Question #64: I got married in accordance with Islamic laws and not the state laws on New York. I have a marriage certificate from the Islamic Center of New York. My wife, who was a christian woman when we got married, has changed her believes to become athiest. We are currently going through a divorce and would like to know if I can exercise the religious marriage certificate and not the laws of the state of NY regarding the custody of the childern??

The marriage is recognized by New York State as a legal marriage

although it was purely a religious one but if you or your wife meet the residency

requirements of New York, your divorce will be subject to New York Law

and any child custody agreement will have to be approved by a New York Court.

If you wish to discuss mediating the divorce as an alternative to litigation, please

call me at 212-370-1660. It may be the solution to your dilemma.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. / Divorce Solutions

Question #71: We live in Suffolk County NY, I am a single Mom of a 17.5 year old daughter that is going away to college in Maryland. She was hospitalized for an eating disorder last year for 6 months and still needs supervision on her food intake and meds. So I am willing to move with her since I have some family there. My stip says that if I relocate outside of NY, without written permission from her Dad or the State supreme court approval that I will relinquish my parental right and she will live with her Dad. ( I am assuming child support would also be stopped) I have spoken to several people who have told me since her dad has made no effort to see her since she was hospitalized nor does my daughter want to spend weekends / time with him and that she will be 18, that the above statement won’t affect us. Would child support stop if we were to move since she is going away to college? My Ex tells her I CANT MOVE!! Please let me know if I have to take this to court. Thank you.

In order to properly respond to your question I would have to see the exact terms of the Stipulation. Does it address the possibility that your daughter will be attending college? Is there any geographic limitation on where she may enroll?
Once your daughter is no longer residing with you,( i.e. she is dorming in an out of state university) there should be no reason to restrict your ability to move.
Does the Stipulation address who will pay for your daughter’s college tuition and expenses?
Usually, if a child goes on to college, the parents must continue to support the child until age 22 or completion of the 4 year degree.

Call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange a meeting to review the details of your Stipulation and review the options.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.
Divorce Solutions

Question #70: My husband of 22 years has asked for a divorce. We have a 13 year old daughter. He does not want to go through lawyers because he thinks it will cost too much. I don’t think I can afford not to have a lawyer. He is a corporate pilot for an international insurance company. He has been cheating for the last 10 years with flight attendants, hookers and women he picks up in bars while away. He stays in touch with them on a regular basis through text and email and has bought gifts, flown them places and given them money when asked for. I found this out about 2 years ago, but tried to work it out. I work, but he is the breadwinner in the family making about 110k more than me. This ye It may seem like a lot, but it doesn’t go very far in Hudson County when you consider rent. I was the bread winner for about the first 10 years of our relationship and marriage. I put my career on hold for 5 years to stay home with my daughter when she turned 2. I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old. I am a freelancer in the fashion industry. After coming back full time 5 1/2 years ago, I’ve had to work my way back up in the industry. It’s still a work in progress. He is normally flying to Europe and Asia for a week to 3 weeks at a time. He thinks we should have joint physical custody. I think I should have primary physical custody and he can have generous visitation. His schedule is very erratic. Sometimes he works for a month straight with a couple of days off, sometimes he is off for 2-3 weeks. Is it possible that he will be granted joint physical custody? I’d like to mediate, but this is a sticking point for me. Also, as the spouse making less money, I cannot afford to pay for a 2 bedroom apt. based on my salary and 1/2 child support alone. I will need alimony as well. What can I expect in this situation?

With regard to the issue of custody, since your spouse is away for long periods of time, it seems reasonable to assume that a judge would award you residential custody, assuming there are no other issues involved.
And if you two are able to continue to communicate, the Court would allow for joint custody ( meaning you would both have to consult each other on major decisions affecting your child like schooling,
Medical issues, religion, etc.)
If you are awarded residential custody, your spouse would have to pay child support to you.
With regard to spousal support, the Court would look at the incomes of both of you and your style of life during the marriage,
Ask you both to prepare a Statement of Net Worth and decide how much and for how long you should receive such support.

This could all be done by mediation, rather than litigation at a much less expensive cost, with less tension and grief.
If you are located in the NYC metro area, call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for an appointment to discuss the matter further.

Leonard Weiner, Esq.
Divorce Solutions
206 East 38th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10016
212-370-1660

Question #68: I currently pay child support for my twins daughters, and have faithfully for 15 years. My one daughter has decided to move in with me (she is 18.5 years old). Is there a form I need her to sign, stating she is leaving with me, so I don’t have to continue paying her portion of the support?

