APPELLATE COURT FINDS THAT MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS WERE NOT THE BEST OPTION TO ACT AS SUPERVISORS OF VISITATION
DIVORCE LAWYER Nassau County NY
H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator with over 34 years of experience suggests where supervised visitation with children is appropriate, that the qualifications and availability of the supervisors must be scrutinized.
In a recent case decided by the Appellate Division Second Judicial Department, the Court was presented with a situation where the mother required supervised child visitation and the lower Court directed expanded alternating weekend supervised child visitation with the maternal grandparents acting as the supervisors. Essentially, supervised child visitation is appropriate where unsupervised child visits can be detrimental to the subject child. The central issue in the case was whether the maternal grandparents would responsibly provide the requisite supervision to ensure the children’s safety during the visit. In reversing the lower Court, the Appellate Division found that the lower Court did not determine the willingness or ability of the maternal grandparents to adequately supervise the children for the entire weekend visit. The Appellate Court referred the case back to the lower Court to redetermine the mother’s supervised parenting time with the children.
This is not an unfamiliar situation. There are times where the proposed supervisor of child visitation is not in Court or is too closely aligned with the party under supervision. In the first example, the Court does not have the opportunity to extensively question the proposed supervisor to determine whether the person is capable of providing the necessary oversight. In the second example, a close relative may have his or her loyalties tested by the parent who will seek a measure of liberty with the child, free of supervision by the relative. Oftentimes, the relative will have the supervised child visit in a residential setting and may not remain in the same room as the parent under supervision (with the child). These scenarios are particularly troublesome for the Courts. Accordingly, proper, and extensive vetting of the proposed supervisor becomes a paramount concern for the Court. In a case that I settled last year; the problem was addressed in part by the supervised child visit taking place in a restaurant. However, as the pandemic has reduced the available options for supervised child visitation in public, there may be more cases along the lines of the one referred to in this blog.
I have been litigating child custody and divorce cases for more than three decades. Recent results can be found within the TESTIMONIALS page on this website.
Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island matrimonial practice over the past 34 years. Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq. a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.
My Nassau County office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.
Written by, H. MICHAEL STERN, Divorce & Child Custody Lawyer