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What Can You Do When the Custodial Parent Wants To Relocate With Your Children?

family law advocates and custodial parent relocationWhen the custodial parent wants to relocate, he or she should bring an application to either the Family Court or the Supreme Court in the State of New York, to get the court’s permission to move away. In a perfect world, when this happens, you oppose the move and show it is not in the children’s best interest to relocate with the custodial parent.

However, in the real world, sometimes the non-custodial parent simply finds out the custodial parent seeks to move. In these situations, it is usually in the non-custodial parent’s best interest to be proactive. He or she should immediately bring a proceeding to get a court order to stop the custodial parent from relocating. In cases where the custodial parent violates these court orders, the courts can change custody. When making an argument against the relocation of the custodial parent, you must show this would be a significant change in circumstances, it would disrupt the children’s lives and routines, put them in a different school, and interfere with your ability to visit and maintain a loving relationship with your children.

Why Custodial Parents Move

There are a variety of reasons why the custodial parent might decide to relocate. He or she may obtain a job transfer or they may have lost their job and have the ability to obtain a job in another state.

Attorney for the Child

Relocation cases can have a negative impact on the children involved. In most cases, the court will appoint an attorney to represent the children. In those cases, the non-custodial parent must show to the attorney for the children as well as to the court it is not in the best interest of the child to be relocated. It is necessary to bring a proceeding seeking an order from the court preventing the custodial parent from moving with the children.assistance in family court and with custody litigation

Parental Alienation of Children

divorce attorneysParental alienation of children is now recognized by the Courts in New York to be detrimental to the best interest of children. When one parent alienates the children from another parent he or she is simply hurting the children. Each child has two parents and each of the parents adds to the quality of the human being the child will become.

Parental alienation syndrome involves one parent, through subtle and not so subtle means, encouraging denigration, bad feelings, a lack of love and a sense of animosity to the other parent. When one parent motivates the children in this negative manner regarding the other parent, the children become “alienated” from the other parent.

Parental Alienation And Changing Custody

In some cases, the Courts in New York have removed the children from the home of the parent who caused the children to be alienated from the other parent and given custody to the other parent. In these cases, the Courts in New York have found it in the children’s best interest to have custody changed.

It is the obligation of the residential custodial parent to foster visitation of the children with the nonresidential custodial parent. Visitation, which is now referred to as parenting time, is important for the development of the relationship with the children and the nonresidential parent.

In the case of In re Jeffrey Doroski v. Nancy Ashton, the Appellate division (an appeals court), in its decision, stated “parental alienation of a child from the other parent is in fact so inconsistent with the best interest of the children as too, per say, raise a strong probability that the [offending party] is unfit to act as a custodial parent.”

Action To Be Taken To Avoid Parental Alienation

The first thing a parent should do when presented with the situation of parental alienation is to speak to the other parent who was alienating the children. Try to educate the other parent that he or she is simply hurting the children by taking this action. Discuss family counseling with the other parent to deal with this situation.

child advocacy and assistance for parentsIf the alienating parent continues with his or her destructive behavior regarding the children, immediate legal action is necessary. It is important to nip parental alienation syndrome in the bud. The longer the alienating party has to turn the children against the other parent, the more difficult it is to undo this negative conditioning. Issues concerning parental alienation in the State of New York are handled either in the Supreme Court or in the Family Court.

Children’s Best Interest

matrimonial attorneyIt is said that marriages are made in heaven. If this is true, are divorces made in hell? I don’t believe so. Divorce is the result of a marriage not working out. The dissolution of a marriage takes place in the courthouse. Children born from the marriage are victims in a divorce. Children want their parents’ marriage to work. They want their parents to get along and stay together. They don’t understand the issues that cause their parents to divorce.

The standard for determining custody of the parties’ children is the “children’s best interest.” Which parent has superior parenting skills? Which parent enriches the children’s lives more? Which parent has been the nurturing parent or primarily involved in taking care of the children’s basic needs during the course of their minority? These issues are considered in determining what the children’s best interests are. Courts always render their decision concerning child custody and visitation related to what they believe is the children’s best interest.

Joint Custody

What is joint custody? It is the sharing of parenting-time each parent has with the children; sharing responsibility in the children’s lives; having each parent contribute to the decision making process concerning the best interests of the children. Joint custody does not mean that the children live in two different places during the course of their minority. Generally speaking, there is one residential custodial parent and a non-residential custodial parent. Instead of one parent getting visitation with the children and the other parents having custody, each parent has parenting time with the children.

