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Convicted Felon Denied Paternity Test

Suffolk County Family Court Judge David Freundlich declared that Ronnell Wilson, who is facing the death penalty for killing two police officers, is "civilly dead". Wilson conceived a child behind bars with a corrections officer and was seeking to establish paternity. His request was denied by Judge Freundlich. The Court ruled that "Those convicted of felonies in New York forfeit nearly all of their civil rights for as long as they are incarcerated, except for a provision in Subdivision 2 of §79 allowing them to challenge and defend themselves in matters relating to their conviction, sentence and...

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Always Get Legal Advice from a Divorce Attorney First

Justice Leonard Steinman of the Nassau Supreme Court in another noteworthy decision upholds a divorce agreement printed out from the internet as it was signed by both parties who were without the benefit of advice from a Divorce Attorney in Long Island.  There is no knowledge at this time if there were proper acknowledgments.  The wife waived maintenance and child support and they agreed to sell the home and split the proceeds.  They filed the agreement and then two years later the husband filed for divorce.  The wife argued that the agreement should be set aside as unconscionable and overreaching. ...

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Controversial Nassau County Long Island Divorce Decision

A Nassau County Matrimonial Judge has issued a long island divorce decision which brings more questions than it answers. The case involved a post judgment downward modification of child support and maintenance based off of the ex-husband's loss of employment. This application was granted and the ex-husband's child support was reduced and his maintenance arrears were vacated. His ex-wife then moved for breach of contract. The ex-husband moved for summary judgment and was denied. The Court ruled that he was still under an obligation based upon contract principles. The Court granted him a reduction in support under the Judgment of Divorce...

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Child Support and Social Security Disability for Children

Many payees of child support often wonder how a child's receipt of Social Security Disability affects their child support payments.  The simple answer is that it does not.  There is no reduction in a payee's child support order nor is there a waiver of any child support. Despite the fact that Social Security Disability may be used for the same expenses that child support is used for the New York Court of Appeals has ruled that the New York Child Support Standards Act does not provide for any reduction in child support based off of the child’s receipt of disability payments. In...

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Disorderly Conduct and the 2nd Departments recent decision of Cassie v. Cassie

In the criminal context disorderly conduct is only that conduct which occurs in a public place and extends to a "point where it becomes a potential or immediate public problem".  In the context of a Family Court Order of Protection it does not have to extend to a public problem and includes behavior "not in a public place".  However it gets very tricky because the Petitioner still has to prove that the offender committed the act with intent to cause or recklessly pose a risk of causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or harm.  The 2nd Dept. in Cassie v. Cassie reversed...

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How to Obtain an Order of Protection

If you are being abused obtaining an Order of Protection is not a difficult task as long as it is done correctly.  The first thing that you have to do is go to your local Family Court and fill out a Petition.  This is the most important step in the process because if you do not meet the necessary elements for such an Order than it will either not be granted or it may simply get dismissed at the initial Court appearance.  Often a temporary Order of Protection is granted but ultimately is dismissed at the initial Court appearance as the...

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Sole Custodial Parent Denied Child Support

4th Department upholds an award of sole custody to dad and joint physical custody to both parents but reverses the lower Court's ruling in regards to the wife paying child support? A JHO out of Monroe County has issued a decision granting sole custody to the father and joint physical custody to both parents.  As such the parties were given equal shared parenting entitling one parent to an award of child support.  The father despite being the sole custodial parent was granted child support and the Appellate Court reversed the JHO declaring the father to be the non-custodial parent for purposes...

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What is the future of pre-nuptial agreements in New York?

Pre-nuptial agreements have had a longstanding history of being iron clad contracts that were rarely challenged and if challenged upheld on a consistent basis.  That appears to no longer be the case in New York as Courts are beginning to hear arguments from spouses in support of vacating these agreements.  The latest pre-nuptial agreement overturned occurred in Nassau County where it has been reported that the Judge vacated the agreement as it would have left the spouse "practically destitute"....

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