A Nassau judge has barred a mother from her family's home after she spent five years in and out of alcohol treatment programs, and stayed away from her twin daughters for long stretches at least twice, according to court papers.

State Supreme Court Justice Robert Bruno, who is overseeing the woman's divorce from her husband of more than 20 years, said it would be better for their 15-year-old daughters if their mother just stayed away.

"To permit the defendant to move back into the marital residence is rife with the potential for strife and turmoil," Bruno wrote. The names and hometowns of the couple were redacted from Bruno's decision to protect their privacy. Their divorce proceeding is ongoing.

Bruno's decision said the mother, referred to as A.L., had struggled with serious alcohol addiction for more than five years, entering numerous treatment programs and having repeated relapses.

After about nine months in a treatment facility in Palm Beach, Fla., ended in early 2009, she and her husband agreed that she should not move back into their home, but that she would rent a home nearby so she could easily spend time with their twins, the decision says. While living in the rented house, the mother had several relapses, and in August 2009, she returned to the Florida treatment center, the decision says.

Now she is living in a hotel, and is able to visit her daughters there nearly every day, said her lawyer, Kenneth Weinstein of Garden City.

When she left that program, she remained in Florida for several months, her lawyer said, to attend an outpatient program at the same center. While living there, she visited her family several times, and stayed at the family home, the decision says.

Weinstein said it's unconscionable to say that his client "abandoned" her family home when, in fact, she was getting treatment for an addiction.

He said it's similar to saying that someone who was physically injured abandoned their family during a subsequent stay in the hospital or rehabilitation center.

"This is really a Draconian result," said Weinstein.

"My client is closely bonded with her children, and now she is separated from them."

But Steven Shumer, of Woodbury, who represents the husband, identified as J.L. in the decision, said the wife left voluntarily when she rented the house, and did not return home right after her Florida treatment ended.

The decision says that the wife says she has been sober since November 2009, but Shumer says he has been offered no evidence of that.

He said his client is heartbroken that his family remains in turmoil."He can't find happiness in this because he has no closure," Shumer said.

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