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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 Elliot@sdnylaw.com. .

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.

Man Granted Motion to Seal His 2006 ConvictionNeider brought a proceeding to seal his 2006 misdemeanor conviction for criminal possession of a weapon. In his application he stated he was not convicted of any further offenses. He became eligible under the sealing statute New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59 to have his record sealed. Neider claimed he was a law-abiding citizen. He had lived a productive life. He had a significant career. He was a family man. He served on various municipal boards. He received various licenses. He had obtained a master’s degree from a university.

Conviction Could Impact On Employment

Judge Gia Morris sitting in the Criminal Court of Queens County found while Neider conceded the conviction did not stop him from getting licenses or completing a graduate degree. Neider had indicated he was concerned this conviction could have a negative impact on his future employment possibilities.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office did not oppose the application. They found Neider was eligible and therefore no hearing was necessary.

The Court’s Decison

Judge Gia Morris rendered a decision Neider had met all of the appropriate criteria under the New York sealing statute. She rendered a finding he was an example of the type of individual Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59 was designed to help. She ruled his 2006 conviction “stands as an apparition to an otherwise exemplary lawabiding life”. She rendered a decision that Neider’s motion to seal his 2006 conviction was granted.

Conclusion

New York has a new law that allows certain criminal convictions which are more than ten years old to be sealed. The removal of a criminal conviction can have significant impact on an individual’s employment prospects.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He can help individuals seal their criminal record. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

foreclosure-lawsuit-dismissedThis case involved a mortgagor by the name of Ramirez. Ramirez brought a summary judgment motion seeking a dismissal of the residential foreclosure lawsuit against him. He also sought cancellation and discharge of the mortgage.

CitiMortgage, the mortgage holder, cross-moved for summary judgment. They sought to strike Ramirez’s answer and counterclaims. They also sought an Order of Reference to allow them to sell Ramirez’s home.

Statute of Limitations

Ramirez had defaulted in making payments on his note and mortgage. An initial foreclosure lawsuit was commenced in 2010. However, it was dismissed by the court as being abandoned. CitiMortgage took no action to appeal the motion dismissing the initial 2010 lawsuit.

The Second Foreclosure Lawsuit

In 2017 CitiMortgage filed a new foreclosure lawsuit against Ramirez. Ramirez argued this lawsuit should be dismissed because the 6 year statute of limitations to bring a foreclosure action had expired before the commencement of this lawsuit. CitiMortgage claimed they unequivocally revoked the acceleration of the mortgage.

The Judge’s Decision

Justice Vincent Versad sitting in Supreme Court part in Schenectady County ruled CitiMortgage had failed to meet a five prong test that would reset the statute of limitations clock on Ramirez’s mortgage. Judge Versad found Ramirez suffered substantial prejudice while relying on the acceleration of the mortgage. The Judge found he would be further prejudiced if CitiMortgage was permitted to benefit from its own neglect in timely pursuing its claim. Ramirez’s motion was granted, the foreclosure lawsuit was dismissed and the mortgage was discharged.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schillsel is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He has been representing clients with regard to foreclosure defense cases for more than 30 years. He can be reached for a free consultation at: 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at: Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

joint-custodyNew York State has a gender neutral custody law. There is no longer a presumption that either parent should have custody of the children. Both parents have equal rights to seek custody of their children. It should be noted equal rights to obtain custody is not the same standard as to what is in the children’s best interests. Courts determine who receives custody of the parties’ children based on what is in the children’s best interest.

Legal Custody

Legal custody of children is usually determined by a proceeding in front of a judge. Courts seek to avoid issuing court orders awarding joint custody to parents.

There is a Court of Appeals decision (the highest court in the State of New York) which states joint custody is encouraged primarily as a voluntary alternative for relatively stable, amicable parents behaving in a mature civilized fashion. Situations where the parents do not get along, are not communicative with each other, are not right for joint ustody arrangements.

Quality Time with Children

Joint custody arrangements tend to work out when the children are very young. As children grow older they develop their own social circles and own friendships. Joint custody arrangements tend to get in the way of the children’s lives. Some studies have found it is not necessarily a benefit to the children for them to spend equal time with both parents.

