September 27th, 2012
Justice Dollinger, sitting in the Supreme Court in Monroe County, recently suspended a man’s spousal maintenance (alimony) because he found it would be “an extreme hardship” for him to continue to make these payments. Justice Dollinger stated in his opinion in the matter of Platt v. Platt, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 51583(U), “[w]e debate ‘extreme politics.’ Even the New York songster, Billy Joel, wondered – ‘darling I don’t know why I go to extremes.’ ” Judge Dollinger, in his opinion, stated the legislature had not established a specific standard for “extreme hardship.” The Judge wrote “what constitutes an extreme hardship is a fact-specific inquiry that depends on the overall financial condition of the moving party.”
In the matter of Platt v. Platt, the judge found the husband was unemployed. He lived below the poverty level. In this case the wife also lived at the poverty level. Both the husband and wife were enduring extreme hardship. The Judge’s opinion stated “this Court cannot stretch the family resources beyond the dollar and cents limitation, when both parties are facing a new, but unwanted, life below the poverty line.”
Christine Platt and William Platt had entered into a separation agreement in 2011. Under the terms of the agreement Mr. Platt was to pay spousal maintenance of $700 per month. In February of 2015 this increased to $1000 per month when their daughter graduated college. Unfortunately Mr. Platt lost his job. At that point the Judge reduced his monthly spousal payments to $400 per month. Eventually, Mr. Platt’s unemployment benefits expired. At that time Mr. Platt moved to have his spousal maintenance obligations suspended due to “extreme hardship” pursuant to New York State Domestic Relations Law section 236. His wife Christine Platt opposed the motion.
Justice Dolinger, in his decision, suspended the spousal maintenance payments. His decision stated the suspension was temporary. He wrote that the maintenance would resume “in an amount that the Court deems proper upon the husband obtaining employment or receiving other benefits from another source including gifts from his parents.”
About The Author
Elliot S Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney practicing matrimonial and family law in the metropolitan New York area for more than 34 years.
April 16th, 2012
Private Schools and the Autistic Child
Child support in all fifty states in the United States is based on the Child Support Standard Act. This statute lays out a schedule of child support payments and ancillary expenses the non-residential custodial parent must contribute to. However, private school tuition is not one of the items included as a necessary payment obligation for non-custodial parents. Courts have discretion to adjust the child support figures related to the special needs of a disabled child. Divorce courts can utilize their discretion to order a parent to contribute to private schooling costs for an autistic child with special needs. In situations where the public schools do not offer the specialized programs for an autistic child it may be in the child’s best interest to attend a school that can deliver specialized educational services related to autism. The tuition costs for these types of schools should be taken into consideration by courts in making custody decisions concerning autistic children.
Emancipation and the Autistic Child
In the State of New York, a child is considered emancipated at the age of twenty one unless the child at an earlier age marries, enters into the armed services, or is working and self supporting.
An autistic child may never be emancipated. Courts should consider whether a child’s disability should extend the time the child is unemancipated for child support purposes. A child over the age of twenty one who is disabled and incapable of maintaining himself or herself because of illness or disorder should be considered to be unemancipated even if over the age of twenty one.
Autism is a tragedy affecting more and more American children. Divorces caused by the tension and stress created by the necessary dealing with the unique problems of the autistic child are on the rise. Courts, parents, and attorneys need to cooperate in creative decision making with regard to dealing with unique problems associated with raising an autistic child.
About the Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq., has been practicing Family and Divorce law in the metropolitan New York area for more than thirty years. Elliot and his team of dedicated, hard working lawyers deal with all aspects of matrimonial and family law including issues involving divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights.
April 13th, 2012
Special Needs For The Autistic Child
Autistic children require expensive therapy and special education regimes that are not available in local school districts. This results in additional expenses for families. Judges hearing divorce cases involving autistic children need to pay special attention to the needs of the autistic child.
