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Court Determines Placement of Children


A New York Family Lawyer said a couple was married and the mother gave birth to their child later that year. They lived together in their native country. But, after an argument that happened between the couple, the mother left the marital home with her child.

Thereafter, during the pendency of a custody proceeding initiated by the father, the mother took her child and settled with her new boyfriend and his family, without informing the father of their location.

A New York Child Custody Lawyer said that subsequently, after the father discovers the location of the mother and their child, and after learning that the mother had obtained an order from the family court with regards the custody of their child upon the father’s default, the father initiated a proceeding in the same court, seeking child custody.

A Suffolk County Family Lawyer said the family court then conducted a hearing on the father’s petition, at which it heard testimony from the father and the mother, as well as a court-appointed forensic psychologist, who interviewed the parties and the child. The psychologist then rendered a comprehensive evaluation specifically addressing the impact on the child with regards to the change in his custody. After the hearing, the court granted the father’s petition and awarded him sole custody for his child.

A Suffolk County Custody Lawyer said sources revealed that the family court’s principal concern in a custody proceeding is to determine what placement is in the child’s best interests under the totality of the situation. In the case at bar, by removing the child from the marital home and relocating to a distant foreign country without informing the father of the child’s whereabouts, the mother severely interfered with the relationship between the child and the father, and thus committed an act so inconsistent with the best interests of the child as to itself raise a strong probability that the offending party is unfit to act as a custodial parent.

For that reason, the court’s determination that the child’s best interests would be served by awarding sole custody to the father and permitting him to return the child to their native country was supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record.

Based on records, the portion of the order appealed from addressing the issue of visitation provides that the mother shall have actual visits as she and the father agree with such visits to be therapeutic, supervised, or unsupervised as they agree. Based on the evidence presented at the hearing, including the recommendations of the forensic psychologist, the child’s best interests would be better served by the establishment of a detailed visitation schedule.

As a result, the court remits the matter to the court for the determination of a visitation schedule including, if necessary, a hearing, to be conducted with all convenient speed. The court also finds that the mother’s remaining contention is without merit.

In another related matter which consist of four related child protective proceedings, the guardian appeals from stated portions of four orders of fact-finding and disposition, which upon the father’s consent, in effect, to a finding that he neglected the children and released the children to the custody of the mother without holding a dispositional hearing. The court then ordered that the fact-finding and disposition are reversed insofar as appealed from without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the family court for further proceedings.

The family court however erred in failing to hold a dispositional hearing. Sources revealed that the family act directs that a dispositional hearing be held as a condition precedent to the entry of a dispositional order. As a result, the matter is remitted to the family court to hold a dispositional hearing and for a new disposition.

Because of differences that lead to arguments, couple usually comes to a point that separation is the best thing to do. Whenever you need help with your family related dispute, you can hire the Queens County Family Lawyer or Queens County Divorce Attorney. However, Stephen Bilkis and Associates also offer the services of Queens County Child Custody Attorney for issues involving your child’s guardianship.

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