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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

Joint Custody Modified, Father Given Temporary Custody of Both Children

father-150x150Justice Connelly, sitting in the Supreme Court of Westchester County, modified a joint custody order and gave the father sole temporary custody of both of his children. The parties had entered into a stipulation of settlement wherein each of them would have joint custody. The children would reside with the mother and the father would have regular parenting time with the children.

Prior to a judgment of divorce being entered, the children were removed from the mother’s residence. There was an incident which alleged that she was using physical force against the older child. Criminal charges were pending against the mother.

The children were temporarily placed in the father’s custody during the pendency of the criminal allegations against the mother. The mother asked the court to award her sole physical and legal custody of the parties youngest child and joint custody of the parties other child. The mother argued that this was in conformity with the recommendation of a court appointed forensic evaluator. Judge Connelly rejected the forensic evaluator’s suggestions. He found that splitting the children up could cause more potential trauma and harm. The court refused to transfer the temporary custody of the younger child to the mother. She awarded the father, based on the children’s best interest, temporary custody of both children.

Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

We represent fathers! We have been doing this for more than thirty years. We litigate all aspects of divorce, including child custodyvisitationchild support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and equitable distribution of property. We also represent fathers with regard to proceedings in family court. We litigate issues involving paternity, downward modifications of child supportrelocation problemsparental alienation cases and issues involving parental alienation syndrome. We also negotiate separation agreements for our clients. Feel free to call us 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.

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