In a case before Denise McDermott in the Family Court of Madison County, New York two unmarried parents of a 4 year old child named Katey sought custody of her. The mother brought a lawsuit seeking sole custody, both legal and physical custody. The father of the child petitioned the court for joint custody with shared placement of the child on a week to week basis.
During the period of time the father and mother were living together there were 3 incidents of domestic violence. In 2 of the instances Katey was present. The father explained the incidents as being related to his being in a stressful situation and making poor choices. He claimed he had learned to control his temper and these incidents would not happen again.
The Primary Caretaker
The court found Katey’s primary caregiver was her mother. The court found the mother provided financial support for her with little or no contribution from the father. The court found the mother shared a willingness to try to keep the father informed. The court found the mother kept the father involved in Katey’s life. The court also found she maintained a good relationship with the paternal grandmother.
The Father’s Issues
Judge McDermott did not find there was a reciprocal commitment from the father who claimed he could not or would not discuss issues with the mother. He also claimed his relationship with the maternal grandmother was very poor.
The court did not doubt the father’s deep love of his daughter Katey. The court also found that he was willing to act as a appropriate good parent. However, Judge McDermott ruled the mother was the better of the two parents. She was more nurturing. The court also found the domestic incidents the father was engaged in indicated that joint custody would be inappropriate.
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney who has been representing clients in divorce proceedings throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 3 decades. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or Elliot@sdnylaw.com.