The Second Department determined Family Court should not have concluded it did not have subject matter jurisdiction over a custody matter without conducting a hearing. It was alleged father was wrongfully preventing the children from returning to New York from Bangladesh. If father prevented the children from returning to New York in the six month period before the petition was filed, New York, pursuant to the controlling statutes, would be the “home state:”
Under the Domestic Relations Law, a state may have jurisdiction over a child custody proceeding if the “state is the home state of the child” (Domestic Relations Law § 76[a]…). A “[h]ome [s]tate” is defined as “the state in which a child lived with a parent . . . for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding” (Domestic Relations Law § 75-a). The definition of a “[h]ome [s]tate” also permits a period of temporary absence during the six-month time frame necessary to establish home-state residency (Domestic Relations Law § 75-a…). In addition, it is established that a parent “may not wrongfully remove or withhold a child from the other parent for the purpose of establishing a home state’ for that child” … .
Here, there are disputed allegations as to the circumstances of the continued presence of the children in Bangladesh. Thus, under the circumstances of this case, the Family Court erred in dismissing the petition based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction without conducting a hearing as to whether the children were wrongfully prevented from returning to New York during the six-month period preceding the petition. If that is the case, New York remained the “home state” of the children in light of such wrongdoing … . Matter of Padmo v Kayef, 2015 NY Slip Op 09289, 2nd Dept 12-16-15
MONTHLY COMPILATION INDEX ENTRIES:
FAMILY LAW (JURISDICTION OVER CUSTODY, PARENT PREVENTS CHILDREN FROM RETURNING TO NEW YORK)/CUSTODY (JURISDICTION OVER CUSTODY MATTER, PARENT PREVENTS CHILDREN FROM RETURNING TO NEW YORK)/JURISDICTION (FAMILY COURT, JURISDICTION OVER CUSTODY MATTER WHERE PARENT PREVENTS RETURN OF CHILDREN TO NEW YORK)