Three months into a couple’s brief marriage, they were separated and by the fifth month, wife filed for the dissolution of the marriage. When she filed the petition, she also said that she is with child. In her statement she testified that it was husband’s and her child, said a New York Family Lawyer. The husband denied being the father of the child at first, but after the child was born, the two had agreed on a marital settlement agreement. The husband agreed pay $119.14 per month for child support until the child is considered as an adult. The agreement also stated that he should pay for the medical expenses during pregnancy that was not covered by insurance. The wife was to have sole custody of the child, and she could change the surname. There was no mention of visitation rights.
About a year and a half after the agreement, a judgment of dissolution was taken by the court, basing it on the agreement of the two parties. The requirements and terms of the child support were repeated. Mr. McAlister asked his lawyer about the visitation rights and was given the answer he should not worry as he would have them. According to the transcript a Sufflok County Visitation Lawyer read, Mr. McAlister tried seeing the child at the wife’s residence after the baby was born but was turned away by the wife. He tried again a few months later but still the same thing.
The husband filed for a Supplemental Petition for Modification. This was to give him visitation rights to his child. The court denied his motion, but he appealed against the ruling. The Court of Appeals said in their deliberation that a parent has a natural right to a significant relationship with their child. The only limit is how they act in front of their child, which should not negatively affect the child’s moral or welfare. The court also stated that the courts can grant sole custody with or without provisions for visitation rights of the other parent. In this case though, the Court of Appeals said that it was not even mentioned so there was no determination if the husband should have visitation rights or not. A Suffolk County Custody Lawyer read that they remanded the case back as to give the chance to the father to present his case with the best interest of the child for him to have the said rights.