Articles Posted in Custody

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In this case the Family Court was asked to determine whether to grant a father unsupervised visitation with his child because he lost his job and could not to afford the fees associated with supervised visitation.

The parents of the child were never married.  Their relationship ended when the child was 6 months old, and the mother accused the father of domestic violence and received an order of protection.  Both parents petitioned for custody.  The Family Court awarded the mother custody and the father 4 hours of weekly unsupervised visitation.  A few months later the mother petitioned the court for a modification to the custody order, alleging that the father had harmed the child.  The court changed the father’s access to 4 hours per week of professionally supervised visitation.  The order required that the father pay the expense associated with the supervised visitation.

A few months later the father petitioned the court for another modification of the custody order, asking that his access be changed back to unsupervised as he had lost his job and was not able to afford to pay the fees associated with the supervised visitation.  In denying the father’s petition the Family Court noted that according to the father’s own testimony, even before he lost his job he had difficulty paying the supervised visitation expenses.  Thus, when he lost his job, there was not a true change in circumstances as required for the court to consider modifying a custody arrangement.  The father appealed.

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The issue before the court is whether a parent who adopted out her children had the right to seek custody of them upon learning that the children were being sexually abused by the adoptive father.

The petitioner voluntarily surrendered her parental rights to her three children, 2 daughters and a son.  As part of the post-surrender agreement, the mother retained the right to visit with the children, and she did so regularly. The three children were subsequently adopted.  A few years after the adoption, Biological Mother found out that the children were not living in a safe environment.  One of her daughters was being sexually abused by Adoptive Father.  The other daughter was being sexually abused by an unrelated person.  The son was being bullied in the adoptive home.  In response, Biological Mother sought custody of the children.  Adoptive Father admitted that he sexually abused one of the daughters and was in jail. Adoptive Mother filed a motion opposing Biological Mother’s petition, arguing that she had no standing to file for custody.  Adoptive Mother also stated that she wanted to keep the children and that she was divorcing the adoptive father. In addition, the attorney representing the children opposed Biological Mother’s petition for custody.

The question before the court is whether a biological mother who previously surrendered her children has standing to bring an Article 6 custody petition against the children’s adoptive parents in a case where the adoptive father has admitted to sexually abusing one of the children.

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Matter of B. v J.

2018, NY Slip Op. 02148

L.B., Petitioner, Respondent.

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Matter of Isiah (Terry C.)

NY Slip Op. 06954

October 4, 2017

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E.V. v R.V.

NY Slip Op. 05994

August 2, 2017

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2017 Slip Op 01676

Decision

This is an appeal, filed in Queens County, by the plaintiff from an Order to Show Cause. The OSC granted the defendants application to restrain the plaintiff from transferring their minor child from a school in Queens to a school in Nassau County. The court granted a motion to stay enforcement of the TRO, pending a hearing.

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