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Law Pro
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Category: Legal
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Experience:  20 years legal practitioner: real estate, collections, estate, civil, business, and criminal law
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Is There a Legal Definition of Child Abandonment in New York

Customer Question

Is There a Legal Definition of Child Abandonment in New York State . Meaning a child has abondoned their parent
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Pro replied 6 years ago.
That can't be the case whatsoever because it's a parent's duty, responsibility, and liability for the child until they reach the age of emancipation.

That is an incorrect and inapplicable question.

A parent can abandon a child BUT NOT the other way around.




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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
there has to be a "definition" because there is case law on it from the supreme courts. What is the definition?
Expert:  Law Pro replied 6 years ago.
What case is that - please cite the case.
Law Pro and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Matter of Commissioner of Social Services (Jones) v. Jones-Gamble, 227 A.D.2d 618 (2nd Dept. 1996). // In the Fourth Department case, Perez v. Perez, 239 A.D.2d 868 // . Guevara v. Ubillus, 47 A.D.3d 715 (2nd Dept. 2008
Expert:  Law Pro replied 6 years ago.
There is not a legal definition but findings of fact - the court deems the child "constructively emancipated".

"Nevertheless, children of employable age and in full possession of their faculties who voluntarily and without cause abandon their home, against the will of their parents and for the purpose of avoiding parental control, forfeit their right to demand support even if they are not financially self-sufficient" (Matter of Bailey v Bailey, 15 AD3d 577 [2005]


MATTER COMMISSIONER SOCIAL SERVICES v.

[1] SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, SECOND DEPARTMENT

[2] 95-00248

[3] 1996.NY.30150 <http://www.versuslaw.com>, 643 N.Y.S.2d 182, 227 A.D.2d 618

[4] May 28, 1996

[5] IN THE MATTER OF COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES, ON BEHALF OF QUEEN JONES, APPELLANT,
v.
XXXXX XXXXX-GAMBLE, RESPONDENT. (MATTER NO. 1.) IN THE MATTER OF COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES, ON BEHALF OF QUEEN JONES, APPELLANT, V. THERAN LABBAY, RESPONDENT. (MATTER NO. 2.)

[6] Paul V. Nowicki, County Attorney, New City, N.y. (Radhika Nagubandi of counsel; Edward Lussen on the brief), for appellant in Matters No. 1 and 2.

[7] Anne L. Glickman, New City, N.y. (Nancy B. Morris of counsel), for respondent XXXXX XXXXX-Gamble.

[8] Ellen B. Holtzman, Nanuet, N.y., for respondent Theran Labbay.

[9] Miller, J. P., Joy, Altman and Friedmann, JJ., concur.

[10] Ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs.

[11] It is well settled that a parent of a minor child is responsible for that child's support until age 21 (Family Ct Act § 413; see, Matter of Alice C. v Bernard G.C., 193 A.D.2d 97). However, emancipation will suspend the parent's support obligation (see, Matter of Henry v Boyd, 99 A.D.2d 382, affd 65 N.Y.2d 645). A child may be deemed constructively emancipated if, without cause, the child withdraws from parental control and supervision (see, Matter of Parker v Stage, 43 N.Y.2d 128; Matter of Roe v Doe, 29 N.Y.2d 188; Matter of Alice C. v Bernard G.C., supra). Where a minor of employable age and in full possession of his or her faculties voluntarily and without cause abandons the parental home against the will of the parents, and for the purpose of evading parental control, he or she forfeits the right to demand support (see, Matter of Parker v Stage, supra; Matter of Roe v Doe, supra).

[12] In the instant case the Family Court found that the child Shanice, was constructively emancipated as a result of her failure to respect her mother's authority, her repeated truancy, and as a result of her overall incorrigibility. Shanice's mother, filed a PINS petition after finding her daughter to be uncontrollable. Shanice admittedly disliked being unable to stay out at all hours with her friends and resented her mother's rules and rebelled against them. After being placed in various residential facilities, Shanice promptly ran away and stayed with a friend for two years. After she became pregnant, one of five pregnancies between the ages of 16 and 18, Shanice moved in with her grandmother. Nevertheless, she remains unwilling to abide by her grandmother's rules and regulations, she remains unemployed, and is unable to care for her own daughter.

[13] Clearly, on the instant record there is no basis to disturb the findings of the Hearing Examiner. The Hearing Examiner's findings are entitled to great deference ( Matter of Karrie B., 207 A.D.2d 1002; Matter of McCarthy v Braiman, 125 A.D.2d 572) as the Hearing Examiner is in the best position to assess the credibility of the witnesses and evidence offered (see, Matter of Drago v Drago, 138 A.D.2d 704). As the evidence adduced amply demonstrates that Shanice is beyond the parental control of her mother, we agree that she has forfeited her right to receive financial support.

[14] The doctrine of constructive emancipation is also applicable to the noncustodial parent where the child unreasonably refuses all contact and visitation (see, Matter of Alice C. v Bernard G.C., 193 A.D.2d 97, (supra) ; Cohen v Schnepf, 94 A.D.2d 783; Rosemary N. v George B., 103 Misc. 2d 1036). The evidence adduced in this case clearly establishes that Shanice wants no relationship with her father. Indeed, she has told many people that her father "died in the war". Despite his prior support payments there is essentially no parent-child relationship between them. To require the father to provide reimbursement for the support of a daughter who has renounced and abandoned him would clearly result in an injustice under the facts of this case (see, Matter of Parker v Stage, 43 N.Y.2d 128, (supra) ).

[15] Miller, J. P., Joy, Altman and Friedmann, JJ., concur.

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Expert:  Law Pro replied 6 years ago.
You asked if there was a legal definition of child abandonment of their parent. I said no which is correct.

Too, if you read the case law on the issue - you will find that I was exactly right in what I said to you - a parent has a duty to provide for their child.

There is such a thing as "constructive emancipation" - which is not what you asked!