December 31st, 2011
Temporary Spousal Maintenance
During the past year New York revolutionized its divorce laws. It adopted a new no fault divorce law that allows men and women to obtain a divorce in the State of New York by simply alleging that there have been irreconcilabledifferences between them for a period in excess of six months. The pleadings to obtain this type of divorce do not require the parties indicate what the irreconcilable differences were! This presents New Yorkers with simpler grounds to obtain a divorce.
With the new divorce law came a new set of rules for spousal maintenance (alimony). Unfortunately, the new rules are complicated, burdensome and tie judges’ hands. In the past Judges had discretion to do what was fair concerning temporary spousal maintenance (alimony) payments. That discretion has been limited by these new laws.
Prior to this new statute, Judges used a “balancing act” to determine what temporary spousal maintenance was fair in each given situation. The Court would review the family’s finances, take testimony about family obligations and try to arrive at a fair figure for temporary spousal maintenance (alimony). The theory was that the court should maintain the parties financial status quo during the pendency of a divorce. Items such as expenses for mortgage, rent, medical insurance, food and other necessities were taken into consideration by the Judge making a decision with regard to the payment of maintenance by one spouse to the other.
The New World of Spousal Maintenance
The new statute provides 19 separate financial factors in a formula that is to be used by the court in making determinations concerning spousal maintenance issues. The new statute provides a cap of $500,000 of income that can be subject to the calculations of spousal maintenance. In certain situations, Judges can discard the formula, but in those cases they must fully explain why they’re circumventing the formula. Unfortunately, Judges are utilizing the formula in almost all situations.
The Formula Doesn’t Work in All Cases
Supreme Court Justice Shannon Townsend, sits in Erie County. She is presently the head of the Office of Court Administrations Matrimonial Practice Advisory Committee. She has identified several problems with the Temporary Maintenance Statute. She has stated that some of the factors used in the temporary maintenance equation simply don’t make sense. Justice Townsend has stated that Judges are being forced to “fill in holes in the statute on a case by case basis”.
Statute Helps Low Income Wifes
The statute was designed to “even the playing field” between men, who often are the primary wage earners and women, who either weren’t working or had lower income. Emily Rubin, an attorney who worked for the Legal Aid Society of New York, claims the changes in the law have assisted low income women. She states the awards of spousal maintenance (alimony) are much fairer for women in low income situations or for women who don’t work.
Law Revision Committee
There is a Law Revision Committee who is responsible for studying changes in the divorce process, which also includes this Temporary Maintenance Statute. They are currently working on amendments, changes and modifications to this statute that may assist the courts and attorneys in obtaining balanced results.
The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have been seeing to it fathers have equal rights and they are protected in the Family Courts and the Supreme Courts in the State of New York. This firm deals with all aspects of Family Law Practice and divorce. Issues such as child abuse, child neglect, spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, changing child custody, orders of protection and child abuse defense are the types of cases the law firm has extensive experience in handling. In addition, the firm litigates father’s rights cases involving parental alienation syndrome, relocation problems, equitable distribution of assets in divorce and no fault divorce issues in Nassau County, Kings County, Queens County, Suffolk County and throughout the rest of the Metropolitan New York area. In amicable situations, the law firm is involved in arbitration and mediation of issues. The Law Firm also draft pre nuptial agreements, post nuptial agreements and separation agreements. Call for a free consultation. The phones are monitored 24/7
December 30th, 2011
Long, a student was injured during gym class. His family brought legal proceedings seeking monetary damages related to the injuries Long received. Supreme Court Justice Ute Wolff Lally sitting in the Supreme Court Part located in Nassau County, New York, found that a triable issue of fact existed and that the case would have to go to trial.
Gym Class Injury
Long was involved in a physical activity in gym class referred to as “islands.” During this activity, gym equipment was used and the students had to run around them. The School District claimed that this was a “cooperative game”. The purpose of the game is to teach students to work in a group. Long claimed the activity was a race.
In her decision, Judge Lally stated that sports activities were generally consented to by its participants. She also commented there are inherent risks in all sporting activities However, her opinion stated that even if the student consented to the activity, the school has an ongoing obligation to exercise reasonable care to see that students are protected from unassumed, concealed, and unreasonable risks. Judge Lally found it was a triable issue of fact as to whether the school district had properly discharged it’s duties to the students.
