child custody, social services, Family Court Act, family law


Article discusses the nature of child custody proceedings, the roles of the court and the parties, and the standards which the courts will apply in determining the custody of the child under the standard of “best interests” of the child. Article proposes that legislature should amend section 614 of the Family Court Act and section 384(b) of the Social Services Law to state clearly whether the “best interest of the child” test has any relevancy at the fact-finding stage, or whether there must be an independent finding at the fact-finding hearing of neglect or fault on the part of the parent before the best interest of the child test is applied at the dispositional hearing.



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