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Father’s Name Removed From Child Abuse Registry

father's rights lawyerAn appeals court has ordered that the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Mistreatment remove the name of an aspiring pediatrician. He had been reported for hitting his two year old son on his butt on one occasion. In its decision to remove the father’s name from the child abuse registry, the appeals court stated there was no evidence the incident impaired the child’s physical, mental or emotional condition.

The Facts of the Case

Maurizio was giving his son a bath in July of 2012. His son started to eat soap. He slapped him one time on the butt to discipline him and convince him that eating soap was not something he should be doing. The next day the father noticed his child’s butt was bruised. He told the son’s daycare provider about the incident. The daycare provider reported him to Child Protective Services. Child care providers are one of the many professionals who are mandated under New York State Law to report suspected cases of child abuse and/or child neglect.

An investigation was undertaken by the Suffolk County Department of Social Services. The Social Service worker determined the incident should be considered “indicated” for child abuse, inadequate guardianship and excessive corporal punishment.

Father Requests Child Abuse Report To Be Marked “Unfounded”

The father requested the report be changed from indicated to unfounded. A hearing was held before an Administrative Law Judge. The Administrative Law Judge found the father’s inappropriate behavior was supported by a “preponderance of the evidence” and that the “indicated report should be disclosed to all inquiring agencies.”

At the time of the hearing, the father testified he spanked the boy one time, his son cried briefly, and the family thereafter resumed to its normal activities. His son did not complain of pain. There was no negative impact on the boy as a result of the incident. The impression left by the slap on the child’s butt was exacerbated by the boy’s sensitivity due to the hot bath water the boy was in at the time. The father was remorseful and cooperative with the Department of Social Services. He took an anger management program and he had a positive attitude about changing his ways concerning corporal punishment.

His wife, the child’s mother, testified the husband had not on any other occasion meted out excessive corporal punishment to their other two children and their usual manner of disciplining their children was giving them a “time out”.

The Appellate Division (an appeals court) in its decision stated a parent could “use reasonable physical force to promote discipline”. The court reversed the lower court’s decision and changed the fact that he was “indicated” for child abuse to “unfounded”.

Conclusion

Parents live in the real world with their children. Sometimes children need to be strongly reprimanded to put them on the right path, prevent them from being injured, and to drive home points which don’t seem to stick any other way. Child abuse agencies tend to be overly zealous and look at each and every indication of any physical contact between a parent and his child involving discipline to be inappropriate. The pendulum on this issue in many situations has swung too far. The decision of this court was appropriate in setting aside an incorrect ruling concerning this father.father's rights advocate

Are Your Children Being Subject to Parental Alienation Syndrome?

father's rights attorney on Long IslandParental alienation can have a destructive effect on a parent’s relationship with their children. Children subjected to parental alienation often exhibit hatred toward the targeted parent. The following are a list of the symptoms of parental alienation syndrome:

  • One of the parents discussing the aspects of the divorce with the children. That parent presents the divorce case from their point of view. They take this position claiming they are trying to be honest with the children. This practice can be harmful and painful to the children. This can cause the children to think less of the other parent. Even when the parent doesn’t have an intentional motive to effect the other parent’s relationship with the children. It still does! Children want to love both of their parents. When they feel one parent has harmed the other parent, they can adopt the same attitude of the parent they feel has been mistreated.
  • Children shouldn’t be allowed to decide for themselves whether they will visit with the non-residential parent. Children have no choice. Child visitation is mandatory pursuant to Court Orders. If one parent gives the children a choice and then after the children make a choice of not to visit with the other parent they are compelled to visit, they will usually blame the non-residential parent for not abiding by their decision not to visit with them. This now creates a situation where the non-custodial parent is being victimized by the residential custodial parent. He or she is not able to see the children when they want to. If they force the children to see them, the children become angry with them.
  • Children have toys and other memorabilia that is important to them. They should be allowed to transport these items from the custodial parent’s home to the non-custodial parent’s home. When they are not allowed to do this, it creates disharmony in the children’s lives. Their normal daily routine is impacted on and it results in problems for the parent seeking visitation with his or her children.
  • In the event there has been domestic violence between the parents, it should not be presented to the child that the child is in danger. In most situations involving domestic violence between parents there is absolutely no indication of violence towards the children.
  • If a child cannot present a reason for being angry with a parent it usually relates to parental alienation syndrome.
  • One parent should not have the child act as a spy on the other parent. When the child comes back from visiting with the other parent, he or she should not be interrogated.
  • When a child comes back from visiting one parent and presents that he or she had a good time, it should not make the other parent unhappy. This may cause the child to withdraw and stop communicating with the other parent. It can also make the child feel guilty for enjoying the company of the other parent.

Father's rights lawyerElliot S. Schlissel is an attorney with more than 35 years of experience representing parents regarding custody and visitation issues. He represents clients throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He is available for consultations.

Father Rebuilds Relationship With Daughter and Obtains Residential Custody

father's custody attorneyThis 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.

Conclusion

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

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

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

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.

 

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.

Conclusion

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.”

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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

Custody Litigation

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

Elliot Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.  He has been representing fathers in all aspects of custody litigation and family law issues 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.