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Happy Holidays: I Want a Divorce

nassau divorce attorneySpouses, in unhappy marriages, often wait until the end of the year, after the holiday season, to decide to move forward with their divorces. This is especially true when the parties don’t get along and the frustration between the spouses boils over related to get-togethers that go poorly at Christmas time. Spouses that are not happy in relationships sometimes wait until after the first of the year to avoid impacting on the children’s lives during the holiday season.

Divorce Filings Increased after the First of the Year

It is not uncommon for divorce lawyers to receive an unusually high rate of inquiries concerning divorces at or around the end of the year. So what do you do if your spouse says to you in early 2013, “I’m filing for divorce?” To start with, do not create a violent incident. Discuss the situation with your spouse calmly and see if marriage counseling is a possible solution to your problem.

If it turns out a divorce is going to be moving forward, the first thing you need to do is to obtain copies of all financial records, tax returns, 401 K statements, pension statements, bank account statements, checking account statements, credit card statements, copies of paychecks and all other financial records are important items when considering moving forward with a divorce. A marriage is a social and economic partnership. When the social part is over, the issues to be decided by the court or negotiated into a settlement agreement involves child custody, visitation, equitable distribution of marital assets, child support and spousal maintenance (alimony).

Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

divorce and custody assistanceWhen a divorce is inevitable, you should immediately consider hiring a divorce attorney to protect your interests. Make sure you retain an attorney who can calmly explain to you how the divorce process works and who you are comfortable dealing with.

Post-divorce Parenting Issues

matrimonial attorneysYour divorce is over. Does this mean all parenting issues have been resolved? Hopefully, this is true. But life is not static. Children grow older and develop new, unanticipated issues. Parents’ relationships change. Financial situations for both the custodial and non-custodial parent are impacted by employment interruptions, physical problems and sometimes relocation of one of the parents. In addition, even after the parents have worked out everything in the divorce, new decisions will need to be made regarding the children as time goes on.

Parenting Plan

One of the best ways to deal with child custody and visitation issues is to have a specific, detailed parenting plan. Parenting plans provide stability as relationships change and seek to minimize conflicts between the parents.


Co-parenting arrangements, after the divorce is finalized, requires both parents to put the children’s best interest before their own. The parents must communicate with each other concerning all significant issues involving the children. Both parents should strive to maintain a positive attitude and only say affirmative things about the other parent. Neither parent should bad-mouth the other! The following is a list of factors that should be taken into consideration and be part of a co-parenting plan:

  1. Both parents should make decisions based on what is in the children’s best interest.
  2. Parents should speak to each other either on the phone, by text message or e-mail concerning all significant issues involving the children.
  3. The parents should strive to be flexible and reasonable with the other parent with regard to issues that impact on their children.
  4. Each parent should take into consideration that the other parent’s parenting style may be different than his or hers.
  5. Each parent should avoid questioning their child each time they come back from a visit with the other parent.
  6. Each parent should strive to keep the other parent informed regarding educational, social and athletic activities that the children are involved in.
  7. Conflict avoidance should be the mainstay of the co-parenting relationship.

Peace, Love and Consideration

Peace, love and consideration are the key components of a co-parenting plan. Parents should seek to avoid future arguments, disagreements and hostilities between each other. Both parents should make the love for their children as the central basis of the co-parenting plan. The best interest of the children should always be in both parents’ minds. Co-parenting plans should not be popularity contests between the parents. Children need parents to give them guidance. A parent is not a child’s friend. A parent is the person that has to see to it a child knows the difference between right and wrong. Popularity contests between parents have a negative impact on your child.

About the Author

assistance in family lawElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a well-respected matrimonial and family law attorney who has successfully represented parents concerning issues involving divorce, custody, visitation and other related matters. His office offers free initial consultations.

Child Custody Under The Hague Convention On The Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction

child custody attorneysThe United States Supreme Court entertained a case on December 5, 2012, involving an international child custody battle. The case, Chafin vs. Chafin, involved a U.S. Army soldier and a Scottish woman. The Chafins were originally married in Scotland. Thereafter, they moved to Germany where Mr. Chafin was deployed by the United States military.

In 2007, the couple had a daughter. She was born in Germany and had dual citizenship. She was both a citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom. Thereafter, Mr. Chafin was redeployed by the United States military to Afghanistan. He stayed there for 15 months. During his deployment, the Chafins agreed that the mother and daughter would return to Scotland. Eventually, Mr. Chafin moved to Alabama and his wife and daughter followed him there in February 2010.

