by Bruce Eden –
17 Mothers interfere with custody with impunity –
[Editors Note: Courts promote Gender Bias; customarily called sex discrimination – but it’s only against men, that is fathers, thus destroying the children’s lives, this is child abuse. See the results in the inner cities where the family structure has been fiddled with by the governments.]
New York Courts have reversed custody to fathers because of mothers’ interference with father-child relationship causing parental alienation. Matter of Preciado v. Ireland, 125 A.D.3d 662 (2nd Dept. 2015); Matter of Kayla Y. v. Peter Z., 125 A.D.3d 1126 (3rd Dept. 2015). Father granted change of custody because of parental alienation by mother. Matter of Halioris v. Halioris, 126 A.D.3d 973 (2nd Dept. 2015). Mother repeatedly filed false allegations of abuse and violated orders regarding visitation-parenting time. “A concerted effort by one parent to interfere with the other parent’s contact with the child is so inimical to the best interests of the child. . . as to, per se, raise a storng possibility that the interfering parent is unfit.” Custody granted to father and mother only awarded supervised visitation. Matter of Ordona v. Cothern, 126 A.D.3d 1544 (4th Dept. 2015).
Mother interfered with father’s relationship with child by blatantly and repeatedly violating court’s directive not to discuss the litigation with the child, attempting to instill in child a fear of the father. Custody to father. Matter of Viscuso v. Viscuso, 129 A.D.3d 1679 (4th Dept. 2015).
Trial court found that mother had successfully alienated two teenage boys from father and was on the way to doing the same with 11-year old daughter. Father given primary custody to remedy situation. T.K. v. D.K., NYLJ 1202734169959, at *1 (Nassau County Supreme Court 7/17/2015).
Also, New York State has recently recognized parental alienation as justification in suspension of the father’s obligation to make future child support payments in Coull v. Rottman, 131 A.D.3d 964 (2d Dept 2015); See Rodman v Friedman, 112 A.D.3d 537; Ledgin v Ledgin, 36 A.D.3d 669, 670, when the court found there was a “pattern of alienation” resulting from the mother’s interference with a regular schedule of visitation. Matter of Thompson v. Thompson, 2010 NY Slip Op 08120 (78 A.D.3d 845), in which the Second Department affirmed a Westchester County Family Court ruling to suspend James Thompson’s child support obligation because the mother of his son “deliberately frustrated visitation by manipulating the child’s loyalty and orchestrating and encouraging the estrangement of father and son.”
Parents have a duty to continually support their children until they are 21 years old, the court wrote in Thompson. “However, where the noncustodial parent establishes that his or her right of reasonable access to the child has been unjustifiably frustrated by the custodial parent, child support payments may be suspended,” the court said, citing the Appellate Division, Third Department’s 2008 decision in Matter of Crouse v. Crouse, 53 A.D.3d 750 (3rd Dept. 2008).
Numerous courts throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and other countries have specifically recognized parental alienation syndrome. The following states observe Parental Alienation Awareness Day, which is on April 25th of every year: New York, Maine, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, West Virginia, Indiana, and Oklahoma. The following countries observe Parental Alienation Awareness Day: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States. There are hundreds of reported and unreported decisions in the United States alone.
In fact, testimony concerning parental alienation syndrome and malicious mother syndrome has been admitted in courts in the United States and other countries and is specifically recognized and acknowledged by the courts of New York as a factor in reversing custody to the non-alienating, non-abusing spouse: Young v. Young, 212 A.D.2d 114-115, 124, 628 N.Y.S.2d 957 (2nd Dept. 1995); Gago v. Acevedo, 214 A.D.2d 565, 566, 625 N.Y.S.2d 250, leave to appeal denied, 86 N.Y.2d 706, 632 N.Y.S.2d 500, 656 N.E.2d 599; Ulmer v. Ulmer, 254 A.D.2d 541, 678 N.Y.S.2d 685 (3rd Dept. 1998); Rauschmeier v. Rauschmeier, 237 A.D.2d 702, 654 N.Y.S.2d 54 (3rd Dept. 1997); Walden v. Walden, 112 A.D.2d 1035, 492 N.Y.S.2d 827 (2nd Dept. 1985); J.F. v. L.F., 181 Misc.2d 722, 694 N.Y.S.2d 592, affirmed 270 A.D.2d 489, 705 N.Y.S.2d 281, leave to appeal denied 95 N.Y.2d 756, 712 N.Y.S.2d 448, 734 N.E.2d 760 (1999); State of New York v. Loomis, 172 Misc.2d 265, 658 N.Y.S.2d 787 (Suffolk Cty. 1997); Karen B. v. Clyde M., 151 Misc.2d 794, 574 N.Y.S.2d 267 (1991);A.R. v. S.E., New York Law Journal, December 11, 1990:27-28.