Residential Custody of the Autistic Child
The residential custodial parent of the autistic child will have a significant burden in dealing with all the idiosyncrasies of the autistic child. When determining custody of an autistic child the judge should take into consideration all of the following issues:
1. The acknowledgment and acceptance of the child’s disorder.
2. Each parents ability to follow through on recommended behavioral interventions for the child.
3. The parent’s capacity to understand the nature and circumstances of this disease.
4. The willingness of the parent to place the child’s needs over his or her needs.
5. Each parent’s ability to handle the psychological stress involved in raising an autistic child.
Joint Custody of the Autistic Child
Sometimes with healthy children, joint custody is the best route to deal with parent’s access to their children. However, autistic children require special consideration when it comes to joint custody. Joint custody will not necessarily be in the best interest of the autistic child. Autistic children require predictable and consistent schedules. They do not function well when their schedules are interrupted. Autistic children need regimented behavioral therapy. This can be difficult to maintain when the child is going back and forth between two households.
It is extremely important both parents, the residential custodial parent and the non-residential custodial parent, be educated as to what autism involves and the types of long term therapies autistic children require.
Parenting Schedules and the Autistic Child
In cases involving autistic children parenting schedules should give special consideration to the child’s therapy regime. Autistic children may be in year round extended school year programs related to special education. When school regimes are interrupted for autistic children they can regress.
April 11th, 2012
Divorce is a common occurrence in today’s world. In some states almost half of the marriages end in divorce. When a married couple has an Autistic child it further complicates the home situation. The inability of one or both parents to deal with the stress and problems in raising an autistic child can be a cause of divorce. Parents of children with autism experience higher degrees of stress in their lives.
The Autistic Society of America, in a study, found the following cause for stress among autistic parents:
1. Parents inability to determine the child’s needs.
2. Reactions from society to the autistic child and the feelings of isolation.
3. Concerns regarding future care for the autistic child.
4. Finances and economic pressures caused by the cost of the therapies for the child.
5. Feelings of grief.
6. Lack of personal time.
7. Stress from reactions by siblings and other family members
Divorce and Autism
There are special issues that affect parents of an autistic child during divorce proceedings. Issues involving child custody, visitation, change in child custody, child support, family court issues, child abuse and child neglect proceedings, special education expenses for the child, and health insurance for the autistic child are issues that need to be dealt with.
Autism in America
There has been an astronomical increase in the past ten years in the number of children born in American who develop autism. Now approximately 1 out of every 90 child born in the United States develops autism.
Autism affects children in different ways. Autistic children often have difficulty speaking. Some autistic children only repeat what they hear others say. Autistic children have difficulty making eye contact. They can engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Examples of this type of behavior include lining up objects in a row and repeating a task over and over again for many hours.
Some autistic children do not understand danger. They can place their hand on a stove even if they were burned by doing this previously. Autism is a serious disorder. An autistic child’s ability to learn, communicate and socially interact is negatively affected. Although autism is not curable, early diagnosis and intense behavioral treatment can allow the child to make significant improvements.
April 6th, 2012
Prenuptial agreements are not for everyone. The only individuals eligible for prenuptial agreements are people getting married. Seriously though, who needs a prenuptial agreement and why would you really want one?
Prenuptial Agreements deal with issues such as assets accumulated during the marriage, professional licenses and spousal maintenance issues.
Starting On Equal Terms
Many couples who marry have similar financial circumstances. However, during the course of the marriage, one party may decide to stay home and raise the children which would have a negative impact on his or her career. This provides a ground in a divorce for requests for alimony (spousal maintenance).
Prenuptial Agreements Cost Less Than Engagement Rings
Engagement rings today cost anywhere between $5000 and $25,000. A prenuptial agreement will usually cost between $2500 and $7500. It is a lot cheaper than an engagement ring. It is said that diamonds last forever. Diamonds in the engagement ring may last forever but 50% of all marriages fail. This makes the cost of prenuptial agreements when considered over the long run a lot less expensive.
