Notice of Divorce Through Facebook

father's rights lawyersSupreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, sitting in New York County, was faced with a dilemma concerning serving a man with notice of his divorce. The wife in this case brought a proceeding to serve her husband with divorce papers by giving him notice on Facebook. She claimed there was no other viable means to serve him. He did not have an address and he was unemployed.

Justice Cooper noted this was a case of first impression. His research indicated federal courts had, on several occasions, allowed service of process through the social media website, Facebook. However, the federal courts had also conditioned this upon service by an alternate method too.

Wife Unable to Serve Husband Through Other Means

Justice Cooper found the wife had submitted evidence she was unable to personally serve the husband after using due diligence. His whereabouts were unknown and it was impractical to serve the husband by any other method.

Breaking New Legal Ground

Justice Cooper stated this method of service of legal documents represented a “radical departure from the traditional notion of what constitutes service of process.” He found the wife had demonstrated the husband had regularly logged onto his Facebook account. He also found the wife had access to the husband by text messaging him. Justice Cooper granted the wife’s application to allow her attorney to serve the husband by notifying him on Facebook that he was effectuating legal service of process upon him. The attorney had to do this repeatedly for several weeks, or until acknowledged by the husband that it was received.


In the past, if you couldn’t be found, you couldn’t be sued for divorce. After this decision, even if you are hiding out and can’t be found, should you go on your Facebook account you can still be served in a divorce lawsuit.

father's rights advocate in New YorkElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights lawyer. He represents fathers in divorces, custody cases, child support proceedings and all other family related matters.

Father Wants Children Returned to Poland: The Court Disagrees

father's rights lawyer in New York CityAnetta and Cezari were born in Poland. They both came to the United States to be married in Brooklyn, New York in 2003. After they were married, they returned to Poland to live. They had two sons, K.G. who was born in 2004, and M.G. who was born in 2008. There were claims that their relationship involved spousal abuse.

Anetta Moves to New York

Anetta took her children and immigrated to New York in April 2011. Her mother had been living in Brooklyn. She moved in with her. In 2012, Anetta brought a divorce case in Brooklyn, New York against Cezari.

Family Court Proceedings

Both Anetta and Cezari brought proceedings in the Family Court of Kings County (Brooklyn). Anetta was granted both legal and physical custody of the parties’ children by the Family Court. Cezari was given visitation with the children, but the visitation had to take place within the United States.

U.S. District Court Proceeding

Cezari brought a proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (a federal court). He took this action under the Hague Convention, an international child abduction remedies act. He asked the District Court to have the children returned to Poland with him. Judge Frederic Block sitting in the Eastern District of New York found the children’s removal from Poland may have violated Cezari’s custody rights under Polish Law. However, he also found the children had “settled” in the United States. Pursuant to Article 12 of the Geneva Convention this made the United States their home. He found they attended school and church in the United States. He also found they were old enough to form relationships and attachments in their new home.

The judge did find there were some questionable issues concerning Anetta’s financial stability and also issues about the children’s appropriate immigration status. However, after reviewing all of the factors Judge Block found the children had “become so settled in their new environment that repatriation [is] not in [their] best interests.”


If you want to challenge custody, bring court proceedings immediately. If the children become too settled in their new country you may not be able to repatriate them.father's rights advocate on Long Island

Father Rebuilds Relationship With Daughter and Obtains Residential Custody

father's rights advocateThis is a story about two young parents who had a daughter in 2003. Shortly after the daughter was born, the child’s mother agreed to have the maternal grandmother raise the child in Franklin County, New York. This gave the mother the opportunity to go away to college. While the mother was attending college, she visited her daughter sometimes on weekends, holidays, and on school vacations.

Father in the Military

The child’s father had enlisted in the military before his daughter was born. He was twice deployed in Iraq. Due to his deployment overseas he rarely saw his daughter. When he was discharged from the military in 2007, the father worked out an arrangement with the maternal grandmother whereby he would have a regular visitation schedule with his daughter. During this period of time he was able to reestablish his relationship with her.

Family Court Custody Proceeding

When the mother returned to New York in 2011, the grandmother moved out of state. A proceeding was brought in the Family Court concerning the custody of the parties’ daughter. The Family Court awarded the parties’ joint legal custody, however the father was named as the residential custodial parent of his daughter. The mother was unhappy with the decision of the Family Court and she appealed to the Appellate Division of the Third Department, an appeals court. The Appellate Division affirmed the prior order of the Family Court. The court took into consideration the mother waited more than 2 years before she sought custody of her daughter. They found this action of the mother was “the most discerning factor” concerning whether or not she should be given residential custody. The appeals court also found the mother did not reestablish herself back into her daughter’s life in Franklin County for the purpose of avoiding the relocation of the child.


Fathers who love their children and are willing to make sacrifices to reestablish relationships with their children can prevail and obtain residential custody.father's rights lawyer

Relocation Issues

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

Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney who has been helping fathers maintain relationships with their children for more than 35 years.  He and his associates represent fathers in all aspects of matrimonial and family law.  Elliot can be reached for consultation by calling 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by sending an email to

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.”


