Local News

Court stay means children can stay in Durham, for now

Posted June 15, 2011 4:51 p.m. EDT
Updated June 16, 2011 7:26 a.m. EDT

— 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.