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Father Appeals Order Granting Sole Custody to Mother

In a child custody proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the father appeals from an order of the Family Court, Nassau County, which, without a hearing, inter alia, granted sole custody of the subject child to the mother, with child visitation to the father.

A New York Family Lawyer said that an award of custody must be based upon the best interests of the child, and there is no right of either parent to custody of the child. Since the court has an obligation to make an objective and independent evaluation of the circumstances, a custody determination should be made only after a full and fair hearing at which the record is fully developed. Therefore, as a general rule, it is error to make an order respecting custody based upon controverted allegations without the benefit of a full hearing.

Here, a New York Divorce Lawyer said in light of the parties’ conflicting allegations, the Family Court erred in awarding sole custody of the subject child to the mother without the benefit of an evidentiary hearing. Nor did the court conduct an examination of the parties, interview the child, or solicit the opinion of the attorney for the child. Under such circumstances, it cannot be concluded that the court possessed sufficient information to render an informed determination consistent with the child’s best interests. Accordingly, the court remits the matter to the Family Court, Nassau County, for a hearing and, thereafter, a new determination on the custody petition.

Thus, the Court Ordered that the order is reversed, on the law, without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court, Nassau County, for an evidentiary hearing on the issue of custody and a new determination thereafter; and further Ordered that pending the hearing and new determination, the subject child shall remain in the sole custody of the mother, and the provisions of the order, regarding child visitation shall remain in effect.

In another case, a child custody proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the mother appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of an order of the Family Court, Nassau County, as, after a hearing, denied her petition to modify an order of the same court, awarding the father residential custody of the subject child upon the parties’ consent, so as to award her residential custody of the child.

To modify an existing custody arrangement, there must be a showing of a change in circumstances such that modification is required to protect the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child are determined by a review of the totality of the circumstances.

Although the determination of the hearing court which saw and heard the witnesses is entitled to great deference, its determination will not be upheld where it lacks a sound and substantial basis in the record.

Here, the Family Court’s determination that the evidence did not demonstrate a sufficient change in circumstances is not supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record. Moreover, modification of the existing custody arrangement so as to award the mother residential custody is in the child’s best interests.

Accordingly, a Bronx Family Lawyer said the Court reversed the Order insofar as appealed from, on the facts and in the exercise of discretion, without costs or disbursements, the mother’s petition to modify the order, so as to award her residential custody of the subject child is granted, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court, Nassau County, for further proceedings to establish an appropriate child visitation schedule for the father; and it is further Ordered that pending further order of the Family Court, Nassau County, the father shall have child visitation on weekends from Friday until Sunday, or other times as the parties may agree, with the mother transporting the child to the father’s residence, and the father returning the child to the mother’s residence, or as the parties may otherwise agree.

A Brooklyn Family Lawyer said the Court awards visitation and custodial rights to a parent for the benefit of its children. In every child related cases, the primordial consideration is what is beneficial to the subject child. Here in Stephen Bilkis and Associates, our Nassau County Child Visitation lawyers will render its service to the parent who seeks to visit his child by filing a petition in court to that effect. For family related matters, we have our Nassau County Family attorneys, who will give you an advice to all family related issues you are concerned with. Call us now and receive a dependable advice from our diligent lawyers.

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