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Autism and the Child – Part III

assistance for parents of special needs childrenPrivate Schools and the Autistic Child

Child support in all fifty states in the United States is based on the Child Support Standard Act.  This statute lays out a schedule of child support payments and ancillary expenses the non-residential custodial parent must contribute to.  However, private school tuition is not one of the items included as a necessary payment obligation for non-custodial parents.  Courts have discretion to adjust the child support figures related to the special needs of a disabled child.  Divorce courts can utilize their discretion to order a parent to contribute to private schooling costs for an autistic child with special needs.  In situations where the public schools do not offer the specialized programs for an autistic child it may be in the child’s best interest to attend a school that can deliver specialized educational services related to autism.  The tuition costs for these types of schools should be taken into consideration by courts in making custody decisions concerning autistic children.

Emancipation and the Autistic Child

In the State of New York, a child is considered emancipated at the age of twenty one unless the child at an earlier age marries, enters into the armed services, or is working and self supporting.

An autistic child may never be emancipated.  Courts should consider whether a child’s disability should extend the time the child is unemancipated for child support purposes.  A child over the age of twenty one who is disabled and incapable of maintaining himself or herself because of illness or disorder should be considered to be unemancipated even if over the age of twenty one.

Conclusion

Autism is a tragedy affecting more and more American children.  Divorces caused by the tension and stress created by the necessary dealing with the unique problems of the autistic child are on the rise.  Courts, parents, and attorneys need to cooperate in creative decision making with regard to dealing with unique problems associated with raising an autistic child.

About the Author

family law and divorce on Long IslandElliot S. Schlissel, Esq., has been practicing Family and Divorce law in the metropolitan New York area for more than thirty years.  Elliot and his team of dedicated, hard working lawyers deal with all aspects of matrimonial and family law including issues involving divorce grounds, family lawchild custodychanging visitationchild abuse and child neglectdrafting separation agreementsprenuptial and post nuptial agreements.  We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights.

Autism and the Child – Part II

advocates for parents of special needs childrenSpecial Needs For The Autistic Child

Autistic children require expensive therapy and special education regimes that are not available in local school districts.  This results in additional expenses for families.  Judges hearing divorce cases involving autistic children need to pay special attention to the needs of the autistic child.

Residential Custody of the Autistic Child

The residential custodial parent of the autistic child will have a significant burden in dealing with all the idiosyncrasies of the autistic child.  When determining custody of an autistic child the judge should take into consideration all of the following issues:

1.  The acknowledgment and acceptance of the child’s disorder.

2.  Each parents ability to follow through on recommended behavioral interventions for the child.

3.  The parent’s capacity to understand the nature and circumstances of this disease.

4.  The willingness of the parent to place the child’s needs over his or her needs.

5.  Each parent’s ability to handle the psychological stress involved in raising an autistic child.

Joint Custody of the Autistic Child

Sometimes with healthy children, joint custody is the best route to deal with parent’s access to their children.  However, autistic children require special consideration when it comes to joint custody.  Joint custody will not necessarily be in the best interest of the autistic child. Autistic children require predictable and consistent schedules.  They do not function well when their schedules are interrupted.  Autistic children need regimented behavioral therapy.  This can be difficult to maintain when the child is going back and forth between two households.

It is extremely important both parents, the residential custodial parent and the non-residential custodial parent, be educated as to what autism involves and the types of long term therapies autistic children require.

Parenting Schedules and the Autistic Child

In cases involving autistic children parenting schedules should give special consideration to the child’s therapy regime.  Autistic children may be in year round extended school year programs related to special education.  When school regimes are interrupted for autistic children they can regress.divorce attorney on long island


Autism and Divorce – Part I

marriage and divorce attorneyDivorce is a common occurrence in today’s world.  In some states almost half of the marriages end in divorce.  When a married couple has an Autistic child it further complicates the home situation.  The inability of one or both parents to deal with the stress and problems in raising an autistic child can be a cause of divorce.  Parents of children with autism experience higher degrees of stress in their lives.

The Autistic Society of America, in a study, found the following cause for stress among autistic parents:

1.         Parents inability to determine the child’s needs.

2.         Reactions from society to the autistic child and the feelings of isolation.

3.         Concerns regarding future care for the autistic child.

4.         Finances and economic pressures caused by the cost of the therapies for the child.

5.         Feelings of grief.

6.         Lack of personal time.

7.         Stress from reactions by siblings and other family members

Divorce and Autism

There are special issues that affect parents of an autistic child during divorce proceedings. Issues involving child custodyvisitationchange in child custodychild supportfamily court issueschild abuse and child neglect proceedings, special education expenses for the child, and health insurance for the autistic child are issues that need to be dealt with.

