The Second Department, reversing Family Court, determined the mother’s refusal to allow visitation with the child by the paternal grandmother, in violation of a court order, constituted and change in circumstances warranting the granting of grandmother’s petition to modify the visitation arrangement:
… [T]he paternal grandmother filed a petition to modify the order … , so as to establish a visitation schedule … , as well as a petition alleging that the mother was in violation of the order … . Following a hearing … the Family Court denied the modification petition and the violation petition … .
… [C]ontrary to the Family Court’s determination, the mother’s refusal to consent to any visitation between the child and the paternal grandmother pursuant to the March 19, 2018 order constituted a sufficient change in circumstances for the court to determine whether modification of the existing visitation arrangement was in the child’s best interests … . Moreover, the court’s determination that visitation with the paternal grandmother was not in the best interests of the child lacked a sound and substantial basis in the record. Although there is some history of animosity between the parties, “[a]nimosity alone is insufficient to deny visitation” … , and there is no indication in the record that the poor relationship between the parties had any adverse effect on the child such that the resumption of visitation would not be in the child’s best interests … .. We therefore remit the matter to the Family Court … to establish an appropriate visitation schedule … . Matter of Dubose v Jackson, 2022 NY Slip Op 04723, Second Dept 7-27-22
Practice Point: Here grandmother had been awarded visitation rights with the child. Mother’s violation of the order allowing visitation by grandmother constituted a change in circumstances warranting the granting of grandmother’s petition and modification of the visitation schedule.