Chat Banner

Can We Help You?

Wife Awarded Temporary Attorney’s Fees

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

Elliot Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.  He can be reached by telephone at 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.  He can also be contacted by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Husband Ordered to Pay Wife’s Legal Fees

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

Elliot S. Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney.  He can be reached at 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.  He can also be reached by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

 

Wife Awarded 100% of Assets Due to Husband’s Failure to Produce Documents

Elliot S. Schlissel, Family Law Attorney  1-800-344-6431; or schlissel.law@att.net

Obtaining Custody for Children Born to Unmarried Fathers

father's rights lawyer in New YorkPaternity Proceeding

In the State of New York, a father can sign an acknowledgment of paternity at the time a child is born. The acknowledgment of paternity specifically states that I am the father of this child. If an acknowledgment of paternity isn’t executed by the father at the time of the child’s birth, the first step in obtaining visitation rights or custody is to file a paternity proceeding.

The Paternity Proceeding

The paternity proceeding is fast and simple if the mother simply says, yes he is the father. However, if the mother disputes the fact he is the father or there is a question in her mind as to who the father is, the court in New York will order DNA testing to ascertain whether this man is actually the father of the child.

Custody Petitions and Visitation Petitions

Once paternity is established, the next step is to file an application for custody or in the alternative for visitation with the child. These petitions are filed in the Family Court in the county where the child is located. This petition can ask for sole custody, joint custody, or just simply for visitation. After the petition is filed, the court will make arrangements to serve the child’s mother. The two of you will then have to appear in court on the return date of the petition.

Establishing That You Are The Superior Custodial Parent

If you seek custody of your child, you must show it is in the child’s best interest you be named the residential custodial parent. In addition, you can show why the mother should not have custody of her child. Issues the mother has with drug abuse, child abuse, child neglect, prior history of drug abuse, criminal records, and associating with inappropriate and/or violent individuals can be the basis for your asking for custody of your child.

Visitation With Your Child

If you simply seek visitation with your child, and you have no negative history which would prevent you from having visitation rights, the usual visitation regimen given by the Family Courts in New York is every other holiday, every other weekend, and one dinner during the week. Also, fathers are given access to the child on Father’s Day and the child’s birthday. In addition, the child should be entitled to telephone and Skype contact with the father on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Children have two parents. They should have relationships with both parents. This helps them grow up to be well meaning, well balanced adults.father's rights advocate on Long Island

Judge Reduces Wife’s Equitable Distribution Due to Bad Behavior

father's rights lawyer on long islandThis is a story about an acrimonious divorce between two lawyers, Ira Schacter and Janice Schacter. Ira was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, a prestigious Manhattan law firm. Janice had gone to law school and worked as an associate at a law firm that handled personal injury cases. She had stopped practicing law after her daughter was born.

The Case

The case was presented before Manhattan Supreme Court Judge, Laura Drager. In discussing the case, she referred to it as “one of the most contentious litigations this court has ever presided over.” Judge Drager took into consideration Janice’s bad behavior and awarded her only 17% of Mr. Schacter’s valuable partnership at the Cadwalader law firm. Judge Drager stated in her decision “in essence the wife chose to bite the hand that fed her. Although the court recognizes that the wife feels she was badly treated by the husband, her repeated attacks against him have played a part in a diminishing of his income.”

The attorneys for Mr. Schacter argued his wife’s conduct during the course of the divorce “has so interfered with his ability to retain clients that she actively caused the value of his partnership interest to decline.”

ACS Claims

During the course of their litigation, Ira was the subject of seven separate investigations by the Administration for Children’s Services. ACS investigators visited his home more than 100 times. Each time they investigated him, they found the allegations made by his wife against him were unfounded.

Judge Drager found Janice had been involved in a number of instances creating negative publicity for her husband. She had regularly posted negative information with regard to her husband on websites.

Although Judge Drager only gave the wife 17% of the value of Mr. Schacter’s partnership, the Judge valued the partnership at $4,170,000. Therefore Ms. Schacter’s 17% share was $855,000. In addition, Mr. Schacter paid his wife’s attorneys’ approximately $460,000 and paid $70,000 in the wife’s expert fees. Mrs. Schacter also received a share of the parties’ $4.1 million house located in the Hamptons, a portion of the $4.4 million townhouse in the city, and equitable distribution of Mr. Schacter’s retirement accounts, cars, and other assets.

