Siblings Nicole and Jordan witnessed their father physically and emotionally abuse their mother on many occasions. Often the children intervened to protect their mother from their father’s abuse. In 2003, Nicole’s father beat her after she told her mother that her father had removed some documents from her mother’s car. This incident resulted in the issuance of a full stay away Order of Protection. In the eight years since that incident, the children have seen their father on less than ten occasions.
In in re J.R. v. N.R. Nicole and Jordan’s father petitioned for visitation. Nicole was seventeen and Jordan was thirteen at the time the petition was filed. From 2002 until the case was decided, the father filed at least sixteen petitions in Family Court against the mother. Both children vehemently opposed any relationship with their father. The Family Court denied the father’s application for visitation and held that no further petitions for visitation could be filed by the father without the permission of the Court.
In deciding to prevent further petitions for visitation by the father, the Court in found that forced visitation with their father would not serve the children’s best interest and would instead cause them great anxiety. The Court made the right decision but why did it take almost a decade for these children to be given a chance to move on with their lives?
Custody and visitation proceedings represent some of the most contentious and difficult cases that come before the Family Courts. These cases frequently drag on for years and have a detrimental effect on the children caught in the middle of legal battles between their parents.… <Read More>