Does your Separation Agreement or Court order require you to continue to pay child support beyond eighteen?
Are your daughters going to college, and you agreed to pay support until they reach twenty two or graduate?
In any case, you cannot simply stop paying child support if there is a court order to do so.
Doing so would put you in violation of the court order.
You must make a motion to the court to have the order modified.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #67: In New York State, can a parent be forced by the courts to pay for a child’s private high school education? The parents have joint custody, 50% each. Both parents can afford to pay, although one refuses.

Interesting question which was recently addressed by the Court in NY
Regarding private college as opposed to a State college.
The answer is it depends on the family educational, financial and social
Level and their expectations.

See, Pamela v. Marc, 311980/2005
Supreme Court, New York County, Part 9
311980/2005
New York Law Journal
October 17, 2011
For the case referred to. You can find it online at nylj.com.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #66: Hi, My daughter is married and has 2 children, ages 4 and 7. She and her husband are separated, they lived in NY and when they separated, the father moved back to Maryland where his family is. He left the marital residence. My daughter has been very flexible on visitation, lettting him come up and stay in her apartment to visit the children, bringing them down to Maryland 1/2 way so the father doesn’t have to do the whole ride. The thing is, in her separation agreement, does she have to agree to make the drive for visitation, or is this his responsibility to figure out how to visit his children? He has not been cooperative and the more she does to facilitate visitation, the more he asks for. He has stated that he does not care about the children’s weekend, activities and does not want to participate in them (they have missed Soccer games and Church because he will not take them). I just want to ensure that she protects herself in the separation agreement. Thanks….

The Answer to your question should be expressly spelled out in the Separation Agreement you refer to.
Get a copy and take a look to see what it says about non-residential parent’s responsibility regarding visitation.
If it is silent regarding this matter, your daughter should not have any obligation to bring the children to him.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #65: I live in New York state and have been married for 5 years. the other day my husband just left with out telling me and now wont answer my calls. He was the one with a job I was a stay at home mom of two kids and now have no money to pay the rent. this has to be illegal right can he just leave us with no money or a place to live? I don’t want a divorce or a separation, do I have to consent to a separation agreement? I tried to find NY state divorce and separation laws online but cant find the answers? Isn’t abandonment illegal? what can I do I don’t know where my husband is or why he is doing this or my rights? thanks

He cannot just abandon you and the children .You should contact a matrimonial attorney in your
County to petition the court to force him to provide spousal and child support.
If you cannot afford an attorney, go to family court and seek assistance from the matrimonial part.
You do not have to consent to a separation or divorce. Do not sign any agreements without your own separate legal counsel.
Leonard Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #64: My question is this; My wife took my kids on vacation august of 08 and never came back. She registered the 4 kids in school and moved in with her parents. Then rented a house. She has a depression problem etc… and said she needed help with the kids. She has a large family that said they would help. We were in the middle of a separation when she did this. I was going to have her arrested for kidnapping but it would have been bad for the kids and i was talked out of it based on she mental condition. I fly back and forth every other weekend for the past two and a half years to see my kids and its costing my a small fortune. She wont sign or agree to anything regarding a Divorce. How does the law look at this ? After a certain amount of time cant I go for some kind of automatic divorce based on abandonment ? its going to be three years this august . Thanks

You do not indicate where your wife moved with the children. Is she in the United States or is she overseas?
In any case , you have grounds for divorce and you should insist on a return of the children to New York so that you’ll be able to have regular visits with your children.
Please contact me at 21 2-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter at greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions

Question #63: The relationship between me and my husband had been deteriorating following an attempt to recover from my husband’s affair with a girl that worked for one of his customer’s. There were also other issues and I considered him passive-aggressive and a stone waller / verbal abuser. I thought perhaps that almost losing his family would be enough for him to begin addressing these issues so that the family could be kept together. However, after three-years and seeing the passive control issues and verbally abusive behavior in terms of solving problems not diminishing, the relationship totally deteriorated. Now I have discovered a second affair with an administrative assistant in his office, and I filed for divorce last month. We are in mediation. Although he is agreeing to give me primary custody, he wants to take a new job in another state, about 15 hours away or more by car. He does not have to take this job. It would be a promotion, about 10K more and a company car and a chance for management experience. There are no relatives in this other state. This love interest is only, as far as I know, a three month or so relationship, and she will be moving in with him either in a house (to own) or an apartment (to rent). The 90-day period for a consent divorce will be over in June and my husband wants to take the children to live with him and this other woman for 8 weeks this summer, that visitation would begin only a week or so after the divorce is final. My husband and I are still sharing the same home, although we are barely conversational in regard to these big issues. I want to discuss these with him, but he doesn’t seem to even understand the nature of my concerns (which is not even conceivable to me). I don’t know this woman. He reveals nothing of his life. I have no idea what kind of life the children will lead in this other state and in this other home. I live in PA. It doesn’t seem to me to be in the best interests of the children to have to endure a divorce (husband and I still living together), their parents no longer living together, and a move, and a new woman(spouse figure) all at once, and being taken away from their mother, doctors, friends, relatives, church etc… for eight weeks as a “breaking in” period. My questions: I understand that the Court usually grants the non-custodial out of state parent a big block of time in the summer, but does it have to be an 8 week period of time? Couldn’t this be broken up – and at whose expense – mine? We are both tight for cash and the plane fare will be expensive. Also, it doesn’t seem right to get divorced and move in with someone new and “spring” this new partner on the children, who they now have to live with for 8 weeks, until they return back home for the school year. If I were to forego mediation and pursue this further through my lawyer, and let the courts decide visitation instead of trying to do it ourselves through mediation, what would the likely outcome be? Would it be likely that they would allow this 8 weeks unbroken visitation so quickly after a new divorce?

