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

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 45 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.

Mother Given Sole Custody of Children

custody attorney for fathersIn a case before Supreme Court Justice Sharon Gianelli, in Supreme Court Divorce Part in Nassau County, Judge Gianelli granted residential custody to a mother in spite of the fact the father has a nicer home, greater financial resources, space in his home for the children and he was retired which gave him a significant amount of time to spend with the parties’ children.

Irreconcilable Differences

The divorce case was based on irreconcilable differences pursuant to Domestic Relations Law section 170(7). In the lawsuit the mother sought sole custody of the two minor children of the parties. Justice Gianelli found “children are not grocery items”, stating that “charting a course to meet their best interests was a ‘nuanced undertaking’.”

Father Unreasonably Rigid

Justice Gianelli found the father had a pattern of unreasonable rigidness and inflexibility. She found further he showed his negative feelings towards the mother which motivated his actions. Instead of acting in the children’s best interests, the judge felt he acted in a manner to show his anger and dissatisfaction with his spouse.

Justice Gianelli found she was not convinced the father would work towards developing a healthy relationship between the children and their mother. Judge Gianelli also took into consideration the attorney for the children had recommended the mother receive sole custody of the children because this was in the children’s best interests. In addition, Justice Gianelli found co-parenting pursuant to a joint custody arrangement was not feasible in this case. In the end she awarded sole residential custody to the mother because she found it was in the children’s best interests.


Fathers who seek to obtain custody of their children must be careful. In addition to providing the children with an appropriate place to live, the father must show that he respects the mother’s relationship with the children and acts in a manner to promote the children’s relationship with their mother. Fathers should be aware courts take into consideration, it is in the children’s best interests to have good relationships with both parents. Conveying to the children negative impressions of the other parent is considered to be disturbing behavior by judges when deciding who should receive custody of the children.

father's rights attorneyElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.

Co-Parenting After The Divorce

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney with more than 45 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

Constructive Emancipation Leads To Early Termination of Child Support Obligation

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.  He has been representing fathers in child support hearings, custody proceedings, visitation agreements, and all aspects of matrimonial law and family law for more than 45 years.  Elliot and his associates may be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, or by email to

Custody Legal Battles – Part II

father's rights attorney on Long IslandCustody Issues Before Litigating

Discuss settlement possibilities with your attorney and the realistic potential you will be successful if you take the custody case to trial. Custody battles can be emotionally taxing and expensive. Unless you are willing to fight the battle to the end and pay the expenses related to the battle, you should consider settling and obtaining the best possible parenting time access situation with your children.

Child Support and Custody Issues

It is extremely important the court not feel you are litigating the issue of custody to avoid paying child support. If the court feels the custody battle is a camouflaged issue involving child support it will have a devastatingly negative effect on your possibilities of obtaining residential custody of your children. It should be pointed out in New York, even if you settle a case with both of the parents having equal time with the children, the parent who earns more money will pay child support to the other parent.

Settling and Schedules

Work out your schedule prior to discussing settlement on custody and parenting time issues. Know what your schedule is. See if your family and friends’ can provide a support system. Have a back up system to help you take care of your children in the event you have an emergency, either related to work situations, illness, accidents of family members, or health issues involving yourself.

Parenting Time Schedule

The standard parenting schedule for the non-residential custodial parent is every other weekend, every other holiday, one or two dinners during the week and access on Father’s Day and the child’s birthday. If you are going to settle the case, negotiate for more than the standard visitation schedule. Customize the parenting time you spend with your children to deal with your work and life circumstances.

It is important you take into consideration the interaction your children have with your parents (their grandparents) and other family members. Children enjoy spending time with their cousins and other children of a similar age to them. Make sure your home is set up to provide a stimulating atmosphere for the children when they spend time with you. Children get bored very easily. You need to carefully take into consideration the children’s needs to be entertained, excited, and intellectually challenged.

