Articles Posted in New York City

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Divorce creates many situations within a family that cause difficulties. In New York, the goal of the court system is to ensure that the children do not suffer because of the conflict between the parents. A New York Family Lawyer said no matter how much a court system may attempt to ensure that the children do not suffer from the stresses of the parents, it is impossible to achieve this goal entirely. In many cases, the parents do not stay in New York and one may move to a different jurisdiction. When this happens, the parents along with the court must decide if they are in a position to continue to handle the court issues of visitation and support through the New York court system.

One case from 1999, concerned the ongoing issues of a family going back more than ten years before the case was discussed in New York Family Court. The couple were married in Buffalo, New York on June 21, 1987. In 1988 and 1990, they brought two children into their marriage. The couple resided in New York City and Long Island while they both attended college. Toward the end of their marriage, they moved to Hamilton, Massachusetts. They were separated on December 21, 1993, and divorced in 1995. The couple agreed that the children would live with their mother in the family home in Massachusetts and the father moved to a townhouse near the home. In 1995, the mother moved to Buffalo, New York with the two children. The couple agreed that the Massachusetts Family Court would continue to have jurisdiction over the divorce decree and the continuing issues of visitation and support with the children. However, as both parents moved on with new families of their own, additional issues have arisen.

The final divorce decree created in Massachusetts allowed that the children were the full custody of the mother with the father being allowed liberal visitation. However, the father remarried and began a new life with his new wife and stepdaughter in Ipswich, Massachusetts. The mother met a man in New York and later moved with him and the two children from her previous marriage to Oregon. The father at that time filed for the children to rejoin him in Massachusetts. The issue of the court became a situation in which the father stated that he was being expected to spend too much money visiting the children in Oregon, or having the children flown out to visit him in Massachusetts. A Queens Family Lawyer said the case was brought before the New York Family Court in which they agreed with the father and ordered that the child support payments that the father was ordered by the Massachusetts Court to make, should be put into a separate banking account and used to pay for the expenses of visitation and plane fare. The mother filed an appeal.

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Emily Black Pyne was married to James L. Black, said a New York Family Lawyer. They had two children and divorced when the younger of the two, Allison, was about three years old. In their marriage dissolution agreement, Mr. Black was to pay child support for both children until they reach twenty–one. He stopped paying when the eldest, Rhonda, was sixteen and the youngest was twelve years-old. According to Mr. Black, this was because about two months before he stopped paying, which was Christmas time, he asked for visitation, but he was denied by Ms. Pyne.

From the time of the divorce to about nine years after, Mr. Black was working internationally and most of the time out of the country, so he had very few visitations with his children at most two to three days a year. At the time, when he asked for the Christmas visit, he had already left the international employment and was living near Ms. Pyne and the kids. After the visit was denied, he consulted a lawyer and sent a demand for regular scheduled visitation. A New York Custody Lawyer said that it disturbed Ms. Pyne, her new husband and the children as Mr. Black has not had that amount of visitation before. In addition, Rhonda who was sixteen at the time was in counseling and therapy because she was diagnosed as having agoraphobia.

Both Rhonda and Allison said they did not want to see Mr. Black. Rhonda, who was doing well in school, was also having a hard time with everyday living. She was thinking as well that Mr. Black may have been abusive to her and was afraid of him. For Allison, who was twelve, she felt rejected by Mr. Black and disliked him. Ms. Pyne had offered therapy for her to be able to reconcile with Mr. Black, but the child refused. Ms. Pyne did not want to force her children to doing anything, so she did not push, according to testimony read by a Nassau County Custody Lawyer.

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Child visitation and child custody are cases that are very frequently occurring, especially in the states. The details of the case are not easy especially when the rights and the benefits of the children are the ones at stake. In this particular case, the grandparents are the ones who are involved in the case. This case involves the couple Diane and David Saul who are the maternal grandparents of the child who was born out of wedlock.

The said child was born around October of 1994 and lived with his mother and her parents. The father lived separately with his own parents since the couple was not married. When the child reached about 8 months old, the mother filed an action to demand child support for the child from the father. The father succumbed to this but the mother was killed in an accident when the child was two. This scenario led for the child to live with his father which started the issue between the parents of the mother and the father.

The grandparents are fighting for the right to visit since according to a New York Visitation Lawyer, this should be granted when one or both parents are already dead or if the child was born without his parents getting married. However, the conflict arises when the point of the father having the right to same privacy level is raised especially since the mother has already passed away. The points raised may be too hard to handle especially when all parties involved only have the interest to protect the child. The court is only after giving the rights to those who will not cause harm to the overall well being of the child.

