Father’s Parental Rights Terminated

father's rights advocateThe Family Court rendered a decision which granted a Department of Social Services (DSS) petition to revoke a suspended judgment against a father and permanently terminate his parental rights. The father appealed this decision to the Appellate Division of the Third Department (an appeals court).

The father had voluntarily given custody of his child to the Department of Social Services. In addition, he allowed a judgment for a one year order of supervision to be entered against him. Pursuant to this court order, he had to comply with certain terms and conditions established by the Department of Social Services for him to get his child back. Unfortunately, the father did not comply with the Department of Social Services’ requirements. The Department of Social Services took legal action and received the child from the father’s care and put the child back into foster care. Thereafter the Department of Social Services brought a proceeding claiming the father permanently neglected his children and as a result stated he was unfit to be a parent of this child and his parental rights should be permanently terminated.

The father, through his attorney, claimed his failure to undergo counseling with his fiancé was an inconsequential violation of the court order. These inconsequential violations should not result in the permanent termination of his parental rights to his child.

The Court’s Ruling

The Family Court ruled he was given sufficient opportunity to satisfy the conditions of the original suspended judgment. The court went on to state his failure to make meaningful effort to address the issues which caused his child to be taken away from him in the first place and placed in foster care caused the appellate court to find no basis to reverse the decision of the Family Court judge terminating the father’s parental rights. The court found that terminating the father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest.


If the Department of Social Services either through Child Protective Services (CPS) or the Administration of Child Services (ACS), brings a proceeding for child neglect or child abuse against you, you should take it seriously. They have the power to bring proceedings to remove your parental rights and permanently take your children from you.lawyer who protects fathers

Improper Accusations of Child Abuse

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.  Elliot has been representing parents in child custody, CPS and ACS investigations and other family matters for more than 35 years.  He and his associates can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.  The phones are monitored 24/7.

Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) Petition Dismissed

father's rights lawyerThe Administration for Children’s Services (hereinafter referred to as “ACS”) filed a neglect proceeding in Kings County Family Court. Their petition alleged the mother did not provide her child with adequate medical care. In addition, the petition claimed the child lacked appropriate supervision. They claimed the mother left the child in the care of an inappropriate caregiver.

ACS Allegations Not Proven

The case was submitted to Judge Lillian Wan who sits in the Family Court of Kings County. Judge Wan found ACS did not establish the allegations appropriately. Her decision stated no medical records were presented to the court. There was no proof submitted to the court with regard to the child’s alleged medical problems. Although the mother had made a statement the child had chronic heart disease and the child had been treated by both a pulmonologist and a cardiologist in 2012, without further care, was insufficient to show the mother had neglected the child’s medical needs. Judge Wan went on further to state no evidence of any type was submitted to the court which showed the child was required to have further medical care.

Improper Guardianship

Judge Wan found there was no evidence submitted of improper guardianship by the mother. Judge Wan stated the mother was on leave from her job and home during this period of time with her child. Judge Wan dismissed ACS’ petition. She found based on the evidence submitted, ACS had failed to prove their case regarding inadequate medical care or lack of proper supervision by the mother.father's rights attorney handling cases with CPS and ACS

CPS Investigates A Case of Corporal Punishment

Please click on the link below to watch today’s video blog:

Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.  He has been representing parents in child custody, CPS and ACS investigations and other family matters for more than 35 years.  He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

The CPS and ACS Process

To watch today’s video blog, please click on the link below:

Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer.  His office can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Judge Reduces Wife’s Equitable Distribution Due to Bad Behavior

father's rights lawyer on long islandThis is a story about an acrimonious divorce between two lawyers, Ira Schacter and Janice Schacter. Ira was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, a prestigious Manhattan law firm. Janice had gone to law school and worked as an associate at a law firm that handled personal injury cases. She had stopped practicing law after her daughter was born.