Cordial Relationship With The Children’s Mother

This is a topic I have spent many hours discussing with my clients. You may be getting divorced because the children’s mother is a lousy human being. You may be divorcing her because you hate her guts. You also may be divorcing her because you consider her to be simply a pain in the butt. However, she is still always going to be the mother of your children! When the case is over, the court proceedings have finished, and the lawyers are gone, you are going to need to deal with her. This may require more character, patience, and reasonableness than you even needed to use when you interacted with her while you were married. Take into consideration your communication with the children’s mother promotes the children’s best interest. Put your children’s best interests over and above the anger, anxiety, and problems you have with their mother. Deal with her as best as you can. Even if you litigate a very nasty custody battle, at the end of the day you are still going to need to deal with her. Get used to it. For the sake of your children, put your pride, anger and aggravation aside!child custody lawyer

Mothers Are No Longer First In Line When It Comes To Child Custody – Part II

fathers rights lawyerChildren’s Best Interests

A gender neutral standard is utilized by courts in New York State to determine custody based on what is in the children’s best interests. There are a number of factors which courts consider on the children’s best interest issue. Among those factors are the following:

  • who has been the nurturing parent for the child
  • who has been the child’s primary caretaker
  • the nature and circumstances of the relationship between the child and each of the parents
  • does either of the parents have extended family members who help nurture the child
  • are both of the parents in good physical and mental health
  • are there drug addiction, alcohol abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse issues involved in the relationships
  • the child’s preference with regard to living with each of the parents

Custody Litigation

If the issues concerning custody and parenting time cannot be resolved amicably, custody litigation ensues in both the Family Courts and the Supreme Courts in the State of New York. When these matters are litigated, each of the parents has the right to show how giving custody to him or her would be in the child’s best interests. The parent’s gender no longer is a consideration in determining who should receive custody of the child or children.

Children Need Both Parents

All children have one father and one mother. Custody litigation is not a winner take all situation. Even if one parent receives sole custody of the children, the other parent should be entitled to extensive parenting time with the children. The best way to handle custody issues is to try to resolve them out of court. Litigation itself may create levels of animosity which is detrimental to the children.Child custody attorneys on Long Island

Mothers Are No Longer First In Line When It Comes To Child Custody – Part I

father's rights lawyerThere was a time in the 1970s when it was almost a foregone conclusion mothers would receive custody of their children unless they were unfit. Custody today is determined without discrimination as to the gender of the individual asking for custody. Mothers are no longer first on the custody line! The theory that mothers, because of their biology, are a better parent is a debunked myth. Mothers no longer automatically receive custody. The “tender years doctrine” which held mothers should receive custody of young children because a mother had a greater ability to provide love and care for young children and were better suited to meet young children’s needs is no longer accepted in the courts of New York. The argument that mothers had some type of biological superiority to become the residential custodial parent of children is now considered to be only a myth.

Fathers play an extremely important role in raising their children today. Fathers who are the principal caretaker of their children are becoming more and more common in America. Changes in who will receive custody of their children have been impacted on by changing gender stereotypes. The courts giving equality to both sexes concerning the issue of who should be the child’s custodial parent. The development of father’s rights attorneys who effectively litigate on behalf of fathers seeking custody of their children have also impacted on helping fathers receive custody.Father's rights advocate

CPS Investigates A Case of Corporal Punishment

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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 45 years.  He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to

Father Has Children Returned to Israel

father's rights lawyers in New YorkJudge Douglas Hoffman, sitting in a Family Court Part in New York County, recently had a case before him involving an international custody problem which needed to be determined pursuant to the Hague Convention regarding international child custody issues.  The United States is a signatory to this convention.  This convention is considered a treaty which has the same enforcement ability as a federal law.

The father took the position in this case the mother had wrongfully kept the children in New York. He argued before the court the children should be returned to their country of habitual residence, Israel.

The parties had entered into a divorce settlement agreement. The agreement was detailed and had specific clauses involving parenting time. The agreement provided the mother would have primary residential custody of the children.

Mother Comes to New York

The mother had contacted the father. They had worked out an agreement where the children would come to New York to live with her for a period of one year. She requested the children come with her to New York so she could continue her education in New York.

The father took the position, after the year expired, the mother refused to return the children to Israel. He claimed this action violated the terms of the Hague Convention. The mother took the position the children were now established in New York and they should therefore remain in New York. Judge Hoffman noted in his decision, although the children were comfortable living in New York, they had no objections to returning to Israel. Judge Hoffman found the father had established a prima facie case regarding the wrongful retention of the children in the State of New York. The judge found the father’s testimony was believable while the mother’s testimony, that the father had agreed to allow the children to spend a second year in New York, was not credible.

Judge Hoffman in his decision found the mother’s keeping the children in New York impaired and prejudiced the father’s rights to see his children which was in violation of the parties’ settlement agreement which was incorporated by reference into their 2007 divorce. The judge therefore ordered the mother immediately return the children to Israel.father's rights advocate in custody cases