Autism in America

There has been an astronomical increase in the past ten years in the number of children born in American who develop autism. Now approximately 1 out of every 90 child born in the United States develops autism.

Autism affects children in different ways.  Autistic children often have difficulty speaking.  Some autistic children only repeat what they hear others say.  Autistic children have difficulty making eye contact.  They can engage in obsessive-compulsive behaviors.  Examples of this type of behavior include lining up objects in a row and repeating a task over and over again for many hours.

Some autistic children do not understand danger. They can place their hand on a stove even if they were burned by doing this previously.  Autism is a serious disorder.  An autistic child’s ability to learn, communicate and socially interact is negatively affected.  Although autism is not curable, early diagnosis and intense behavioral treatment can allow the child to make significant improvements.maintenance and custody attorneys

Lie To The Court and Your Divorce Gets Dismissed

Justice Charles J. Markey was recently presented with two cases involving divorces that had similar fact situations. In both cases judgments for divorce had been granted to the parties based on sworn statements that there were no children from the marriages. However in both situations the court eventually discovered that there were children of these marriages.

The court found intentional fraud or inexcusable recklessness due to the fact there were unemancipated children of the marriages who required child support to be paid on their behalf. Since there were misrepresentations in the original documents, there was no child support in the divorce judgments.

In both situations the court vacated the judgments of divorce. The court refused to amend the divorce judgment to include the children. Both divorce law suits were dismissed by the courts.

Stayed Foreclosure Allowed To Continue

The court took note that in both situations there were homes in foreclosure. He put in previously granted stays with regard to the foreclosure proceeding during the pendency of the divorces. The court vacated the stays of the foreclosure matters and allowed the two foreclosures proceedings to proceed. Conclusion, tell the truth in your divorce admissions!

New York and Long Island Divorce Lawyers

The attorneys of the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have extensive experience in handling matrimonial and family court cases. The lawyers have a total of 100 years combined experience. These attorneys have extensive experience with regard to divorce grounds, family law, child custody, changing visitation, child abuse and child neglect, drafting separation agreements, prenuptial and post nuptial agreements. We also have litigated cases involving mothers’ rights and fathers’ rights.

Elliot S. Schlissel has litigated numerous cases dealing with professionals whether they are doctors, lawyers or dentists whose practices were being equitably distributed. The firm pays special attention to individuals who have high net worth divorce situations. Feel free to call for a free consultation 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

Jobs, Money and Marriage

layoff-150x150As the economy falls back into recession, monetary issues will become more significant to American families. Men and women will argue even more about financial issues.

Losing Your Job

When the primary bread winner loses his or her job, it creates an enormous amount of stress. The job market impacts on all aspects of family life. It becomes an issue for couples who are married or who are thinking of getting married. Can you imagine the impact the word “unemployed” has on your Facebook site! Putting this on a dating profile basically eliminates all your opportunities for social interaction. Dating and marriage relate to economic unions. No job, no deal!

Washed Up

Men in their forties and fifties who lose their jobs and are divorced will find it very difficult to get remarried. While unemployed, these men must live off their savings, if they have any. A recent Newsday article stated that men in their forties and fifties who lose their jobs have the same odds of returning to their peak earning potential as they do of their hair growing back!

Financial Distress

Recent surveys indicate that women are three times more likely to feel financial stress during periods of unemployment. Surveys women have greater guilt and concern about being unable to support their children than men.

The Economics of Divorce

The economics of marriage are difficult. The economics of divorce are even more complicated. When a marriage breaks up and both parties have to maintain their own household, both the man and the woman end up poorer. Some studies have indicated that it can take a divorced woman who has custody of her children up to five years to regain her pre-divorce standard of living.

Protecting Fathers’ Rights

The fathers’ rights lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been representing fathers in matrimonial and family law proceedings for more than 33 years. Our law office aggressively represents fathers!  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 problems,parental 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.

Husband Jailed for Failure to Comply With Settlement Agreement

Supreme Court Justice Bruno, sitting in Nassau County, recently put a man in jail because he did not comply with the terms of the Stipulation of Settlement. The settlement agreement required that the father maintain a $2,000,000 life insurance policy. The wife and the other children were to be the irrevocable beneficiaries. The wife waived various other financial interests to obtain this life insurance policy.

Policy No Longer Affordable

The husband claimed in his arguments to the court that he couldn’t afford this life insurance policy. It was shown at the time of the trial that the husband had purchased a $750,000 home. He had put this home in trust for another woman. The husband also stated that he was denied life insurance due to his drug use. The drug use resulted in the policy costing $100,000 in premium. The court did not believe the husband’s testimony. He was found in contempt. The judge sentenced him to six months in jail for his “willful deliberate failure to comply with the stipulation that prejudiced the wife’s rights.” The husband was given the option of purging his contempt by obtaining a two million dollar life insurance policy.

