RECENT APPELLATE DECISION PREVENTS THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD FROM BLOCKING A SETTLEMENT REACHED BY THE PARTIES
Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator with over 37 years of experience notes that if the parties reach a custodial settlement which is acceptable to the Court, it cannot be vetoed by the child’s attorney.
In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department, the Court held that where the parties settled their custody case by a stipulation, the attorney for the child could not veto the settlement. The Appellate Division stated that the child does not have full party status and cannot veto a settlement and force a trial. However, the Court made it clear that the attorney for the child had to be afforded a full and fair opportunity to be heard beforehand. The Court also noted that the attorney for the child retained the right to appeal (presumably as said attorney was not a party to the settlement reached in the Court).
In my opinion, this decision was timely and placed family law practitioners on notice that the attorney for the child retains an advisory role in the context of a settlement of a custody case and cannot obstruct a settlement because the child is dissatisfied with the result.
I always use my best efforts to settle all Family Court custody and Supreme Court divorce cases. 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 practice over the past 37 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 New York matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.
My 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, Esq.