IN RE: Emilia KOZLOWSKI

Reset A A Font size: Print

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

IN RE: Emilia KOZLOWSKI, respondent, v. Thomas MANGIALINO, appellant.  (Proceeding No. 1).

IN RE: Thomas Mangialino, appellant, v. Emilia Kozlowski, respondent.  (Proceeding No. 2).

Decided: January 30, 2007

REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., GABRIEL M. KRAUSMAN, GLORIA GOLDSTEIN, and ROBERT J. LUNN, JJ. Dominic A. Barbara, Garden City, N.Y. (Joshua Adam Kittenplan of counsel), for appellant. Susan Chana Lask, New York, N.Y., for respondent. Emanuel Saidlower, Jamaica, N.Y., Law Guardian for the child.

In two related child custody proceedings pursuant to Family Court Act article 6, the father appeals from an order of the Family Court, Queens County (DePhillips, J.), dated October 27, 2005, which, after a hearing, granted the mother's petition for custody of the child, and awarded liberal unsupervised visitation to him.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with costs.

 The essential consideration in a custody determination is to promote the best interests of the child (see Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 N.Y.2d 167, 171, 451 N.Y.S.2d 658, 436 N.E.2d 1260;  Friederwitzer v. Friederwitzer, 55 N.Y.2d 89, 95, 447 N.Y.S.2d 893, 432 N.E.2d 765).  “Since the Family Court's custody determination is largely dependent upon an assessment of the credibility of the witnesses and upon the character, temperament, and sincerity of the parents, its determination should not be disturbed unless it lacks a sound and substantial basis in the record” (Matter of Plaza v. Plaza, 305 A.D.2d 607, 759 N.Y.S.2d 368;  see Matter of Louise E.S. v. W. Stephen S., 64 N.Y.2d 946, 947, 488 N.Y.S.2d 637, 477 N.E.2d 1091).   The recommendations of court-appointed experts and the positions of Law Guardians are factors to be considered in making a custody determination and are entitled to some weight (see Neuman v. Neuman, 19 A.D.3d 383, 384, 796 N.Y.S.2d 403;  Miller v. Pipia, 297 A.D.2d 362, 365, 746 N.Y.S.2d 729;  Young v. Young, 212 A.D.2d 114, 118, 628 N.Y.S.2d 957).   However, they are not determinative and do not usurp the judgment of the trial judge (see Neuman v. Neuman, supra).

Under the circumstances of this case, we decline to disturb the Family Court's determination.

Copied to clipboard