Matter of Gregory S. v Dana K.Annotate this Case
Decided on July 1, 2016
Family Court, Erie County
In the Matter of a Proceeding Under Article 6 of the Family Court Act Gregory S., Petitioner
Dana K., Respondent
In the Matter of a Proceeding Under Article 6 of the Family Court Act
Gregory S., Petitioner v.
Dana K., Respondent In the Matter of a Proceeding Under Article 4 of the Family Court Act
Gregory S., Petitioner v
Dana K., Respondent In the Matter of a Proceeding Under Article 6 of the Family Court Act
Dana K., Petitioner v
Gregory S., Respondent
ANTHONY D. PARONE, ESQ.
Attorney for Mother, DANA K.
RONALD M. CINELLI, ESQ.
Attorney for Children, H. (17), J. (12) and M. (12)
Mary G. Carney, J.
Before the Court are four (4) petitions. Two (2) violation petitions and one (1) petition seeking modification of a prior court order of support filed by Gregory S., (hereinafter referred to as "Father"). Dana K. (hereinafter referred to as "Mother") filed one (1) petition seeking modification of a prior court order of custody and visitation .
Testimony was heard on January 12, 2016, March 8, 2016, March 14, 2016, May 2, 2016 and May 3, 2016. In addition to Mother and Father, the Court heard from six (6) other witnesses, including Father's fiancé, Kelly N.; Father's sister; Melanie S.; Father's friend, Jeff B.; Officials from the children's school, K. Academy, Michal S.-L. (Hebrew Teacher & Guidance Counselor), and Einav S. (Head of School); and Mother's friend, Jordana H. Finally, the Court held in camera conferences with H. (17) on June 2, 2016 and twins M. and J. (12) on June 13, 2016. Thereafter, counsel and Father submitted Closing Arguments to support their relative positions.
This Court has had the unique opportunity to evaluate and observe the demeanor, temperament and sincerity of the witnesses and weigh their respective character and credibility. This Court has further considered the petitions filed by both parties, the exhibits received in evidence, the in camera conferences with Hannah, Maya and Jonah together with the applicable statutory and case law and now makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.
FINDINGS OF FACT
This family's history is branded by protracted, caustic litigation, toxic interpersonal conflict and all categories of broken hearts. Both parties were allowed some latitude at trial to provide the court with more history than necessary in order to elucidate their complicated familial background.
Mother and Father have four (4) children in total — L. (19), H. (17) and twins M. and J. (12). The parties' 2003 "divorce experience" was traumatic by all accounts, occurring around the time that their twins, M. and J. were born. Father openly admitted his infidelity was one of the reasons their marriage concluded.
Father presents as a healed but frustrated parent who seeks to normalize his access with the children and live in the present. Mother presents as a shattered, unreasonable and resentful ex-partner who has been unable to heal in all the thirteen (13) years that have passed since their separation. It was apparent that Mother uses restriction of Father's parenting time with the children as her ultimate means of retribution against him.
After their divorce in or around 2004, Father moved away from Mother and children to the state of Minnesota where he resided with a girlfriend. This decision seemingly had long-lasting, dire consequences, setting the stage for Father to become a rejected parent. There is no question that Mother clings to this decision as "proof" that Father is unworthy and undeserving of a healthy relationship with the children, repeatedly asserting that "her children are suffering" because of their "Father's decision to be out of their lives".
Mother testified that she "wished" the children had a better relationship with their Father, but blames Father for "being out of the picture for ten (10) years" and "squandering his bonding away". Throughout the trial, Mother was disproportionately reactive and emotional — both on the witness stand and off. She insisted that she never denied Father any access, and that she wants nothing more than for the children to have a positive relationship with him. The preponderance of the evidence was considerably contrary to her assertions.
Father testified that he had fairly normal, regular access with the children even while residing in Minnesota and then sometime in 2006-2007, after introducing the children to his then girlfriend, Mother abruptly ceased all contact. According to Father, this caused him to reach out to the children's school in order to seek their assistance in his reunification (See Petitioner's Exhibit 18). According to Father, his attempts to enlist assistance from the school were unsuccessful, so he filed a petition to garner Mother's compliance. Father perceived the school as being aligned with Mother, which from that point forward set him on a course of exiling himself from any involvement with the children's school, exacerbating his problems.
