A Hard-Won Case Defending a Father’s Rights
In a unique and groundbreaking decision, the court has transferred custody of a ten-year-old girl from the custodial parent (the mother) to the child’s father. The court has also prohibited the mother from contacting the child.
The firm of Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. handles thousands of fathers’ rights cases. In this instance, I was able to obtain the immediate transfer of custody to a father who had not had unsupervised time with his daughter in over a year.
For more than one year, the court limited the father’s visitation to supervised therapeutic visitation only. The mother still was not happy and continued to obstruct the supervised visitation. After a lengthy hearing with testimony from an expert forensic psychologist, two treating therapists, the parties, and their relatives the court stated that the father’s allegations that the mother was interfering with reunification was supported, and justified an immediate change in custody. In fact, the court stated that the mother’s behavior was so inconsistent with the best interests of the child that it raised the probability that the mother was unfit. There was testimony that the child’s symptoms (and acting out) were a direct result of the mother’s influence. In this case, the mother caused the child to act in a mentally ill fashion and to display a deep hatred and hostility toward her father. Through expert testimony, I was able to show that the child acting out and directing aggression toward her father was actually an effort to “please” her mother.
The court-appointed law guardian (the attorney for the child) argued strenuously against the transfer of custody, according to his client’s wishes.
The treating psychologist and the law guardian testified that it went against the child’s best interests to be transferred to the father. Whenever a mother’s attorney presents an expert, the case becomes an uphill battle. Furthermore, the judge relayed in his decision that when the child was able to speak to the judge in private, she vehemently refused to have anything to do with her father.
Nevertheless, we won this one in dramatic fashion. It was through expert testimony, questioning, and cross-examination that the judge was swayed to make an extreme decision: immediate transfer of custody from a mother to a father whom the child has not visited without supervision in over a year.
It is against all odds that this dramatic change of custody has occurred. Within twenty-four hours, it was brought to the Appellate Division but custody remains, as it should, with the father pending the outcome of this matter.