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Yes, public delirium, can make you lose custody.

In Hogan v. Hogan, 159 A.D.3d 679, (Second Dept. 2018), parties have one child in common. Father was awarded temporary custody of the child after the mother was incarcerated and set visitation schedule for the mother. The incarceration arose out of her failure to make restitution payments required because she was convicted of grand larceny on account of stealing PTA money. at the child’s school.

A custody determination depends to a great extent upon an assessment of the credibility of the parties and witnesses. Furthermore, in determining custody, while the express wishes of a child are not controlling, they are entitled to great weight.

Evidence in the record shows mother’s theft of the PTA funds, poor decision-making about her failing business, postings on her blog and Flickr account, and unstable housing circumstances demonstrated poor caretaking ability and parental judgment. Additionally, the relationship between the mother and child deteriorated after the mother’s incarceration.

The mother’s decision to seek election to the position of second vice president of the PTA at the child’s new school, and her subsequent election to that position, rekindled the negative publicity about her earlier theft. Additionally, the court-appointed forensic psychologist recommended that the father have custody. The attorney for the child supported that position.

Though the court left open the possibility of the mother’s future participation in the child’s therapy sessions, the court determined that the parties’ inability to communicate and cooperate on matters concerning the child, together with the child’s strong position about the mother, rendered joint counseling sessions at that time unworkable and inappropriate under those circumstances.

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