Conclusion

Many parents seek to have equal parenting time with their children. It seems to meet the parents’ needs to develop a strong relationship with their children. However, giving each parent equal time with their children does not necessarily work out to be in the children’s best interest and equal parenting time arrangements generally break down as the children mature and go through puberty.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He has been representing parents in custody disputes for more than 30 years. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at: Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

At this time of year, we stop to give thanks: for our friends and families, for meaningful work, and for valued clients like you. We are truly grateful that you choose to work with us and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

We wish you all the blessings of a peaceful holiday with those you love. Happy Thanksgiving!

Child-Abuse-in-Divorces

Divorces can be amicable or be a type of limited warfare between the parents. Sometimes the issue of who is going to be the residential custodial parent is a significant issue in a divorce case. It occasionally leads unscrupulous parents to create accusations of child abuse to further their desire to become the residential custodial parent of the children and have a negative impact on the other parent’s parental rights. One spouse can accuse the other spouse of abusing the children. It can be the result of anger or concern that the parent making the allegations will not be successful in obtaining custody of the children unless they resort to this underhanded, inappropriate strategy.

Parental Alienation

There is a method for one parent to demotivate a child from spending time with the other parent. The alienating parent to engages in a type of brainwashing called parental alienation. In this circumstance one parent convinces the child the other parent is abusing them. This is done during a litigated custody case. It is extremely important if this happens that an experienced child custody attorney be retained. Advocacy by this attorney can be used to point out to the court the lack of evidence of child abuse and how the allegations are specifically related to the ongoing custody case.

Orders of Protection

Temporary orders of protection are often granted to one spouse when they falsely accuse the other spouse of abusing the children. Aggressive legal action must be taken to demand a hearing with regard to these issues. These issues should not be allowed to linger. The longer the order of protection is in effect preventing one parent from having any interaction with the other parent or children, the more likely this will impact on the long term relationship between the parent whose kept away from the children.

schlissel-headshot

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney who has dealt with child abuse and child neglect issues for more than 3 decades. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Happy Halloween! 2018

General-Website-Grandparents’-Rights-and-Custody-Issues

Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren face many practical, legal issues. Grandchildren who live with grandparents for periods of time are impacted on by a variety of the laws in the State of New York. Issues involving custody, visitation with the parents, who has custody of the grandchildren long term, where the grandchildren go to school, medical insurance for the grandchildren, child support issues between the parents and the grandparents are just some of the legal issues grandparents face. Is a grandparent authorized to make medical decisions for a grandchild?

Limitations Placed on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren do not necessarily have a legal right to make decisions involving a variety of issues concerning the health and general welfare of their grandchildren. For a grandparent to have legal authority over a grandchild the grandparent must obtain a court order. Physical custody is not the same as legal custody. If the children simply live with the grandparents they have what is commonly referred to as physical custody. However, the fact the grandchildren reside with the grandparents does not give them legal rights to make decisions regarding the grandchildren’s health care and school issues. Grandparents must bring a case in the Family Court to obtain temporary custody of their grandchildren. This will put them in a position where they can make decisions involving significant issues for their grandchildren. When a court grants a grandparent legal custody the grandparents then have legal authority to make decisions concerning the health and general welfare of the grandchildren.

Temporary Power of Attorney

In situations where the parents are cooperating, a temporary power of attorney can be given by the parent to the grandparents. This temporary power of attorney would give the grandparents temporary authority to make specifically delineated decisions on behalf of the grandchildren. The temporary power of attorney gives the grandparents specific legal rights that are clearly enunciated in the power of attorney. An example of these types of provisions may involve a grandchild travelling with a grandparent to another state or country and the grandparent is given authority during this trip to make medical decisions for their grandchildren. It should be noted the power of attorney can be revoked by the parents and has no impact on the legal rights of the parents to maintain custody of their children.

Adoption

Adoption is a permanent route for grandparents to exercise both parental rights and responsibilities over a grandchild. In essence, once the grandparents adopt the grandchild the grandparents now become the parents of the grandchild. Adoptions by a grandparent can be on consent of the parent or can be done in situations where the parents don’t consent but they have been found to be unfit, incapable or have deserted their children.

Elliot-Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been working for grandparents’ rights with regard to issues concerning custody and visitation of their grandchildren for more than 3 decades. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

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. Elliot@sdnylaw.com or 800-344-6431.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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