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Hague Convention of International Child Abduction Petition Dismissed

An action was brought by Mohacsi in the United States District Court, before Judge William Kutz, who sits in a Federal Court located in the Eastern District of New York.  The petitioner claimed under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction the court should return his four year old son named Nir to Hungary.  He argued  the mother, Ropa, had wrongfully removed and kept their son Nir in the United States.  He claimed this was a violation of his parental rights under Hague Convention.


The Judge’s Decision

Judge William Kutz denied Mohacsi’s application.  He found the wrongful removal claim brought by Mohacsi could not be granted because at the time of the removal of the child neither he nor the Hungarian Court adjudicating the paternity claim on this matter had custodial rights to Nir.  Mohacsi’s wrongful retention claim was invalid due to the fact  Ropa was the sole custodial parent of Nir at the time of the removal.  She had the exclusive right to determine where Nir’s habitual residence would be.  In this case it was in the United States.


Hungary Was Not The Child’s Habitual Residence

The relationship between Mohacsi and Ropa fell apart even before Nir was born.  Evidence was presented they never shared an intent to raise Nir in Hungary.  It was therefore never established that Hungary was Nir’s habitual residence.  Mohacsi was also unable to show there was no risk of harm to Nir if he was ordered to have him returned to Hungary.  Nir now resides in the United States.


Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney with more than 40 years of experience.  He has represented clients involving international custody cases. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

The Bezos Divorce

Bezos DivorceJeff Bezos is considered to be the richest man in the world. He is estimated to have $137 billion in assets. He previously released a statement that he was separating from his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos. The Bezos have 4 children together. It had been alleged that Jeff Bezos was having a relationship with another woman, Lauren Sanchez, a news anchor and actress. Ms. Sanchez who allegedly is Jeff Bezos new love interest is also in the process of getting divorced. She had been married for 13 years to Patrick Whitesell, a Hollywood agent. She has 2 children with Mr. Whitesell.

How Do You Deal With A Divorce Involving $137 billion In Assets?

Mr. & Mrs. Bezos are working out an amicable resolution of their divorce out of court. Individuals with exceptionally high net worth are in a position to hire lawyers and fight in court until the cows come home. However, the smartest route is always to try to keep ones dirty laundry outside of public discussion. A discreet negotiated settlement between Mr. & Mrs. Bezos is obviously the best way to deal with their marital difficulties. Mr. & Mrs. Bezos have taken a very low profile with such a potentially high profile matrimonial matter. This will help protect their children from the press coverage and allow them to work out what is hopefully a reasonable amicable breakup of their marriage.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer. He has represented parties in divorces throughout the Metropolitan New York area for 40 years. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Amicable Divorce

Amicable DivorceJeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, is getting divorced from his wife. The Bezos’ seek to avoid fighting, arguing, anguish and other problems associated with a nasty, drawn out legal battle in a divorce. Is there a right way to get divorced and a wrong way? Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie are trying to do divorce the right way. So what is the right way?

Do Not Seek To Hurt Each Other

Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos have 4 children, 3 natural born and 1 adopted. When parents have children they are going to be dealing with each other for the rest of their children’s lives. During the divorce process if lines are crossed and problems are created that will not allow the parents to forgive each other, in the end the children will suffer. Parents should never let their hostility show to their children. Children are designed by God to love both their parents. When one parent denigrates the other in front of the children, the children are victims.

An Imperfect Coupling

Most people are imperfect human beings. Divorces can be caused for a variety of reasons. However, whatever the reasons are the parties must move forward with their lives and they must do everything in their power to help the children deal with this situation.

Amicably Resolving Divorce Issues

The best way to resolve divorce issues is for the parties in the divorce and their respective attorneys to meet and have a reasonable discussion of all of the issues. The issues in divorces usually breakdown to custody, visitation, division of assets, child support and spousal maintenance. These matters can be worked out amicably in a conference room or there can be a blood and guts trial in front of a judge. Litigating a divorce is very expensive. Sometimes the litigants in divorces get so carried away that the only real winners are the lawyers. To facilitate a resolution and a settlement of the issues in a divorce both parties must come to the table and be willing to make reasonable compromises. In the end, less than 5% of all divorces go to trial. If you are getting divorced you don’t want to be in that 5% that goes to trial!