June, 2007, Father obtained a court order on consent of Mother that allowed "unrelated females" to be present during "all visitation" among other provisions (See Petitioner's Exhibit 2). All prior provisions of the parties' property settlement agreement incorporated but not merged into their Judgement of Divorce not expressly modified by the June, 2007 consent order were continued. So now, the parties had two (2) court orders to follow.
Father testified that he could no longer bear living apart from the children, and thus in or around November, 2008, he left Minnesota and moved to Western New York to be near them. According to Father, he obtained employment in Rochester, New York but resided in Kenmore, New York. The hour and a half commute interfered with his weeknight access with the children, and while Mother was unsympathetic to his difficulties, she generally allowed regular access on [*3]alternate weekends. In fact, Father described a period between 2008 and 2011 when he and Mother were fairly amicable — so much so that Mother allowed him in her home to have access with the children.
That blissful period ended, according to Father when he introduced the children to his now fiancée, Kelly N. in or around 2012. Mother's relentless interference with his parenting time led Father to file a petition in or around April, 2014 alleging violation of the court's June, 2007 order. After a hearing before Judicial Hearing Officer Paul G. Buchanan (hereinafter "JHO Buchanan"), Mother was found to be in willful violation of the Court's June, 2007 order.
JHO Buchanan issued a decision from the bench on March 16, 2015 that made a willfulness finding and set forth a new schedule of access for Father. Pursuant to the order, which was reduced to writing on or about April 15, 2015, Father was granted access alternate weekends from Friday at 5:00pm to Sunday at 6:00pm and on Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Father was ordered to be responsible for transportation at the commencement of his access and Mother at the conclusion. Father was ordered to ensure the children's regular activities were continued during his access time and granted special summer access from August 1st -30th. All terms of the parties June, 2007 order and 2004 Judgement of Divorce not modified by this order were continued. So now, the parties had three (3) court orders to follow.
By March 30, 2015, Father filed his first violation petition. By April 6, 2015, he filed his second violation petition. Generally, Father complained that Mother refused to comply with JHO Buchanan's order and all prior continued orders, denying him weekend, weeknight, vacation and holiday access. According to Father, this led him to file a third petition on May 6, 2015 seeking to suspend his child support obligation until Mother complies with her obligations pursuant to their custody and visitation orders. He described this effort as his method to obtain "leverage" in forcing Mother's compliance.
Mother vehemently opposed the order of JHO Buchanan, filing two (2) separate motions seeking to "declare the order a nullity" and to have the Attorney for the Children removed. In her sworn affidavit, Mother attaches letters from the children indicating their dissatisfaction with their Attorney's representation. Both motions were denied in their entirety.
Father is currently 51 years old, resides in Niagara Falls, New York with his fiancé. Both Father and Ms. N. testified at trial and each were found to be generally credible witnesses. Father's credibility was modestly strained by his persistent vilification of Mother and a lack of insight as to how his own actions and inactions have contributed to the family's profound dysfunction.
Mother is currently 48 years old, and resides in Amherst, New York with the parties' children. Mother took the witness stand twice, once as Father's witness and again to present her own case in chief. Both times, the court found Mother to be an unconvincing, unreliable witness. Her credibility was severely strained by her refusal to accept any accountability for interfering with Father's access. She appeared to lack any insight as to how her own actions frustrate and obstruct, rather than facilitate Father's relationship with the children. Laying the blame exclusively on Father at all times, Mother's testimony was generally defensive, evasive and self-serving rather than factual.
Father demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that there were several deliberate and willful violations of a prior court order. Father's first violation petition (V-00746-47-49-07/15D) set forth allegations that Mother "refused to comply with my court ordered visitation [*4]during the weekend of March 27-29, 2015". Father's second violation petition (V-00746-47-49-07/15E) set forth allegations that Mother "refused to share school vacation time of kids as well as Jewish holiday" among other allegations. Father submitted several emails into evidence, Petitioner's Exhibits 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 that corroborated testimony elicited at trial demonstrating Mother's refusal to comply with Father's court ordered parenting time well beyond what was alleged in his violation petitions.
There was credible testimony from Father, Melanie Siegel and Kelly Nowasell that the children never enjoy holiday time with their Father pursuant to the parties 2004 Judgment of Divorce. There was credible testimony that Father never enjoyed any vacation access as set forth in the parties' 2007 order. Finally, there was significant testimony that numerous periods of regular access set forth in the parties 2015 order were missed due to Mother's interference.