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

Malicious Mother Syndrome

In divorce situations, cases exist where the mother seeks to do more than just alienate the children from the father. In these cases, the mother takes action to have a negative effect on the father’s life. Examples of actions which can be considered Malicious Mother Syndrome involve making false allegations the father sexually abused the children: taking action to have third parties harass and/or assault the father; making up vicious lies and stories about the father and taking action to have a negative impact on the father’s employment.

Malicious Mother Syndrome and Parental Alienation Syndrome

Malicious Mother Syndrome goes beyond Parental Alienation Syndrome. The theory of Parental Alienation Syndrome has the mother turning the children against the father. This very often can relate to the mother interfering and/or preventing the father from having visitation or a loving relationship with the children. Malicious Mother Syndrome is different from Parental Alienation Syndrome because this involves attacking other aspects of the father’s life, health and well-being beyond the father’s relationship with the children. Malicious Mother Syndrome involves campaigns against the father. In many cases of Malicious Mother Syndrome, the mother tries to manipulate third parties to hate the father based on information and stories which are untrue or greatly exaggerated.

Inappropriate behavior common to both Malicious Mother Syndrome and Parental Alienation Syndrome involve the following actions taken by the mother

  • alienating the children from the father
  •   interrupting the father’s visitation with the children
  • preventing the children from having telephone or internet contact with the father
  • convincing the children the father doesn’t love them
  • making up lies about the father and convincing the children these lies are true
  • engaging in excessive litigation for the sole purpose of creating problems in the father’s life

Dealing With Malicious Mother Syndrome

The best way to deal with Malicious Mother Syndrome is to go on the legal offensive. Bring applications to the court showing the judge what the mother is doing and the negative impact it is having on the children and the father’s life. To be successful in these endeavors, it is important to hire an experienced attorney who has the time, the resources, and the knowledge to bring, through litigation, the mother’s improper activities to the court’s attention. If the attorney you are using is unsuccessful or unable to handle the matter, you should find a more experienced, more capable attorney to bring these inappropriate actions to the court’s for fathers on Long Island

Challenging Unfair Orders of Protection

father's rights attorney Long IslandA woman can simply go into court, make a presentation, and under certain circumstances, obtain an Order of Protection against you. You may find out about the Order of Protection when you get served by a sheriff with the order. So, what do you do? What you shouldn’t do, is violate the terms of that Order of Protection. Even if you feel it is based on false, inaccurate, or even made up allegations, you would be committing a criminal act if you were to violate an Order of Protection.

Taking Quick Action

Temporary Orders of Protection can be set aside if quick legal action is taken. In the event the accusations made against you are untrue, or there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations, you can be successful in setting aside Orders of Protection. In certain circumstances you may be able to show you were not even present when the alleged event took place. Alibi witnesses can be utilized in these situations to convince the court you were not involved in the alleged incident.

You can also show the court the purpose of the Orders of Protection did not relate to the individual taking the order out against you fearing for her life, health, or well being. You may be able to show the other party’s application for the Order of Protection was part of a legal strategy involved in either a custody or divorce case. Sometimes, Orders of Protection are preliminarily taken out to get a step up on the other individual in these types of proceedings.

Fighting Orders of Protection

The best way to fight an Order of Protection is to hire a qualified, experienced attorney who handles divorce and family law cases. Attorneys who do this type of legal work are generally familiar with litigating issues involving Orders of Protection. At the time you interview a prospective attorney regarding an Order of Protection, you should discuss with him or her the level of experience they have in handling these types of proceedings.

Order of Protection proceedings can be brought either in the Family Court or in the Supreme Court during the course of a marital dispute. The sooner you contact a qualified Order of Protection defense lawyer, the more likely you will be able to succeed in getting it dismissed. father's rights advocate in New York

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  The phones are monitored 24/7.

Custody Changed From Mother to Father

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 fathers in custody proceedings, visitation agreements, and all aspects of matrimonial law and family law.  He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, or by email to

It Now Costs a Quarter of a Million Dollars to Raise a Child

father's rights attorneyIt is estimated it costs approximately $245,000 to raise a child in the United States from birth to 18 years of age.  This is based on a national average.  However, in the northeast portion of the United States it is estimated it costs about $282,000 to raise a child.  This is because the standard of living and the costs associated with said standard of living are much higher in the northeast portion of the United States.  When taking into consideration adjustments for inflation, a child born in 2013 would cost an average middle class family approximately $305,000 to raise the child from infancy to adulthood.  This information is based on a study by the federal government’s consumer expenditure survey.

This study did not take into consideration the costs related to the pregnancy.  In addition, it also doesn’t take into consideration costs related to an individual applying to college and attending college.  When the study was first undertaken in the year 1960, it cost approximately $25,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18.

Housing Costs

The largest single expense in raising a child is the cost of housing the child.  The studies have found most middle income American families spend a third of the cost for raising a child related to their housing expenses.  The second largest expense involve child care and education which makes up approximately 18% of the cost of raising a child.  About 16% of the expenses for the child relate to providing him or her three meals a day.  The cost per child expenses decrease as a family has more children.

avocate for father's in custody litigationElliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney representing fathers throughout the Metropolitan New York area with regard to issues involving child custody.