Other Appellate Division, Second Department cases where the custodial parent interfered with the noncustodial parent’s right to visitation, which conduct led the Court to change custody to the father, can be found in Matter of Muller v. Muller, 221 A.D.2d 635, 636, 634 N.Y.S.2d 190; Carl J.B. v. Dorothy T., 186 A.D.2d 736, 589 N.Y.S.2d 53; Matter of Sandra C. v. Christian D., 244 A.D.2d 551, 664 N.Y.S.2d 472; Notley v. Schmeid, 220 A.D.2d 509, 632 N.Y.S.2d 195.
One of the primary responsibilities of a custodial parent is to assure meaningful contact between the children and the other parent, and the willingness of a parent to assure such meaningful contact between the children and the other parent is a factor to be considered in making a custody determination. Cuccurullo v. Cuccurullo, 21 A.D.3d 983, 801 N.Y.S.2d 360 (2nd Dept. 2005). A concerted effort by one parent to interfere with the other parent’s contact with the children is so inimical to the best interests of the children–the paramount concern in a custody case (see, Turner v. Turner, 260 A.D.2d 953, 689 N.Y.S.2d 269, 270; Matter of De Losh v. De Losh, 235 A.D.2d 851, 852, 652 N.Y.S.2d 821, lv. denied 89 N.Y.2d 813, 658 N.Y.S.2d 243, 680 N.E.2d 617; Matter of Buhrmeister v. McFarland, 235 A.D.2d 846, 847, 652 N.Y.S.2d 661))–as to, per se, raise a strong probability that the interfering parent is unfit to act as custodial parent (Finn v. Finn, 176 A.D.2d 1132, 1133, 575 N.Y.S.2d 591, quoting Entwistle v. Entwistle, 61 A.D.2d 380, 384-385, 402 N.Y.S.2d 213; see, Young v. Young, 212 A.D.2d at 124). In the instant case at bar, Plaintiff Jessica Tomczyk’s behavior involving violent thoughts and tendencies, as well as violence against the Defendant, and making false allegations casts significant doubt upon her capacity to provide for the emotional and intellectual development of the children (see, Matter of Louise E.S. v. W. Stephen S., 64 N.Y.2d 946, 947, 488 N.Y.S.2d 637, 477 N.E.2d 1091; Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167 at 172). In Nir v. Nir, 568 N.Y.S.2d 452 (2nd Dept. 1991), wife’s personality disorders showing history of distorting the truth supported decision to award custody to father.
Plaintiff has serially alleged false domestic violence allegations which were subsequently denied and dismissed by the Court. The order of protection was dismissed because of the failure to demonstrate sufficient evidence for the need of such a drastic and draconian remedy. See, Bagner v. Bagner, 207 A.D.2d 367, 615 N.Y.S.2d 737, 738, (2nd Dept. 1994). Also, in Gago v. Acevedo, supra, which combined many types of interference with visitation, the Second Department gave custody to the father where the mother “persistently interfered with the father’s visitation rights by making unfounded allegations of abuse against the father, by coaching the child to make unfounded allegations of abuse, and by causing disruption to the child’s visitation . . . with father”.
And there’s a ton more NY Appellate caselaw where custody is reversed to fathers that I have researched and used in NY Petitions and appeals.
NJ & NY
On 5/11/2017 11:26 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Mothers interfere with custody with impunity.
This is one of the worst cases I have seen where the mother refused to allow the father to see his children and in fact turned the children against him so they wanted nothing to do with him. The father told me that the mother’s sister did the exact same thing with her children when they divorced. The court after a trial awarded the father custody and had the children placed in foster care first because the children had been so alienated by the mother.
Within a couple of hours of the ruling, the mother had a stay of the supreme court ruling by Judge Edward O. Spain and he gave the children back to her. According to the father, the mother’s father was very influential in the area so that the matter was heard by a judge from another county.
I should mention that Spain is one of the most corrupt democrat judges in this state as he does not follow the law and even lies about the facts of a case in order to reach his conclusion. He is out to destroy fathers and to strip litigants of their rights. He also illegally protects corrupt judges and the illegal actions of district attorneys. As documented on my website, Spain is a terrorist.