Don’t Wait For The Last Minute
If you anticipate entering into a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse, you shouldn’t wait to a few weeks before the marriage to retain an attorney to draft the document. Prenuptial agreements should be negotiated several months before the parties get married.
Prenuptial Agreement Lawyers
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel draft prenuptial agreements. It addition we draft post nuptial agreements and separation agreements. The firm also litigates all divorce issues. These issues may involve divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights. Call for a free consultation.
March 26th, 2012
Justice Charles J. Markey was recently presented with two cases involving divorces that had similar fact situations. In both cases judgments for divorce had been granted to the parties based on sworn statements that there were no children from the marriages. However in both situations the court eventually discovered that there were children of these marriages.
The court found intentional fraud or inexcusable recklessness due to the fact there were unemancipated children of the marriages who required child support to be paid on their behalf. Since there were misrepresentations in the original documents, there was no child support in the divorce judgments.
Stayed Foreclosure Allowed To Continue
The court took note that in both situations there were homes in foreclosure. He put in previously granted stays with regard to the foreclosure proceeding during the pendency of the divorces. The court vacated the stays of the foreclosure matters and allowed the two foreclosures proceedings to proceed. Conclusion, tell the truth in your divorce admissions!
The attorneys of the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have extensive experience in handling matrimonial and family court cases. The lawyers have a total of 100 years combined experience. These attorneys have extensive experience with regard to divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights.
Elliot Schlissel has litigated numerous cases dealing with professionals whether they are doctors, lawyers or dentists whose practices were being equitably distributed. The firm pays special attention to individuals who have high net worth divorce situations. Feel free to call for a free consultation 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.
February 2nd, 2012
A wife recently brought a proceeding before Judge Anthony J. Falanga in the Supreme Court located in Nassau County. She claimed in this proceeding the 1998 prenuptial agreement she executed should be set aside. She alleged her husband fraudulently induced her into signing the agreement. She was convinced to sign the prenuptial agreement because of her spouse’s promise to destroy it upon the birth of the couple’s first child. He promised as soon as the first child was born all of the assets of the marriage will be placed in both her and his name.
Judge Falanga carefully reviewed the evidence submitted to him on this case. He rendered a decision declaring the prenuptial agreement null and void. He found the husband had made promises to the wife at the time of the execution of the agreement. These promises were lies and misrepresentations. The husband had no intention of carrying out these promises. He only made these promises for the purpose of convincing the wife to sign the prenuptial agreement so the wedding would take place.
The court noted the husband only provided the wife with a copy of the agreement a short time prior to the wedding date. Judge Falanga stated “this was calculated and speaks volumes as to the importance he attributed to being protected financially from a possible failed marriage.” The court in it’s decision stated “the wife had justifiably placed her trust in her future husband’s representations to her detriment and was damaged by being denied a share of significant marital property.”
If you’re entering into a prenuptial agreement, it should be prepared long in advance of the wedding and trickery should not be used to induce a party to execute the agreement.
February 1st, 2012
Jennifer Burger wanted to marry Mr. Diack. Michael Diack is a convicted level one sex offender. Jennifer brought a proceeding before Judge Maron, who sits in the Supreme Court located in Nassau County, New York. She asked the court to set aside a January 2009 stipulation contained in her divorce judgment from her previous husband Robert Burger. She sought to set aside this stipulation so she could marry Michael Diack. The stipulation, which she had executed, required three adults be present any time Mr. Diack was around the Burger’s children, currently 8 and 13 years of age.
Judge Refuses to Set Aside Stipulation
When Judge Maron refused to set aside this stipulation, he effectively blocked her from ever marrying Mr. Diack. She couldn’t marry Mr. Diack because she could not live with him in the same residence as her children pursuant to the stipulation.
The Judge’s decision stated there was no change in circumstances that would justify his setting aside this agreement. Jennifer’s attorney, stated “this woman should not have to choose between the man she loves and wishes to marry and being the custodial parent for her children, when her fiance poses no risk of harm to the children.”