Mother's initial "defense" to not obeying the 2015 court order is that she did not have a copy of it in writing between March 16, 2015 (when it was issued from the bench) and April 15, 2015 (when it was reduced to a written order). Mother erroneously reasoned that she need not comply with the court's 2015 order until it was actually received, and stood behind "the advice of her attorney" on the issue.
As an aside, Mother's attorney has had an unfortunately negative impact on this litigation. His personal insertion into this family's conflict in his efforts to represent Mother has been destructive, disappointing, and at times, alarming. Mr. P.'s courtroom demeanor (as well as his correspondence in evidence as Respondent's Exhibits E, F and G) was shockingly disrespectful to Father, the Attorney for the Children and the Court. His efforts very often served to escalate and exacerbate the conflict.
The evidence demonstrated Mother's knowledge of the existing court order, and her deliberate intention to defy it — even long after she had received it in writing. She attempted to offer her excuses as to why the access did not occur, which were weak at best. Ironically, in denying access, she strictly relied on JHO Buchanan's order in demanding that Father transport the children to their regularly scheduled activities during his parenting time. (See, Petitioner's Exhibit 14) Mother's circuitous arguments only further illustrated the lengths to which she will go to frustrate and impede Father's access. There was no masking her outright disdain for the court's order and for Father throughout her largely evasive, hostile and non-responsive testimony.
Given Mother's demeanor coupled with the thorny family dynamic, complications and problems continued to manifest throughout the litigation, but none more disturbing than the incident that took place on August 1, 2015.
August 1, 2015 should have commenced Father's month long summer access period pursuant to JHO Buchanan's March, 2015 order; however, it concluded as a disastrous day for H., M., J. and Father. On that day, Father arrived at approximately 5:00pm to pick up the children. The children were not ready, but finally departed with him around 5:30pm with a warning from Mother to "stick together and protect each other" according to Father and Kelly N.'s testimony. Both Father and Ms. N.'s testimony concerning what transpired on August 1, 2015 were credible.
They basically described a defiant "stand-off" in which the children at first refused to leave Father's car, then refused to enter their home and walked about the neighborhood on their own, then refused to speak or cooperate with their Father by relinquishing their cell phones. The children were described as continually on their phones, presumably with Mother, pleading to return to her home. When Father reached his "breaking point" with the lengthy ordeal and [*5]attempted to grab H.'s cell phone, he described her as going into "absolute hysteria". The accusation against Father was that he "hit" Hannah intentionally. Father terminated the visit and returned the children to Mother's home after five (5) hours at around 10:30pm.
Mother's reaction to the incident was histrionic and troubling. She attempted to paint Father as an unsafe, abusive parent who caused physical and emotional damage to the children. Mother never once acknowledged how the children's obnoxious behavior might have exacerbated the tension and warranted the intervention of parental discipline in the removal of a cell phone. She further failed to recognize how her own insertion into the event escalated it. Mother testified that she took the children to the Amherst police station that same night to "press charges", but ultimately abandoned her effort when she thought it might affect the child support she receives from Father.
This incident led to a nearly two (2) month separation between Father and children where he did not seek access again until late September, 2015; and truly, the family has never recovered. Mother argues that separations like this prove that Father "abandons the children" therefore is solely to blame for his own disjointed relationships with them. Clearly, this family's dysfunction goes way beyond the actions of just one person — each parent and each child plays a role in furthering their pain and heartbreak.
Subsequent to the "August 1st" incident, Mother filed a petition seeking modification of a prior court order. She alleges that "[Father] has not tried to see the children and the children want nothing to do with him because of his actions in fighting with them during that 5 hours on the evening of August 1, 2015", and as such she seeks an order "permitting [Father] to have dinner with the children one night during the week on alternate weeks and [ ] denying [him] any overnight visitation."
Testimony elicited from both parties that demonstrates that they operate with a high level of acrimony and mistrust. Mother openly expressed disapproval and contempt for Father and his fiancée. Her words, demeanor and actions established an extremely troubling pattern of interference when it comes to Father's relationship with the children. Predictably, Father expressed resentment and frustration with Mother, which serves only to exacerbate his estrangement from the family.
Other witnesses were able to articulate how both parties have failed their children on different occasions. Mother's weakness seems to be an inability to censor herself in the presence of her children. For example, Jeff B., a friend of Father's testified that he bumped into Mother and the children at a Friendly's restaurant. After an exchange of pleasantries, Mother complained Father "owed her money" in the presence of the children. The court found Mr. Bertrand to be credible.