If you, a family member, or a loved one are injured as a result of a school activity, construction work, or a car accident the attorneys at the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel can assist you. For more than 30 years the law firm has represented individuals in personal injury matters. The firm also represents individuals involving slip and fall cases, premises liability, wrongful death matters, nursing home neglect cases, as well as all types of injuries related to car and truck accidents. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561- 6645 or 718-350-2802. There will be no legal fee unless we collect damages for your injuries. Our phones are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
December 23rd, 2011
Mothers and fathers both have the right to have parenting time with their children. All things being equal, and if both parents are fully capable of caring for their children, there is no reason why both parents cannot spend time with their child ,even if the parents have never been married and are not living together.
When there is no court order in place fixing legal custody and parenting time with the child, both parents have equal rights to have access to their children. In New York, when a non-custodial parent is prevented from seeing the children, he has the right to file a petition seeking court ordered visitation with their child.
Once an order from a Court fixes custody and visitation, any attempt by a parent to prevent the court ordered visitation can be a violation of that court order. The noncustodial parent has the right to return to the Family Court and ask a judge to enforce an existing order fixing parenting time and custody.
The worst form of interference with custody and visitation is when a parent abducts the children and relocates without permission from the Court and without consent of the non-custodial parent. Relocating with the children can severely impact on the non-custodial parent’s visitation with their children.
Custodial parents who wish to move far away from the non-custodial parent must petition the family court for an Order which allows them to relocate. The custodial parent who wishes to relocate has the burden to show that relocating with the children is in the children’s best interest, and not just in the interest of the relocating parent.
Mindy McCready Abduct her Child
Recently, the matter of the famous singer Mindy McCready having allegedly abducted her own child from the child’s legal guardian has received extensive news coverage. Though not involving interference with custody by a non-custodial parent, the interference of court ordered custody can still be a criminal offense.
Aggressive Fathers’ Rights Lawyers
The Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have more than thirty years experience aggressively fighting for the rights of the fathers we represent. We deal with relocation problems, interstate abductions, international relocations and all other cases where the custodial parent seeks to move the child away from the locality where the father lives.
In addition, our law firm represents fathers with regard to domestic violence cases in both the Criminal and Family Courts, orders of protection, allegations of child abuse and child neglect, as well as paternity issues and divorces. We also represent grandparents in grandparents’ rights cases. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
December 8th, 2011
Are eyewitnesses always accurate in identifying alleged criminals? Recent studies have shown that in more than 75,000 eyewitness identifications, approximately 33% of the identifications were incorrect. Mistaken identifications have put thousands of Americans behind bars. There have been approximately 250 DNA exonerations in recent years. 200 of these convictions resulted from bad eyewitness identifications.
Eyewitnesses, who make statements similar to “the face of that criminal is something I will never forget”, are often wrong. Memories are fragile. Identification by witnesses of strangers is a very inexact science. The reliability of witness identifications are subject to questioning. Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. wrote in a 1991 dissenting opinion regarding a study that convincingly showed “a live human being who takes the stand, points a finger at the defendant and says, that’s the one!” has a major impact on the juries. A study by the American Psychological Association produced research that showed juries tend to give greater weight to eyewitness testimony than other types of evidence.
Supreme Court Reviewing the Issue of Eyewitness Testimony
The United States Supreme Court has recently taken a case involving issues concerning eyewitness testimony. Barry C. Scheck, who is the Director of the Innocence Project at Benjamin N. Cardoza’s School of Law located in New York, New York, stated the courts need a new “legal architecture” which judges can use in authenticated gatekeeping roles. He referred to a study submitted in a New Jersey court by a special master Jeffrey Gaulkin, which showed eyewitness identification should be treated “as a form of trace evidence: a fragment collected at the scene of the crime, like a fingerprint or blood smear, whose integrity and liability need to be monitored and assessed from the point of its recovery to its ultimate presentation at trial. This suggests judges should instruct juries about the limitations involved with eyewitness testimony. Hopefully the Supreme Court will set up a new set of guidelines dealing with the one in three mistakes made by eyewitnesses. Innocent men and women should not be convicted by victims and other witnesses who believe their eyewitness testimony is accurate, when in reality it is wrong in a third of all cases.
