A Brooklyn judge gives custody of a 17-year-old boy to his homeless father. The ruling came after the boy's mother, a $90,000-a-year court worker, was critical of the legal process according to court papers.
The judge even went as far as denying visitation rights to Jeannette Traylor. Never mind the boy's dad, John Jacobs, "has been living in storefronts and borrowed rooms and basements" for years, according to the court papers.
The papers also say, Jacobs "constantly misled" investigators and a psychologist testified that he had "severe reservations" and his parenting skills.
"I begged the judge please not to play with my son's life," Traylor told The New York Post. "What my ex-husband does doesn't surprise me. But I expected better when I went to court."
Jacobs, who lives with the teen in a city-run shelter in Flatbush, Brooklyn, insists his son is better with him. He told The Post, "If I was in a cardboard box and if it was better for my son, so be it. One parent is healthier for the child than the other. When you add the whole thing together, I'm better for the boy. That's the bottom line."
The couple split in 1994, right after their son was born. They had a joint custody until 2001 when Traylor got primary physical custody.
A decade long court battle ensued. Jacobs and Traylor, a 30-year employee of the system, went on to file more than 2 1/2 dozen petitions and motions.
Their battle ended with Family Court Judge Bernard Graham's ruling earlier this month taking custody from Traylor and giving it to Jacobs.
Court papers reveal a 2008 allegation by the teen that his mother hit him with an umbrella, a charge she denies. The judge's decision also shows that Traylor had been arrested several times, but notes that she has never been convicted of anything. Traylor said all the arrests were at her husband's request.
Before making his final decision, the judge took a stab at Traylor for being "quick to offer barbed criticism of the court and the legal process."
In the end, the judge said he made his decision based on the boy's wishes, a a junior at a Brooklyn Catholic high school where his mother pays the tuition.
According to the court, the teen demanded to live with his father, telling the court that Traylor was "self-absorbed" and uninterested in his issues.
What do you think of the judge's ruling?
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Online Dish: A Judge Gives Custody of Boy to Homeless Dad
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