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Parenting After Divorce

You just went through a divorce. Your marriage is over. You have 2 children and those children have a mother and father who are now not living together, and they are going their separate ways. How do you help the children cope with the change in their life circumstances?  The answer is to cooperate and co-parent.


Co-Parenting After Divorce

Both parents should always work in their children’s best interests. It is important to put the children’s lives and best interests ahead of the parents. Children have daily routines, schedules, educational issues and a need for discipline. Both parents need to work together to help promote their children’s lives.  Even if the parents do not get along, they need to put their differences aside and put their children’s best interests in the forefront of their minds.  Parents divorce each other.  Children do not divorce their parents.


Successful Co-Parenting

Parents to successfully co-parent should communicate with each other on a regular basis regarding issues involving the children.  They should especially be consistent on addressing issues involving child rearing decisions.  They need to be flexible with each other and take into consideration each other’s work schedule to promote parenting time between the children and both parents.  There should be an accepted and established visitation schedule but the parents should maintain flexibility concerning the parenting time each parent has with the children.  The parents should be considerate of each other.


Supporting the Other Parent’s Relationship

Each of the parents should support the relationship the children have with the other parent.  This is true even if each of the parents have different parenting lifestyles.  Each of the parent should go out of their way to keep the other parent up to date with regard to the activities, sports, social situations and educational issues faced by the parties’ children.  Yes, the parents are divorced but No they should not allow their negative feelings about each other to burst onto the surface and impact how their children are being raised.


You and Your Ex Spouse

Sometimes parents feel the necessity of questioning their children about what they do when they spend time with the other parent.  This should be avoided.  Children should also not be made into messengers to convey information from one parent to the other parent.  In talking to your children should you find a disagreement with how certain matters are being handled by your ex-spouse, you should discretely listen to your children.  Thereafter, out of the Elliot Schlisselchildren’s purview discuss your issues and problems regarding your ex-spouses conduct, or parenting decisions.


Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a family law attorney who has been practicing in the Metropolitan New York are for more than 4 decades.   He can be reached at. or 800-344-6431.

Same Sex Partner Getting Visitation Rights

Wedding rings

In a case which emanated originally from Suffolk County New York, the Appellate Division, Second Department, an appeals court, upheld a Suffolk County Family Court’s ruling that a female same sex partner had legal standing to seek parenting time with children despite the fact artificial insemination’s had not been conducted by a doctor in the State of New York and therefore did not comply with New York’s artificial insemination law. The appeals court held: “the record reflects that the parties made an informed mutual decision to conceive this subject children via artificial insemination and to raise them together, first while in a registered domestic partnership in California and, later, while legally married in that State.”

Domestic Partnerships

The women entered into a registered domestic partnership in the year 2004 in California. In 2007 the biological parent gave birth to a child through artificial insemination. The non-biological parent was listed on the child’s birth certificate as a parent. However, the non-biological parent did not adopt the child. In 2008 the parties were married in California. Thereafter, the biological parent had another child through artificial insemination. The non-biological parent was listed as a parent on the child’s birth certificate. Both children were conceived by sperm given from the same sperm donor. The artificial insemination’s were conducted at the parties’ home without a doctor being present.

Parenting Time (Visitation Rights)

The biological parent claimed that the non-biological parent lacked standing to have parenting time with the child born in 2007. She argued they were not legally married at the time. With regard to the child born in 2009, she argued the artificial insemination was not performed by a physician and therefore the non-biological parent cannot be deemed the child’s parent under New York Domestic Relations Law Section 73. This statute states a child conceived by artificial insemination is deemed the legitimate of the mother and her husband if the procedure was conducted by a physician after the written consent of both parents.

Elliot S. Schlissel

In the underlying Family Court proceeding which took place in Suffolk County, Judge Deborah Poulos found that the couple’s noncompliance with the artificial insemination statutes in both New York and California did not prevent the court from awarding the non-biological parent parenting time with the children.


The decision in this expands the rights of non-biological parents to have a relationship with their children.

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