Phillip J. Jusino & Associates, P.C.
Call Today, Free Consultation (631) 615-1724

Defiance of custody order can be expensive

A custody determination in New York is complex. There is the statutory requirement that it be in the "best interests of the child." There is case law, which has interpreted that term and numerous cases that have laid out various factors that a judge can or should consider when making a custody determination. And there are the individual facts of a specific case.

Putting all of these elements together can be a demanding task. This is where your divorce attorney can help, by explaining the factors a court may consider and then helping you create the story that demonstrates how those facts support your arguments.

However, it is important to make the distinction between arguments that are viable during the initial determination process and those that are viable once  the court order that implements the custody agreement is in place. For instance, in a recent dispute involving television personality Bill O'Reilly and his ex-wife regarding their custody arrangement, the wife claims the couple's 17-year-old daughter did not want to visit O'Reilly for a week as permitted under the visitation provisions.

She said the daughter was old enough to "vote with her feet" and not spend any time with her father. The judge explained that while the preferences of a child were a factor a that could be considered when drawing up a custody order, once that order was effective, all parties were bound and would need to comply with the terms of the agreement. The court fined the mother $310,000 for defying the court order.

Many custody orders expire when the child turns age 18, and if that is the case here, there may not be enough time to negotiate  or litigate a change in the agreement that could take into consideration the daughter's current preferences.

A custody agreement or parenting plan that allows for modification as the children age can be a helpful feature of the agreement, but its functional value may depend on the willingness of the parties to cooperate over the life of the agreement.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We can help. email or call (631) 615-1724 to schedule a free consultation today.

Phillip J. Jusino & Associates, P.c.

Experienced & Aggressive Legal Representation

2780 Middle Country Road Suite 208 Lake Grove, NY 11755 Phone: 631-615-1724 Fax: 631-588-0603 Lake Grove Law Office Map

Divorce: a Practical Guide

Divorce: A Practical Guide

Attorney Jusino’s new book on divorce is an easy read and full of valuable information. Learn More