Justice Connelly, sitting in the Supreme Court of Westchester County, modified a joint custody order and gave the father sole temporary custody of both of his children. The parties had entered into a stipulation of settlement wherein each of them would have joint custody. The children would reside with the mother and the father would have regular parenting time with the children.
Prior to a judgment of divorce being entered, the children were removed from the mother’s residence. There was an incident which alleged that she was using physical force against the older child. Criminal charges were pending against the mother.
The children were temporarily placed in the father’s custody during the pendency of the criminal allegations against the mother. The mother asked the court to award her sole physical and legal custody of the parties youngest child and joint custody of the parties other child. The mother argued that this was in conformity with the recommendation of a court appointed forensic evaluator. Judge Connelly rejected the forensic evaluator’s suggestions. He found that splitting the children up could cause more potential trauma and harm. The court refused to transfer the temporary custody of the younger child to the mother. She awarded the father, based on the children’s best interest, temporary custody of both children.
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