Q: My boyfriend has a child with his ex. His daughter is 3.5 years old. The child has always lived with the mother and the grandparents. There has never been a court order but they seem to always compromise on holidays and visitations. My boyfriend and the mother of the child do not have the means to physically or financially care for the child and so the grandparents have always taken over. While the mother was in college the grandmother babysat the child. A few months ago they both agreed to have the child be sent to Puerto Rico with the grandparents while they both situate their stuff so that when the child comes back they will have the means to take care of the child. A day ago the child told my boyfriend that her grandparents spanked her and he has basically lost it and doesn’t agree with physical discipline. He asked the mother if she was okay with it and she said yes. He is saying to me that he is going to tell them that if he doesn’t agree then they cannot spank the child. What legal say does he have on that topic if the grandparents have basically raised the child and the mother consents to spanking as discipline?
A: David’s Answer: Unless the child is bruised during the spanking, then spanking in still legal in New York. It’s nothing a Custody Judge could consider, in itself, as a basis to switch custody (or even order the mother not to allow it). For more, call a Bronx Child Custody attorney.