The Chafins’ Divorce

Mr. Chafin filed for divorce and for an emergency custody order in Alabama. As part of the emergency Alabama order, the daughter’s passports were moved to an unknown location. Due to the fact that Mrs. Chafin could not leave the country with her daughter and return to Scotland, she overstayed her visa. This resulted in her being deported in February 2011.

Mrs. Chafin Seeks The Return Of Her Child Under The Hague Convention

Mrs. Chafin filed a petition to have her child returned pursuant to the international obligations countries have under the Hague Convention. A Federal District Court Judge ruled in her favor. He found that Mr. Chafin had wrongfully kept his daughter and had no right to hide her passport. He also found that Scotland was her habitual residence and allowed Mrs. Chafin to return to Scotland with her child.

United States Supreme Court

This case eventually found its way to the United States Supreme Court. The issue before the Supreme Court is whether under the Hague Convention they can order the return of the child to the United States and whether the United States was the habitual residence of the child. This case is still pending!

About The Author

divorce and custody assistanceElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates have been involved in numerous cases dealing with international custody and visitation issues concerning countries that are signatures to The Hague Convention and countries that are not covered by this convention.

Religious Court Could Not Make Decisions Concerning Custody And Visitation

matrimonial attorneysJudge Daniel Palmieri, sitting in a Supreme Court part handling matrimonial matters in Nassau County, New York, recently vacated the decision of a Beth Din determination and award. Beth Din is a Jewish Religious Court.

The parties in this case had entered into a written agreement to arbitrate financial issues related to the marriage before the Beth Din religious court. The agreement authorized the Beth Din arbitrators power to hear and determine all issues of a financial nature. The determination of these financial issues are enforceable in the Nassau County Supreme Court.

Limitations Of An Arbitration Agreement

The arbitration agreement did not empower the Beth Din court to render final and enforceable decisions concerning issues involving child custody and visitation. This is due to public policy in New York. In New York, only state courts can render decisions on issues of child custody and visitation.

In the case, before Justice Palmieri, the husband moved to set aside a decision and award by the Beth Din arbitration panel. He also asked the Court to grant a downward modification of child support. The wife moved to confirm all aspects of the decision of the Beth Din panel.

Justice Palmieri vacated the arbitration award to the extent that it dealt with decisions of custody and visitation as being against a public policy in the State of New York. He confirmed the portion of the award dealing with financial issues.

Private Arbitration Of Legal Matters

More and more litigant today are opting for alternate dispute resolution of legal matters. This usually involves hiring a retired judge to conduct an arbitration. These private tribunals can resolve litigated issues much faster than the overworked courts in New York.assistance in family law

California’s Proposed Multiple Parenting Law

family law attorney on long islandCalifornia is considering passing a multiple parenting law. This law would allow children to legally have more than two parents. This statute was proposed by State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco. It has already passed the California State Senate and is being considered in the California State Assembly.

Mr. Leno claims that the definition of the American family is evolving. The statute takes into consideration surrogacy arrangements and reproductive techniques that involve multiple individuals and same sex marriages. Mr. Leno has stated “the bill brings California into the 21st century recognizing there are more than Ozzie and Harriett families today.”

Mr. Leno, in an interview with ABC, discussed a situation when an appeals court in 2009 placed a girl in foster care when her legally married parents, who were two lesbians, could not care for her. One of the child’s mothers had been jailed. The other, non biological mother was in a hospital facility. The girl’s biological father fought to be recognized as a parent. She had a relationship with the father, but the court could not recognize him as a parent because she already had two recognized parents. Mr. Leno points out that Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maine and the District of Columbia already have statutes recognizing more than two parents

Statute Deals With More Than Same Sex Relationships

Mr. Leno argues with regard to the new law, that it is more inclusive than just involving same sex relationships. He uses as an example in which a man raises a non-biological child with a woman when the child also has a relationship with his biological father. Another example he gives is when a lesbian couple wants to include a male friend who provided sperm for conception as a legal parent for the child. Leno strongly argues it is in the child’s best interest to designate multiple parents to provide financial support, health insurance and other state benefits.

