18 – Mothers Interfere With Custody

18 – Mothers interfere with custody
Father still pays support.

In the previous proceeding the court stated as to the parties’ oldest daughter after allowing the mother to keep the children. They never addressed the best interest of the children. Use the following case law to terminate support if being denied your time with your children.

Labanowski v Labanowski, 4 AD.3d 690, 3rd Dept. 2004

We reject the mother’s contention that Supreme Court erred in terminating Cassandra’s child support. While “a parent has a statutory obligation to support his or her child until such time as the child reaches 21 years of age, . . . ‘the child’s right to support and the parent’s right to custody and services are reciprocal’ . . . [and thus] a child of employable age, who actively abandons the noncustodial parent by refusing all contact and visitation, without cause, may be deemed to have forfeited his or her right to support” (Chamberlin v Chamberlin, 240 AD2d 908, 909 [1997] [citations omitted]). Here, the record fully supports the termination of the father’s obligation to support Cassandra who, without justifiable reason, has made it clear to the court that she does not want him in her life, even having him arrested for harassment in 2002 after he left a valentine on the windshield of her car, a charge which was later dismissed.

Remember in the above proceeding there was no valid reason given why the children did not want to see their father and the judge gave custody of the children to the father and found the mother in contempt. See my Rant 17 www.justice4ny.com

Four years later the parties are before the appellate court again. The father has moved to terminate his child support obligation as the next child is now 18 and wants nothing to do with him and to terminate the support for his third child as that child also wants nothing to do with him. Who was his attorney? Was the father sold out? The new ruling states:

Labanowski v Labanowski, 49 AD.3d 1051, 3rd Dept. 2008

On the advice of therapists who examined the children, the parties agreed in their stipulation and judgment that the father’s parenting time with the children “shall be placed on hold while the therapists move forward with the children with therapy with the ultimate goal of providing a true and fair opportunity for the children and the [f]ather to re-establish their relationship and for the children to be healed.” Notably, the stipulation and judgment fail to set any specific timetable or conditions for lifting the “hold.”

The stipulated judgment also, among other things, suspended Supreme Court’s previous judgment of willful contempt against the mother, giving her an opportunity to purge herself. Both parties agreed to take the children as dependents for tax exemption purposes in alternate years and were relieved of any obligation to reimburse the other for any unpaid child support arrears or unreimbursed medical expenses as of March 9, 2004; from that day forward, the parents agreed to share equally all of the children’s unreimbursed medical expenses.

In May 2006, more than two years after the stipulated suspension of his access to the children, the father moved for termination of his child support obligations as to each of them—ages 17 and 15 at that time—based on their abandonment. In opposition, the mother asked Supreme Court to dismiss the father’s application and cross-moved for an order modifying the judgment of divorce by granting her (1) the exclusive right to claim the children as tax exemptions and (2) an order directing that the father retroactively modify his past three years’ tax returns to allow the mother to claim the children as dependents for those years in return for her paying all their unreimbursed medical expenses retroactive to the date of the settlement.

Without the benefit of a hearing, Supreme Court (Sise, J.) granted the father’s motion only as to Vatoria, then 18 years old, terminating her child support as of her 18th birthday, but denied the father’s motion as to Joshua because he was not yet of employable age. The court also denied the mother’s cross motion based on her failure to establish a substantial change in circumstances. The father and the mother now each appeal.

Additionally, where “the custodial parent has unjustifiably frustrated the noncustodial parent’s right of reasonable access, child support payments may be suspended” despite the age of the child(ren) (Matter of Smith v Bombard, 294 AD2d 673, 675 [2002]

Notably, in circumstances as here, where a parent consents—with a goal toward reunification—to an order limiting contact or visitation, the parent may be temporarily precluded from claiming abandonment, although such a claim could be raised after the period specified in the agreement/order or, if one is not specified, after a reasonable period of time (see e.g. Matter of Marotta v Fariello, 207 AD2d 450, 451-452 [1994]).

Ordered that the order is modified, on the law, without costs, by reversing so much thereof as granted respondent’s motion to terminate child support as to Vatoria; said motion denied to that extent and matter remitted to the Supreme Court for further proceedings not inconsistent with this Court’s decision; and, as so modified, affirmed.

My comment: The mother gets her contempt finding suspended for the father to see his children, but after two years he doesn’t get to see them. Why didn’t the father’s attorney demand a time frame for him to see his children? The child would do to the therapist and mother has a week to undue anything the therapist had done. The mother was not about to let the father have a relationship with his children and she was not about to encourage the children to see him. What she said she would do and what she actually did were probably not the same. Why didn’t the court order the support payments be held by the Support Collection Unit until after the proceeding. The issue for the mother is stall, stall and stall. The longer it takes the more support she gets and longer she can keep the children from their father. The courts refuse in vast majority of cases to protect the father’s parenting time, but they will enforce the father paying child support even the court orders that do not comply with the law. Also, there are many psychologists and therapists who believe that the children do not need a father and will protect the mother. This was not the first father this has happened to and it will not be the last.

The mother violates the court order and is rewarded. If the roles were reversed, the outcome would have been different.

Justice4NY – Exposing Judicial Corruption & the Violation of Constitutional Rights

Charles E. Colllins


518-274-0380 www.justice4ny.com. Check out my other “rants” This is #18

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