Conclusion

The judge’s comments about Mrs. Schacter who bit the hand that fed her says it all!divorce attorney for fathers

The Trial of a Custody Case – Part II

father's rights lawyerTemporary Custody

Sometimes, in divorce cases and Family Court custody proceedings, applications are made for temporary custody orders. These temporary custody orders give one parent or the other custody during the pendency of the case. Unfortunately the wheels of justice tend to turn slowly and the custody cases can sometimes languish in courts for years. A parent who receives temporary custody during this period would have a step up on the other parent in obtaining permanent custody. Therefore all temporary custody orders should be taken very seriously.

A temporary custody hearing is a mini trial within the trial. Preparation for this mini trial on custody should be handled in the same manner as the trial for permanent custody.

Settling the Custody Case

In most situations a settlement is the best route to take in a custody dispute. Joint custody can be worked out where one parent is the residential custodial parent and the other parent is the non-residential custodial parent. The non-residential custodial parent can have extensive visitation with the children to satisfy that parent’s needs to maintain a close relationship with the children. In the large majority of custody disputes this is the best route to resolve this issue. It eliminates the children getting too involved in the custody proceeding and the aggravation and stress of going through the trial.

Conclusion

Although custody cases can be aggravating and traumatic for the parents, it is even more traumatic and difficult for the children involved. Care should be taken that the trial and/or negotiations in the custody case are done out of sight and hearing of the children. The children should be insulated from custody litigation, issues in Family Court, and divorces. Children are designed by God to love both their parents. Frustrating or alienating the children from one parent to another is the worst possible outcome. Children are better off with two loving parents to guide them through life situations.custody litigation assistance for fathers

Halle Berry Paying $16,000 Per Month For Child Support Payments

father's rights attorneys and advocatesHalle Berry has been involved in a long, drawn out litigation involving child custody and child support. She was recently ordered to pay $16,000 in child support payments to Gabriel Aubrey with regard to supporting the parties’ six year old daughter, Nahla. This child support has to be paid by her each month until Nahla is 19 years old or graduates high school, whichever event should occur first. In addition, Halle Berry was ordered to pay $300,000 in legal fees to Gabriel Aubrey and $115,000 in retroactive child support payments. It is reported these sums are pursuant to a settlement of a case involving Ms. Berry and Mr. Aubrey which had been pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.

History Between the Parties

Halle met Gabriel in 2005. Halle Berry is an Academy Award winning actress and Gabriel Aubrey is a Canadian model.

Relocating to France

At one point during their legal battles, Halle Berry brought a proceeding to relocate her daughter to France. She was unsuccessful in this proceeding. At the present time, both Berry and Aubrey have joint custody of the parties’ six year old daughter. However, Aubrey is the residential custodial parent.

Last year, Ms. Berry gave birth to another child with her current husband, Oliver Martinez.

father's rights lawyer on long islandElliot Schlissel is a father’s rights attorney. He represents fathers in custody litigation, child support litigation, and issues involving visitation rights and parenting time.

The CPS or ACS Investigation

father's rights attorney and advocateThe purpose of a CPS or ACS investigator coming to your house is to get information showing your children have been abused or neglected. They are not coming to your house to prove you didn’t abuse or neglect your children. Do not be fooled into thinking they are there just to clear the record with regard to the allegations. They are there to get evidence your children were abused or neglected. They are not there to clear you. Even if they don’t find evidence of child abuse or child neglect, they may be repeatedly coming back to your house to investigate you further.

Entry Into Your House

It is strongly suggested you do not allow the CPS or ACS worker into your house. Advise them you have a constitutional right to refuse entry and politely tell them they are not coming into your house. Do not get into an argument or confrontational situation with them.

