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Divorce grounds in the State of New York

Divorce grounds in the State of New YorkIn the State of New York the parties seeking to be divorced can file for a no-fault divorce. The no-fault divorce filing process only needs allegations which allege an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for a period of at least 6 months. The parties do not have to elaborate as to what has caused this irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. In short, the parties basically are alleging they haven’t gotten along for 6 months and they want a divorce. This is enough to obtain a divorce in the State of New York on the no-fault ground.

Fault grounds for divorce

It is more complicated to obtain a divorce on fault based grounds in the State of New York. The moving parties in the divorce must prove either physical or mental abuse, adultery, abandonment for a period of at least one year, the other party was incarcerated for a period of 3 years or adultery. The definition of adultery in the State of New York with regard to being a ground for divorce is a married person having sexual relations with an individual he or she is not married to. It should be pointed out cases based on adultery are usually nasty cases which are aggressively litigated. It is usually recommended to choose a different ground for divorce even it adultery is present to avoid complicated, expensive divorce litigation.

How marital fault effects divorce

The courts in New York do not consider marital fault with regard to issues such as division of marital property and spousal maintenance (alimony). Some individuals believe that if they can prove adultery it is a factor in giving the other spouse spousal maintenance. This is not true anymore in the State of New York. In situations where the spouse committing the adultery wasted a significant portion of the marital assets entertaining his or her lover, this can become an issue with regard to the equitable distribution of the assets.

Keep it simple

Generally speaking the best rule to follow with regard to divorce is to keep it as simple as possible.

About the Author

schlissel-headshotIf you wish to learn more above issues related to divorce feel free to contact Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Neglect Finding Against Mother

Neglect Finding Against MotherIn a case in the Family Court before Judge Michael Milsap sitting in the Bronx County ACS had filed a petition against the mother. The petition claimed the children were neglected by the mother. The petition alleged that the children were neglected because the mother allowed the children to be present when a significant other engaged in domestic violence against her.

Order of Protection Issued

The mother had an order of protection requiring John to stay away. The mother denied knowledge of prior incidents of alleged domestic violence against her. In addition, the mother denied knowledge that she had an order of protection against John.

Flawed Parental Judgment

The court ruled that the mother showed “flawed parental judgment”. She allowed John to contact her with the children present. The court entered a neglect finding against her with regard to inadequate supervision and guardianship. The Judge found that by allowing the children to be exposed to domestic violence in spite of the existence of an order of protection was the basis for his finding against her.


When there is an order of protection against a third party the parents of children have an obligation to enforce the order of protection. If they don’t and that individual had been engaged in domestic violence acts, the parent who is the victim of domestic violence can be found to be neglectful of their children. In this case ACS was successful in proving the mother neglected her children.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney who represents clients in ACS and CPS matters throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be contacted for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail at

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2020

To a joyful present and a well-remembered past. Best wishes for happy holidays and a magnificent new year.

Post Trial Applications need to go to the Appellate Division

Post Trial Applications In a case before Justice Jeffrey Goodstein, who sits in the divorce Supreme Court part in Nassau County, a husband brought an application to set aside a provision in a 2017 court decision after trial awarding a wife a $226,042.00 money judgment for support arrears. He also sought to modify the court’s decision crediting him for $200,907.68 in support payments. The court allegedly failed to give him the appropriate credit among other things.

The Wife’s Position

The wife opposed the husband’s application. She brought a cross-application to allow her to trade cash assets awarded her in exchange for the husband’s equity in the marital residence. She claimed it was essential for the parties’ special needs son to remain in the marital residence, to stay in the same school district, keep his friends and maintain the same routine.

The Trial Judge had Retired

Justice Goodstein, in a matter of first impression, ruled that under the circumstances presented in this case the prospective of a trial judge, now retired, was essential to the appropriate evaluation of the parties’ motions. Since the trial judge was retired, Justice Goodstein found he had no authority to rule on these post trial motions. The decision regarding all financial issues was resolved by the decision after trial. Therefore, under both statutory law and case law any change or challenge to the trial court’s decision would have to be made to the Appellate Division, an Appeals Court. Only the Appellate Division could determine if the modification of the trial court’s decision was appropriate. He therefore denied both parties’ applications.


