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Recent Ruling Reinforces Spheres of Custodial Influence

A recent Second Judicial Department ruling affirmed spheres of custodial influence in a New York custody case.

Shared legal and physical custody is now a common post-divorce parenting arrangement. With the trend toward shared time and decision-making responsibility, some couples experience difficulty communicating with each other in the best interests of their children.

My firm has experience with courts willing to create spheres of special influence to reduce parental conflict. These spheres address the strengths of one parent or serve to define responsibilities between two parents.

In the recent appeal of Thorpe v. Homoet, the court affirmed a lower court ruling assigning spheres of legal custody. Some key points of the case include:

  • A motion to grant sole custody of her child to Ms. Homoet was denied. Joint physical and limited legal custody was granted to Mr. Thorpe.
  • As part of the decision, Ms. Homoet was granted sole legal custody to make medical and education decisions on behalf of her child. Mr. Thorpe was granted joint legal custody in all other decisions.

While the compartmentalization of legal responsibilities helps parents in conflicted situations, the couple now parents their child under court order.

When pressed, a court makes necessary decisions and creates structure to enable parents in high-conflict divorce and custody matters. If a couple can reach agreement on issues short of a courtroom, the results are often more suitable to the child and the situation.

If you have difficulty working with your co-parent, seek experienced legal advice. If the matter cannot be resolved outside the courtroom, be sure to retain counsel willing to fight for your rights—and the future of your children.

If you have questions about custody, or spheres of custodial influence, call me at Bryan L. Salamone and Associates, P.C.

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