No one can say with certainty how a judge would respond but in general, the request to have the children for 8 weeks straight without your being able to see them during such time seems excessive and especially since there will be a new Adult introduced into their day to day lives with whom they may not get along.
You do not have to go to Court to demand that the Summer vacation be split into 2-3 week intervals.
Tell the mediator you refuse to consent to 8 straight weeks. If for some reason you are unable to resolve the matter in mediation,
you should request that an arbitrator be appointed for this one issue and have him hear both sides and decide.
Good luck!

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

Question #62: My husband is in an awful custody visitation situation. In February he received temporary custody of his son in our county Onieda county, because there was some issues at home and his son asked him to talk to mom about staying at our home. Mom is from Bronx county where the child resided at the time. When my husband tried to talk to her about the issues she said take him he is your son if he wants to live with you he can forget he has a mother and can never come back, she and her live in partner also told his son the same thing, so my husband brought him back home and filed a petition for custody stating what mother said and so he would be able to attend school. We had a court date March 21 set for custody and in between several calls from mom harassing and her family also then she changed he mind a week and a half before our court date up here and filed in supreme court habeas corpus that my husband was holding and concealing the child and refused to return him. The supreme court had my husband served for a court hearing to bring himself and return the child on March 18. The court and lawyers up here and her lawyer and the supreme court were disputing that we already had a court date here and my husband had an order of temporary custody. The judge in the supreme court in ny, ny said she didn’t care and my husband was to attend her court date and to return the child he kidnapped according to her court clerk when we called. The Judge down in supreme court received all certified copies of custody order and papers from the court in our county. They ( the court law guardian, husbands lawyer and his ex wife’s lawyer decided we could hold a court date over the phone between the two courts to come to an agreement. So March 17 they did the over the phone hearing and my husband’s lawyer and his sons law guardian told my husband his son said he changed his mind and they agreed upon him returning his son and said that he no longer needed to appear in NY, ny supreme court that since his son was returned it was settled and there was no court date. My husband was to go to our original court date in Onieda county for visitation which they could not settle on the 17th because the mother and her lawyer did not want to give my husband any visitation. when we showed up to court on the 21st my husband’s lawyer and his sons law guardian explained to the judge the circumstance and he only said he wasn’t modifying original custody order to visitation, that he made the order for custody and asked for the judges number in NY,ny and reset a court date and told us we had to have her served for new court date. When we returned home we had an order in the mail from supreme court that his son had a child advocate lawyer assigned by the judge in ny, ny in the matter of visitation and custody of his son and we were to call that lawyer when we received the order to see if he wanted to interview all or any members of the household, so confused we called. The order was dated March 16,2011 , the cover letter was dated March 18,2011 and the order at the end had for the parties and the counsel to appear in this court on March 18,2011 9:30 am and the post mark from the post office was dated March18,2011. So us being very confused we called as it said and the lawyer from the order said he had already spoke to Joshua in court on March 18,2011 that they still held the court proceeding. We don’t know what to do, we don’t know if they can do that and no one seems to have any answers for us, not the courts here and the courts there said he will just have to wait to see what the papers say from there court when we receive them in the mail. Can my husband fight this since he did not get any chance to speak in court at all ,to dispute anything, say what he wanted or defend himself.

It seems clear from the information you have provided that your Attorney should be more intensely involved in resolving this conflict regarding which court has jurisdiction over the custody of your husband’s son and who shall be the resident parent going forward. Do not allow yourselves to be subject to a default judgment by not appearing. Have your attorney resolve this jurisdiction matter and make sure he understands that is his responsibility to make sure you are not in default and that you have an opportunity to appear before whichever court is finally determined to have ultimate jurisdiction over this matter.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. /Divorce Solutions