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Court Determines Custody Dispute


A married couple was having marital problems. The husband left his wife and his daughter when he left their apartment in May 1981. From that time, the wife had custody of their daughter.

A New York Family Lawyer said the wife continued to have custody over their child during the divorce proceedings she instituted against her husband when the family court granted her temporary custody over their child while her application for divorce was being heard. She asked to an order granting her custody over their child and for the payment of maintenance and child support.

During the course of the divorce proceedings, the husband also applied that instead of being given visitation rights, he be granted custody over their child. The only question before the family court then was who between the mother and the father should be given custody over their child.

During the divorce proceedings, expert testimony was adduced by the father. He presented the testimony of a psychiatrist and the court-appointed social worker who both testified that between the father and the mother, the wife was more emotionally stable, the wife was more nurturing. The social worker recommended to the family court that the custody be given to the wife. The psychiatrist testified that the mother was the child’s primary parent and he also testified that in his opinion, the child’s interests will be served if custody were given to the mother.

The husband was able to prove that the mother was offered a job in Florida and was contemplating to relocate there with their child which is why custody should be granted to the father.

The wife testified that while she has had a job offer that promised a bigger compensation package in Florida, she was willing to forego working in Florida and she would be willing to stay in New York just so she could remain in custody over her child. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said she asks for maintenance and child support seeing as she is foregoing a more lucrative career in Florida to remain in New York.

The family court granted the father’s application for custody of their child. The mother appealed. The only question in this appeal is whether or not the family court erred in granting custody over the minor child to the father.

The Court held that when the father left the family residence, he agreed that his wife have custody over their child. A Nassau County Child Support Lawyer said the father tried but failed to prove that the mother was unfit to have custody over their child. The father also tried but failed to prove that he was more fit than the mother to have custody over their child.

The Court held that there was competent evidence adduced that it was the mother who was a more fit than the father to exercise custody over their child. The best interests of the child will be served if she remains in the custody of her mother. However, the Court also noted that there is evidence that the father is a loving man and their child will benefit if the father is given liberal visitation rights so that he can guide and nurture his child.

The Court resolved to grant the mother’s appeal and declare her to have custody over their child but her appointment as custody over their child is conditioned on her remaining in New York. The Court remanded the case for determination if the mother’s request for maintenance and child support should be granted considering that she has turned down a more financially rewarding job in Florida to stay with her daughter in New York.

Are you like the mother in this case who has had physical custody of her child since her ex-husband left the family home? Do you wish to be granted full custody of your child with right to the payment of child support, need a divorce or order for protection? You need the assistance and advice of a Nassau Child Custody Lawyer. A Nassau Child Custody attorney will help you present evidence to prove that you are not unfit to have custody of your child. The Nassau Child Custody lawyers from Stephen Bilkis will help you prove that your child’s best interests will be served if custody were given to you. Call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today and speak with their Nassau Child Custody attorneys at any of their offices located in the New York area.

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