Mens’ Rights and Fathers’ Rights

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been handled father’s rights matters for more than three decades. We have an expertise in dealing with divorce issues, orders of protection, child custody and child visitation issues. We help fathers obtain changes in custody when mothers engage in parental alienation of the children.

We also represent fathers regarding issues involving child abuse defense, paternity, no fault divorce and annulments. Call for a free consultation.

Mother Unfit to Obtain Custody: Father Awarded Permanent Sole Custody of Daughters

Justice MacKenzi, sitting in the Supreme Court in Suffolk County, awarded a father permanent sole and legal custody of his two daughters. There had previously been a temporary custody order in this case.

There were allegations that the mother had engaged in parental alienation of the parties four children against the father. The evidence showed that the mother had consistently attempted to destroy the children’s relationship with their father. This included portraying the father has a “dead beat dad.” The mother also tried to convince the children that the father was an abusive individual.

Mother Lies At Trial

At the time of the trial, the father testified and the court found him to be a credible witness. The mother’s testimony was another story. The court found her testimony was full of lies, half truths and distortions of what had happened.

The father had temporary custody of the parties’ daughters for a period of two years prior to the trial. During this period of time, his relationship with his daughters flourished. The court, in its findings, held that the father did not interfere with the mother’s relationship with her children. The court also rendered a decision stating that the mother’s interference with the father’s relationship with his daughters was to such an extent that she would be unfit to be a custodial parent.

The court awarded the father permanent and sole and physical custody of his daughters. The mother was given expanded visitation rights.

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Nassau and Suffolk County Fathers’ Rights Lawyers

We represent fathers! We have been doing this for more than thirty years. We litigate all aspects of divorce, including child custody, visitation, child 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 support, relocation problems, parental 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.

Orders of Protection

When one party to a relationship appears in the Family Court and requests an order of protection, there is a tendency for judges to grant these requests. The initial order of protection, given on an ex parte basis (without the other party having his or her day in court), is called a temporary order of protection. Unfortunately for the fathers, a large majority of temporary orders of protection are given to mothers. This can cause the father to be completely cut off from his family. This means he may not communicate, see, or visit with his children. This can also result in the father being immediately thrown out of his home or apartment. To obtain his clothing and personal possessions, he needs a police escort and he can only take on that occasion what he can carry with him. Imagine, one day, being part of a warm and loving family and, the next day, being on the street with no communication with your wife or your children. What’s more is that you cannot return to your home. Although there are many valid situations for granting an order or protection, my experience is that if a woman comes into court and sheds a few tears and claims she’s afraid of her husband, most family court judges will grant an order of protection. Often no hearing of any type is held. A woman makes a series of general allegations, she receives a temporary order of protection and the father’s world is rocked!

Orders of Protection Affecting Children

Children have two parents, a father and a mother. They want to love both of their parents. In cases where they have relationships with both parents and one parent is abruptly removed from their life, it causes the children to be confused and upset.

Sometimes after the father is removed from the home the mother engages in parental alienation syndrome (bad-mouthing of the father to the children). When one parent bad mouths the other to the children and that parent is out of the children’s lives, the children are subject to what is referred to as parental alienation syndrome. This causes the loss of respect, love, admiration and feelings for the other parent. It turns the children against the other parent.

Family Court Judges

Family Court Judges are placed in a difficult positions. When they are unsure as to whether a woman truly needs an order of protection, they generally err on the side of caution and grant a temporary order of protection. Men should receive a hearing within a short period of time upon being thrown out of their homes. Unfortunately, due to the large number of cases pending before the Family Courts, the quick hearing doesn’t take place for many months. The man is removed from his home and then returns months later when it’s found out there was no real basis for the order of protection. This has an extremely negative effect on the man’s life. Men need to be protected in these situations!

New York Fathers’ Rights Attorneys

We are the fathers’ rights lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We have represented fathers in all types of litigation, before the Family Court and Supreme Court, for well over thirty years. We represent fathers in divorce proceedings. We litigate child support issues, child custody matters, spousal maintenance issues and downward modifications of child support proceedings.

We represent fathers in relocation proceedings, child abuse and child neglect proceedings. We negociate separation agreements on behalf of our clients. We defend fathers when there are allegations of child abuse and child neglect by either Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) or Child Protective Services (CPS). We also assist fathers in high net worth cases and with regard to the equitable distribution of assets in divorces. Feel free to call us for a free consultation a 1-800-344-6431, 516- 561-6645 and 718-350-2802.

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