Parents Not Friends

Children need their parents. A parent’s responsibility is to educate their children, support their children and love their children. Sometimes parents have to take a tough line with their children to see to it they become responsible, law abiding, appropriate human beings. Tough love can be difficult but sometimes it is necessary in child rearing. Parents must distinguish themselves from the children’s friends.

Residential Custody and Child Support

In joint custody situations, as indicated earlier, one parent acts as the residential custodial parent. It is important to establish a specific residence for a child so the child will be allowed to register in his or her local school district. However, even if the parents have virtually equal parenting time with the child or children, the non-residential custodial parent has an obligation to pay child support to the residential custodial parent. There are times that this is unfair! However, the law to New York requires the non-residential custodial parent to pay child support to the residential custodial parent even if the non-residential custodial parent has the same or similar expenses for the child as the residential custodial parent.


The best interest of the child is a fairly general term. Both mothers and fathers have equal rights to custody in New York. If the parents both want custody of the child, joint custody of the child may be a solution in many cases.divorce and custody assistance

Relocating After a Divorce

divorce lawyerWhen a custodial parent seeks to relocate, he or she may run into more complications and difficulties than he or she anticipates. An order of custody and/or divorce judgment may contain clauses specifically preventing a custodial parent from relocating. Whether the custody order or the divorce judgment contains a clause of this nature, the custodial parent, who seeks to relocate, must bring a proceeding in the State of New York, either in the Supreme Court or in the Family Court. The proceeding will be for the purpose of obtaining a court order authorizing the relocation of the custodial parent.

Good Reasons For Relocating

The application brought by the custodial parent must contain a compelling reason for relocating with the child or children. Some of the reasons that have been alleged in petitions of this nature deal with employment in another locality, it is closer to family members for a support system and opportunities for the children to enhance their education.

The Impact On The Non-Custodial Parent

In most situations, the relocation of the children will have a negative impact on the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. To compensate, the non-custodial parent is often offered additional parenting time. Additional parenting time can involve summer vacations, school vacations, school recesses and other periods of time when school isn’t in session. In some situations, the parent who seeks to relocate may have the obligation of paying the cost of transportation of the children back to visit with the non-custodial parent.

Courts in the State of New York are reluctant to grant relocation applications due to the negative impact it can have on the other parent’s visitation rights. To be successful in New York it is extremely important to show the relocation will be in the children’s best interest. To accomplish this goal it will be necessary to show how the children’s lives will be enhanced either economically or in another manner.

Present A Plan to the Court

If you seek to relocate it is important to present, in your court petition, a plan for visitation with the non-custodial parent. This plan must show the children will be able to maintain their relationship with the non-custodial parent. Since the party bringing the application will have the burden of proof, it is essential in the proceeding to be represented by an experienced family law attorney who has previously dealt with relocation cases before the local courts in your jurisdiction.maintenance and custody attorneys

Mother Cannot Modify Custody of Children

FathersRights-150x150In a Westchester Family Court case, a mother sought to modify a judgement of divorce in which the father had received custody of the children. The judgement of divorce gave the father sole legal custody of his two young children.

The mother petitioned the Family Court in Westchester County to enter a new order giving her physical custody of the children. She claimed there had been a change in circumstances. She claimed further that the children now wished to live with her. The mother asserted that she was the superior parent and that the father was “unfit to be the custodial parent“.

The mother’s claims were rejected. The court found the mother’s claims were spurious. The father did not neglect the children. The court also placed on the record the facts and circumstances concerning the mother’s past substance abuse history. The mother also suffered from depression, had been involved in suicide attempts and had abandoned the children.

The children’s wishes were not controlling. The court stated in the decision that the desire of the children to live with their mother is not the sole controlling factor involving who should be the custodial parent. The judge found the father was a good parent and that there was no evidence that he had neglected his children. The mother’s argument that there had been a change in circumstances was not proven and it was in the best interests of the children to remain with their father.

Fathers’ Rights

Fathers have equal rights to custody in the state of New York. God gives each child two parents. The state of New York says that both parents have equal rights to be the custodial parent of their children. Fathers should be more aggressive in seeking custody of their children. They should be sensitive as to whether the mother is involved in parental alienation of their children.