Father's weakness seems to be an inability to see beyond his own perspective. He insists that he is treated poorly by the children's school because Mother is employed part-time there; however, both Einav S. and Michal S.-L. were reliable and credible witnesses who calmly faced Father's cross examination with grace. Based on their credible testimony, Father has caused his own self-imposed exile from the school community. Both witnesses welcomed his participation with school functions and activities. Father's relentless attempts to paint the school as a hostile environment fell short, exposing his own weakness in this regard.
During the proceedings, the court ordered Mother and Father to participate in the children's counseling with Dr. Bruce B. While compliance with that order was slow to commence, there has been attendance at said counseling which offers a glimmer of hope that this [*6]family may heal.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Generally, the change in circumstances essential to warrant a modification of a prior order must be shown in some factor affecting the welfare of the children, not the welfare of the parent. A party seeking a change in an established custody or visitation arrangement must show a change in circumstances that reflects a real need for change to ensure the best interests of the children.Horn v. Horn, 74 AD3d 1848 (4th Dept. 2010); Di Fiore v. Scott, 2 AD3d 1417 (4th Dept. 2003); Chrysler v. Fabian, 66 AD3d 1446 (4th Dept. 2009), lv. denied 13 NY3d 715 (2010); Ruple v. Harkenreader, 99 AD3d 1085 (3d Dept. 2012). An order of visitation cannot be modified unless there has been a sufficient change in circumstances since the entry of the prior order which, if not addressed, would have an adverse effect on the children's best interests. Harder v. Phetteplace, 93 AD3d 1199 (4th Dept. 2012) citing Neeley v Ferris, 63 AD3d 1258 ; Taylor v Fry, 63 AD3d 1217 .
In this regard, Mother met her burden of proof that there has been a sufficient change in circumstances. Although the issue of Mother's brazen violations of existing court orders cannot be overlooked, there was evidence presented that would move the Court to modify the existing order(s) between the parties to account for the confusion, extreme conflict between the parties and reluctance on the children's part concerning access. The testimony elicited at trial demonstrated the children's sincere stress and opposition to access with their Father. There is no doubt that both parents play a role in this unfortunate reality which they must now confront and hopefully, correct.
There was abundant evidence presented that a detailed, modified order of access would be necessary to further serve the best interests of the children. An access schedule that will minimize parental conflict and help this family finally heal will only serve the best interests of the children.
The Fourth Department has held that a child's preference should be considered keeping in mind the child's age and level of maturity. "While the express wishes of children are not controlling, they are entitled to great weight, particularly where their age and maturity would make their input particularly meaningful." Stevenson v. Stevenson, 70 AD3d 1515 (4th Dept., 2010).
In this particular case, the Attorney for the Children has presented H., M. and J.'s strong desire to spend no time at all with their Father; however, he has argued that they are no longer capable of knowing and considered judgment in expressing that preference. Therefore, he has substituted his judgment for theirs. Again, as with the other factors, the children's desires should not be considered determinative.
In weighing this factor, the court must consider the age and maturity of the children and the potential for influence having been exerted on the children. Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 NY2d 167 (1982); Friederwitzer v. Friederwitzer, 55 NY2d 89 (1982); Nehra v. Uhlar, 43 NY2d 242 (1977); Matter of Bryan K.B. v. Destiny S.B., 43 AD3d 1448, (4th Dept. 2007); Maher v. Maher, 1 AD3d 987; (4th Dept. 2003); Amy L.W. v. Brendan K.H., 37 AD3d 1060, (4th Dept. 2007).
The court conducted in camera conferences with H., M. and J. All three (3) children were beautiful, bright, articulate — and clearly tormented. Their demeanor spoke volumes about the fragmented nature of their family, which causes them a pain that they have neither the [*7]sophistication nor language to express.
H. (17) although not entirely unaffected, appears to be the least influenced of her minor siblings. Her age and maturity, as well as her prior positive experiences with her Father, offer her a path to see past their present circumstance. Both M. and J. presented as profoundly influenced, albeit J. more severely than M. It appeared to the Court that M. and J. carried a heavy burden of articulating preferences and conclusions that seemed well beyond the scope of their development at just twelve (12) years of age. The children's expressed wishes have been particularly meaningful to the court, but not determinative.
