Child custody matters are the most contentious issues in many New York
divorce cases. Divorcing parents tend to have strong opinions about custody,
parenting time and parenting plans, and it can be difficult to reach agreements.
In many cases, however, it is possible to come up with a suitable child
custody arrangement by working hard outside of court, with the assistance
of family law attorneys, to come up with a plan that is in the best interests
of the children involved.
In other cases, it is not possible to resolve things outside of court and
it is necessary to engage in litigation. In order to minimize any related
trauma for children, as well as manage court-related expenses, New York
law states that
child custody proceedings must take no longer than 90 days.
Nonetheless, for a variety of reasons courts do not always hand down child
custody decisions within that time frame. One Manhattan case has dragged
on for three years, and the mother has now filed a lawsuit against the judge.
The mother is accusing the Manhattan Family Court Referee of stretching
the case out, causing her to incur rising legal fees while her ex-husband
makes decisions regarding their child's upbringing. In March, another
parent filed a lawsuit against the same judge after a child custody motion
was reportedly left pending for more than one year.
In this current case, there are reportedly disagreements surrounding the
schooling and religious upbringing of the now 9-year-old child; the girl's
mother is Catholic and her father is Jewish.
The father has blamed the mother, in part, for slowing down the legal process
by filing numerous appeals.
While the outcome of the mother's lawsuit remains to be seen, the case
illustrates the time-consuming and costly nature of child custody litigation.
In some cases, going to court is necessary. However, in many cases, it
is preferable for Poughkeepsie parents to design their own practical child
custody arrangements, on their own timelines, by working through disagreements
outside of court.
Source: New York Post, "
Mom sues judge over 3-year custody battle," Julia Marsh, Dec. 2, 2013