The legal principle of extraordinary circumstances is invoked to override a parent’s presumed preference in raising their child over a nonparent. In a recent case (Matter of Evelyn EE., v. Jody CC.), the Appellate Division upheld Family Court’s decision, granting custody to the niece and friend due to prior determinations of extraordinary circumstances. The mother’s claim that the niece wasn’t involved in earlier proceedings was rejected, emphasizing the focus on the parent, not the nonparent.
In another case (Matter of Treglia v Varano), the Appellate Division found an error by the Support Magistrate, who incorrectly determined the father as the custodial parent. The evidence showed shared parenting time, making the higher-income father the noncustodial parent responsible for child support. Despite the father’s objections, Family Court rightly rejected claims of imputing income to the mother based on her husband, as such imputation would penalize him without a support duty. The Support Magistrate’s credibility determinations were deemed valid, and Family Court didn’t err in denying objections.
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