Jennifer’s fiance has pled guilty in 2001 to possession of child pornography in the third degree and for grand larceny for writing bad checks. He was given a sentence of two to four years in prison and labeled a level one sex offender.
The children’s father, Mr. Burger opposed the vacating the stipulation, claiming Mr. Diack would be a danger to his children. Mr. Burger’s attorney claimed his client’s opposition to setting aside the stipulation was driven by a “a legitimate concern” for his children.
Fathers have rights that need to be protected. In situations involving divorces orders of protection, child custody, child visitation, child abuse and child neglect proceedings, fathers need aggressive, experienced advocates. Fathers dealing with issues concerning paternity, annulments, equitable distribution of assets in a divorce, relocation problems and parental alienation problems should seek out the very best lawyers available to represent them. The Law Office of Elliot Schlissel is a recognized father’s rights law firm. We have litigated numerous matters on behalf of fathers throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 30 years. We are well known and respected in the courts and by our adversaries. Call us should you have an issue you wish to discuss.
January 3rd, 2012
Supreme Court Justice, Robert J. Muller, has decided that under the new New York No Fault Divorce Law an objecting party is not entitled to a trial on the issue of fault the marriage is beyond repair. Justice Muller’s decision is an interpretation of New York’s year old No Fault Divorce Law. The Judge’s decision interprets the legislature’s intent that the new No Fault Divorce Law does not give an option to a spouse to demand a trial on the issue that the marriage is irreconciably broken.
The Judge in his decision stated “New York Legislature has enacted in DRL Section 170(7), a true No Fault Divorce Law which does not require proof of any fault, and which does not require or permit the government, through it’s courts, to put people seeking a divorce on trial regarding their marriage.” Justice Muller pointed out in his decision that his ruling is in agreement with a decision of Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Anthony J. Falanga in the case of AC vs. DR, where Judge Falanga ruled that a woman could not challenge her husband’s declaration the marriage was irretrivably broken. In that case the woman was also not allowed to have a trial on the fault ground.
Divorce Made Simple
The New Divorce Law eliminates litigation concerning fault issues of who did what to whom. However, issues involving child support, spousal maintenance, custody, orders of protection, visitation rights (parenting time) and attorneys fees in divorces are still subject to litigation.
Mothers and fathers have equal rights regarding custody, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance and other issues in divorces. The Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have been litigating these issues for more than three decades. In addition, the law firm negotiates separation agreements, pre nuptial agreements and post nuptial agreements. In cases of one parent turning the children against another, the law firm litigates parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome related issues. Call for a free consultation. The offices phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. The law firm phones are monitored 24/7.
January 2nd, 2012
Scott Schiffer was divorcing his wife, Lynn. He made an application under the new New York Domestic Relations Law section 170-70 for a Summary Judgment based on a irretrevable break down of his marriage to his wife Lynn for a period of six months.
Lynn opposed the Summary Judgment application. Summary Judgment asks a court to render a decision on the issues presented to it without the need for a trial. Lynn claimed that a judgment could not be granted because under the new law both economic and custodial issues concerning custody of the children had to be resolved for the court to finalize a judgment on the case. Her attorney argued to the court since neither of the issues have been resolved the court could not grant a Summary Judgment application on behalf of her spouse in this divorce proceeding. Justice Charles D. Woods, sitting in the Supreme Court of Dutchess County agreed with Lynn’s lawyer’s argument. The court’s decision held the new No Fault Divorce Statute clearly states a judgment cannot be granted unless the economic and issues in concerning child custody and visitation are resolved.
The divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Elliot Schlissel have been assisting New Yorkers and Long Islanders in obtaining divorces for more than 30 years. Our office has developed an expertise regarding issues concerning divorce, orders of protection, child custody, child abuse and child neglect, annulments, and issues involving high networth divorces. Our law office also negotiates pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements. We litigate issues concerning mother’s rights and father’s rights. Should you have Matrimonial or Family Court issues, call us. Our phones are monitored 24/7.