It is difficult to ascertain the level of Mother's influence and obstruction, or even describe it; but there is no question that it exists and is felt pervasively throughout the family. Mother appears to have abdicated her parental responsibility to the children, demanding only that "their" wishes be heard and respected, while she does nothing to encourage their relationship with their Father. She appears to support their unreasonable rejection of him and makes it seem as though it is his fault for being unworthy of their love and affection.
Unfortunately, Father is not equipped to handle his role as the rejected parent and at times fails to recognize how some of his own behavior contributes to his rejection. Father would do well to take a more gentle approach with his fragile, influenced children. Demanding their obedience, love and affection is a counterproductive approach, as is admonishment of their rejection.
Turning to the violation petitions before the court, to sustain a finding of civil contempt based upon a violation of a court order, it is necessary to establish that a lawful court order clearly expressing an unequivocal mandate was in effect and the person alleged to have violated the order had actual knowledge of its terms. Moreover, it must be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that there was a willful violation of a prior court order. Furthermore, it must be demonstrated that the violation "defeated, impaired, impeded, or prejudiced the rights of a party." Formosa v. Litt, 91 AD3d 644 (2nd Dept. 2012); see also Judiciary Law § 753; Howell v. Lovell, 103 AD3d 1229 (4th Dept. 2013).
Here, Father met his burden by clear and convincing evidence in seeking to hold Mother in contempt of violating their March 2015 order. It was established that a lawful court order was in effect and Mother had actual knowledge of its terms. Although it is not necessary that the order actually have been served upon that party, actual notice is an essential predicate to a contempt finding. Labanowski v. Labanowski, 4 AD3d 690 (3rd Dept. 2004)
Mother had actual notice as she admitted she was present in Court when JHO Buchanan issued his decision from the bench and she later received a written copy of it. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the violation defeated, impaired, impeded, or prejudiced Father's rights as he missed significant periods of regular, holiday and vacation access with the children.
The penalty for civil contempt is limited to a fine and imprisonment, or either (Judiciary Law § 753(A); see also Family Ct. Act § 156; Labanowski v. Labanowski supra). While evidence at trial demonstrated that Mother clearly dishonored the prior court orders, Father's requested relief (cessation of his child support obligation in order to force Mother's compliance) would not serve the best interests of the children. Incarcerating Mother would likewise negatively impact the children. Without professional intervention, both of these remedies would be disastrous in serving to further alienate Father and fuel Mother's vilification efforts.
JHO Buchanan's method of awarding month long make up time was clever, but in hindsight, it proved to be devastating. This court will implement a fine-type sanction, blended with educational components in an effort to change this family's tragic path. Should Mother fail to abide by the modified access schedule and sanctions set forth herein, the court would be left with no option but to consider imprisonment or cessation of child support.
Despite their present circumstances, these parents do have some history of having been able to overcome their differences. This court finds a spark of possibility exists for this family to mature into an emotionally healthy future. Both parents must cease assigning blame, take accountability for their own mistakes and focus on healing the children's relationship with their Father. The court would submit that their beautiful, bright, tormented children are worth the effort.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Court having searched the statewide registry of orders of protection, the sex offender registry and the Family Court's child protective records, and having notified the parties and the attorney for the child of the results of these searches; And the Court having considered and relied upon the results of these searches in making this decision it is hereby:
ORDERED that Father's Petition for Modification of Child Support (Docket No. F-03925-09/15H) is hereby denied in its entirety without prejudice. This petition is specifically being dismissed WITHOUT prejudice in the event Mother fails to comply with the within access schedule and sanctions set forth in this order, this petition may be filed again; and it is further
ORDERED that Father's Violation Petitions (Docket Nos. V-00746-00747-00749-07/15D) and (Docket Nos. V-00746-00747-00749-07/15E) are hereby granted as follows:
Mother willfully violated an order of this court by denying Father regular, holiday and vacation access with the children.
As and for her court ordered sanction, Mother shall immediately, no less than seven (7) days from the receipt of this order, purchase three (3) copies of each of the following:
1) A book - Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-Mouthing and Brainwashing by Richard A. Warshak (found at either www.warshak.com or www.amazon.com).
2) A DVD — Welcome Back, Pluto by Richard A. Warshak (found at either www.warshak.com or www.amazon.com).
3) Upon receipt of the items, Mother shall give one (1) copy of the book & DVD to Father at his address for his consideration, and one copy of the book & DVD to Dr. Bruce B. at his address for his consideration. Mother shall keep the 3rd copy of the book & DVD for her own consideration.
