When a Long Island, NY woman was indicted on January 3, 2019 for attempting to poison her husband, the implications of the criminal allegations extended far beyond potential jail time.
The parental rights of the mother of two children, ages four and eight years old, is in jeopardy.. A divorce case is now proceeding in Suffolk County Family Court.
Issues related to minor children are a top concern under New York State divorce laws. Equally important aspects include child custody, visitation, and support. Divorcing parents are encouraged to agree on custody and visitation. However, a judge will make the decision, if a compromise can not be reached. Finally, the child’s best interests are a paramount consideration with custody and visitation for minor children.
Relevant factors include:
- Financial condition of the respective parents;
- How each parent intends to work out child care;
- The child’s preference, where age-appropriate;
- The physical and mental health of each parent;
- Any history of violence or abuse against the other parent;
- Interference with visitation rights;
- Conditions in the home environment; and,
- Many others.
Based on some of these factors, it is likely that the Long Island woman will lose visitation rights.
Her husband previously acquired primary residential custody, of the the children, during divorce proceedings. Divorce attorney Richard J. Bombardo, of the Bombardo Law Office, PC in Syracuse, NY, offered some insight on how the incident will affect child custody and visitation in a divorce case. “Obviously, this is an extreme example of how your conduct can affect issues related to minor children in divorce. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of the child’s best interests standard in New York.”
Mr. Bombardo added, “Though parents do have some rights regarding custody or visitation, a court can easily take them away when the arrangement runs contrary to the best interests of the child.”
The children witnessed the attempted poisoning, of their father, on two of the three occasions. According to video surveillance footage, the mother took them along when she broke into her husband’s apartment. As a result, this evidence may have contributed to a loss of parental visitation rights. For instance.
Mr. Bombardo mentioned that he often counsels his clients about their conduct in a divorce case, especially when the matter involves contested child custody and visitation.
“It’s rare that I have to tell clients to avoid criminal activity, violence, or abuse. Unfortunately, divorce cases can get heated. Parties need to understand that the child’s best interests are critical, and you can’t justify misconduct with emotion.”
Discuss New York’s child’s best interests standard with Bombardo Law at 315.350.3799