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Temporary Spousal Maintenance In New York

divorce attorneys on Long IslandIn October 2010, the State Legislature in New York enacted guidelines for calculating temporary spousal maintenance. The purpose of this new statute is to provide consistency in spousal maintenance awards by judges. The temporary maintenance law provides a formula by which the parties to a matrimonial lawsuit can determine what, if any, spousal maintenance is required to be paid on a temporary basis.

Temporary Maintenance Law Does Not Work

The temporary maintenance statute has not accomplished its goal. It has created more problems in divorce proceedings than it has resolved. The statutory formula replaced the prior system of determining temporary spousal maintenance which was based on the Court exercising its discretion after assessing the financial circumstances and the needs of the parties.

The intent of temporary spousal maintenance is to allow the non-moneyed spouse to maintain his or her standard of living that existed prior to the initiation of the divorce lawsuit. The legislature took action to draft a temporary maintenance statute because of the feeling that there was a lack of consistency and predictability by allowing Judges to determine each case on a case by case basis.

Bankrupting The Moneyed Spouse

In to in many cases the writer of this article has been involved with, the application of the temporary maintenance statute has financially ruined the moneyed spouse. This statute unfortunately over emphasizes the wages of the moneyed spouse. It does not take into consideration the financial needs of the parties and their actual living expenses. The formula does not take into consideration the payments for household expenses such as mortgage payments, electric payments, fuel oil, payments for internet service, telephone charges, maintenance of the property, child support and attorney’s fees during the course of litigation. The approach utilized by this statute does not accurately deal with the specific financial obligations and needs of the parties.

Rigid Formula Must Go!

The new maintenance statue needs to be revised. It is a rigid formula that denies the Court from having the necessary discretion to deal with the unique financial circumstances litigants are exposed to. In some situations spouses are receiving interim spousal maintenance awards in cases and at the conclusion, they receive no spousal maintenance. How can this be fair?maintenance and custody attorneys

Why You Need A Living Will

willspic-150x150End of life issues are difficult to face. Everyone that lives will eventually die. If you want to make your own choices as to how you’re cared for, should you become gravely ill, it is important that you have a Living Will. A Living Will is an advance directive that explains to your loved ones and your physicians what type of life prolonging medical treatments you want and don’t want if you become incapacitated, are placed on a resperator, or are unable to express your concerns due to illness or injuries.

End of Life Issues on Long Island

Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) in the State of New York, is considered a ” high spending” medicare area of the country. Most individuals without health care proxies on Long Island will find themselves dying in a hospital. Individuals with Living Wills can choose to spend their final days in a hospice facility.

Hospice Facilities Verses Hospitals

Hospice Facilities are designed to make patients facing end of life diseases comfortable by treating their pain and allowing their illnesses to run a natural course. Treatment in hospitals is organized around the theory of prolonging life. This can involve aggressive procedures even if the illness is considered by the treating physicians to be terminal. The treatment in hospitals for terminal illnesses can greatly reduce the quality of the individuals life. Sometimes the difference between hospice care and hospital care relates to the quality of the individual’s life while dealing with a terminal illness.

Living Wills and Family Members

Lauren Hersh Nicholas is a health professor with the University of Michigan. She has conducted a study of involving living wills. She states there’s a benefit to the family of the patient. “Family members have a somewhat easier decision making process, because they have greater guidance.” The hospice treatment can eliminate pain and reduce medical procedures that are unlikely to work.

Elder Law Attorneys

The Elder Law and Wills, Trusts and Estate lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been helping their clients deal with end of life issues for more than 3 decades. The law firm drafts Wills, Trusts and Health Care Proxies, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. They represent individuals involved in will contests. They explain to executors of wills their duties. In addition, they draft revocable living trust and irrevocable living trusts. The firm is also involved in assisting clients with nursing home issues as well as medicaid planning technigues. Call for a consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

Eyewitness Identification Problems in Criminal Cases

lineup-150x150Are 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.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a crime or are under investigation for committing a crime, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo 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!

Marston Gibson, A Man for all Seasons

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!


Personal Injury Attorneys

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.

Colorado’s “Make My Day” Law


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!

Criminal Defense Lawyers

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 Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo 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.

