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Parental Alienation Syndrome

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney with nearly 40 years experience representing fathers in all aspects of family law.  He and his associates are available for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Judge Awards Custody of Sons to Wife and Daughter to Husband

custody attorney for fathersJustice Leonard Steinman sitting in a Supreme Court Matrimonial Part in Nassau County recently had a case before him where the husband claimed the wife had turned his sons against him. He also claimed the wife was trying to turn his daughter against him too. During this divorce case the wife argued the husband was a deadbeat father. She claimed he attempted to “starve” her and the children by intentionally taking action to have his income reduced. Justice Steinman found the sons had “by deeds and words vociferously proclaimed their hatred of their father.” He also noted the daughter had also expressed some hostility towards her father.

Wife Interferes With Father’s Relationship With His Children

Justice Steinman found the wife had intentionally prevented the father from maintaining a loving relationship with his sons. The court had appointed a forensic evaluator in the case. The forensic evaluator concluded the wife had contributed to the boys’ “disenfranchisement” with their father. The forensic evaluator took the position that an award of custody to the mother would result in the sons’ having no relationship whatsoever with their father. The forensic evaluator took the position that an award of custody to the mother would result in the father having virtually no contact with his sons. In addition, the evaluator found the daughter would also eventually adopt the same position as her brothers and it would be impossible to establish a visitation arrangement between the father and his daughter.

Judge Steinman awarded the mother residential custody of her sons. He took this position because if he tried to award the father custody of his sons, it would only foster more hatred between them. However, he found it was in the daughter’s best interest to separate her from her brothers and from her mother. For the purpose of allowing the father to maintain a relationship with his daughter, he awarded the father legal and physical custody of his daughter.

Conclusion

This is a very unusual decision. Judges do not like to break up brothers and sisters. Here the judge had no choice. The mother’s actions would have turned the daughter against the father and he would have lost his relationship with all three children had the judge not taken this action.father's rights attorney

Father Granted Supervised Overnight Visitation

In a proceeding before Judge Ann O’Shea sitting in the Family Court of Kings County, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) brought a neglect proceeding against a father. They alleged the father R.S. had neglected his daughter by committing acts of domestic violence against the child’s mother. They also claim the father had violated an existing Order of Protection which had been taken out by the mother against him. During the course of this proceeding the father was granted temporary visitation. This visitation allowed him to visit with the child for eight hours on Saturdays while being supervised by his mother, the child’s grandmother.

Further Extension of Visitation

The father has now brought a further application to the Family Court asking that his visitation be extended to supervised overnight visitation.

The attorney for the child’s mother has alleged that she opposed the father having further visitation with the child. She was not comfortable with the idea of further overnight visitation. This was in spite of the fact that ACS consented to the further supervised overnight visits by the father from Friday evenings through Saturday.

The court took into consideration that the visitation with the father was going well. The mother argued the child was not comfortable with this further expansion of the visitation and therefore the father’s visitation should not be expanded to overnights.

Judge O’Shea found the expansion of the father’s visitation was consistent with the policy of the Family Court Act and ACS guidelines for determining the appropriate level of supervision regarding family visits. The court found the ACS guidelines allowed for overnight visitation and weekend visits between a parent and a child during the pendency of proceedings in the Family Court for neglect. The court further found the extension of the visitation by the father did not expose the child to negative risks concerning physical, mental or the emotional well being of the child. The court therefore granted the father’s petition extending his visitation.

Father’s Rights

Fathers have an important role to play in their children’s lives. Where a child has two loving, dedicated parents, the child’s life is enhanced. Granting the father, in this case, expanded visitation with his child was in the child’s best interest. Family Court judges should do everything in their power to promote father’s rights to have relationships with their children in all situations where it is shown that the father is having a positive impact on the children’s lives.Long Island CPS defense for fathers

Mother’s Request to Relocate Children to Texas Denied As Not Being In The Children’s Best Interests

Attorney for fathers in relocation disputesA mother had brought a proceeding in the Family Court requesting she be allowed to move with her children to Texas. The Family Court denied her application. She thereafter brought an appeal to the Appellate Division of the Third Department, an appeals court. She claimed the Family Court had applied an incorrect standard in rejecting her request to relocate herself and the children to Texas. She claimed the Family Court’s decision denying her relocation application on the ground she failed to show a sufficient change in circumstances to warrant this relocation was not the appropriate standard to be used by the Family Court in this proceeding. At the time of the trial in the Family Court, the mother testified she wanted to relocate to benefit from the economic and emotional support she would receive in Texas from her father and other members of her family who resided there.

Father Fights Mother’s Relocation Application

The children’s father opposed the mother’s relocation application. He took the position it was a detrimental move to his relationship with the children.

The Appeal’s Court denied the mother’s application to relocate. They found the decision made by the Family Court was correct. They stated although no change in circumstances must be established to support a relocation petition, the mother had failed to show the relocation of the parties’ children to the State of Texas would be in their best interests. The Appeal’s Court considered all of the relevant factors with regard to the relocation of the children. They took into consideration this relocation would have a negative impact on the children’s well established relationship with their father and his family who reside in New York.

Conclusion

Father’s relationships with their children are important. Appeal’s Courts should not approve relocations which will destroy or have a negative impact on the father’s relationship with the children unless there is sufficient evidence to show the children will benefit from this relocation.

Father's rights attorney on Long IslandElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney who litigates relocation cases.

Co-Parenting After The Divorce

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

Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney with more than 35 years experience representing fathers in all aspects of divorce and custody litigation.  He and his associates can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by sending an email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Child’s Surname Changed to That of His Father

child custody attorney on Long IslandIn a case before Supreme Court Justice Eugene Faughnan from Madison County, New York, a father sought to change the last name of his son. The father claimed he had had custody of his son since the boy was three months old. The mother only had eight hours of supervised visitation each week. Justice Faughnan found the father’s requested name change would promote the child’s best interests. In addition, Justice Faughnan found the mother had failed to come forward with any sustainable objection to the father’s request to change his son’s last name to his.

