Local News

Court stay means children can stay in Durham, for now

Posted June 15, 2011
Updated June 16, 2011

— A Durham mother who claimed breast cancer was the deciding factor in her custody dispute will have her children nearby for a bit longer, the North Carolina Court of Appeals decided Wednesday.

Judge Nancy Gordon ruled in April that Alaina Giordano's two children would be better off living with their father, her estranged husband Kane Snyder, in Chicago. Included in the ruling were Gordon's concerns about Giordano's long-term prognosis. 

Friends and doctors rallied to Giordano's cause and wrote letters in support of her appeal of the decision.

Giodano's publicist released a statement Wednesday saying the appeals court granted a temporary stay, meaning the custody transfer set for June 17 will be delayed while the case continues to play out in court.

Chicago attorney Jeffrey Leving, who represents Snyder, says the judge's decision wasn't based entirely on Giordano's medical condition.

"This is clearly not a case about breast cancer," Leving said. "The judge issued a well-reasoned opinion with 123 paragraphs of findings of fact and reached conclusions of the law."

"(Snyder) is a good man, a good husband and a good father," Leving said.

Giordano was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 while living in Pennsylvania. The couple moved to Durham in 2008 after Snyder was accepted to a master's program at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, according to court documents. They separated in January 2010, and Snyder moved to Chicago in August after receiving a job offer. The couple has not divorced.


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  • smashedglass Jun 16, 2011

    Yeah, reading the court reports really changes your perspective.

  • smokiejoe Jun 16, 2011

    Thanks for the insight looks like things really needs to be reported better but,then thats the media for ya.

  • kikinc Jun 16, 2011

    Look into this a little more. He took the job in Chicago b/c it paid much better. They were on bad terms before she got sick. He has said he won't pursue the divorce so she can stay on his health insurance b/c he knows she can't afford the treatment otherwise. The judge's decision was based on a number of things, such as the fact her doctor had to take the children home b/c they had nowhere to stay during an overnight hospital stay, the children were left with their grandparents while their mother would run off to another state with a man, lots of infidelity (on both sides), etc. There's a lot more than what's been reported.

  • Ol Forrester Jun 16, 2011

    People, read the April 25 Court Ruling. The WRAL article left out HER extra-marital affair and very erratic behavior. Breast cancer had little to do with this mess.

  • smokiejoe Jun 16, 2011

    Leving said he is agood man,agood husband,and agood father. If
    that was truely the case he would still be here in N.C. For a
    good husband dosen't leave a wife who has such a serious illness,
    take her childern away for a job in another state.When she needs
    all the LOVE&SUPPORT she can get.He does everything he can to support her.Even if it means working a job for pay.And just because she has breast cancer dosen't mean she will die.My daughter survived stage 4 breast cancer and has been cancer free for 5yrs.now.Also,she can't just pack up and leave and change doctors. The judge is clearly wrong to take her childern away from her.The judge should make move back to N.C. if he wants to close to thier childern.

  • sammyg Jun 16, 2011

    So why did he move to Chicago again? And why didn't he work this all out before he moved??

  • girlwonders Jun 16, 2011

    The reasons for taking her children were more than just breast cancer. Further research into the matter will tell you that she has some emotional issues as well. Not that I agree with the findings, I have no "dog in this fight". Just sayin...

  • BubbaDukeforPresident Jun 16, 2011

    I see both sides of this issue. The father doesn't want his children to have to watch their mother die. The mother needs the children to give her reason to continue to fight the cancer. Everyone is a victim here.

  • dare107 Jun 16, 2011

    I don't understand the courts actions in this case up until this stay. The children have been with the mother and it doesn't say but the illness has to play a factor in these decesions by the court. Unless she is physically unable to care for the kids then leave them alone sounds like the husband just held on long enough to get his degree and then was out of here, and now that he has this big business degree wants to bully things in his direction.

  • OpenM1nd Jun 15, 2011

    Pittsboro Mama writes:
    "Good husbands don't divorce their wives when they get diagnosed with breast cancer and then try and take their children from them."

    No one ever said that her health condition was the reason for his estrangement. Nor did the article ever say that he divorced her. Please don't judge this family until you get all the facts. Otherwise restate your comment as "Good husbands don't divorce their wives." And then add "Good wives support good husbands." to keep things on even keel. And then apologize for your obtuse remark.