In this case there were issues that should have been dealt with before the original trial judge. Parties in divorce cases should always resolve all issues when they settle or take a case to trial.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel has been representing parties in divorce and family court cases in the courts throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 35 years. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

No Order of Protection Against Former Boyfriend

Against Former BoyfriendMaliha A. brought a proceeding in the Family Court of Queens County before Judge John Hunt seeking an order of protection against her former boyfriend Onu M. Her petition claimed she had a bitter breakup and Onu was harassing her. Onu and Maliha had entered into new romantic relationships. Malihu had told a court attorney she was not afraid of Onu. At one point she sought to withdraw her application for an order of protection but at a later point she denied to the court that she wanted the petition withdrawn.

The Case Goes to Trial

Maliha stated she wanted to move forward with the petition and the case was eventually set down for trial. Maliha had posted a number of tweets on a twitter and even though she did not mention Onu’s name these tweets were about him. Onu had texted their agreement not to communicate with Malihu. Malihu testified that she was never threatened by Onu and she was not afraid of him, but she still wanted an order of protection because “as there is no telling what he might say or do.”

Application Dismissed

Judge Hunt dismissed Maliha’s petition. It failed to meet the statutory burden rising to a level of a family offense.


If an application is made to a court for an order of protection there must be a basis in law and the facts must substantiate the basis in law for a judge to grant this type of petition.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a father’s rights attorney representing fathers throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Mother’s Relocation to Florida Denied

Mother's Relocation to Florida DeniedA mother had brought a Family Court case seeking to relocate to Florida. She wanted to bring her child with her to Florida. The father had opposed this application. The mother lost her application in the Family Court. She thereafter appealed the denial of allowing her to relocate to Florida.

The Appeals Court Decision

The Appeals Court also denied the mother’s request to relocate and affirmed the prior decision of the Family Court. The Appeals Court took note the record did not show the mother’s plan to relocate was a real plan. The record was insufficient to establish the child’s best interests would be served by allowing the mother and the parties’ child to move to Florida.

The Mother’s Circumstances

The mother was unemployed. She had no family members or extended family in Florida. There was no information as to her having a job in Florida, what town she wished to live in and where the child would go to school. The mother claimed the father would be able to visit the child in Florida. However, the father’s work schedule and personal life were likely to prevent him from having any significant contact with his child if the mother was able to move with the child to Florida. It was also unlikely the child would be able to come back to New York to spend substantial time visiting with the father.

The mother claimed her financial and economic situation would greatly improve if she relocated to Florida. However, she did not show even if she received economic benefit, the parties’ child would benefit from this relocation.


If one parent seeks to relocate and the relocation has a negative impact on the other parent, the relocating parent must present a very detailed case as to how the relocation will benefit the child of the parties.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer representing fathers in custody, relocation, visitation, support proceedings throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached for consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Mother’s Parental Access Suspended

Mother’s-ParentalActing Supreme Court Justice Stacey Bennett sitting in Nassau County had a case before her in 2013 where a father filed an emergency proceeding seeking to suspend a mother’s parental access. In addition, he sought to suspend all communication and contact with their daughter of every type and nature. Judge Bennett had granted the father a temporary order suspending the mother’s parenting access. A hearing was scheduled.

The Mother’s Argument

The mother argued her retweeting a photograph of her daughter did not violate the court order. She also claimed the use of hash tags in electronic media was not communication and also did not violate a court order. An extensive hearing took place.

The Judge’s Decision

Judge Bennett granted the father’s motion to suspend the mother’s parental access to the daughter of any type or kind. This also included telephone contact, skype, e-mail and all social medial contact. The mother requested she be given supervised visitation. Judge Bennett denied this also. She referred to testimony from mental health professionals. She found the mother suffered from a serious personality disorder with severe and maladaptive histrionic borderline narcistic and anti-social features. Judge Bennett’s decision stated the mother histrionic actions were found in her uncontrollable need for attention.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schissel, Esq. Is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. The firm represents clients in divorce and family law cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or by e-mail at

