Legal analysts: No Fotis Dulos testimony hurt his case in custody battle

The lawyer for the estranged husband of a missing New Canaan woman released a statement Friday after a judge granted custody of the man's children to his ex-mother-in-law.

News 12 Staff

Jul 26, 2019, 5:06 PM

Updated 1,730 days ago

Share:

The lawyer for the estranged husband of a missing New Canaan woman released a statement Friday after a judge granted custody of the man's children to his ex-mother-in-law.
Norm Pattis, who represents Fotis Dulos, released a statement saying, "Fotis misses his children deeply. The irresponsible manner in which the state has proceeded against him is costing his children the chance for a real relationship with a man who loves them deeply. We are evaluating his appellate options," Pattis says.
A judge granted the mother of Jenifer Dulos custody of her daughter's children, according to court documents obtained by News 12.
News 12 sat down with two local family law attorneys, Howard Graber and Thomas Parrino, to get their insight about the ruling. Both lawyers say it's difficult for a grandparent to win custody, but Gloria Farber was able to do so by proving three things:
Farber had to establish a parent-like relationship, prove that the children would be perhaps detrimentally harmed by being with Mr. Dulos, and finally, prove that granting custody to Farber would be in the children's best interest.
Parrino points out Farber established all three through the testimony of Michael Meehan, the court-appointed attorney for the children.
Mr. Dulos did not testify and Graber points out this weighed heavily on Judge Heller and her ruling.
"By Mr. Dulos taking the fifth amendment in a civil case, the judge is allowed to take an adverse inference so everytime he would've taken the fifth, she could've chosen to decide he actually did what he was questioned of doing," says Graber.
The five children have been living with Gloria Farber since their mother disappeared on May 24, and they will remain there.
Dulos and his girlfriend Michelle Troconis are charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in connection to his estranged wife's disappearance on May 24.
 
 
 


More from News 12
1:55
New national standard to limit PFAS in drinking water

New national standard to limit PFAS in drinking water

1:03
Cool temperatures and cloudy skies in Connecticut

Cool temperatures and cloudy skies in Connecticut

0:12
Police: Person assaulted and stabbed in Bridgeport

Police: Person assaulted and stabbed in Bridgeport

1:32
‘There is space for everyone.’ Norwalk woman spreads awareness of Autism Acceptance Month through advocacy group

‘There is space for everyone.’ Norwalk woman spreads awareness of Autism Acceptance Month through advocacy group

1:55
Norwalk’s second marijuana dispensary officially opens, celebrates 4/20

Norwalk’s second marijuana dispensary officially opens, celebrates 4/20

1:01
Beardsley Zoo holds annual 'Party for the Planet' ahead of Earth Day activities

Beardsley Zoo holds annual 'Party for the Planet' ahead of Earth Day activities

0:57
Darien music business celebrates Record Store Day

Darien music business celebrates Record Store Day

0:50
Sen. Gaston: Governor pushes lawmakers to address affordable housing shortage through state program

Sen. Gaston: Governor pushes lawmakers to address affordable housing shortage through state program

0:28
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

2:06
STORM Academy basketball coach recalls teen fatally shot in Bridgeport

STORM Academy basketball coach recalls teen fatally shot in Bridgeport

1:13
CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

0:25
New Haven PD releases form to better serve individuals with disabilities during emergencies

New Haven PD releases form to better serve individuals with disabilities during emergencies

2:33
Nearly 100-year-old time capsule discovered by Norwalk demo crew

Nearly 100-year-old time capsule discovered by Norwalk demo crew

2:25
CT partnering with other states to regulate artificial intelligence

CT partnering with other states to regulate artificial intelligence

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

1:02
Broadway star takes over Fairfield SHU Community Theatre

Broadway star takes over Fairfield SHU Community Theatre

1:14
Early morning fire displaces 5 people in Bridgeport

Early morning fire displaces 5 people in Bridgeport

1:50
FBI on alert for potential threats in Connecticut amid Middle East tensions

FBI on alert for potential threats in Connecticut amid Middle East tensions

0:29
Police: Ansonia man arrested for inappropriate messages to 13-year-old boy

Police: Ansonia man arrested for inappropriate messages to 13-year-old boy

0:21
Officials probe suspicious death of Bridgeport man found in Massachusetts house

Officials probe suspicious death of Bridgeport man found in Massachusetts house