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Can You Sue the Party Who “Stole the Affections” of Your Spouse?

During divorce, “alienation of affection” refers to a situation where a spouse believes that another man or woman stole the affections of his/her spouse. Emotions typically fly high in this type of situation. uses “alienation of affection” to describe lawsuits filed against third-party lovers or “home wreckers.” The claim is that the actions of the third party caused the spouse to lose affection and leave the other spouse.

This law used to exist in New York and many other states, but today only a few states still have alienation of affection laws: Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

The Alienation of Affection Law

New York was the first state to establish an alienation of affection law in 1864, but at that time, it only applied to men, and men could sue another man for stealing his wife from him. The law regarded women as property back then, and women did not have the same legal right to sue for damages until later on, when they were no longer regarded as property. The law later evolved into being a way to preserve and protect families. However, most courts eventually abolished the law for a number of reasons, and among them was seeing that the law fostered revenge rather than reconciliation.

What About Dating While Divorce Is Pending?

As you fast forward to 2017, while there’s no legal action to sue someone for dating your spouse while divorce is pending, that does not mean dating during divorce is a good idea. In fact, it could negatively influence your case and cause judges to rule against you in custody or child support cases. Potentially, the emotional harm to children is substantial because it exposes them to further confusion and upset. Most judges would view you as insensitive to your children’s needs if you dated while your divorce was pending.

Do You Have Questions about Divorce? Consult with a Divorce Lawyer.

It is important to consult with a lawyer early on in your divorce case so you can avoid actions that would further complicate divorce. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal representation that helps guide you through a challenging divorce.

While no divorce is ever easy, some divorces are the epitome of divorce gone wrong. Rational thinking is absent and emotions become explosive. As the crazy side of yourself and your partner emerges, you find yourselves arguing over the “kitchen sink.” Maintaining a rational perspective can be difficult, and for this reason it is vital to hire a seasoned divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney will protect your interests and advise so you can listen to a voice of reason.

Examples of Some Outrageous Divorce Entanglements


Consult with an Attorney about Your Divorce

It is important to consult with a lawyer early on in a divorce case to avoid unnecessary entanglements. Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal help and can help you protect their rights.

The divorce between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has become high profile in today’s news. It’s not often that a celebrity divorce earns its own nickname. In this case, the press is calling it the “Brangelina Split.”

Even though each parent is worth many millions, the main contested divorce issue is child custody of their six children.

As in many divorces, if the couple can reach a settlement outside of court, they have better chances of making their divorce more amicable. It remains to be seen how they will resolve the custody issue, but here are some benchmarks along the road of their divorce.

Divorce Filing

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce at the end of September 2016 and sought sole child custody.  Allegations of abuse emerged against Brad Pitt shortly after she filed.

Temporary Custody Agreement

In October, USA Today published an article that disclosed the temporary custody arrangement was for Angelina to have sole custody and Brad to have visitation. They worked out the agreement through the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The agreement included terms of Brad submitting to random drug/alcohol testing and both parents undergoing separate and family counseling. Brad’s first visit with the children was to be monitored by a therapist, but that stipulation was not necessary an ongoing requirement for later visits.

Pitt Cleared of Abuse Allegations

On November 9, USA Today reported that the LA County DCFS cleared Brad Pitt after exhaustively investigating charges of Pitt’s alleged abuse against his 15 year old son. Brad Pitt subsequently has filed for joint custody of the children.

Their divorce case is being heard in California, and under state law, courts favor awarding joint custody whenever possible. Generally, parents enjoy a 50/50 parenting time arrangement so both parents can spend time with their children. Children over 14 years of age typically can state their preference during custody proceedings and the court takes their view into consideration.

Do You Need Legal Help with Divorce or Child Custody?

Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal help for individuals seeking divorce to help protect their rights.

The parent’s decision to move after divorce is not just his or her own decision. In fact, the court will decide whether you get to relocate or not based on what is in the best interests of your child.

Why Is Relocation a Court Matter?

When relocation is a considerable distance, it affects a number of things — parenting time with the children, the children’s school, extended family, friends and community involvement.

What Courts Consider When Deciding Relocation Cases

Various cases have come before the New York Appellate Court and rulings show there are no one-size-fits-all factors in deciding cases. Two cases the New York Court of Appeals decided in 1996 established the precedent that each case must be considered individually without “formulae and presumptions.”