Legal experts are concerned about the issues that would be created by this new California law. Issues involving tax deductions, child support, health insurance, inheritance rights, custody issues, visitation issues, child support and wrongful death situations could be significantly impacted by the situation where a child has three parents.matrimonial assistance through divorce

Mother Seeks to Keep Children Away From Killer

mother-150x150In 1991, Kristine Cushing killed her four and eight year old daughters. She was tried for these murders and found not guilty by reason of insanity. Her defense counsel claimed that she murdered her children due to a bad reaction to Prozac. Kristine spent four years in a mental institution. In addition, she had ten years of psychiatric monitoring. She received an unconditional release in 2005 from the State of California.

Kristine Cushing has now moved back in with her former husband, John P. Cushing. John had two children with Theresa Conlin. Their sons are 13 and 14 years of age. The 13 year old lives with Mr. Cushing. Since Theresa Conlin has moved back in with Mr. Cushing, he also lives with a convicted murderer, who murdered her two children. This does not sit well with the 13 year old boy’s mother, Trisha Conlin.

Theresa Goes to Court in California

Theresa has brought a proceeding in the King County Superior Court to prevent her sons from spending time alone with a convicted murderer. Mr. Cushing originally lied to Theresa. He advised her that he was not living with his ex-wife.

In the court proceedings, Mr. Cushing’s attorney stated that Miss Cushing was temporarily insane and didn’t know what she was doing. They are taking a position that she has recovered from this temporary insanity and presents no immediate threat to children.

In June, Miss Conlin received a court order giving her full custody of both of her sons for a period of 30 days. The court advised her that she would have to make a showing on the next court date why this new parenting plan should become permanent. She is still dropping off her sons to spend time with the Cushings on Sundays. Query: Should an ex-murderer be allowed to be alone with children?

Family Law Lawyer for Mothers’ Rights and Fathers’ Rights

Mothers and fathers have rights when dealing with issues concerning their children. Children should be kept in a safe environment. They should not be subject to child abuse or neglect.

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been representing parents in matrimonial and family law matters for more than 30 years. We have developed an expertise in dealing with divorce, orders of protection, child custody and visitation. We litigate changing child custody, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and issues involving paternity. We also negotiate prenuptial and post nuptial agreements on behalf of our clients. We are especially adept in dealing with parental alienation issues and parental alienation syndrome. Call us for a free consultation.

Halle Berry’s Custody Issues

Halle Berry was married to Gabriel Aubry. They have a daughter named Nahia. Halle Berry is an oscar winning actress. She has been engaged in a custody fight over her two year old daughter Nahia.

Halle has dropped out of a broadway play due to custody issues. She had been scheduled to make her broadway debut in September. The play was called the Mountain Top. Samuel L. Jackson is portraying Dr. Martin Luther King in the play. Halle was to portray a maid at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis where King was the night before he was shot.

Nasty Custody Battle

Halle has been involved in a nasty custody battle with her ex partner Gabriel Aubry. The couple initially split up in 2010.

Halle Pulls Out of Movie Entitled New Year’s Eve

Halle Berry has also dropped out of a movie entitled New Year’s Eve. She blamed her pending custody litigation involving her daughter for her dropping out of this film.

She has recently claimed she has been unable to amicably resolve her custody issues with the child’s father Gabriel. A representative for Halle Berry has stated “she has serious concerns for her daughter’s well being while in the care of her father for any extended period of time and is prepared to take all necessary steps to protect her.” Is the real issue that Nahia’s father Gabriel Aubry is the parent who spends the majority of the time meeting the child’s needs while Halle pursues her career. It appears that Gabriel spends a majority of the time taking care of this child, while Halle is off making movies and appearing in other productions.

Father’s Rights Lawyers in New York

Children have two parents, a father and a mother. Under New York Law they have equal rights to custody and visitation. We are father’s rights lawyers. We litigate issues on behalf of fathers involving divorce, orders of protection, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), child abuse defense, paternity, no fault divorce and issues involving attorneys fees in divorces. We also assist our clients in obtaining annulments and dealing with parental relocation problems. We negotiate separation agreements, pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements for our clients. We represent fathers in cases in Nassau County, Kings County, Queens County and the rest of the Metropolitan New York area. Call for a free consultation.

Joint Custody Unworkable

joint-150x150 Acting Supreme Court Justice Neary, sitting in Westchester County, found that a one week on, one week off joint custody arrangement between a father and mother was unworkable. He also found that this arrangement was disruptive to the children’s lives.

Justice Neary ordered a hearing to determine who should receive custody of the children. In his decision, Justice Neary found that the father “methodically demonstrated” that the mother engaged in parental alienation of the children. A forensic expert confirmed that the mother had been involved in parental alienation syndrome activities.

