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Family Court Decides Jurisdiction Issue


Child custody and visitation issues in divorce actions are traumatic events in the lives of the parents and the children who are affected by the court’s decisions. Many people panic when they file for divorce and fear the loss of custody of their children. When parents panic and make bad decisions as they relate to custody issues, they can adversely affect the outcome of their custody dispute. A New York Family Lawyer said that rather than panic and remove the children from the state, it is always better to discuss your options with a qualified attorney who can fight for your rights legally. When parents abduct their children to avoid losing custody of them, they just about guarantee that they will lose custody of the child.

In June of 1979, a New York woman panicked during a divorce action and absconded with her son to Arizona. The lived in hiding in Arizona until they were discovered in 1981 and the child was returned to New York and placed in the sole custody of his father. At that point, the father filed a petition to have sole custody of the child and restrict any visitation that the mother would have no visitation with the child because he fears that she will attempt to kidnap the boy again. The court Special Term declined to modify the judgment of divorce to prevent the mother from visiting with the boy. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the father made a motion to the Supreme Court to modify the decree. The mother countered that motion with her own motion to prevent a modification of the decree.

The court discovered that the mother had filed a motion with the Family court in Arizona. The first decision that became necessary was which court would have jurisdiction over the dispute. The New York Family Court had first declined to make any modification to the motion for a divorce decree because they felt that Arizona should have the jurisdiction over the custody dispute and that New York would be an inconvenient location to try the case. The Supreme Court disagreed. They contend that it was inappropriate for the New York Family Court to deny hearing the case and modifying the divorce decree. The original documents had been prepared in New York. New York was the registered home state of the child. The child had only been removed from New York during an illegal action. Therefore, Arizona courts should never have had any type of jurisdiction over the case at all.

New York custody laws are designed with the benefit of the child at the core of the issues. A Nassau County Child Support Lawyer said a Nassau County Child Support Lawyer said the courts must determine what actions are going to be in the best interest of the children, even if it is not in the best interest or convenience of the parents. In this case, the father had justification to be concerned that his wife would run off with the child again if she is given the opportunity. However, the mother has a close relationship to the child and it would not be in the best interest of the child to prevent him from ever seeing his mother again. It was not the child’s fault that his mother made a bad decision. The court determined that completely preventing him from seeing his mother again would be detrimental to his growth and psychological well-being. Because, it would not be in the best interest of the child to prevent him from seeing his mother again, the court determined that the mother should have visitation privileges. However, because the mother has proven herself to not be trustworthy about returning the child, all visitation between the two will have to be supervised. Thus, the court ordered that the only modification to the original order is that the child will reside with the father with supervised visitation with the mother.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its child custody Lawyers there are convenient offices throughout New York State and Metropolitan area. Our divorce Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through difficult situations, whether you have a custody issue or need an order for protection. Hiring a child visitation attorney can prevent you from losing precious time with your family.

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