The Case

The case was presented before Manhattan Supreme Court Judge, Laura Drager. In discussing the case, she referred to it as “one of the most contentious litigations this court has ever presided over.” Judge Drager took into consideration Janice’s bad behavior and awarded her only 17% of Mr. Schacter’s valuable partnership at the Cadwalader law firm. Judge Drager stated in her decision “in essence the wife chose to bite the hand that fed her. Although the court recognizes that the wife feels she was badly treated by the husband, her repeated attacks against him have played a part in a diminishing of his income.”

The attorneys for Mr. Schacter argued his wife’s conduct during the course of the divorce “has so interfered with his ability to retain clients that she actively caused the value of his partnership interest to decline.”

ACS Claims

During the course of their litigation, Ira was the subject of seven separate investigations by the Administration for Children’s Services. ACS investigators visited his home more than 100 times. Each time they investigated him, they found the allegations made by his wife against him were unfounded.

Judge Drager found Janice had been involved in a number of instances creating negative publicity for her husband. She had regularly posted negative information with regard to her husband on websites.

Although Judge Drager only gave the wife 17% of the value of Mr. Schacter’s partnership, the Judge valued the partnership at $4,170,000. Therefore Ms. Schacter’s 17% share was $855,000. In addition, Mr. Schacter paid his wife’s attorneys’ approximately $460,000 and paid $70,000 in the wife’s expert fees. Mrs. Schacter also received a share of the parties’ $4.1 million house located in the Hamptons, a portion of the $4.4 million townhouse in the city, and equitable distribution of Mr. Schacter’s retirement accounts, cars, and other assets.


The judge’s comments about Mrs. Schacter who bit the hand that fed her says it all!divorce attorney for fathers

The CPS or ACS Investigation

father's rights attorney and advocateThe purpose of a CPS or ACS investigator coming to your house is to get information showing your children have been abused or neglected. They are not coming to your house to prove you didn’t abuse or neglect your children. Do not be fooled into thinking they are there just to clear the record with regard to the allegations. They are there to get evidence your children were abused or neglected. They are not there to clear you. Even if they don’t find evidence of child abuse or child neglect, they may be repeatedly coming back to your house to investigate you further.

Entry Into Your House

It is strongly suggested you do not allow the CPS or ACS worker into your house. Advise them you have a constitutional right to refuse entry and politely tell them they are not coming into your house. Do not get into an argument or confrontational situation with them.

There are occasions when the CPS and ACS worker will come to your door with the police. This still doesn’t allow them to come into your house without a warrant. However, there have been cases when the police are present they will force their way into your home. This may give rise to a civil lawsuit because both the police and CPS workers would have exceeded their legal authority. Once they are in your home, however, do not fight them. Cooperate as best you can and deal with the violation of your rights through the legal system at a later point in time.help with CPS and ACS for parents on Long Island

What To Do If Your Children Are Taken By Child Protective Services – Part II

CPS assistance for parents on Long IslandThe Jurisdictional Hearing

The second trial you are entitled to if your children are seized by Child Protective Services is called a jurisdictional hearing. This gives you a second opportunity to have your children returned to you. If you are innocent of the allegations against you, do not make a deal. Litigate the hearing. If you are successful at the jurisdictional hearing, your children will be returned to you and this ordeal with Child Protective Services will be over. Child Protective Services, even if you are successful at the jurisdictional hearing, may suggest follow up treatments and benefits such as medicaid and food stamps. Do not work with Child Protective Services regarding these matters. Keep them out of your life!

If you are not successful at the jurisdictional trial, a case plan will be presented and you will have to cooperate with it. This means you are in for a long drawn out situation dealing with the Family Court, Child Protective Services and the caseworkers before you will be able to get your children back. Try to finalize the case plan in six months if possible. Do whatever they ask you to do to convince them to give your children back to you. They may want you to take parenting classes, attend therapy, and take other action to convince them and the court to return your children. Do whatever is necessary to comply with their wishes to get your children back.

Unfortunately, if there is a case hearing after 6 months and your children are not returned to you, you need to work on a second 6 month case plan. At the end of the second case plan you can have another hearing to get your children returned to you.