Parental Alienation


Parental alienation is inappropriate behavior by one parent whether it be the father or the mother which is designed to have a negative impact on the relationship between the children and the other parent. It can be considered a type of brainwashing. Parental Alienation is the manipulation of children by one parent for the purpose of preventing or destroying a warm and loving relationship the children have with the other parent. Parental alienation is harmful to the children. Parental alienation has been known to cause both emotional and psychological damage to children. The parent that is victimized loses his or her ability to maintain a relationship with the children through no fault of his or her own. In some cases allegations of sexual or physical abuse are part of the parental alienation scheme.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

A child subject to parental alienation often develop parental alienation syndrome and develop an intense dislike for one of their parents even though there is no logical reason for the child’s behavior to that parent. If you suspect the other parent is engaging in parental alienation, you should take immediate legal action to stop this inappropriate conduct. The longer the parental alienation continues on the more difficult it is to get the child back on the right track.

Custody Lawsuits and Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can be used as a method by a litigant in a custody case to have a negative impact on a parent’s ability to obtain custody of his or her children. If you suspect this is going on bring this to your attorney’s attention. This should be dealt with immediately to stop it from destroying one parent’s relationship with the children.


If you are a victim of parental alienation or your children are being victimized, contact the law office of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. We have been helping parents throughout the Metropolitan New York area to deal with parental alienation for more than 3 decades. We can be reached at 800-344-6431 or you can e-mail us at:

Changing Custody


Custody orders and judgments can be changed and/or modified. The standard for changing or modifying a custody order is to establish there has been a change in circumstances and this change in circumstances is sufficient to warrant a modification of the prior custody order. The change in circumstances must be of a substantial nature and it must be shown that modifying the custody order would be in the children’s best interests.

Jurisdictional Issues

Sometimes the prior custody order is amended by a court located in a different state. In these cases it must be established that New York is the appropriate jurisdiction for the proceeding to challenge the prior custody order. There are specific rules with regard to which state is the appropriate state to handle the new proceedings involving custody. You should contact an experienced child custody attorney to first determine whether you are bringing the custody case in the correct state and secondly as to whether you can establish a basis for a significant change of circumstances which would lead a court to modify the custody order you are challenging.

Enhanced Parenting Time vs. Children and Custody

Changing which parent is the residential custodial parent requires the party challenging the prior custody order be in a position to make a significant evidentiary presentation to the court supporting his or her allegations. However, to obtain greater parenting time (visitation) with children does not require establishing a change in circumstances up to the standard necessary for modifying a custody order. Therefore, in many situations it is more appropriate to show it is in the children’s best interest that they spend more time with the non-residential custodial parent. Both parents are usually in a position to enhance the lives of their children.


Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer with more than 30 years of experience representing father’s in child custody, visitation and parenting rights cases. He can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or 631-349-8262 at his firm. He can be emailed at Schlissel DeCorpo LLP maintains offices in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties.

Father’s Request to Eliminate Child Support Denied

A father brought a proceeding in Queens County Family Court.  The case was assigned to Judge John Hunt.  The father requested his obligations to pay child support be terminated.  He claimed that the child had been constructively emancipated.  He further claimed the mother had been involved in parental interference that prevented him from maintaining a relationship with his daughter.



The father and mother had been litigating various issues since 2007.  The father claimed he had no relationship with his daughter.  The mother testified she gave the father every opportunity to see his child but he never took any action to try to maintain a relationship with her.


The Judge’s Decision

Justice Hunt found the father had failed to meet his burden of proof showing there had been a change in circumstances sufficient to terminate his child support obligations.  Judge Hunt went on to find the father failed to establish the mother frustrated his relationship with his daughter.  He also found the child was not constructively emancipated.  The Judge’s decision instead found the father avoided his responsibility for his 18 year old daughter.  He made no efforts to form a relationship with her.  Judge Hunt found the father’s testimony to be fallacious and self-serving.  He also found if the father had waited an reasonable period of time which amounted to an inexcusable delay of 10 years in pursuing his remedies to submit these issue to the court.  The father’s application was dismissed.



Attorney Elliot SchlisselFathers seeking to terminate child support payments must make a detailed evidentiary presentation to courts.  Judges are very hesitant to eliminate child support payments without very strong evidentiary presentations.


Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a father’s rights lawyer representing fathers on child support, visitation and custody matters for more than 4 decades.  He can be reached at or 800-344-6437.