Custody Battle Where Everyone Lost

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

This news story made me absolutely sick. It’s a custody battle that turned deadly.

From the New York Daily News, today:


Dad throws 3-year-old son, then himself, to their deaths from roof of Manhattan high-rise


A distraught dad threw himself and his 3-year-old son off the roof of a 52-story West Side skyscraper Sunday in a holiday death plunge that apparently stemmed from a custody battle, police said.


The 35-year-old man, Dmitriy Kanarikov, died after jumping from the Lincoln Square tower at 12:05 p.m. The red-haired tot, Kirill, dressed in Christmas pajamas, died moments later at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, cops said.
The shocking tragedy came just three months after Kanarikov, an immigrant from Ukraine, wrote on his Facebook page how he aspired to be an outstanding parent and spouse.


“I want to be the best dad and husband — nothing is more important to me right now,” Kanarikov wrote.
His estranged wife, Svetlana Bukharina, boasted on her Facebook page in March, “I have the best husband and son in the world.”

But apparently their home life imploded in recent months.
Kanarikov and Bukharina split, and the cherished time he had with Kirill was curbed by a custody fight

Their breakup was so fraught with anger that they had to meet in a public place — the NYPD’s 17th Precinct stationhouse — to drop off and pick up their son, a source said.


Kanarikov picked up Kirill at 10 a.m. Sunday at the designated precinct and was to return him there at 1 p.m., the source said.


Cops said the bodies landed on the roofs of two different buildings neighboring the South Park Tower at 124 W. 60th St., where Kanarikov tossed his son and jumped to his death.

While it was unclear what triggered the deadly incident, records show Kanarikov and Bukharina had a recent spat over custody of Kirill.


Here are my thoughts:

Kanarikov and Bukharina had a recent SPAT over custody of Kirill???!!!! A SPAT that hurt and infuriated the dad so much that he decided to throw his son out of a high rise building????


Of course I am devastated for the mom, and very very very sad about the sweet little boy who was the victim of his parents nasty divorce. But mostly, I’m angry. I’m angry that a person could be that selfish and sick, that he would kill his own son because he wasn’t getting custody.


This custody battle and how it ended is the ultimate extreme, but if you think about it, parents in a custody battle often make their children pay for their own bad feelings. Not killing them, of course, but in other ways. Here are the ways:


  1. They talk badly about the other parent to the child
  2. They don’t adhere to schedules because they want to annoy their ex
  3. They get angry and upset about their ex right in front of the child, (often scaring and upsetting the child.)
  4. They are rude to their ex in front of the child
  5. They make up lies to their child about their ex
  6. They call their ex’s new spouse all kinds of bad names
  7. They decide to stop paying child support out of spite
  8. They make stuff up about their ex and try to use it in court to weaken his or her case
  9. They bully their ex so he or she will drop the custody battle

10. They forget the most important person: the child, and the focus is always on the battle, not the kid.


This has to stop. It has to stop RIGHT NOW. If you are in a custody battle, I urge you to think about what you are doing.


You might think I’m crazy for proposing this, but what’s wrong with trying to work out a custody agreement with a mediator or even between the two of you that will work?


I think it’s smart to always have a legal custody agreement, but just keep it in a drawer. If you just live your life doing what’s best for your child, the rewards will come: the biggest one-the happiness of your child.


For example, if you have to go out of town for work and it’s your week with the kids, ask your ex to take them. Why on earth would you get a sitter when instead they can stay with the other person in their lives that loves them the most?


If your ex asks you to take the kids when it’s not his or her day, just say yes. He or she probably has something special he or she wants to do with them. Just SAY YES. It won’t hurt you.


It’s easy to see how absolutely sickeningly crazy it is to kill your own child. So, can’t we all see how much it makes sense to stop these crazy custody battles?! It’s enough already!!


To people in really bad custody battles: Stop hating. Stop spending money on lawyers. Stop being angry. Start focusing on loving your children and nothing else.


In closing, I’d like to ask you to take a moment and pray for beautiful, sweet Kirill. And pray for his mom, too. It is an unbelievable tragedy that I think we can all learn from.



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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

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