The Name Change Was In The Child’s Best Interest

Justice Faughnan held the sharing of a surname by a child and his father he lived with was a legitimate issue. He found that it minimized “embarrassment, harassment and confusion in school and social context.” The judge in his decision found the father obtained custody of the child shortly after birth. The mother only had supervised visitation because of her prior misconduct. In addition, Judge Faughnan found the mother had never provided the child with any financial support. The court therefore was satisfied the father had met his burden of proof for the proposed name change and that this name change would be in the child’s best interest.

father's rights lawyer in New YorkElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer. He represents fathers on custody, paternity, visitation (parenting time) cases in both the Supreme Court during divorce proceedings, and in the Family Courts. He practices law throughout the Metropolitan New York area.

Uncle Found Not Guilty For Endangering Child’s Welfare

Ibrahim was charged in Bronx County Criminal Court with endangering the welfare of a child. The child in question was his nephew. His attorney moved for dismissal of the charges against him because they were facially insufficient.

Informant Reported The Incident To The Police

An informant had seen a small child seated on the first floor fire escape and there were no adults supervising the child. The informant looked around for nearly an hour and could not find a parent or guardian who would supervise the child. Thereafter, the informant called the police.

The police picked up the child and brought the child to the police station. Sometime thereafter Ibrahim arrived at the police station. He advised the police he was the child’s uncle.

Application To Dismiss The Criminal Charges

Ibrahim, in his application to dismiss the criminal charges against him, argued the Complaint against him was facially insufficient because it did not document that he had either custody or control of the child at the time and place of the alleged incident.

The District Attorney’s office claimed the charge did not require they show a relationship between the defendant and the child. They claimed the fact that Ibrahim appeared at the police station, acknowledged he was the child’s uncle and sought to take the child was sufficient to support the allegations of endangering the welfare of this child. The court did not agree with the prosecutors. The judge found there were no facts alleged by the District Attorney’s office showing the child was under Ibrahim’s care and control on the first floor fire escape. The judge went on further to state in his decision the prosecutors had an obligation to establish Ibrahim was in charge of watching his nephew. The prosecutors did not show he was responsible for his nephew on the date of the incident. He therefore could not be held liable for endangering the welfare of the child. Since the prosecutors did not meet their burden of proof, the case was dismissed.

father's rights attorneyElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer. He represents fathers with regard to allegations of child abuse and child neglect brought by Child Protective Services (CPS) or the Administration for Child Services (ACS).

Orders of Protection

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer.  Elliot has been representing fathers in child support hearings, custody proceedings, and all aspects of matrimonial law and family law for more than 35 years.  Elliot and his associates may be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

 

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.

Conclusion

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

An Appeal of An Order of Protection May Continue After The Order Expires

father's rights attorney Long IslandThe New York State Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, recently ruled that the appeal of an Order of Protection which was issued by the Family Court can continue even after the Order of Protection expires. The Court of Appeals unanimously rendered this decision because they held the order, even after it expires, can carry “significant enduring consequences.” The decision by the Court of Appeals allows individuals who are unfairly named in an Order of Protection to have the opportunity to move forward with their appeal even when the Order of Protection has expired. Court of Appeals Judge Abdus-Salaam wrote in the Court’s decision “the appeal is not moot if an appellate decision will eliminate readily ascertainable and legally significant enduring consequences that befall a party as a result of the order which the party seeks to appeal.”

The Actual Case

The name of this case is the Matter of Veronica P. v. Radcliff A.. Veronica P. filed an application in 2009 for an Order of Protection against her nephew Radcliff A. She claimed he grabbed and pushed her in her apartment located in Manhattan. They were both living in the apartment at the time. The Family Court in New York County ruled Radcliff’s actions constituted second degree harassment and it gave Veronica a two year Order of Protection. This Order of Protection required Radcliff to stay away from her and not assault, intimidate or threaten her. Radcliff brought an appeal. Unfortunately, during the pendency of his appeal, the protective order expired. This was due to the fact the protective order was only for two years and appeals can take much longer than two years to be heard by the Appellate Courts. Judge Abdus-Salaam wrote, in the Court’s decision, the very fact the Order of Protection was taken out against Radcliff may lead another Court to readily discern Radcliff committed the offense. In addition she stated “armed with that information, the Court in a future case may increase the severity of any applicable criminal sentence or civil judgment against respondent [Radcliff].”

Long Term Impact of Orders of Protection

Judge Abdus-Salaam also stated in her decision the unchallenged presence of the Order on Radcliff’s record might lead an opposing party in a future lawsuit to use this protective order to impeach Radcliff’s credibility. The protective order is also likely to increase the chances that Radcliff would be arrested if he is accused of similar conduct in the future. In addition, it also may cause Radcliff to receive harsher penalties in the future if accused of similar conduct.

Orders of Protection can create “severe stigma. It can impact on business contacts, social acquaintances and other members of an individual’s family.”

Judge Abdus-Salaam went on to state “perhaps more importantly, potential employers may ask respondent whether an Order of Protection has ever been entered against him, and he may be ethically or legally bound to answer in the affirmative, significantly curtailing his chances of getting a job.”

Conclusion

Many Family Court judges in the Metropolitan New York area grant Orders of Protection to women based on either false allegations, flimsy allegations, or greatly exaggerated allegations against men. The Court of Appeals’ ruling now gives men an ability to purge their record long after the Orders of Protection have expired. This is an excellent decision protecting men’s rightsfather's rights advocate on Long Island