Video : How an Attorney Can Help If You’re Being Prosecuted by CPS or ACS

Video : Domestic Violence Situations

Video : Beware of CPS and ACS Investigators

Video : Joint Custody Given To Parents

Father Granted Downward Modification Of Child Support

Father Granted Downward Modification Of Child SupportIn the case before support Magistrate Sandra Mendelson-Toscano, sitting in the Family Court of Nassau County, a father filed a downward modification of child support petition asking that his child support obligations be reduced. The parties had previously been divorced and there were two children of the marriage. Upon receiving the downward modification child support petition, the mother filed an enforcement action against the father. She alleged he failed to pay child support payments in a timely manner.


There was a joint trial held before Support Magistrate Mendelson-Toscano. She ruled since the father’s income had decreased by more than 15% since the previous child support order had been made, he was entitled to a downward modification of his child support payments. She thereafter entered a decision modifying his support obligations retroactive to the date he brought his child support downward modification case. In addition, the support magistrate ruled the father was entitled to credit for child support payments he made and a dollar for dollar credit for room and board payments he made while his son was attending college.

However, even though the father’s child support payments were reduced and he received some credits, the Support Magistrate found he still owed child support arrears to the mother. Therefore, Support Magistrate entered a non-willful finding ordering the father to pay mother’s attorney’s fees since he had failed to comply with the condition precedent as set forth in the prior child support order.


In this case the father won on some issues but was still forced to pay the mother’s attorney’s fees.

p>schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.


FATHER HELD IN CONTEMPT FOR FAILING TO PAY CHILD SUPPORTIn an action for Justice Jeffrey Sunshine sitting in the Supreme Court Divorce part in Kings County, a post judgment lawsuit was brought by the mother. The father, who was the defendant in the action, and an attorney, asked for a downward modification of child support. The issue of child support had been dealt with in a recently executed stipulation of settlement. This new case asked that the father be held in contempt because he had paid no child support for more than 18 months. There were arrears in child support which totaled over $30,000.


The father claimed since he had shared custody of the child, he was entitled to be given a credit for any payment he made on behalf of the child. Justice Sunshine found the father’s claim he was financially unable to pay child support was not supported by the court record. He had paid more than $900 monthly in a car lease. In addition, he had paid gas and other expenses for his car but had made no payments towards the $1500 a month child support obligation he had to the mother. Justice Sunshine stated the record revealed the father earned over $100,000 a year and the mother earned $45,000 a year. Justice Sunshine rendered a decision that he had no authority to vacate arrears due for child support which were incurred by the father prior to bringing the lawsuit for a downward modification of child support.


The father, an attorney, should have hired an attorney experienced in handling support proceedings related to a divorce.

p>schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.


Fathers’ rightsIn a case in New York County, a father had custody of the party’s child. The mother brought a lawsuit to change custody. She sought full decision making authority regarding the parties’ child. She claimed there had been a change in circumstances. The pleadings indicated the father “repeatedly and unreasonably fails to communicate…regarding the child’s health, medical, dental and educational issues.”


The Mother specifically alleged the child was consistently failing to log in or logged in late for his school classes. The school classes had been held remotely during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. She claims in some situations the child was marked absent because he logged on so late. The mother also claimed the child failed to turn in school work and didn’t attend supplementary tutoring.


The Father brought a motion to dismiss the mother’s petition. Judge Hasa Kingo sitting in the Family Court of New York County ruled the allegations of the mother, even if true, did not establish there was a change in circumstances which would warrant a hearing regarding the best interests of the child. Judge Kingo noted the overwhelming majority of petitioner’s allegations involved remote schooling. These allegations took place in 2020. In 2021, the child returned to school on a full time basis and therefore these allegations were no longer relevant.

The Judge in this case dismissed the mothers petition for change of custody to her and for her to have full decision making authority.


This is a case where the father continues to have custody of his child. Fathers who fight to keep custody of their children can be successful!

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.

Video : Joint Custody Given To Parents

CPS and ACS Oppression

CPS and ACS Oppression The widespread use by CPS and ACS of bringing actions to remove children when one of the parents have been subject to domestic violence has been a great injustice. The overuse of removing children from homes by CPS and ACS workers have made significant portions of the population reluctant to seek help when woman a finds herself in a domestic violence situation.

Mandated Reporters

Mandated reporters such as teachers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, police officers, nurses and doctors feel they have to report any possible situation to CPS and ACS, where a child may have been injured. CPS and ACS believe children should not be forced to live in a home where there is domestic violence. However, the victims of domestic violence should not be punished twice. They should not be punished as the person being abused by the perpetrator of domestic violence and then further abused by the CPS and ACS agencies who are supposed to be protecting them and their children. Unfortunately, mandated reporters cause a lot of these problems.

