MARCH 23, 2022 DECISIONS

Matter of Bailey v. Ayoub, 2021-00238

The parties are the parents of a child together.  In a 2018 order, the parties were awarded joint legal custody, the mother was awarded physical custody, and the father was awarded parental access.  On May 1, 2020, the father petitioned to modify the 2018 order so as to award the parties joint physical custody.  The father alleged that the mother had brought the child to North Carolina on March 17, 2020, and that she had since refused to return to New York.  By cross petition dated June 1, 2020, the mother sought permission to relocate to North Carolina so that she could live with her then fiancé, now husband.  Following a hearing, the Family Court, in a December 2020 order, granted the father’s petition to the extent of awarding him additional parenting access and denied the mother’s cross petition to relocate with the child.  The mother appealed.

Contrary to the mother’s argument, the Family Court’s determination that the child’s best interests would not be served by relocating to North Carolina with the mother is supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record (see Matter of Wells v. Dellago, 195 AD3d at 626).  The mother failed to demonstrate that the relocation would enhance the child’s life socially or educationally, that the move would not have a negative impact on the quality of the child’s future contact with the father , or that, if she relocated, it would be feasible to preserve the relationship between the father and the child through suitable parental access arrangements (see id. at 626-627; Matter of Jose v. Guilford, 188 AD3d at 1210; Matter of Follini v. Currie, 176 AD3d 1203, 1205; Matter of Karen H. v. Maurice G., 101 AD3d 1005, 1007; Matter of McBryde v. Bodden, 91 AD3d 781, 782). Thus, the Family Court properly denied the mother’s cross petition seeking permission to relocate.

Bruzzese v. Bruzzese, 2018-10242

The record on appeal fails to contain the exhibits upon which the lower court relied in calculating the credit against the defendant’s equitable distribution award.  The record on appeal also fails to include the exhibits upon which the court relied in denying the defendant’s request for an award of monies purportedly held in escrow by the plaintiff’s counsel.  “Omission of these exhibits renders any meaningful appellate review of the defendant’s contentions with respect to these determinations impossible” (see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v. Hounnou, 147 AD3d 814, 815).  The defendant’s appeal insofar as it relates to those determinations must be dismissed since the record is inadequate to enable the Second Department to render an informed decision as to those (see 126 Henry St., Inc. v. Carter, 197 AD3d 598, 601).