The fathers’ rights attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo for three decades have been helping fathers obtain custody and visitation rights with regard to their children.

We take an aggressive stand on all fathers’ rights, custody, child support, parental alienation, orders of protection and visitation issues. In cases where there are orders of protection issued against fathers, we fight the orders of protection. We get the fathers back into their homes.

The fathers’ rights attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have more than 30 years of experience helping fathers maintain relationships with their children. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431 or by email. We can help you!

Parental Alienation- Wars Between Parents

divorced parentsWhen custody or child visitation issues occur between separated or divorced parents, one or both parents sometimes seek to curry favor with the child or children. The parent takes this action either to ensure that he or she will receive custody or receive child support payments. In addition to currying favor with the child, some parents seek to undermine the relationship between the child and the other parent. When the child develops a strong resistance or rejection of a parent, that is disproportionate to that parent’s behavior, and this undermines that parent’s relationship with the child, this is referred to as parental alienation syndrome(PAS).

In a Canadian study conducted between 1989 and 2008 involving claims of parental alienation, there were allegations that parental alienation syndrome was present in 175 cases. The study showed that in 106 out of 175 cases, the courts found that there was parental alienation present. In 60% of the cases the mother was the parent involved in alienating the child from the father. In 31% of the cases the father was the parent involved in alienating the child against the mother. The study found that although there were gender differences involved in the alienation of children, mothers were more likely to make unsubstantiated claims of alienation against fathers. The study also found that alienation is most commonly perpetuated by the custodial parent against the noncustodial parent.

In the Canadian study the most common judicial remedy of dealing with parental alienation was to modify the custody arrangement.

Parental alienation is being recognized by the courts in New York more readily then it has been in the past. There is still a reluctance among many judges to use changing custody as a means of addressing this issue. Parental alienation may have the impact of reducing one parents access to visitation with his or her children. The more significant affect of parental alienation is to deprive a child from having a relationship with two loving parents.

Should you have any questions or issues concerning parental alienation feel free to contact Elliot Schlissel, Esquire at or 1-800-344-6431.

Father’s Rights Attorneys

child-support-fatherThere is a growing feeling among fathers who deal with the Family Courts and the Supreme Courts in the State of New York on matrimonial and family law matters that they are being treated unfairly. The law in the State of New York says that fathers and mothers have equal rights to custody. There is no presumption that mothers should receive custody and fathers should pay child support. However, many fathers who have dealt with the legal system come away with a sour taste in their mouth due to bias in favor of the mother.

Father’s rights attorneys are matrimonial and family law attorneys with extensive experience in protecting the rights of fathers involved with custody, support and visitation matters. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, contact the father’s rights attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We can help you!

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.


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Help! My Child Support is Too High


Child support in the State of New York is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The amount of child support is usually set in a Judgement of Divorce, a Separation Agreement or by the Family Court. In most instances, the child support is paid by the father of the child to the mother of the child.

Daddy Loses His Job

What happens if Daddy loses his job? Unfortunately for Daddy, the answer to this question is that the child support stays the same. In a perfect world the father can call the mother and advise her about his loss of employment and the mother could stipulate to the reduction in child support. This stipulation could thereafter be submitted either to a Family Court judge or a Supreme Court judge to modify the prior order or judgmentregarding child support. In the real world, this doesn’t happen.

Downward Modification of Child Support

A parent who loses his job must bring an application either to the Family Court or the Supreme Court for a downward modification of his or her child support. After several conferences, there will be a hearing before a Support Magistrate or judge. The parent having the obligation of paying the child support will have to show that the loss of employment was not the fault of the non-custodial parent. He or she will also have to show this was an unforeseen change in circumstance and that he or she has used due diligence to obtain other employment.?

This process can take many months. In theory, the child support obligation continues to remain the same until there has been a decision by the Support Magistrate or judge after a trial. Thereafter, the child support modification is made retroactive to the date the initial petition was submitted to the court. The problem with this procedure is that the Support Collection Agency is not geared up to give the parent who pays the child support the credit for his or her overpayment during the months the downward modification was pending, unless you can bring it to the court’s attention.

Restitution for Overpayment

Due to the current economic crisis and the numerous applications by non-custodial parents to reduce their child support obligations, the procedures of support collection agencies need to be modified to provide restitution or credits to the parent who has overpaid his or her child support.

Reduce your child support! If you feel that your child support is too high, contact the child support attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 800-344-6431.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.


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