4) Mother shall present proof that she completed these tasks to the Attorney for the Children on or before July 22, 2016.
5) Mother shall immediately read Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-Mouthing and Brainwashing and view Welcome Back, Pluto within one (1) month of her receipt of same.
6) Mother shall prepare a written report of what she learned from the book, movie and in counseling, including a list of a minimum of five (5) corrective measures she intends to take (or has taken) to facilitate reconciliation of children and Father's relationship. Mother's written report shall be submitted to Father, Dr. B. and the Attorney for the Children on or before Yom Kippur — October 11, 2016.
7) For purposes of effectuating this order, the Attorney for the Children's appointment shall continue for a period of six (6) months with authority to restore to calendar should Mother fail to comply with these sanctions.
It is further,
ORDERED that Mother's Petition for Modification of a Prior Court Order (V-00746-00747-00749-07/15F is hereby granted as follows:
(1) The parties shall adhere to the following conditions of access at all times:
a. There shall be no disparaging remarks or discussion of court proceedings made in the presence of any child by either party, nor shall they permit any 3rd parties (including significant others of the parents, relatives and older children) to do so.
b. Mother has an affirmative obligation to refrain from discouraging access or agreeing to other activities in place of Father's access. If a conflict is unavoidable, Mother shall have the affirmative obligation to schedule alternate access and provide all transportation to and from said access.
c. Exchanges of the children shall occur in neutral settings either at the children's school or Spot Coffee on Main Street, Williamsville.
d. Both parties and children shall continue their course of counseling with Dr. Bruce B. until successfully discharged. This decision shall be shared with Dr. B. so that he may consider his course of treatment.
(2) Father's regular parenting time shall be as follows:
a. Father shall be afforded weekly access with the children as follows:
i. Every Thursday from school to 8:30pm.
• Father is directed to pick up the children from school when school recesses for the day. Return children to Spot Coffee on Main Street, Williamsville at 8:30pm. Mother shall retrieve children from there.
ii. Every Sunday from 11:00am to 8:30pm. Exchanges shall occur at Spot Coffee on Main Street, Williamsville.
iii. On any occasion where there is a Monday holiday from school following Father's Sunday access, his access shall continue through the Monday holiday to 8:30pm.
iv. Father shall be afforded any additional, different or other regular access time as can be agreed and arranged including overnight access, vacation access and other holiday access not specifically set forth herein.
v. Father may petition for expansion of the within access within six (6) months of substantial compliance of all provisions of this order including participation in counseling with Dr. Bruce B.
(3) Father shall be afforded holidays and days of special meaning as follows:
i. Rosh Hashanah - In 2016 and all even years thereafter, Father shall have the first night of the holiday until the following day at 12:00pm. In 2017 and all odd years thereafter, Father shall have the second night of the holiday until the following day at 12:00pm.
ii. Yom Kippur - In 2016 and all even years thereafter, this shall be Father's holiday commencing at 4:00pm through the following day to include break the fast.
iii. Hanukkah- In 2016 and all even years thereafter, Father shall have the first night of Hanukkah commencing at 4:00pm return the children to school or Spot Coffee the following day (if no school) at 12:00pm. In 2017 and all odd years thereafter, Father shall have any other night of his choosing commencing at 4:00pm return the children to school or Spot Coffee the following day (if no school) at 12:00pm.
iv. Purim — In 2017 and all odd years thereafter, this shall be Father's holiday to enjoy time with the children commencing at 4:00pm, return the children to school or Spot Coffee the following day (if no school) at 12:00pm.
v. Passover- In 2017 and all odd years thereafter, Father shall have the first day of Passover at 4:00pm return the children to school or Spot Coffee the following day (if no school) at 12:00pm. In 2016 and all even years thereafter, Father shall have the second day of Passover at 4:00pm return the children to school or Spot Coffee the following day (if no school) at 12:00pm.
vi. Thanksgiving- in 2016 and all even years thereafter, Father shall have access on Thanksgiving Day 12:00pm to Friday 8:30pm.
Father's Day — Shall always be Father's holiday from Saturday at 5:00pm to Sunday at 8:30pm
(4)This Decision & Order replaces and supplants all prior court orders.
This constitutes the Decision and Order of the Court. Submission of an Order by the Parties is not necessary.
Dated:July 1, 2016
Buffalo, New York.
HON. MARY G. CARNEY, F.J.C.