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Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Monday, April 25, 2016

Parents Can Now Legally Eavesdrop on Children's Conversations


What are the implications for divorce and custody agreements when a child's conversations with others can be recorded?

In a new watershed decision, New York's highest court has ruled that parents may sometimes eavesdrop on their children's conversations without obtaining consent.

Typically, in New York, the consent of at least one party is required to record or wiretap a conversation. But a parent or guardian who believes it is in the minor child's best interest can make an audio or video recording of a conversation without the consent of either the child or the other party

Parents Must Be Acting in Good Faith

A recording is not legal if the parent does not genuinely believe that it is necessary, and the belief must be "objectively" reasonable to others. It is not sufficient for the parent simply to decide to do it without justification. For example, if a child were possibly being physically harmed or emotionally or sexually abused, a reasonable person might conclude that a recording would help as a step toward seeking protection for the child.
Read more . . .


Thursday, March 31, 2016

What You Should Know About Grandparent Visitation Post-Divorce


Historically, New York and federal laws have held preeminent the rights of a father and mother to direct the upbringing of their children. In the words of the 1936 New York Supreme Court, “the vast majority of matters concerning the upbringing of children must be left to the conscience, patience, and self-restraint of father and mother. No end of difficulties would arise should judges try to tell parents how to bring up their children.” (People ex. rel.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 28, 2016

Manhattan Attorney Fined $10, 000 for Exhibiting Bad Behavior in Court Has Now Lost Custody of His 2-Year-Old Son


How is it possible to lose custody of your child during a hearing to determine child custody?

The assumption that "fair" child custody arrangements include similar access by each parent to the child or children in question is often erroneous. In a case last year, a Manhattan attorney, who had previously been fined $10,000 for his bad behavior during a divorce and child custody proceeding, ended up forfeiting all rights to raise his young son.
Read more . . .


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