In the case Tropea v. Tropea, the original custody court order prevented either parent from moving outside of Onondaga County without judicial approval. The mother became engaged to an architect with an established firm in Schenectady. She was expecting a child and wanted to relocate. She offered a liberal visitation schedule, providing frequent and extended contact and driving the children to and from the father’s Syracuse home. The father contested based on his involvement —coaching the children’s football and baseball teams, participation in religion classes and academic education involvement. The lower court denied relocation. The Appellate Court reversed the decision, finding the move to be in the children’s best interests and that the father would retain regular and meaningful access. The scheduled awarded the father substantial weekend, summer and vacation visitation with the children.

In the Matter of Browner v. Kenward, the Appellate Court also reversed a lower court’s decision, finding in favor of a mother moving to Pittsfield, MA where her parents were moving, which was 130 miles from the father’s Westchester County home. The court based its decision on the children’s best interests. The grandparents provided the children with significant support and would enhance the emotional well being of the child. The move would also reduce bickering between the parents.

Get Experienced Legal Help

Relocation can often be complicated. Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer Chris Palermo provides you with compassionate legal guidance and can help you make the right decisions.

Because breaking divorce news may be one of the most important conversations you ever have with your children, it’s worth the time to plan the best approach.

Guidelines to Follow recommends the following guidelines:

Both parents should tell the children together. Both parents should put their children’s well being first when telling them about the decision to divorce. You should present divorce as a joint decision and set your reactions about it aside — resentment, blame, etc. Your children need reassurance that you will still work together as parents to provide what’s best for them.

Tell all of your children at the same time. Generally it’s better for all the kids to find out at the same time. An exception may be if you know an older child will react badly and upset a younger child, in which case, tell them individually.

Figure out what to say in advance. Telling your children in a way that addresses their concerns is extremely important. It is important for your kids to understand that:

Mentally Prepare for Your Kids’ Reactions

Kids often get angry, cry, shout or run to their rooms. Let them express their feelings without having your own reactions to their behavior. You may need to give them time alone. You also may feel like they need affection and to be held or hugged. Many children respond by being concerned about how their immediate life will be affected. Will they still be able to go to the same school, see their friends or go to a party they’ve been invited to attend? While that type of response may seem superficial to you, it is typical for kids to respond this way.

Answer their questions and continue to have talks with them about their concerns over your divorce. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it is important to be honest and tell them so, rather than make promises you may not be able to keep.

For Experienced Legal Help

Divorce can be complicated because there are many facets to consider. Attorney Chris Palermo can provide you with experienced legal guidance and help you make the right decisions.

Suing a judge occurs rarely, but does happen. In 2015, the judge presiding over a NY divorce case sanctioned an attorney who represented himself in the divorce case. Recently, the attorney filed a lawsuit against the judge and sued for damages.

Details of the Filing

The New York Law Journal reported at the end of July that Anthony Zappin, a former associate of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, filed a lawsuit against a Manhattan judge who imposed a $10,000 sanction on him for misconduct during his divorce case.

The day the press coverage was released, Zappin was fired from his position as associate at the law firm and suffered significant damages including loss of future earnings potential and denial of a fair trial on custody of his son.

Judge Recusal

Judges bear the responsibility to be fair and impartial when presiding over a case. If a party in the case believes the judge is unable to be fair and impartial, several means of recourse the party can take is to request that the judge recuse himself or move to have the judge recused from the case.

In a article, examples given as reasons for recusal include:

It remains to be seen what the court will decide in the lawsuit brought against the judge.

If you have questions about divorce or family law litigation, Attorney Chris Palermo will be glad you answer your questions and advise the best course of legal action.



Suffolk County Divorce Attorney Chris Palermo

So often we hear about celebrity divorces that end horrifically, whether in legal battles over one spouse getting his/her lion’s share of the wealth, battling over child custody or tragic tales of drug abuse that translate into wild dramatic scenes. Consequently, when celebrity couples end a marriage amicably and have prenups in place so legal settlements are easily reached, it’s wise to also take note.

Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa Divorce Settlement

The New York Daily News reported that Rapper Wiz Khalifa and model Amber Rose reached a divorce settlement on June 7, 2016. They actually celebrated their heartfelt feelings for each other instead of the fact of their divorce.

The couple were married for 14 months and signed a prenup before marrying. Rose will receive a total of $1 million and has already received $356,000. Khalifa will pay $14,800 per month in child support and the couple will share joint custody of their three-year old son.

The couple filed for divorce in 2014 and the divorce proceedings took a far different turn from how it first began with Rose alleging Khalifa cheated on her. She now tweets that he was the only man she ever loved and they “still really, really love each other but just can’t be together.”

