Won affirmance of order after trial that denied mother’s custody modification petition.
Matter of Dave D. v Cara C., 179 AD3d 560 (1st Dept. 2020)
In this custody modification proceeding, the First Department accepted my arguments that Family Court properly determined that there was no change in circumstances to warrant a modification of the 2016 custody order, and that a change in custody would not be in the best interests of the child. The father had argued that he was the more suitable parent to help the child academically and that the mother was always interfering with his parenting time. However, the Court accepted my argument that the child has struggled academically since 2011, which undermines the father’s claim that there has been a change in circumstances with respect to her education since the entry of the 2016 order. Moreover, the record shows that the mother helped the child with her homework each night, obtained and continuously renewed an individualized education plan for the child, attended parent-teacher conferences, and regularly communicated with the child’s teachers. By contrast, the father failed to demonstrate that the child’s academic problems would be ameliorated if custody were transferred to him. The Court also accepted my argument that when it came to his parenting time, he was particularly intransigent and even when the father was entitled to the entire weekend with the child, if pickup did not occur on Friday evening or Saturday morning, he made no further attempt to see his child. Finally, the Court accepted my argument that the mother’s actions demonstrated an ability to nurture a relationship between the child and father that further tips the scales in the mother’s favor.