Won affirmance of custody order granted to father on his modification petition.
Matter of Shu Jiao Zhao v Wei Rong, 183 AD3d 895 (2nd Dept 2020)
In this medication of child custody proceeding where I also represented the father in Family Court, the Second Department accepted my defense against a slew of arguments by the appellant mother. First, the Court agreed with my argument that the breakdown in the relationship between the mother and the child, which resulted in the child not wanting to live in the mother’s home, constituted a change of circumstances warranting an inquiry into whether a modification of the custody order was necessary to ensure the child’s best interests. Second, the Court agreed with my argument there is no basis in the record to disturb the Family Court’s determination that the mother’s testimony was not credible, and that it was in the best interests of the child to award the father sole legal and physical custody. The Court further agreed with my argument that, the child, who was 14 years old at the time of the hearing, expressed a wish to live with the father. Although her wish is not controlling, it is some indication of what is in her best interests, particularly where, as here, the child’s age and maturity would make her input particularly meaningful