The Appellate Court overruled the supreme court judge by holding:
Labanowski v Labanowski, 4 AD.3d 690, 3rd Dept. 2004
As a result of the repeated breakdown in visitation, the father filed three motions in Supreme Court primarily seeking a change in custody and that the mother be held in contempt. The contempt charges stemmed from the mother’s violation of the court’s visitation orders by, among other things, failing to cooperate in the therapeutic visitation counseling between the children and the father and failing to bring the children to the home of the father’s parents in August 2002 for a family reunion visit. Following a three-day hearing in September and October 2002 focused on facts surrounding the alleged contempt, Supreme Court issued a decision and order finding no legitimate reason for the children’s refusal to visit with their father and concluding that the mother had knowledge of the court’s directives and willfully violated its orders, “either by omission or commission.” As a sanction for the mother’s contempt, Supreme Court “pendente lite” transferred custody of the children to the father with physical custody in the Warren County Department of Social Services for placement in foster care. The court further directed that the mother has visitation with the children only in the presence of the children’s counselor, initially for no more than one hour per week, and that the mother’s parents not have any visitation with the children pending further instructions from the court. The court also ordered that the father’s initial visits with the children be in the presence of their counselor for two hours per week, terminated the father’s child support obligation with respect to Cassandra, the oldest child, and awarded him counsel fees. The mother, father and the children—through their Law Guardian —have all appealed.
The father told me it was the mother’s father behind the alienation. Notice only the child support for the child oldest child but not the two younger children. Why should he continue to pay child support if the court awarded him custody?
To summarize, despite the initial Family Court joint custody order and supplemental orders of visitation, the children have refused to visit with their father since shortly after the parties’ separation. Repeated and persistent attempts by the father, the court and several professionals have been unsuccessful. As a result, in the last four years there has been little, if any, genuine visitation and virtually no relationship between the father and his children. The father insists on being given the opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with his children and nothing contained in the record supports the ongoing denial of that right. The children, now 15 and 13, have expressed that they do not love their father and do not want to visit with him and, even when they have physically appeared in a therapeutic setting, they have nearly always refused to talk to him. When on a number of occasions during the summer of 2002, under court order and threat of contempt, the mother delivered them to a neutral visitation site, they either refused to get out of her car or, if they did get out of the car and remained in his presence during the visitation period, they openly expressed hostility or did not speak at all.
According to the therapists, there is no justifiable reason for the children to be so resistant to visiting with their father and he represents absolutely no danger to them.
“To sustain a finding of civil contempt based upon a violation of a court order, it is necessary to establish that a lawful court order clearly expressing an unequivocal mandate was in effect and that the person alleged to have violated that order had actual knowledge of its terms” (Graham v Graham, 152 AD2d 653, 654  [citations omitted]). It must also be demonstrated that the offending conduct or failure to act “defeated, impaired, impeded or prejudiced” a right or remedy of the moving party (Judiciary Law § 753 [A]; see Paulmann v Paulmann, 224 AD2d 891, 893 ; Matter of Frandsen v Frandsen, 190 AD2d 975, 976 ). “Although it is not necessary that the order actually have been served upon that party, actual notice is an essential predicate to a contempt order” (Graham v Graham, supra at 654 [citation omitted]).
Despite our determination to uphold Supreme Court’s finding of contempt, we find that it was error for the court to impose a change in custody as a sanction. The penalty for civil contempt is limited to a “fine and imprisonment, or either” (Judiciary Law § 753 [A]; see Family Ct Act § 156). To be sure, a custodial parent’s willful interference with a noncustodial parent’s right to visitation has been deemed, in some cases, to be an act ” ‘so inconsistent with the best interests of the children as to, per se, raise a strong probability that the [offending party] is unfit to act as a custodial parent’ ” (Matter of Glenn v Glenn, 262 AD2d 885, 887 , lv dismissed, lv denied 94 NY2d 782 , quoting Entwistle v Entwistle, 61 AD2d 380, 384-385 , appeal dismissed 44 NY2d 851 ; accord Matter of Ahmad v Naviwala, 306 AD2d 588, 591 , lv dismissed 100 NY2d 615 ). However, “[w]hile ‘a party’s prior misconduct or “bad act” may be considered if that conduct impacts upon the best interests of the children,’ the issuance of a final order [changing] custody as a punishment to the ‘ “recalcitrant parent” ‘ without a full and plenary hearing on this issue, was error” (Matter of Hess v Hess, 243 AD2d 763, 764-765  [citations omitted]; cf. Matter of Glenn v Glenn, supra at 887).
