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.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

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

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

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.


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 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

After The Custody Battle Is Lost

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

Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney with more than 45 years of experience representing fathers in custody litigation.  He and his associates handle all aspects of family law and divorce litigation.  He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to

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.

Who Gets the House?

New York divorce attorneyWhen considering bringing a divorce lawsuit and there is a marital home involved, a question arises as to what will happen to the house in the divorce case. Assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property. If the home was acquired during the marriage, it is a marital asset. (If the home was acquired by one of the parties to the marriage prior to the marriage, it is separate property and may not be distributed in the divorce. However this is a different topic than what this article is about, and I will not be going into details concerning what happens to the home as separate property in divorces at this time.)

Appraisal of the Home

It will be necessary to appraise the home to establish its market value. Thereafter one would have to take into consideration the amount of the mortgage on the house. By subtracting the mortgage from the value of the house, you arrive at the home’s equity. Let’s assume for argument sake there is going to be a 50/50 split of marital assets. In this example, let’s say the home is worth $400,000 and there is a $100,000 mortgage remaining on the property. The homeowners would thereafter have equity in the amount of $300,000 and each of the parties would have an equity interest of $150,000.

If there is plenty of cash available, the party who wants to keep the home can exchange a marital asset worth approximately $150,000 for the other party’s ownership interest in the house. If there aren’t any liquid assets a trade can be made with regard to pension benefits or 401(k) assets. However it should be noted pension and 401(k) assets are pretaxed assets and therefore they would have to be tax impacted on before an exchange for a real estate interest could be made.

Is the Home Affordable?

One of the issues which must be faced by the party seeking to purchase the home is whether after purchasing the home, he or she will be financially able to maintain the mortgage, taxes, utilities, upkeep and maintenance on the home. Homes can be expensive to maintain and the issue of affordability should be closely looked into before making any financial arrangements.

Residential Custody of the Children in the Home

Many courts will give the parent who obtains residential custody of the parties’ children exclusive occupancy and possession of the home until such time as the youngest child is either 18 or 21 years of age.


The issue of one of the parents keeping the home may be more complicated than it looks to be at first glance. The best way to deal with this matter is to meet with an experienced divorce lawyer and go through all of the details with him or her.father's rights lawyer in New York

Appeals Court Sets Aside Decision Giving Mother Sole Legal and Physical Custody of Child

A mother had brought a Family Court proceeding requesting sole custody of the parties’ child. The parties had initially been granted joint legal and shared custody of their child. They had also agreed to a “corrected” custody order. The Family Court after a fact finding hearing rendered a decision which found the father had twice violated the prior joint custody order. The Family Court therefore ordered the mother have sole legal and physical custody. The court had noted the father had failed to comply, pursuant to his own testimony, with the provisions of the joint custody order. The court therefore found they should not disturb the finding he was in willful violation of the court order. Based on this willful violation, the Family Court granted the mother’s petition giving her sole legal and physical custody of the parties’ child.

The Appeal

The father had appealed the Family Court’s decision. The Appellate Division of the Third Department, an appeals court, found the relationship between the mother and the father was not so acrimonious as to prevent them from having joint custody. The appeals court also noted the father’s basis for seeking sole custody stemmed not from an expressed inability to get along with the mother but was instead related to her stability. She had documented mental health and alcohol dependency issues. The appeals court in its decision stated neither the father nor the mother showed a sufficient change in circumstances which would cause the modification of the original custody order. The Family Court was therefore mistaken in awarding sole legal and physical custody to the mother. The appeals court reinstated the original joint custody order and sent the case back to the Family Court to work out the details.


Courts are becoming more and more attuned to protecting father’s rights to maintain relationships with their children.father's rights advocate

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 who protects fathers