Divorce and College Tuition Expenses for Children (Part 2)


State University of New York (SUNY)

At this point in the discussion (refer to yesterday’s post for “Part 1” of this article), the attorney for one of the parties usually suggests the parents’ exposure for payment of college expenses should be limited to a “SUNY CAP”. The SUNY CAP is defined as either the cost of sending the children to one of the

SUNY schools or the cost of sending the children to the most expensive SUNY school.

The purpose for utilizing a SUNY CAP in divorce proceedings is to limit the potential expenses of a college education while allowing the children to attend a college in the SUNY system, which is considered one of the best state wide college education systems in the country.Using today’s costs, an education at a SUNY school costs approximately $18,000.00 a year, whereas an education at a private college, such as Syracuse University, would cost approximately $55,000.00 per year. As you can see, there is a large gap between the private university costs and the SUNY college tuition expenses. It should be noted this does not take into consideration scholarships, financial aid or loans that might be available to students attending a private university. These may bring the cost down considerably.

The SUNY CAP In Case Law

The SUNY CAP is used so often by divorce lawyers in settlement agreements that a questions arises as to whether this is a standard to be applied in divorces in New York. This question was answered by Supreme Court Justice Mathew F. Cooper, who sits in Manhattan Supreme Court, in the case of Pamela T. vs. Mark B. In this case, Judge Cooper stated “but there is one thing the SUNY system should not be. Contrary to what proponents of a wide and liberal application of the SUNY CAP might argue, the SUNY system should not be the assumed destination for a child of divorce.”

In the case before Judge Cooper, a child fought to go to Syracuse University. The parents were both lawyers who had been divorced in 2008. Both of the parents earn in excess of $100,000 a year. Judge Cooper’s decision stated the parents had
The court’s prior decision in the 2008 Judgment of Divorce did not deal with the issue of college expenses for the two children of the marriage. Judge Cooper ordered the father, Mark B., to pay 40% of the son’s college education at Syracuse, which was approximately $21,000 per year.The moral of this story is that the details of college education expenses for children should be laid out in a separation agreement or stipulation of settlement. This will eliminate future questions regarding college education responsibilities.

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 or 718-350-2802.

Speed Racing on the Long Island Expressway

Darnel Anderson, 25 years of age, decided to have a race with Darrel Squiers. The race took place on the Long Island Expressway in Nassau County, New York. Both drivers were speeding in excess of 100 mph. Darnel Anderson had two children in the car with him while he was racing his friend. In court documents, he stated “I knew we were going way too fast.”
It was estimated that Darnel was proceeding at approximately 120 miles per hour when he was stopped by the police. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, being involved in a speed contest and numerous additional traffic violations. His racing buddy, Darrel Squiers of Bay Shore, was charged with driving while being intoxicated, being involved in a race on the Long Island Expressway, speeding and a variety of additional vehicle and traffic violations.
Individuals who want to see if they have the fastest car should race their cars on a race track. This can be done under conditions that are safe for everyone involved. In this situation two young children’s lives were in danger and only by the grace of God did they avoid serious injury. These racing buddies now face significant criminal prosecution.

Criminal Lawyer

Our law office represents individuals charged with the following criminal offenses: violent crimes; white collar crimes; sex crimes; weapons possession; driving while intoxicated (DWI); shoplifting; burglary; juvenile defense; assault and battery; drug offenses; domestic violence and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. If you, a friend or loved one is either being investigated for a crime or charged with a crime, call us for a free consultation, we can help you.

Divorce and College Tuition Expenses for Children (Part 1)

college.bmpThere are many issues that come up in divorces. Who gets custody, child support, visitation (parenting schedules), equitable distribution of property and the payment of debts from the marriage. These issues can cause divorces to be contentious. Litigants in divorce cases spend large sums of money fighting to protect their rights concerning these problems.

College Expenses

If the parties to a marriage have children, how is the issue of college expenses dealt with? To start with, most litigants in a divorce will tell their attorney that their children are young and they don’t want to deal with the college expense issue now, that they’d prefer to wait until a later time. In those situations, the attorney should ask his clients how much they have saved up for college so far. The answer to that question is often either zero or a very small amount.

During settlement discussions on divorce issues, the parties often get together at one of the attorney’s offices and have a four party meeting. At this meeting, both spouses and their respective attorneys face each other across a conference room table and discuss, in a mature, intelligent, reasonable manner the issues involved in their divorce.