Mother’s Testimony Unbelievable

The court found that the mother had significant credibility problems with regard to her testimony. The court’s decision stated that the father had met his burden of establishing an unforeseen change in circumstances which called for a modification of the custody arrangements.

Joint Custody Continued By the Court

The court found that joint custody was still the best way to handle this case. The court modified the custody so the parties would share children on a two week on, two week off basis. Judge Neary’s decision was based upon the fact that it was in the best interest of the children to have longer periods of time with each parent, thereby causing less disruption in their lives.


In this case, the mother’s bad behavior had very little impact on her overall relationship with the children and custody.

divorce-150x1503Long Island Divorce Lawyer

Issues involving divorce are difficult. The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been delicately and aggressively dealing with divorce-related issues for more than thirty years. Our law office litigates all aspects of divorce matters including, divorce grounds, child custody, child visitation, child abuse, child neglect, and the division of assets (especially in high net worth cases and cases involving doctors, lawyers and dentists). Our office can protect fathers’ rights, as well as mothers’ rights, in a divorce. If it is an amicable divorce situation, we assist our clients in negotiating separation agreements. Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

Father’s Conduct Not Contemptuous

A proceeding was brought by a mother in Nassau County Supreme Court by Judge Falanga to hold her children’s father in civil contempt. The mother alleged the father, who was awarded custody of their child, had refused to make reasonable accommodations related to her Orthodox Jewish religious practices. She argued that her Orthodox Jewish observence requirements prevented her from driving to pick up and drop off the child. She alleged there were numerous Jewish holidays that fell on her Wednesday visitation days.

Prior Court Order

Judge Falanga took note that there had been a previous order making the father aware of the importance of maintaining a relationship between the mother and the child. However, Judge Falanga did not grant the mother’s application to find the father in contempt. The father suggested that an alternative to the Wednesday visitation, the mother have visitation with the child on Tuesdays. He claimed the mother refused to accept his offer of Tuesday visitation.

Judge Falanga found that although the father’s actions disrupted the visitation routine between the mother and the child his conduct did not rise to the level of being contemptuous. He stated “while visitation was a most precious right the child corresponding need to have normal socialization and age appropriate activities could not be held hostage to a very occasional and intermitant inability of the mother to visit. The mother’s motion to hold father in contempt was denied. Hooray for Judge Falanga!

Fathers’ Rights Law Firm in Nassau County

We litigate all types of father’s rights issues. We represent fathers in Nassau County, Kings County, Queens County and throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We litigate equitable distribution issues, spousal abuse, child support, child visitation, child custody and orders of protection. We protect our clients from allegations of child abuse.

We fight paternity proceedings in the family court. We deal with parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome cases. When the mother seeks to relocate the children making it difficult for fathers to have visitation, we litigate relocation problems. In amicable situations we negotiate separation agreement for our clients. When our clients lose their jobs or have reductions in their income we bring proceedings to reduce their child support obligations. We’re a full service father’s rights law firm. Our experience in the father’s rights area can help you in your case. Call us for a free consultation.

A Father’s Rights Protected

Judge John J. Kelly, sitting in the Family Court of Suffolk County, recently rendered a decision in a custody case that the children’s best interest required that they be returned to the custody of their father. The case presented to him was a permanency hearing brought by the Department of Social Services. The Social Services Department had recommended that the children be returned to their father.

The children had been removed from the mother’s home. The children’s temporary guardians were actively involved in a private placement adoption. The children’s mother had died. Before her death, she had promised the guardians that they could adopt her children.

Father Never Notified

According to the decision, the court found that the father did not make these promises too. The promise to have the children put up for adoption by the guardians was solely made by the mother. The court found the father to be a fit parent. He complied with the court’s request to attend mandatory court programs. He had presented ample evidence to the court that he would provide a safe environment for the children to live in. He also encouraged the relationship with the children and their siblings who are in their maternal grandmother’s custody. The court also found that he had recently had a relationship with the children and that there was no abandonment by the father of his children. It was in the children’s best interest that their father be given full custody of them. A father’s rights had prevailed!


Experienced Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

We represent fathers regarding divorce proceedings, orders of protection, child custody, child visitation issues, child support issues, spousal maintenance issues, alimony, child abuse and child neglect proceedings as well as child abuse defense. We also have extensive experience in dealing with paternity issues, child support, no fault divorces and equitable distribution of assets. Call for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.

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