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Case Brought to Court for Father Failing to Pay Child Support


This case deals with the respondent Robert Marrero and the appellant Ada Centeno. The case is being heard in the Second Division, Appellate Division, Supreme Court of the State of New York. The appellant mother, Ada Centeno is appealing an order that was made in the Family Court of Rockland County by Judge Christopher. The Order was from the 27th of March, 2009 and granted the father’s petition for sole custody of their child and denied her branch of the cross motion for sole custody of the child.

Case Background

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the two parties in this case are the parents of Summer, who was born in 2001. The couple was never married and their relationship ended while the child was still a baby. When the couple separated the child remained with the mother in the Bronx and the father lived in Rockland County with his parents. There was not an order made to award custody to either party.

In the spring of 2006 the mother, her new boyfriend and the child moved from New York to Puerto Rico. The reason for the move was that the cost of living in Puerto Rico was much less than that in New York. A New York Family Lawyer said the mother states that she was able to provide more for the child after the move. She also states that she would have more time for the child in Puerto Rico because she would be able to work fewer hours.

While in Puerto Rico, the child’s paternal grandfather visited and attended the child’s graduation from kindergarten. The child spent the summers of 2006 and 2007 in Rockland County with her paternal grandparents.

The mother and child returned to New York City in 2008. The mother had started an action on behalf of the child to recover damages for personal injuries the child sustained as a result of exposure to lead paint. The child lived with the paternal grandparents while the lawsuit was pending. The lawsuit was settled in May of 2208 and the mother told the paternal grandparents that she would be returning with the child to Puerto Rico.

The father began an instant action custody proceeding in June of 2008. He stated that the mother had voluntarily given the child to the father to raise. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the father then took the child out of school and did not allow the mother to see the child. The mother filed a cross petition seeking custody of the child.

An attorney was hired for the child. A forensic evaluator was also appointed. The forensic evaluator did not offer an opinion as to who should be awarded custody of the child, but did submit a written report of the case to the court. The court then awarded full custody of the child to the father.

Court Decision

It was determined that the father had failed to support the child during the entire time that the mother had custody. He was arrested in 2006 for failure to pay child support.

For these reasons, the father’s original petition for sole custody of the couple’s child is denied. A Queens Family Lawyer said the cross motion by the mother for sole custody is granted. The case will be remitted to the Family Court of Rockland County for further proceedings.

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