, the mother stopped accepting the child support of her eldest child from his father and returned the last two checks that he sent.

A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the mother then married the man. Thereafter, by letter, the mother’s attorney notified the father of child about the intent to seek a stepparent adoption of the mother’s new husband.

The father of the child then filed a petition seeking visitation. In his petition, he alleged that he did everything for his child. He also alleged that the mother disappeared with the child. He stated that he only learned of her location when he received notification that the mother intended to have his rights terminated as the father of the child, so that the child can be adopted.

Later, the mother and her husband filed a stepparent adoption. A hearing was conducted over the course of 10 trial dates.

During the hearing both parties testified. The mother also called her mother and her husband to testify. Neither the father nor the guardian presented any additional witnesses.

During the mother’s testimony, she acknowledged that the father contributed to the child’s support and visited regularly during the first 18 months of the child’s life. She contended, however, that the father never shouldered any significant responsibility for the child’s daily supervision, education, protection or care. She also noted that the father never seen the child since he was an infant and that he has not contributed to his support for six years.

The father contests the mother’s assertions and contends that he paid support and visited regularly until the mother prevented him from doing so. He introduced 14 cancelled checks into evidence. The checks document the amounts he sent to the mother.

He asserts that he never evinced intent to forgo his parental rights and responsibilities. He insists that the mother deliberately dissatisfied his efforts to maintain a relationship with the child by relocating, changing her home telephone number, returning his checks for child support and instructing family members and friends not to disclose her location.

The father testified that he repeatedly attempted to locate the mother and the child after they moved in with the man’s residence. He said that he repeatedly asked the maternal grandmother and mutual friends for the mother’s contact information.

The father also asked their mutual friends for the location of the child and his mother more than 25 times. In addition, he testified that he asked the maternal grandmother for the help every time he saw her. According to the father’s testimony, the maternal grandmother repeatedly stated that she would assist him in seeing the child, even if she never actually did so.

The father testified that after a telephone conversation with the mother, he never again attempted to call her at work, nor did he ever go to her place of employment. He said that the mother had asked him not to call her again at work, asserting that if he did she might lose her job.

The father asserts that the reason he was not more aggressive in his efforts to contact the mother or the child was that he was waiting for the maternal grandmother to help him.

The father also acknowledged that he never sent any cards, gifts, letters or support payments to the mother at her place of employment or her prior home address. He also acknowledged that he never sent any cards, gifts, letters or support payments to the maternal grandmother or to their mutual friends with a request that they forward them to the mother or the child. He acknowledged that he never hired a private investigator or contacted the post office or the department of motor vehicles in an attempt to learn the mother’s new home address. He admitted that although he knew the mother’s former landlord, from when she resided, he never asked him for her forwarding address.

The maternal grandmother also testified that she and the mother maintained contact after the parties separated. They spoke on the telephone, visited at each other’s homes and at the home of a maternal cousin. She testified that when they were together they talked about friends and family members. She testified that he occasionally asked her how the child was doing but that he never expressed an interest in seeing him. She testified that he said that he would reestablish contact when the time was right. She testified that the father never asked her for the mother’s new home address. In any event, she stated that he always knew how to find her grandson since he knew where her daughter worked and her telephone number at work, as well as her cell phone number.

The maternal grandmother further testified that she moved several times. Nevertheless, she testified that she always kept the father apprised of changes in her address and that he had visited her current apartment on several occasions. According to the maternal grandmother’s testimony, at some point of October was the last time that the father spoke with the child.

On that said date, the child called the maternal grandmother while the father was at her home, visiting for her birthday. She testified that after she finished speaking with her grandson, she handed the telephone to the father and that the two of them spoke briefly.

Consequently, the court ordered that the father’s request for visitation is denied and the petition is dismissed. It is further ordered that the father shall be deemed a notice. It is also ordered that the attorneys, the guardian and the parties are directed to appear in part 17. At the said time, the court will conduct a hearing to determine whether the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child.

It is important to spend ample time with your children especially if you’re not living together. Whenever you need help with your child’s custody battle, you can ask the Nassau County Family Lawyer or Nassau County Child Custody Lawyers. You can also hire the Nassau County Visitation Attorneys if you want to maintain your visitation rights. Simply visit or call Stephen Bilkis and Associates office for your queries.

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