IN RE: CHRISTOPHER J.S.

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, New York.

IN RE: CHRISTOPHER J.S., SR., Petitioner-Respondent, v. COLLEEN A.B., Respondent-Appellant.

Decided: September 28, 2007

PRESENT:  HURLBUTT, J.P., MARTOCHE, SMITH, LUNN, AND PERADOTTO, JJ. Rosenthal, Siegel, Muenkel & Meyers, Buffalo (James P. Renda of Counsel), for Respondent-Appellant. Stocker & Margulis, LLP, Williamsville (Randy S. Margulis of Counsel), for Petitioner-Respondent.

Respondent mother appeals from an order modifying an order of joint custody by granting sole custody of the parties' child to petitioner father.   We affirm.   Family Court's determination “must be accorded great deference ․ and should not be disturbed where, as here, it is supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record” (Matter of Green v. Mitchell, 266 A.D.2d 884, 697 N.Y.S.2d 899).   The court was “in the best position to evaluate the character and credibility of the witnesses” (Matter of Nunnery v. Nunnery, 275 A.D.2d 986, 987, 713 N.Y.S.2d 417), and we see no reason to disturb the court's determination that it was in the best interests of the child to award sole custody to the father (see generally Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167, 171, 451 N.Y.S.2d 658, 436 N.E.2d 1260).   Contrary to the mother's contention, the record supports the court's determination that joint custody is inappropriate inasmuch as the parties have an acrimonious relationship and are unable to communicate with each other in a civil manner (see Matter of Dube v. Dube, 259 A.D.2d 1041, 688 N.Y.S.2d 356).

It is hereby ORDERED that the order so appealed from be and the same hereby is unanimously affirmed without costs.

MEMORANDUM: