Family Court has the power to impose restrictions on a child’s interactions with third parties during visitation if it is in the child’s best interests to do so. Here, the record establishes that there were verbal and physical altercations between the mother and the girlfriend during the exchanges of the child. However, there is no evidence in the record that the girlfriend had harmed or threatened the child. We thus conclude that the court’s determination to restrict the girlfriend from the exchanges, but not to restrict her from all contact with the child, is supported by a sound and substantial basis in the record.
We reject the mother’s contention that the court erred in failing to appoint an attorney for the child (AFC). The determination whether to appoint an AFC in a custody and visitation proceeding is discretionary. Given that the child was less than one year old at the time and thus would have been unable to express his wishes to an AFC, the court did not abuse its discretion in not appointing an AFC.
Santana v. Barnes, – NYS3d – , 2022 WL 731173 (4th Dep’t. 2022)