Tuesday, July 12, 2016
WHEN UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS ARE MADE IN CHILD CUSTODY
Here, while the subject child, who was seven years old at the time the order of custody was issued, had lived with the mother since birth, the evidence adduced at the hearing established that the mother made repeated and unfounded allegations of sexual abuse against the father. As a result, the child was subjected to numerous examinations by medical, law enforcement, Administration for Children's Services, and mental health personnel, which have had a detrimental impact on the child. These are acts "of interference with the parent-child relationship so inconsistent with the best interests of the child as to raise a strong probability that the mother is unfit to act as custodial parent" (Matter of Fargasch v Alves, 116 AD3d 774, 775; see Matter of Goldfarb v Szabo, 130 AD3d 728, 729; Matter of Honeywell v Honeywell, 39 AD3d 857, 858; Matter of Tyrone G. v Lucretia S., 4 AD3d 205, 205).
There was a sound and substantial basis in the record for the Family Court's determination, upon its consideration of the totality of the circumstances, that the best interests of the subject child would be served by, inter alia, awarding custody to the father."