CPS, ACS and the Perpetrators of Domestic Violence

CPS and ACS do not have the power to arrest individuals who are guilty of domestic violence. They are social service agencies. They often do not take action against the perpetrators of domestic violence. In these situations, the mother who is usually the victim of domestic violence must go to the police and seek prosecution against those individuals. However, most mothers do not understand this. They think the CPS and ACS workers who show up at their home are there to protect them. They’re not there to protect the mothers. They’re only there to protect the children from being exposed to domestic violence, which often involves removal of the children from the home where the mother was the subject of the domestic violence.

CPS and ACS Powers

CPS and ACS do not have law enforcement powers. They’re only a social service agency. They do have the power to remove the custody of children from parents. The purpose of this power is designed to protect children and remove them from situations which put them in immediate danger. This power is not designed to punish the victims of domestic violence because removing the victim’s child from their household is terrible punishment. Since CPS and ACS have no law enforcement powers they do not take action against perpetrators of domestic violence. They simply remove the children from the household.

CPS Has Options

In domestic violence situations, New York law and Federal law requires CPS and ACS workers to help pursue family preservation strategies as well as protect children. CPS and ACS should make reasonable efforts to establish service plans for families to follow. However, mothers can find themselves in an adversarial situation with CPS and ACS. They tell the mother to do the programs they recommend or we’re going to take your children away. To a mother has been abused in a domestic violence situation, this is not the help she’s looking for.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.

Beware of CPS and ACS Investigators.

Beware of CPS and ACS Investigators.CPS and ACS investigators are often looked at as a selfless agency helping to protect innocent children who find themselves in dangerous inappropriate situations. CPS workers are often credited with rescuing children, saving children’s lives and being the protectors of the innocent. While this is true there are many horrendous nightmare stories involving CPS and ACS investigations that destroy families they are supposed to protect. There are many situations where innocent injuries which are the normal part of children growing up develop into cases of child abuse or child neglect. Children skin their knees. They sometimes break their bones. They can be are injured while playing, participating in athletics or horsing around. However, even in these innocent situations, CPS workers and ACS workers have been known to threaten or remove children from nonviolent, loving parents based on false allegations of lack of guardianship or failure to properly parent the children.

Sexual Abuse and Parents

Sexual abuse of children exists in our society. Who are the sexual abusers?
Physical abuse or sexual abuse often involves another family member. Sometimes a male member of a household. It can be another child in the household or another child that who plays with the family’s child. When this physical or sexual abuse is reported the parents usually expect CPS and ACS will help them and try to punish those individuals who perpetrated the physical or sexual abuse of their child. Often these parents are shocked when CPS or ACS goes after them and charges them with failure to act as appropriate guardians that led to the sexual abuse the parents had no idea was taking place. In these situations, the parents are subject to investigations. Sometimes while the parents are investigated the alleged perpetrators of the physical or sexual abuse are ignored. CPS and ACS workers can threaten the parents that they’re going to take their child or children away from them. Instead of helping families subject to abuse the investigators have been known to prosecute the parents.

Domestic Violence Situations

Other situations where improper actions are known to be taken by CPS and ACS investigators is when there is domestic violence in the family household. Often the victims of the domestic violence contact CPS or ACS and report the incident. The children in these cases are aware of or are in the room when the incident takes place. In these situations, CPS and ACS have a tendency to go after both the perpetrator of the domestic violence as well as the victim of the domestic violence. They are often charging the victim of domestic violence with child abuse or child neglect for allowing the children to be present or to be around a domestic violence situation. The victim of this domestic violence may be a woman who has actually done everything in their power to protect her children. In spite of this in many cases the victims of domestic violence have been indicated for child abuse and child neglect.

Many mothers would rather be threatened with prison than losing their children from being in a relationship involved domestic violence. The level of proof CPS and ACS workers are required to set forth against a mother who is a victim of domestic violence is minimal. In these cases, it makes it very difficult for the mother to defend herself. This is often the situation when the mother is charged with “failure to protect the children” or “the mother should have known to remove the children from a household that may be subject to domestic violence.” In these cases, the mother may have no place where she can go. In many of these cases CPS and ACS seek to remove the children from the mother’s custody for her failure to protect the children. Failure to protect the children not from the abuse but from being present while she was abused. These stories of abused women being prosecuted by CPS and ACS have been documented on many occasions.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at or 800-344-6431.