Grandparents’ Control Over Visitation Upheld

father's rights lawyerA proceeding was brought in Nassau County Supreme Court by Steven Libin. He requested the New York Court relinquish control over custody and visitation rights pursuant to a stipulation, to the Courts in Israel. Acting Supreme Court Judge Hope Zimmerman ruled against him. He appealed to the Appellate Division, Second Department, an appeals court in New York. The Appeals Court found Judge Zimmerman, “properly concluded that [her court] retained exclusive continuing jurisdiction over the stipulation as modified to reflect the child’s new residence in Israel.”

History of the Case

The child was born in February 2008. At the time, Libin and his wife, Diana, were residing in Israel. Diana died shortly after childbirth. Libin and the wife’s parents entered into an agreement in Nassau County wherein the wife’s parents, Katerina and Alexander Berkovitch, were given temporary custody of the child. Libin thereafter brought a proceeding in Nassau County and asked for sole custody and requested the prior stipulation with the grandparents be nullified.

Child in Israel but Case Stays in New York

In October 2008, a stipulation was entered into between Libin and the grandparents which gave Libin custody and the grandparents visitation rights. The stipulation was entered into at a time when Libin was residing in Israel. The stipulation stated the Supreme Court (in Nassau County) “shall retain exclusive jurisdiction over this matter for the purpose of enforcing or modifying or interpreting the terms of this agreement.”

The child lived for three years with Libin’s parents on Long Island. The paternal grandparents visited regularly.

In 2011, the maternal grandparents found out Libin had taken the child to Israel. At that time, Libin sought to have the jurisdiction over this proceeding transferred from the Supreme Court in Nassau County to courts in Israel. The court’s decision stated even though Libin planned on living in Israel, the signing of the stipulation giving jurisdiction to the New York State Court was still valid.


This is a case where the grandparents’ rights were upheld.helping grandparents

About Elliot S. Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has spent more that 45 years representing individuals in matrimonial and family law cases.