The purpose of these discussions is to try to work out an amicable settlement without the need for expensive litigation. When the issue of college tuition comes up, both of the spouses sometimes say they agree that we should pay for the college expenses for their children. Often the Attorney will inform them of something along the lines of: “well, your children are eight and ten, as of this point. You have saved very little towards their college expenses. Even though you seek to pay for your childrens’ college expenses, and this is admirable, since you haven’t saved money up until this point, it is unlikely that you will be able to save enough money to pay for the tuition in the future”

Divorce and Family Court Lawyers

I have been representing men and women concerning issues involving divorce, divorce grounds and family law problems for more than 33 years. I have been involved in hundreds of cases dealing with issues concerning orders of protection, child custody, child abuse, child neglect, division of marital property and regarding negotiation and separation agreements. My law office protects mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights in divorce and family court situations. Should you have questions or seek a free consultation, call me at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

The Prosecution of Pedestrians

road.bmpRecently, in Georgia, a pedestrian was convicted of vehicular homicide related to the death of her four year-old son. The boy was killed in a car accident caused by a hit and run driver.

Raquel Nelson took a long bus ride with her three children. This was in April of 2010. At the end of the bus ride, she tried to cross the road directly in front of the bus stop. She was tired after a long day spent on the bus. Her apartment complex was approximately a third of a mile from the nearest traffic light. This would have caused her to cross five lanes of traffic and then walk a third of a mile back in the opposite direction. She would have to do this while having three young children to take care of. Instead, she crossed a road to a three foot medium in the center of the road. They crossed the road during a break in the traffic. Unfortunately, Nelson’s four year old son AJ followed other adults who were crossing ahead of them.

AJ was struck by a motorist who fled. After he was caught, the motorist admitted he was high on alcohol and pain killers. The driver spent six months in jail and is now serving five additional years probation.

Pedestrian Tried and Sentenced

Nelson was tried and sentenced to a year probation. In addition, she had to pay fines and complete community service. She was also given the option of a new trial, which option she has taken. It is unusual to prosecute a pedestrian. Nelson was convicted of contributing to the death of her son being in the “wrong place”.

Pedestrians will usually take the shortest route crossing the road. If the bus stop is placed far from a pedestrian crossing, most pedestrians will cross where the bus lets them out.

Low income families living in the suburbs are at a disadvantage. Many suburbs are designed for families who have cars. Low income families who are dependent on buses for transportation are forced to risk their lives crossing busy roads when there are no crosswalks near the bus stops.

Nassau and Suffolk Counties Have High Pedestrian Death Rates

Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island are the third and fourth most highly ranked counties in the United States on pedestrian fatalities per hundred thousand inhabitants. Approximately a third of all traffic deaths involve pedestrians in Nassau County, whereas only 20% of traffic deaths involve pedestrians in Suffolk County.

Pedestrians Should Not Be Prosecuted

Urban road designers should take into consideration women with young children needing to cross roads in location where buses drop them off.


Criminal Defense Lawyers

For over 30 years, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been defended individuals charged with crimes throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We handle criminal matters in which an individual is charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, assault and battery, driving while intoxicated, juvenile defenses, shoplifting, burglary, weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and all other types of misdemeanors and felonies. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Track Your Cheating Spouse With iPhone Application


There is a new application for the iPhone 4S. This application can track people. An interesting case involves a man who purchased a new iPhone 4S for his wife and loaded the “Find my friends app” onto her phone without her knowing about it. He had been suspicious about her meeting another man for liasons. She told him she was going to one place and he tracked her on the iPhone app. to another.

This new iPhone application can be used by boyfriends and girlfriends to track significant others to see if they are telling the truth as to where they’re going, should foul play be a possibility. The wonders of new technology. Now instead of hiring a private investigator to track your spouse, you can simply put an app on their iPhone and figure out where they’re going. So much for trust in relationships!

The new iPhone 4S has been a spectacular success. This new operating system has been purchased by more than four million people during its first three days on the market. It is too bad Steve Jobs didn’t live long enough to see this tremendous success of Apple’s newest product.

New York Divorce Lawyers

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you if you wish to divorce your spouse. We have extensive experience in dealing with divorce grounds, and other family law related issues. We can assist you with question involving child custody, annulments, amicable divorce, mothers’ rights, fathers’ rights and the mediation of divorce related issues. We also have extensive experience in dealing with high net worth divorces and family owed business issues. Call us for a free consultation.

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