Fourth Ward – Custody: Crofoot vs. Crofoot

New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Division


Joint Custody – Physical Custody

Crofoot vs. Crofoot

CA 21-01713

Appeal to Supreme Court, Monroe County

background: The plaintiff mother and the children’s attorney are appealing a judgment that gave the parties joint custody of the affected children and the defendant father primary physical custody of the children.

Verdict: The Appeals Department reversed. The court ruled that it was unacceptable to give joint custody of young children to the parents, particularly when joint responsibility and control involves alternating custody when the parents are highly feuding and contentious. The parties disagree on where the children should go to school, the details of their medical care, whether the children need routine in their lives, whether the older child should receive their allergy medication or seek counseling, and whether the younger child should Speech needs therapy or following a strict diet. A court-ordered psychological evaluation concluded that neither parent appeared able to distance themselves sufficiently from their mutual animosity and resentment to act in a manner appropriate to the child’s needs. The Appellate Division also concluded that the court failed to give due weight to the father’s long history of domestic violence or that he continued to downplay his actions and deny the nature and extent of his mental illness, even though he was charged with domestic violence as a result of one such incident was imprisoned. The Appeals Division also determined that the mother was relocated to a better school district and had a support structure there. She also sought advice.

Kaman Berlove’s Gary Muldoon for plaintiff-complainant; Marybeth D. Barnet, Attorney for the Children, Maureen A. Pineau for the Defendant-Defendant.

Oral argument video

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