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Several cases on the issue of modification of a Court ordered custody determination. (FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY …NOT TO BE USED IN LITIGATION)

“[A] custody [and visitation] determination is a matter entrusted primarily to the discretion of the trial court which is in the most advantageous position to evaluate the testimony, character, and sincerity of the parties” (Santoro v Santoro, 224 AD2d 510, 511; see Eschbach v Eschbach, 56 NY2d 167, 171).

“In determining whether a custody agreement should be modified, the paramount issue before the court is whether, under the totality of the circumstances, a modification of custody is in the best interests of the child” (Cuccurullo v Cuccurullo, 21 AD3d 983, 984; see Teuschler v Teuschler, 242 AD2d 289, 290; Kuncman v Kuncman, 188 AD2d 517).

“Along with the factors considered in any custody determination, the court must also consider the stability and continuity afforded by maintaining the present arrangement” (Gonzalez v Gonzalez, 17 AD3d 635, 636). “When . . . there is no indication that a change of [physical] custody will result in significantly enhancing the child’s welfare, it is generally considered in the child’s best interests not to disrupt his life” (Matter of Salvati v Salvati, 221 AD2d 541, 543; see Matter of Russell v Russell, 72 AD3d 973, 974-975).

“[A] noncustodial parent should have reasonable rights of visitation, and the denial of those rights to a natural parent is a drastic remedy which should only be invoked when there is substantial evidence that visitation would be detrimental to the child” (Matter of Mera v Rodriguez, [*3]73 AD3d 1069, 1069 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Matter of Sinnott-Turner v Kolba, 60 AD3d 774, 775; Matter of Grisanti v Grisanti, 4 AD3d 471, 473). ” While not determinative, the child’s expressed preference is some indication of what is in the child’s best interests,'” provided that the court consider ” the age and maturity of the child and the potential for influence having been exerted on the child'” (Matter of Schouten v Schouten, 155 AD2d 461, 463, quoting Eschbach v Eschbach, 56 NY2d at 173).



ATTORNEY ADVERTISING: Information herein and is not intended to be, legal advice. This sample legal document is provided as part of a free public educational service by Zachary Irtaza Riyaz, Esq., attorney at law in the State of New York (Westhampton – Tel. 516-234-0348), for reference only. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT A SPECIFIC LEGAL PROBLEM, NOR DOES IT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. Due to the importance of the individual facts of every case, the generalizations I make may not necessarily be applicable to any particular case. Statutes and codes such as Domestic Relations Law (DRL)are frequently amended and may affect the validity of the above legal document and no representation is made that the above sample is going to be enforceable in the future. Changes in the law could at any time make parts of this web site content obsolete. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Legislature Website. No statute or sample legal document should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT IF LEGAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED A COMPETENT ATTORNEY SHALL BE CONSULTED.