If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation for committing a crime, the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel can help you. We represent individuals charged with a variety of offenses including, but not limited to, white collar crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, weapons possession, drunk driving (DWI), shoplifting, burglary, juvenile defenses, assault and battery, domestic violence, drug offensesand all types of felonies and misdemeanors. Call us should you have criminal problems. We can help you!
December 6th, 2011
Marston Gibson, Esq. is now the Chief Justice of the highest court in Barbados. I know Marston Gibson. Marston served with distinction as a Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO) in the courts of Nassau County. He conducted non jury trials in matrimonial and other civil cases. Marston did a terrific job. He was always dedicated and hard working. I wish him the best of luck in his new position of Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals in Barbados.
Marston Gibson is a Rhodes Scholar. He obtained law degrees from the University of the West Indies and Oxford University in England. Marston became a nationalized American citizen in the year 1996. Marston had been a lecturer at the University of the West Indies. He taught various courses. One of his students was the former past prime minister of the West Indies, David Thompson.
Anthony Marano, the Administrative Judge in Nassau County, recently said Marston Gibson was “the ideal employee [with] extraordinary knowledge of the law and a perfect disposition!!” Although Marston Gibson will be the Chief Judge of the independent country of Barbados, his decisions will be subject to review by the Carribean Court of Justice. I wish Marston Gibson the very best in his new position. Nassau County will miss him!
Our office has been handling all types of personal injury cases for more than thirty years. We represent individuals in car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and fall cases and cases involving individuals bitten by ferocious dogs. Should you be involved in an accident or suffer an injury, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.
December 5th, 2011
Woman Kills Her Boyfriend and Is Not Prosecuted Under Colorado Law
Azura Lakin has dodged a bullet and avoided prosecution for murder under Colorado’s “Make My Day Law”. Azura Lakin is 21 years of age. On October 2, 2011, she had a fight with her boyfriend. During the fight, she slashed his throat with a broken bottle. Her boyfriend Shawn Cassidy, age 23, died of his wounds.
Shawn came to her apartment one evening in a hostile, intoxicated manner. While he was there, he argued with Azura. During the argument he started to choke her. She and her sister pushed him out of the apartment. However, he was persistent and continued to pound on their door. She opened it again and he again attacked her, choking her neck. At this time, she claimed she hit him with the broken bottle, which cut his throat. The blood loss resulted in Shawn’s death.
Shawn’s Death Was Ruled a Homicide
District Attorney Larry Abramson of Larimer County found that Cassidy’s death was a homicide. Since he unlawfully entered Azura’s house, and committed a crime of assault while he was there, Azura had an expectation that he sought to cause her harm.
Under the Colorado “Make My Day Law”, citizens of Colorado have a right to self-protection at their home. Since Azura was acting in self defense, District Attorney Abramson stated “we came to the unanimous conclusion that criminal charges could not be sustained beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Cassidy’s Aunt, Colleen Countryman, stated “she was mad over a broken cell phone. So my nephew is gone because of a cell phone that was broken, it’s not right.” This is an example of street justice!
If you have committed a crime, have been charged with a crime or have been arrested, we can represent you. The criminal lawyers of the law office of Elliot Schlissel represent individuals charged with drug offenses, assault, battery, juvenile defenses, shoplifting,burglary, driving while intoxicated, weapons possession and sex crimes. We represent men and women charged with all types of misdemeanors and felonies throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We also can assist our clients in arranging bail. Call us for a free consultation.
December 2nd, 2011
State University of New York (SUNY)
SUNY schools or the cost of sending the children to the most expensive SUNY school.
The SUNY CAP In Case Law
resources in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although the mother was willing to pay for half of the cost of sending one of her sons to Syracuse University, the father was not. He only wished to pay half of the expense to send his son to the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Fathers who come to our law office often claim that they are treated like second class citizens in the Family Court regarding child custody, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), orders of protection and issues involving child abuse and child neglect. They also relate to us that in divorce proceedings in the Supreme Court they are not treated fairly. Our law office represents fathers with regard to all types of proceedings in the Family Court and the Supreme Court. We aggressively protect fathers’ rights. We deal with difficult issues, such as downward modifications of child support, relocation problems, parental alienation cases and issues involving parental alienation syndrome. For more than 33 years, we have been recognized as one of the premier fathers’ rights law firms in the Metropolitan New York area. If you have matrimonial or family problems, we can help you. Call for a consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.