Domestic Violence Victim Regains Custody of Daughter

In August 2008, the Family Law Unit won a victory reuniting Ms. R and her seven year old daughter. Referee Mildred Negron of the Queens Family Court awarded Ms. R custody of her daughter after a trial that FLU attorneys litigated for over a year.

In an unusual move, the Referee changed custody of the young girl from her father to her mother, citing the father’s rigid and authoritarian parenting style, and his failure to address his domestic violence and alcoholism.

This was the second custody trial in this complex matter. The first was overturned on appeal because the Family Court did not consider the domestic violence suffered by the mother. The Appellate Division sent it back to the family court for a new trial.

FLU Director Kim Susser was the lead attorney on the case, and she was assisted by Staff Attorneys Elizabeth Engel and Christina Brandt-Young.

Ms. R expressed her gratitude in an e-mail to the attorneys:

“Just wanted to say thank you again and again, and I will never forget you…Thank you […] for being there for me when I needed you and for helping me win. I love you very much for bringing my baby girl home again.”