There are occasions when the CPS and ACS worker will come to your door with the police. This still doesn’t allow them to come into your house without a warrant. However, there have been cases when the police are present they will force their way into your home. This may give rise to a civil lawsuit because both the police and CPS workers would have exceeded their legal authority. Once they are in your home, however, do not fight them. Cooperate as best you can and deal with the violation of your rights through the legal system at a later point in time.help with CPS and ACS for parents on Long Island

Dealing with Child Protective Services – Part II

assistance for parents in CPS proceedingsThe Complaint Made Against You

If a Child Protective Services (hereinafter referred to as “CPS”) investigator comes to your home it is because a complaint has been made against you. Your first question to the worker should be what is the nature of the complaint that was made against you.

The CPS worker conducts an investigation and a report is made. Copies of these reports can be obtained from the supervising agency of the CPS in Albany. On the basis of the report made by a CPS worker, a decision will be made as to whether the allegations against you are “founded” or “unfounded”. “Founded” allegations means you have been engaged in some type of child abuse or child neglect. In these situations you are entitled to demand a trial to challenge the validity of a finding made against you. At a trial witnesses will be called and your attorney will be able to examine the Child Protective Services worker with regard to the material contained in their report and the evidence that this material is based on.

Protecting Your Interests and The Interests of Your Children

The Child Protective Services agency exists for the sole purpose of protecting children. However, in recent years they have become overly zealous in their approach to investigating allegations of child abuse and child neglect. In many situations, allegations are frivolous, false, or don’t amount to child abuse or child neglect. However, in some of these cases the overly aggressive CPS worker can find you have acted inappropriately towards your children. The very best way of dealing with this situation is to immediately contact an attorney experienced in handling CPS investigations, and hearings. Should you have questions regarding a CPS investigation, feel free to contact our office. Our phones are monitored 24/7 and we offer free office consultations.CPS and ACS defense lawyers

Using Forensic Psychologists As Experts In Custody Cases

father's rights lawyerIn a custody case, each parent seeks to prove to the court that it is in the child’s best interest that they receive residential custody of the children. To accomplish this goal, evidence must be submitted establishing that the parent advocating for custody is actually the parent that would provide a better, nurturing life situation for the children.

How is this done? One of the ways of establishing one parent being a better parent or having better skills to raise the children is to cause both parents to be evaluated by a forensic expert with the hope each parent’s expert comes down on their side for custody. It is important to utilize a forensic expert to avoid each of the parents telling the judge why he or she is the better parent. Although this can provide the judge with some material that would enable him or her to make a decision, it is generally not sufficient. A forensic expert’s testimony can back up a litigant’s arguments and statements, they would be the parent to enhance the children’s lives and therefore they should be awarded residential custody of the children by the court.

How Do Forensic Experts Operate?

The forensic psychologist will usually have a series of interviews with each of the parents. In addition, the forensic psychologist will interview the children separately and usually in the custody of each of the parents. The forensic psychologist will also have the parents take a variety of psychological tests. In addition, the expert will look into issues as to whether the parents have drug or alcohol problems, have a history of abuse or neglect, and investigate other issues with regard to the parent’s abilities to raise the children. In addition, the forensic experts will usually interview any third parties who reside with each of the parents. The forensic expert seeks to observe each parent’s interaction with the children during their interviews while the child is present. Forensic experts will also review court records and other information related to the case. In some situations, a forensic expert will review school records and speak to the children’s teachers.

Custody Decisions

The forensic expert makes recommendations to the judge handling the custody case. The judge, based on evidence submitted in court, the testimony of the parties and third parties, and the report submitted by the forensic expert renders a decision as to who should be the residential custodial parent of the children. The basis of the court’s decision is what would be in the best interests of the children. Courts look into the quality of the home environment and the level of parental guidance each parent can provide for the children. Courts also look into each parent’s ability to provide for the children’s emotional, intellectual, financial and developmental needs. Courts also take into consideration which parent would do a better job promoting the other parent’s relationship with the children. It is the duty of a residential custodial parent to promote the relationship of the children with the other parent.

Unfortunately, judges are trained in the law and not trained to evaluate parenting skills. Some judges rely very heavily on the reports of forensic evaluators, while others take them into consideration but don’t give them as much weight. Deciding who should become the custodial parent is a difficult task. Judges usually pressure the parents to try to resolve the issue on their own. They may suggest a joint custody arrangement to be negotiated out of court. However, if the parents can’t agree, they are entitled to a trial and the judge will determine who should receive residential custody of the children.custody advocate for fathers