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There was one particular case that a New York Family Lawyer studied which might sound not so common when it comes to cases of child custody or visitation rights. It involves the presence of two minor kids named only as I.S. and C.S. Both of their parents are already dead with their mother dying after giving birth to C.S. Following this scenario, both of them stayed in the custody of their maternal grandfather along with his wife, which went on for four months. Their father died out of a car accident.

When this happened, the two guardians provided for the primary care of the children. As all these were happening, the other set of grandparents in the side of the father, were constantly getting in touch with their grandkids as well. It did not take long before the two acting as guardians decided to file a petition to adopt their two grandkids. The two are defending in court that this is the best way they think that they can serve the kids and give them all the benefits they deserve.

It was without any doubt who also looked into this case that both were actually fit to become parents of the kids. But there was evidence discovered that before the father of the children died, he requested for his kids to be raised by his own parents; the paternal grandparents. It seemed hard to decide on this since both sets of grandparents are very loving to both kids. And it was apparent as well that the two kids also love all their grandparents, whichever parents’ side.

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When families break down, it is the children who suffer so much. When they start growing up in an environment that is unresolved, they also tend to create chaotic environments on their own. If we care for the future generations of this country, then it is important that we help each other out in informing families on how it is really to raise one. You would learn a lot of values and rights when you get to review some child visitation rights cases explored by a credible New York Family Lawyer.

This case was between the Department of Children and Families versus a mother who is not capable of taking care of her own son. The mother was hidden in the initials of B.M. The child is a four-year-old boy with the initials of B.B. He was brought to the DCF for a shelter petition last 2006. It all started with the mother and child deciding to live alone away from the father who mistreats and abused his wife. In September 12 of 2006, she left her son in a neighbor’s house and promised that she would return soon. But she did not and only came back for her son the afternoon of the next day.

Because of this non-compliance according to a New York Visitation Lawyer she was evicted two days after and she even evaded possible confrontation with the WID. A history of violence in the home was traced and both parents had restraining orders. By September 18, the mother was allowed visitation that is supervised about two times in a week. But on the following month, reports say that she has already missed three appointed visits with which she gave three unreasonable excuses as well. First, she simply overslept. Second, she had to go to a particular doctor’s appointment. Third, she needed to do another follow up with her doctor.

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In September 1999, Frances Adrienne Sullivan gave birth to a son. A New York Family Lawyer said, after, she filed a paternity action against Landon Cole Sapp. This was to set custody, parental responsibility and child support for her son. By March 2001, the final decision was that Mr. Sapp was the natural father of the child. The parental responsibility was to be shared by both mother and father. The court said that the child should live with his mother, with the Mr. Sapp provided with reasonable access to his child. He was to pay child support, which he could also declare as an exemption for tax purposes for even numbered tax years and the odd number for Ms. Sullivan.

A few days after the decision, Ms. Sullivan asked the court for clarification of the dependent claim eligibility of each parent. Before this could be determined, Ms. Sullivan died in a car accident. Elizabeth Sullivan, the baby’s maternal grandmother, filed a Motion to Intervene and for the Award of Reasonable Visitation to Grandparent and was asking for a decision granting her the right to get involved in the paternity suit filed by her daughter. This is limited to certain situations and one of them is the death of a parent or both parents. To answer this, the father filed a motion to dismiss.

The lower courts ruled that the grandmother cannot intervene in the paternity suit because her daughter is already deceased, and the determination will not make a different as to can file for a dependent exemption. The visitation right was also dismissed. This was appealed by grandmother. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts.

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In a story that was like it was made for a movie, Victoria D. daughter of Carole D. was the one who had two men claiming to be determined as her father. Carole was married to Gerald D. when she gave birth to Victoria. Carole was an international model, and Gerald was a top executive in a French oil firm. He had always said he was Victoria’s father, although tests showed that more than 98% probability, she was Michael H.’s. Carole had an affair with Michael while married to Gerald. A New York Family Lawyer said Victoria was the fruit of that adulterous affair.

For the first three year of Victoria’s life, she lived with Gerald, who treated her as his own child. Sometimes, she and her mother resided with other men. May was when Victoria was born, they lived with Gerald. October of the same year, Gerald moved to New York for business, and Carole and Victoria were in California. End of October, both Carole and Michael had tests done to check the paternity of Victoria and found the 98.07% probability she was Michael’s. January of the following year, Carole visited Michael. In March, she left and resided with Scott K. and in the same year with Gerald again, but by fall she was back with Scott.

November after the year Victoria was born, Michael filed a filiation action to get visitation rights and determine paternity because Carole was not allowing him access to Victoria. About six months after, Carole filed a motion for summary judgment. At this time, she had been with Gerald since March, which lasted until July. After, she was with Michael again and this time she asked her lawyers to withdraw the motion for summary judgment. For the next eight months, they lived together and April, before Victoria’s third birthday, Carole and Michael signed a stipulation that Michael was Victoria’s natural father. The month after, Carole left Michael and ordered her lawyers not to file the stipulation. She moved back with Gerald.

