Custody and Visitation Can Only Be Determined by a Court—Custody and Visitation Arbitration-Award Invalid/However Child Support Can Be the Subject of Arbitration
The Second Department determined Supreme Court should not have confirmed the arbitration award to the extent the award dealt with custody and visitation. Custody and visitation can be addressed only in the courts. However, Supreme Court properly confirmed the arbitrator’s child support award, as there was no showing the award failed to comply with the Child Support Standards Act:
Although the parties consented to arbitration of custody and visitation matters, they had no power to do so. “Disputes concerning child custody and visitation are not subject to arbitration as the court’s role as parens patriae must not be usurped'” … . Accordingly, that branch of the petition which was to confirm the custody and visitation provisions of the arbitration award should have been denied, and the matter must be remitted to the Supreme Court, Kings County, for a hearing and determination as to the issues of custody and visitation … .
An arbitration award concerning child support may be vacated on public policy grounds if it fails to comply with the Child Support Standards Act (Domestic Relations Law § 240[1-b]; hereinafter the CSSA) and is not in the best interests of the children … . Here, the father failed to demonstrate that the award of child support was incompatible with the objectives of the CSSA and that it was not in the best interests of the children. Matter of Goldberg v Goldberg, 2015 NY Slip Op 00539, 2nd Dept 1-21-15