A child custody case that involves a local woman and her young son has received national media attention in recent days after a mid-level appeals court ordered the boy be taken to state prison to visit his biological father.
The case made headlines after a mid-level state appeals court upheld a ruling by Warren County Family Court Judge J. Timothy Breen, who had directed that the child’s mother, who lives in Queensbury, begin allowing her 5-year-old son to visit his father in state prison.
The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Vanessa Volino will be required to have the boy go to the prison where his father, David Kadio, is locked up. Breen ordered monthly visits, but the Appellate Division modified that to quarterly visits instead.
The child will have to undergo counseling before he begins the visits. Kadio, 42, of Albany, is a five-time felon who is serving a prison term of 16 years to life for burglary as a so-called “persistent” felon.
The child’s mother, Vanessa Volino of Queensbury, told The New York Daily News she will not obey the order to take her son to prison.
“They’re going to have to put me in jail because he’s not going,” Volino told The Daily News. “My child is not going to a maximum-security prison.”
Appellate Division Justice Robert Rose criticized Volino for raising the boy to believe that her new husband is the boy’s father, and opined that she seemed to “promote the misconception” about the identity of the child’s natural father.
The two had a history of domestic violence problems while Kadio was not in jail. Their son was born in Albany in 2009.
“Although the mother attempts to portray the father as having only limited contact with the child, the record supports Family Court’s finding that this was due, at least in part, to the mother’s efforts to thwart any contact,” Rose wrote.
The boy was conceived during one of Kadio’s brief stints outside of jail, and was born while Kadio was in jail for an earlier conviction. Kadio was out of prison for a period in 2011, after the child’s birth, and had been granted visitation at that point.
Court-ordered child visits to see parents who are in prison or jail are not unheard of, as parents don’t lose parental rights because of criminal convictions.
Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.
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