A mother is the custodial parent of two teenagers.
She seeks to modify a custody and visitation order from Family Court because the father is in prison for severe domestic violence against another partner and the children no longer wish to visit their father in prison every month.
The woman also filed for divorce in Supreme Court and requested that the Family Court proceedings and the Supreme Court proceedings be consolidated, so they could all be heard together.
Her husband opposed the consolidation request and also asked for the cases to be removed to a different county.
What SHOULD Have happened?
All of the cases should already have been able to be heard in one court, before one judge. Logically, these related cases should have been considered together without needing a motion to consolidate, which invited abuse of the court’s time and resources for no legitimate purpose.
Why Does This Matter?
The client is now litigating related issues in two separate courts and is awaiting a time-consuming transfer of the divorce case to another county, even though the cases will not necessarily be heard together there.
What DID Happen:
A mother is the custodial parent of two teenagers and has been estranged from her husband for several years. There is a history of domestic violence, and the father is incarcerated in a maximum security prison in upstate New York, with no possibility of release while the children are minors.
The parties have a custody and visitation order from Family Court that the client wished to modify because the children no longer wished to spend a weekend every month visiting their father in prison, who is incarcerated for severe domestic violence against another partner. The woman also wished to divorce her husband and filed for an uncontested divorce and sought consolidation of the cases.
The father contested the divorce from prison, asking for equitable distribution, and refused to consent to consolidation. He also refused to allow the client to proceed in NY County on her divorce because the parties had lived in another borough together. (The venue had no bearing on the husband as he was appearing telephonically from prison.)
The client is now litigating related issues in two separate courts and is awaiting a time consuming transfer of the divorce case to another county, even though the cases will not necessarily be heard together there.