Hearing on the Termination of Parental Rights

The third trial you can have after your children are seized by Child Protective Services is the termination of parental rights hearing. Unfortunately by the time this hearing takes place, your children will have been away from you for close to a year and a half. Take the case to trial at this point again. If you lose the termination of parental rights hearing, you lose your rights to your children. This is your last chance. Should you lose this trial the only thing you can do is to bring an appeal to the Appellate Division. Appeals are costly and can take as long as a year to 18 months to get a decision. It is also difficult to be successful on appeals from termination of parental rights hearings.

father's rights advocates on Long IslandElliot S. Schlissel, Esq., has been representing parents in child abuse cases and child neglect cases for more than 35 years.

What To Do If Your Children Are Taken By Child Protective Services – Part I

father's rights advocateIf your child is taken by Child Protective Services the first thing you need to do is to hire an attorney who has extensive experience in litigating child seizure cases with Child Protective Services. Child Protective Services seize children when they feel the children are in danger of being harmed, abused or neglected.

There are three different trials that can be undertaken to help return your children to you.

Detention Hearing

After a child is seized by Child Protective Services, you can demand a detention hearing within 72 hours. Your attorney should immediately demand this hearing. You should not consent to the detention of your child. It may be suggested to you by your attorney that you wait until the jurisdictional hearing in 30 days to present your defense. Don’t go along with this! Demand a detention hearing immediately.

It may be claimed challenging the detention will hurt you in the long run. Don’t believe it. One of the primary reasons for demanding a detention hearing within 72 hours is that Child Protective Services will have difficulty putting their case together for trial at this point.

This is an excellent opportunity for your attorney to help you have your children returned to you. This also gives you an opportunity to get in front of a judge and hear the allegations made by Child Protective Services which are the basis for removing the child from you. If you fail to litigate the issue of the detention of the children by Child Protective Services, you are creating a problem for yourself. The fact they have your child and are keeping your child will become the law of the case. When you demand a detention hearing you may be offered a compromise arrangement by Child Protective Services. Unless you are guilty of the allegations they made against you, do not make a deal. Move forward with the detention hearing. If Child Protective Services has your children, make sure your attorney brings an application to the court for visitation with your children. If the court wants to leave the visitation arrangements to a caseworker, object to it. Tell them you want a court order with regard to visitation concerning your children.

The attorney representing Child Protective Services may request to the court the jurisdictional hearing and the dispositional hearing be held at the same time. Have your attorney object to this. Each of the hearings gives you an opportunity to get your children back. You are better off with two opportunities to get them back than only one!help dealing with CPS and ACS

Dealing with Child Protective Services – Part II

assistance for parents in CPS proceedingsThe Complaint Made Against You

If a Child Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “CPS”) investigator comes to your home it is because a complaint has been made against you. Your first question to the worker should be what is the nature of the complaint that was made against you.

The CPS worker conducts an investigation and a report is made. Copies of these reports can be obtained from the supervising agency of the CPS in Albany. On the basis of the report made by a CPS worker, a decision will be made as to whether the allegations against you are “founded” or “unfounded”. “Founded” allegations means you have been engaged in some type of child abuse or child neglect. In these situations you are entitled to demand a trial to challenge the validity of a finding made against you. At a trial witnesses will be called and your attorney will be able to examine the Child Protective Services worker with regard to the material contained in their report and the evidence that this material is based on.

Protecting Your Interests and The Interests of Your Children

The Child Protective Services agency exists for the sole purpose of protecting children. However, in recent years they have become overly zealous in their approach to investigating allegations of child abuse and child neglect. In many situations, allegations are frivolous, false, or don’t amount to child abuse or child neglect. However, in some of these cases the overly aggressive CPS worker can find you have acted inappropriately towards your children. The very best way of dealing with this situation is to immediately contact an attorney experienced in handling CPS investigations, and hearings. Should you have questions regarding a CPS investigation, feel free to contact our office. Our phones are monitored 24/7 and we offer free office consultations.CPS and ACS defense lawyers