STATE OF NEW YORK
SUPREME COURT : COUNTY OF CHAUTAUQUA
ELIZABETH M. GRUPA,

Plaintiff,

-vs- Index #H-8319

MARK D. GRUPA,

Defendant.


MARGARET LOGAN NOONAN, ESQ.
for Plaintiff

FOLEY, FOLEY & PASSAFARO
(Jeffrey G. Passafaro, Esq.
of Counsel) for Defendant
MEMORANDUM DECISION
GERACE, J.

The parties in this matter are asking the Court to define what is meant by "liberal visitation".

On December 3, 1993, this Court issued a decision providing for joint custody with physical placement to the mother and liberal access to the father. The liberal access referred to was essentially a shared custody/visitation arrangement whereby the child spent each evening with the father while the mother worked the second shift.
Sometime this past fall, the mother's work shift changed to 7:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. Since that time, it the shared visitation schedule has not worked out.

Apparently these parties consulted with Dr. Bongiovanni and a report was to be issued, but this Court has never received a report to this date.

The father contends he is being deprived of liberal access because his visitation has been reduced to alternate week-ends. He wants the prior arrangement to be reinstated.

The mother contends the prior arrangement produced continued problems with drop off, pick up and care of the child. She claimed the parties could not get along at all; and that the father was leaving the child with other people but not advising her of his whereabouts.

According to the mother, she often would arrive at the father's place to pick the child up after work at 10 p.m. only to learn the child was not there. She would have no idea where he was.

She further claims the child should have been sleeping at that hour and that he was sometimes in inappropriate places which she did not define or identify. Finally, she claims the child has behavioral problems and is often ill after time with the father.

It appears there has been a change in circumstances in that the plaintiff has had a change in her schedule and that the shared arrangement between the parties for the care of the child no longer works.

With the change in the mother's schedule, she is now able to spend almost all the child's waking hours with him. She goes to work shortly before his bed time, and he is asleep during most of the time she is at work. She has submitted a sworn affidavit that she has a regular child care provider that is always at home with the child while she is at work.

The court hereby awards joint custody, with physical placement with the mother. The father shall have the child with him on alternate week-ends and have visitation with the child two evenings a week on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00 P.M. to 7 P.M. on weeks when he does not have week-end visitation and one evening a week on Tuesday from 3:00 to 7:00 P.M. when he does have week- end visitation.

The father shall have alternate week-end visitation from Friday at 3:00 P.M. to Sundays at 6:30 P.M. This will allow the father to have liberal access to the child; it will insure that the boy will have both parents involved in his life; it will enable him to enjoy some stability and consistency in his schedule.

Both parents are to cooperate with one another for the benefit of the son. The child's best interests should come first.

Submit order accordingly.

Dated: February 10, 1995
Mayville, New York


JOSEPH GERACE
Justice of Supreme Court