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a divorce lawyer. He has been representing men and women throughout the Metropolitan New York area for than 40 years. He can be reached for a free consultation either 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Happy 4th of July 2019

Happy 4th of July 2019

Judge Finds Child’s Best Interests Are Served By Mother Being Allowed To Relocate

Mother Being Allowed To RelocateIn a case before Judge Aija Tingling ,who sits in the Family Court of New York County, a mother brought a petition seeking to relocate with her child. The father opposed the mother’s application. The mother claimed she was hoping to relocate to Miami, Florida. She claimed her family resided there. The father convinced her initially to stay and go to New Jersey. The mother in this case claimed the relocation would provide the child with better housing, in a safer neighborhood and better educational opportunities. She claimed for these reasons it was in the child’s best interest to allow her to relocate.

No Modification of Prior Custody Order

The father’s attorney claimed a change in circumstance would be required for the modification of the present custody order. Judge Tingling found the change in circumstances was required only for a modification of a custody order. Since the court took note the mother was not seeking to modify a prior custody order, a change in circumstance would not be necessary to obtain the court’s permission to allow her to relocate.

The Court’s Decision

Judge Tingling found the mother testified in a credible manner. The testimony showed that the relocation would enhance both her life and the child’s. Judge Tingling found the mother’s testimony established the child would benefit physically, financially and educationally from the relocation and the father would not be denied meaningful access to the child. The father argued the relocation would interfere with his parental access. Judge Tingling disagreed with the father’s position. She found that the mother was able to show the relocation was in the child’s best interest. It also would not interfere with the father’s parenting time. She therefore granted the mother the application to relocate.

schlissel-headshot Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney who litigates relocation actions and objections to relocation proceedings throughout the Metropolitan New York. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

The International Child Abduction Remedies Act Under the Hague Convention

Airplane landing in the nightProceedings under the International Child Abduction Remedies Act Hague Convention (hereinafter referred to as: “ICARA”) and ICARA are not the same as child custody cases.  Applications under the Hague Convention and the ICARA are to force the return of a child to his or her “country of habitual residence”.  The purpose is to allow the courts of that country to determine questions relating to the custody of the child.  The Hague Convention specifically provides under Article 3 that to prevail on a child abduction claim a petitioner must show:

  1. The child was habitually a resident in one nation and had been removed or retained in a different country;
  2. The removal or retention was in breach of the petitioner’s custody rights under the law of the country of habitual residence; and
  3. The petitioner was exercising those rights at the time of the removal or retention.

The petitioner must establish these requirements by a preponderance of the evidence.  If a petitioner can show the wrongful removal, the return of the child is required.  However, there are defenses to the return of the child.  Those defenses are:

  1. The proceeding was commenced in the responding state more than one year after the wrongful removal or retention; and “the child is now settled in his or her new environment”;
  2. The party now seeking return of the child was not actually exercising his rights at the time of the wrongful removal or retention of the child; or there was consent to the removal; or there was acquiescence to the retention;
  3. The return of the child would place him or her in an “intolerable situation”; or the Attorney Elliot Schlisselchild objects to being returned and has reached an age of maturity that is appropriate to take account of his views.
  4. The human rights and fundamental freedom would be abridged if the return was permitted.

International child removal proceedings have become more common as more members of the public have obtained the financial ability to fly to foreign countries.  These cases are handled in the United States District Courts.  They are not handled in states courts.  The statute as you can see is complicated and there are significant issues that must be proven and/or defenses which must be overcome to be successful in these cases.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been representing parents in both domestic and international child custody cases for more than 30 years. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Social Security, Workmen’s Compensation and Disability Payment Considered in Spousal Maintenance Award

Judge's gavel with dollars in roll

In a case before Justice Richard Dallinger, who sits in Supreme Court in Monroe County New York, the husband sought to have a social security, disability and workmen’s compensation benefits declared separate property under the New York Domestic Relations Law. He claimed these payments should not be considered income for purposes of giving his wife spousal maintenance in their pending divorce lawsuit.

Were the Benefits Income?

The counsel for the wife alleged these benefits were income.  Since they were income it was claimed they must be included with regard to the calculation of spousal maintenance.

