A husband and wife had two children of their own and the wife had a child by a former partner. All of the children are minors. The ACS filed petitions in family court alleging that the eldest child, the wife’s child by another former partner was neglected. ACS alleged that the husband and wife inflicted excessive corporal punishment on the child resulting in bruises on the child. The mother beat the child using an extension cord while her husband punched the child.
A New York Family Lawyer said the ACS also filed a petition of derivative neglect upon the two younger children of the couple alleging that since these two minors witnessed the abuse of the eldest minor child, they were considered derivatively neglected as well.
After a hearing at the family court, A Nassau County Family Lawyer said the children were ordered removed from the home of their parents. The eldest child was placed with his great grandfather on the mother’s side, his nearest relative.
The paternal grandmother of the two younger children who was a resident of Virginia went to the family court in New York and asked that she be granted child custody over her two younger grandchildren. She also asked that she be given child custody over the eldest child but the family court placed him with his next of kin.
The family court also issued orders of protection in behalf of the children and against their biological parents, prohibiting them from committing family offenses against them. They are to stay away from the children and not to have any contact with the eldest child.
The parents applied for the return of all their three children but the family court denied their application. The mother was granted visitation rights with all three children. A Nassau County Child Support Lawyer said the father was granted visitation rights with the two youngest children who were his biological children. Pending the hearing of the paternal grandmother’s application for child custody, the paternal grandmother was also given visitation rights to the two youngest children.
After interviewing the eldest child, ACS amended its petition to include other allegations. ACS alleged that the mother left her eldest child with strangers and the father smoked marijuana in front of the children. ACS also alleged that in 2006, the eldest child was forced to sleep in the porch outside of the house after the father struck the eldest child with a belt buckle.
Pending the hearing, the two youngest children were placed in the foster care of an agency. The agency had the responsibility of bringing the children for the visitation of their parents. When the foster care agency failed to bring the children, the mother lost her temper. She began verbally abusing the employees of the foster care agency. She began threatening them. The father came in and tried to destroy the doors to the office of the foster care agency. The foster care agency called the police but the couple left before the police arrived.
As a result of the display of ill-temper of the parents, the foster care agency reported the matter to ACS which brought an application to suspend the visitation rights of the parents.
The next day, the parents learned when they arrived at the foster care agency that their visitation rights had been suspected and they began yelling and threatening the employees of the foster care agency. The father threatened that he would kidnap his own children and run away with them and no one will ever see them.
The family court suspended the visitation rights of the parents until after they have undergone mental evaluation. The mother willingly subjected herself to mental evaluation and obtained a signed release. She also completed parenting skills training and started attending therapy and anger management. The mother’s supervised agency visitation with her children was restored for three hours weekly. The paternal grandmother’s visitation was also restored.
The father eventually submitted himself to evaluation and the doctor who examined him recommended that the father be allowed supervised visitation in a secure setting. The family court received the doctor’s report and scheduled a hearing to ask him to explain his recommendation that the father be allowed supervised visitation in a secure setting.
The family court gave the paternal grandmother unsupervised weekend visitation with her two younger grandchildren. In the meantime, the family court learned that the parents of the two children had given birth to another baby and that baby had been in the physical custody of the paternal grandmother since the date of the child’s birth. The New York Family Court also learned that the paternal grandmother had already filed a petition in Virginia for the child custody of the baby.
At the New York Family Court, ACS and the foster care agency filed a new petition against the parents for derivative neglect of the youngest, the newly born infant. ACS petitioned the New York Family Court to remove the baby from the home of the paternal grandmother. The Court granted an Order of Protection in favor of the baby and against the parents directing them to have no contact with the baby.
The paternal grandmother failed to produce the baby during three hearings in the family court in New York despite being directed to do so. ACS and the foster care agency both asked that the unsupervised weekend visitation of the paternal grandmother over her two older grandchildren be suspended until she produces the baby.
In the meantime, the Virginia Family Court had ordered a case worker to visit the paternal grandmother’s home and she found the baby well cared for, well-fed and clean. She recommended that the grandmother’s home be certified as a foster home.
ACS renewed its application to remove the baby from the custody of the paternal grandmother as she continuously failed to produce the baby before the New York Family Court.
The Family Court of New York denied the request of ACS to remove the baby from the custody of her paternal grandmother. The family court ruled that since the paternal grandmother had already filed a child custody petition in Virginia, Virginia has jurisdiction over the matter. The New York Family Court ruled that since the child was born in Virginia and had been residing in Virginia since her birth, her home state is Virginia. The baby had no significant connection to New York.
Since a custody petition was pending in Virginia, the New York Family Court had no jurisdiction over the baby until Virginia declines to exercise jurisdiction or terminates the custody action pending in Virginia.
This determination of the Family Court of New York was upheld by the Supreme Court.
A New York City Child Custody Lawyer will tell you that a child who is maltreated, abused and neglected by his parents will be remanded to foster care until the parents show that they are fit to exercise their parental rights. They will also tell you that you may be required to take parenting skills seminar in order to qualify for visitation rights over your children. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, they will assist you with quality legal representation, whether you need an Order for Protection, have a custody dispute, or are filing for divorce.