In Matter of Hannah U., 511618, the Appellate Division, Third Department held that though a person may not be an ideal parent, does not mean that he is an unfit parent. A father’s status as a Level II sex offender who had violated his probation by falsifying attendance records to Alcoholic Anonymous, did not lose him custody of his children, because though he is not a perfect parent, the court cannot assume that he is neglecting his children. This case affirmed Matter of Afton C. 17 NY3d 1, that one’s status as a registered sex offender does not automatically put his children at risk.


While the respondent’s actions may have been troubling, the petitioner has not been able to show that the conduct equated to neglect of his children. The court stressed that the law in New York only requires “minimum degree of care” to be exercised by the parent.


On the other hand, in Matter of Alexis AA, 513212, the same court found that the child had been neglected after her parents exposed her to a convicted sex offender, and the mother also had a history of abuse towards the father. In Matter of Dezerea G., 513333, where the father raped the mother and she still allowed him access to their child, despite an order of protection, also found the mother’s behavior was neglectful.


Jayson Lutzky has been a practicing New York attorney for over 29 years. He is experienced in getting the best results for his clients who are facing family law issues such as divorces, child custody, and child support issues. If you are facing a family law issue, then contact our law office or visit our website at for a free initial consultation or call 1-800-660-LAWYER or 1-800-660-5299.