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Bonnie Belair and Jarret Clark divorced with Ms. Belair having sole custody of their minor child. This was finalized in 1997. Mr. Clark was given limited visitation rights once he completes the parenting class that was ordered by the court. After this decision by the court, Mary Francis Drew, the child’s paternal grandmother, petitioned the court to get visitation rights. They cited the law that grants grandparent’s visitation rights in certain circumstances. By February 1999, Ms. Belair submitted her petition to the Trial Court saying that the statute violates her constitutional right to privacy.

The Trial Court refused to deliver a verdict about the constitutional challenge that was placed by Ms. Belair. They gave temporary visitation rights to Ms. Drew, which was also to be in the same place as agreed in the mediation. What Ms. Belair did was to submit a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. A writ of certiorari is an order made by a higher court about a case that they have reviewed, said a New York Family Lawyer. Ms. Belair’s petition said that because the Trial Court did not rule on the constitutionality of the grandparent visitation law, her right to privacy was violated.

In the decision of the Supreme Court, they cited the case of Beagle vs. Beagle. It was said in that case that the state “may not intrude upon the parents’ fundamental right to raise their children except in cases where the child is threatened with harm.” They also said that in the same case, the court said that the best interest of the child is placed first even before there is proof of harm. The privacy that is to be expected should be no less than the one experienced while married. The question now is if the court has the right to decide whether to impose visitation rights on a parent who does not want it. The Supreme Court acknowledges that “care custody and management” is a fundamental liberty interest of a parent. The court said as well that the choice which relates to child rearing and education are fundamental rights covered by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The state does not have the right to interfere with these decisions, unless there is a compelling reason to do so. In this case, the Supreme Court granted certiorari, and they reversed the decision of the Trial Court.

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In a case that affects two States, Sharon and Edward Heartfield were part of this not so uncommon situation. The two were divorced by the District Court of Jefferson County, Texas. Sharon was the one awarded custody of the children. Edward got visitation rights and was ordered to pay 2,025 per month for child support. Once the divorce was finalized, Sharon together with the three children moved to Louisiana and has lived there for about four years.

Three years after moving to Louisiana, Sharon filed a case with the District Court of Jefferson County, Texas to request for the modification of the child support. Edward responded with a cross-action where he asked for more visitation times, reduced amount of child support and to have the case transferred to Hardin County, Texas. The case was transferred to Hardin County, Texas as per request.

After this, Sharon asked the Civil District Court of Orleans Parish, Louisiana to issue a decision that says that the original order by the court for visitation and child support be executed. She filed a motion in the Hardin County court as well, to have them dismiss the action or move it to Orleans Parish. This was denied by the courts of Hardin County and about a month later after a hearing, they issued a modified decision. The new decision reduced the child-support payments to $1,800 per month. The court said this is also dependent on specific visitation rights. A month later, Edward filed affidavits saying that visitation was being denied so he did not pay the child support. This is when he filed for a temporary injunction order to stop Sharon from her claims in the Louisiana Court. He filed it with the States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division. Sharon dropped her case connected to the child support but said that the visitation schedule threatened the well-being of her children. The injunction was granted by the Louisiana court.

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Jason Leigh Owens asked the court for unsupervised visitation with his four-year-old daughter. This was only after multiple once a month supervised visits at family visitation centers. The reason for the supervised visits was that Mr. Owens was convicted and jailed for a third-degree felony for domestic violence. After an evaluation, the court said that Mr. Owens has greatly improved with his control of his emotions, especially his anger. The supervised visitation has already been maximized, mentioned by a New York Family Lawyer. From the records, the court also said, it was in the best interest of the child to move forward and give Mr. Owens shared parental responsibility and frequent unsupervised visits.

A New York Custody Lawyer said in the decision, the order was for the first eight months will have unsupervised visits in the city where the child lives. This was to be between ten in the morning to four in the afternoon every second and fourth Sunday of the month. Every third Saturday, he would have a full day and night unsupervised visits. This is from ten in the morning Saturday to four in the afternoon the following Sunday. Mr. Owens did not ask for the overnight visitation.

Kylie C. Doyle, the mother contested this decision. The first was that because the overnight visit was not even asked by Mr. Owens. She also said that the welfare of her child is not going to be protected if the visit is unsupervised. Each party is not contesting that Mr. Owen entitlement as he is not because of the conviction. What the mother is arguing about is the effect to her child and the evidence that supports it would be good for her child to be in it.

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