In New York, a child custody order can only be changed under specific conditions, including if there has been changed circumstances such that it would be in the best interests of the child that the court modify the child custody order. In this case, the Family Court was asked to consider whether a modification of the custody was appropriate given the circumstances.
The mother and father were parents a child. A March 2017 order granted the father sole custody of the child. The mother now seeks a modification of the order granting her sole custody. The child was born on May 16, 2014. Following the mother’s admission that the child suffered an unexplained injury while in her care, on December 4, 2014, the Suffolk County Family Court issued an order placing the child with the sister of the purported father and permitting the mother supervised visitation. After it was determined that the purported father was not the child’s father, the child was placed with the mother’s aunt and uncle. On March 10, 2016, a final order of protection was issued against the mother on behalf of the child for two years. When paternity was established, the child’s father filed for full custody and it was granted on March 3, 2017. The mother was granted supervised visits with her mother doing the supervising.