While Supreme Court acknowledged that a change in custody was an issue, albeit at a late stage in the contempt hearing, the court throughout the hearing regularly reiterated that it was a contempt hearing and precluded most of the witnesses from directly testifying to best interests’ evidence.
(As documented above, the order stated “primarily seeking a change in custody and that the mother be held in contempt”. Notice the “and” between custody and contempt. Was the court now claiming there was no modification petition before it even after making the above statement? What were the 3 motions? Also, the court in my Rant 16, sentenced the father to jail for 6 months for interfering with the mother’s parenting time and gave her custody because he would be in jail. The father did not alienate the children from the mother. Why wasn’t the same done here? Because it is a mother and not a father! The best interests were determined when the court held the mother had violated the court orders.)
The mother did not appeal from Supreme Court’s September 25, 2002 temporary order directing that the father’s support payments be paid into escrow rather than to her and, thus, her claims of error cannot be addressed. Further, although the record supports the conclusion that the mother’s lack of cooperation with the court-ordered visitation was willful and harmful, we cannot agree with the father’s assertion that Supreme Court erred in not incarcerating her. Incarceration was, and remains, but one of the discretionary options available to the court in this initial civil contempt proceeding (see Judiciary Law § 753 [A]).
(The matter was sent back to the lower court to determine the mother’s punishment. The parties were back to court and another appeal was determined in 2008. That will be addressed in support issues. As will be documented the parties worked out, in my opinion, a one sided agreement that the mother had no intention of following as she got what she wanted.
I will also bet, the mother got all of the child support while depriving the father of a relationship with his children.)
Spain, Mugglin, Rose, Lahtinen and Kane, JJ.
The mother was unfit to be the custodial parent. If you do a violation petition, always do a modification petition. The mother has destroyed the father’s relationship with his three children and the appellate court protects the mother. Do you really think the judge will put the mother in jail? Absolutely not. If this was a father, he would be in jail and a change of custody as documented in my Rant 15. What actions were taken to give the father meaningful contact with his children? Nothing was done. Notice, even the law guardian, the mother’s second attorney, appealed.
The standard to be applied in all disputes between parents, involving custody, is the best interests of the child. Matter of Esbach v. Esbach, 56 N.Y. 2d 167.
In Bliss v. Asch, 56 N.Y.2d 995 (1982) the court addressed the issue of custodial parent maintaining meaningful contact with the other parent. It is the court’s responsibility to make sure whoever is awarded custody of the child continues to ensure meaningful contact of the child with the other parent.
In another case, the mother died. The father got a job in another state and took the children. Several months later, the police came and took his children and brought them back to New York as the mother’s parents decided that they wanted custody of the children as the father did not have joint custody of them and got a judge to issue an order for the police to take the children from the father and bring them back to New York. The father was forced to quit his job in order fight this issue in New York and to be able to see his children. I do not know the outcome of the case.
In another case where the mother died, the father came to me to stop the child support payments. Because of the previous case, I told him to file for custody and told him why. The father allowed his children to stay with the mother’s family for the week. Surprise, when he went to pick up the children, the mother’s sister asked him how he wanted to work out his visitation with his children as she was planning on raising them. He did get custody.
I didn’t see my children for over six years because Judge James and Judge Ferradino refused to enforce my parenting time and also covered up the fact that the ex wasn’t even living with the children. The ex subsequently after 4 years and 4 different proceedings in court lost custody of her youngest 8-year old daughter to the other father and subsequently agreed to no visitation because of her actions. This should have happened after the first proceeding. Ever hear of a mother not being able to see her daughter? As a note, I helped the other father protect his daughter.
From what I have seen, judges are there to protect the mother, and rarely enforce the father’s parenting time. The court keeps postponing the matter until the father usually gives up. I have a veteran who just won his appeal dated December 29, 2016 to have his matter heard about not seeing his son. It has been over two years since he last saw his son and the trial is not until September, 2017. This 9 months after the decision. The father has moved to Ohio as he has not been able to see his son. They were making him jump through hoops. He did everything that has been asked of him and they keep refusing to enforce his parenting time. In fact, he was sent to Jewish Family Services and his actions were appropriate and then the court demanded a psychological evaluation from the VA that also came back in his favor. All the mother has to do is make an allegation.
Bruce Eden, Director
Dads Against Discrimination (DADS)
Fathers’ Rights Consultant & Activist
Constitutional law & Family law legal technician
Ph.D. in Family Court Corruption
(Click on New Jersey webpage)