Benefits were Husband’s Separate Property

Justice Richard Dallinger ruled the benefits were the husband’s separate property.  However, since they were separate property the corpus of the assets could not be allocated on a percentage basis to the wife.  He did find t New York courts have held the mere fact a source of income was separate property did not prohibit a court from considering this income in calculating spousal maintenance.  Justice Dallinger therefore rejected the husband’s claim that only a portion of the related to lost wages should be considered income for the purpose of calculating spousal maintenance.

Yes, The Benefits were Income

Justice Dallinger  allowed the social security, disability and workmen’s compensation to the husband to be considered income and utilized in the calculation of the wife’s spousal maintenance award.


Here the husband won one argument but lost on another.


Elliot S. Schlisel is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP.  For more than 35 years he has been representing clients in divorce lawsuitdivorce cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area.  He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Application for Order of Protection Dismissed: Petitioner Failed to Move Forward with Prosecution

application for orderIn a recent case before Judge John Hunt, who sits in the Family Court in Queens County, applications for orders of protection were initiated. Judge John Hunt found the parties had been involved in an intimate relationship. They had one child together. Each of the parties had filed many petitions for orders of protection against each other over a 30 year period.

Many Petitions for Order of Protection Filed

Judge Hunt took note that not one of the petitions that had been filed was moved forward with. The parties failed to appear on the return dates of these petitions. The petitions therefore had been dismissed. Latonya had been making the same allegations in her petitions for orders of protections since 1994. She claimed the defendant, Jefferson, had a gun and he threatened to kill her as she did not want another child with him.

Jefferson’s Requests for Court Intervention

Jefferson also requested court intervention to stop Latonya from filing more petitions for orders of protection. He claimed these petitions resulted in his being arrested and losing jobs. Judge Hunt took note that in the case of such parties as Latonya and Jefferson who were not in a relationship for more than 30 years, there was no guidance as to whether such situations qualify to permit further applications under the “intimate relationship” as defined by the Family Court Act. Judge Hunt noted the legislature could not have intended to allow individuals to air their grievances and continuously file petitions after their personal relationship had failed.

New Orders of Protections Required Judge’s Approval

Judge Hunt dismissed Latonya’s newest petition for failure to prosecute. He also entered a ruling that neither party was permitted to file a new application for an order of protection in the Family Court without his prior approval.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has represented clients for over 30 years in the Family Courts in the Metropolitan New York area with regard to neglect and child abuse cases. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at

Divorce Settlement Agreements

Settlement AgreementsSettlement agreements in divorce cases tend to be long and detailed. These agreements cover issues involving child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, the division of property, how much time each parent spends with the children, who pays for college and various other issues. It is important that the language in the agreement is clear and not subject to multiple interpretations.

The agreement should lay out the responsibilities of each of the parents in a clear and concise manner.

Visitation and Parenting Time Issues

The agreement should have a chart that breaks down what holidays are being celebrated by the children and who has parenting time with the children in odd and even years on these holidays. The agreement should also clearly stress if the holiday falls after a weekend whether the weekend and holiday shall be observed by the same parent having parenting time with the children.

A Tiebreaker

Generally speaking most parenting agreements do not have time tiebreakers. So, if one parent has to confer with the other parent on a particular issue and the parents disagree how that issue should be resolved concerning the children, there needs to be a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker in most agreements is the residential custodial parent. Unfortunately, clauses giving the residential custodial parent the final say on significant issues involving the children can be misused by that parent.

Read the Agreement Carefully

If you are entering into a settlement agreement on a divorce to start with you should carefully read it. Review all terms, conditions, obligations and matters involving financial responsibilities, visitation and custody with your attorney. Make sure you are absolutely clear as to what your responsibilities are, and the responsibilities of the other parent are with regard to all of the terms and conditions of the agreemen

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He has been representing parties in divorce and Family Court cases for more than 40 years. He can be reached for a free consultation at 800-644-6431 or e-mailed at .

Happy Holidays from The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, LLP

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo LLPWe pause to look back on the past year with its blessings and accomplishments, and we look forward to the new year and opportunities ahead. We are grateful for the trust you have placed in us, and we wish you a joyful holiday season.

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