A husband seeks custody of their two children from his wife who surreptitiously left the conjugal home in New York and took the children to Virginia where the wife’s relatives all lived.
During the trial, the husband and the wife testified. A New York Family Lawyer said the mother-in-law of the wife and the sister-in-law of the wife also testified for the husband and against the wife. The judge took the two children to a nearby park and interviewed the children. The judge videotaped this interview with the children.
During the custody hearing it was proved that the husband and the wife had a child when they were just teenagers. They got married within three years after the birth of their first child. The wife was emotionally and physically abused. A New York Custody Lawyer said the abuse consisted of sexual assault. The husband would force the wife to have sex. He would kick the woman and bite her, hit her with his fists in her back and buttocks. He also constantly criticized and insulted her within the hearing of their children.
Both the husband and the wife took drugs. The wife’s injuries were documented by emergency room visits where the nature and extent of her injuries were reported. The husband and wife were separated from each other for nine months. During these nine months, the husband fathered a child by another woman. He then left his newborn child by another woman and returned to the conjugal home. A Nassau County Family Lawyer said by that time, the wife had already sobered up and was no longer using drugs. The husband continued to use drugs and the sexual assault of the wife by the husband continued until the woman escaped the conjugal home with her two children and left for Virginia.
A Nassau County Custody Lawyer said the only question in this proceeding is whether or not the petitioner is entitled to the custody of his two minor children.
The Court held that generally, a woman who escapes and flees the conjugal home is not acting in the best interests of her children because the children are cut-off from their father who cannot communicate with them. As such, there is a presumption in the law that a woman who spirits away her children is not entitled to the custody of her children.
However, the Court appreciated the very serious reasons why the woman escaped the conjugal home. Abuse is not something that the wife should suffer through only so that she will not lose custody of her children. Her safety and her children’s safety was the reason why she left the conjugal home. And her reason for going so far away to another state was only because her own family was domiciled in Virginia where she was sure to have emotional and financial support while she was trying to get back on her feet. The Court resolved that the wife’s relocation to another state will not work against her, to deprive her of her custody of her children. The Court also found that the woman was in a better position to provide the physical care of her children as she has already sobered up and is no longer taking drugs. Her children have also told the court that it was their mother who took care of their needs and helped them with their homework.
The Court ruled that the parent who petitions the court for custody over his or her children must not only prove that the other parent is not fit to have custody of their common children. The petitioner must also prove that he himself is fit to have custody of their children. In this case, the petitioner husband admitted his addiction to drugs. The Court also appreciated that the petitioner husband has problems curbing his anger. He cannot be entrusted with the custody of their children unless he can prove that he can manage his anger.
The Court resolved to temporarily grant custody of the children to the mother but granted the father visitation rights. In the meanwhile, the Court ordered the father and the mother to undergo psychiatric counseling and to provide for the psychiatric counseling of their children. The award of visitation and custody will be reviewed after the parents have complied with the order of the Court for them to undergo counseling.
Before filing a petition for the custody of your children, you must speak with a New York Family Lawyer. A New York City Family Lawyer can explain to you what evidence you can present to prove that it is in the best interest of your child for you to be awarded custody. The NYC Family lawyers from Stephen Bilkis and Associates can help you prove also that your spouse is not fit to have custody of your children. Come and visit any of the offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates in the New York area. Speak with their NY Family Lawyers who can represent you.