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Father Given Sole Custody Due To Mother’s Interference With His Visitation Rights

father's rights lawyerThe Appellate Division of the Third Department, an appeals court in Upstate New York, recently rendered a decision affirming changing custody from the mother to the father based on the mother’s interference with the father’s rights to visit with the parties’ child.

The parties had initially entered into an agreement whereby the mother was given an award of sole custody. In addition, she was given a one year stay away order of protection against the father.

Father Files Petitions

The father filed a violation petition and custody petition in the Family Court. He alleged the mother had been continually interfering with his parenting time with the parties’ child. There were hearings in the Family Court. The Family Court judge found the mother had not complied with the visitation provisions in the court’s custody orders. The Family Court ordered the custody changed from the mother to the father. The father was given sole custody of the parties’ child. The mother filed an appeal.

The Decision on Appeal

The Appeals Court unanimously affirmed the changing of the custody of the child from the mother to the father. The Appeals Court found the mother had frequently violated the terms and her obligations under the prior court orders requiring her to cooperate with regard to promoting the relationship between the father and child and by refusing to give him his parenting time with the child. Instead of complying with the court orders for long periods of time, the mother simply refused to give the father visitation with the child. The mother intentionally violated court orders on a regular basis.

The Appeals panel took into consideration the fact the mother’s fitness to care for the child had deteriorated. In the end, the appeals court found it was in the child’s best interest to give the father sole custody.custody assistance for father's on Long Island

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 30 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.