Other Celebrity Divorces that Ended Amicably

Unfortunately, the messiest celebrity divorces are often the ones that garner the most media attention. Even so, other celebrities have split amicably. According to ET, some other friendly divorces include:

When Considering Divorce, Consult with a Divorce Attorney Early on

It’s never too early to find out about your legal rights and discuss the actions you should take and not take when considering divorce. Being legally informed and receiving effective legal advice can make a huge difference in the type of divorce you experience.

Suffolk County divorce attorney Chris Palermo is a compassionate attorney who works closely with clients to resolve issues and protect their interests.

A father recorded a conversation between his son and his ex-wife’s live-in boyfriend. Later on, when he turned in the recording as evidence, the boyfriend’s attorney challenged the admissibility of the recording, calling it illegal eavesdropping.

According to ABC News, the boy was five years old and the father decided in good faith that recording the violent conversation he was overhearing was necessary for his son’s protection. Months later, on when neighbors called the police because they heard screaming and crying, the father turned in the evidence. Authorities arrested the live-in boyfriend, Anthony Badalamenti, and he was convicted of child endangerment, assault and weapon possession.

The ruling set a precedent for parents being able to eavesdrop on their children when it is done in good faith for the child’s protection.

However, the judge in the case cautioned about certain limitations, including:

The ruling does not establish whether a parent can eavesdrop when an older child explicitly refuses to allow it during conversations with the other parent.

This case appears to set a broader precedent about parental eavesdropping than a similar earlier case. An earlier court ruling from a Brooklyn judge allowed evidence from a mother who placed a recorder in her autistic son’s backpack due to suspected abuse by his bus matron.

It will be interesting to see how New York case law develops regarding parents who eavesdrop on children.

If you have questions about whether to record events involving your child, discuss your concerns with attorney Chris Palermo.He will be glad to answer your questions and provide you with effective legal guidance.

Music producer Phil Spector, currently serving a 19-year-sentence in a state prison facility in California, has filed for divorce from wife number three, Rachelle, claiming that she’s spending the couple’s money as fast as she can get her hands on it. Spector, 76, is believed to be worth more than $35 million.

According to Spector, his wife, a 35-year-old former singer, has purchased two homes for her mother, as well as a Ferrari, an Aston Martin, a $350,000 plane and other items. He says she’s now in the market to purchase her own private jet. Lamenting that he’s only getting about $300 each month while incarcerated, Spector has asked the court to appoint his daughter, Nicole Audrey Spector, to handle his finances.

Inside sources say that Spector, known for creating the famed “wall of sound” that characterized such hits as the Ronettes’ 1964 classic “Be My Baby,” has been in declining health over the last few years. He was sentenced to serve time after he was convicted in 2009 of killing actress Lana Clarkston at his home nearly a decade earlier.

Rachelle Spector, who has consistently maintained that Spector is innocent of the murder charges, says it makes no sense that she would now be trying to fleece Spector. “Gold diggers don’t hang around for 10 years, ” Mrs. Spector told reporters.

Spector Files for Divorce from Third Wife

Contact an Experienced New York Divorce and Family Law Attorney

At the law office of Chris Palermo, Esq., we bring more than 13 years of experience to men and women in divorce and family law matters, representing clients across Long Island. To learn more about our practice, see our divorce and family law page.  For an appointment, send us an e-mail or call us toll free at 1-800-483-1527. We have offices located in Huntington, Hauppauge, Garden City, Babylon and New York City.

Former Huntington Town House Owner Claims Former Partner Bilked Her of Millions

The woman who owned and operated the huge Huntington Town House catering business on Long Island has filed suit against her former lover, claiming that he defrauded her of millions of dollars. Rhona Silver says in her lawsuit that she was introduced to businessman Barry Newman , a real estate developer, by a rabbi in 2003. On their first date, according to Silver, Newman flew her to Boston on a private plane, where the two had a seafood dinner. On their next date, he allegedly took her to Rome.

As their relationship developed, claims Silver, she came to trust Newman and turned over control of her finances to him. She likened his presence in her life to that of Maurice Tempelsman, who managed Jackie O’s affairs after the death of Aristotle Onassis. A single mom at the time, Silver was moved by Newman’s promise to “take care of you and your family forever.”

In 2007, according to court documents, Newman negotiated a deal to sell the Huntington Town House property to Lowe’s Home Improvement, a sale that netted $38.5 million. Silver, however, claims that she never saw any of the profit from the sale of the property. Furthermore, she claims that, even though she owned the property, she was never advised of a time and place for the closing of the sale, did not attend the closing, and personally signed no documents to complete the transaction. Instead, she alleges, Newman forged her signature on the relevant sales documents, took the proceeds from the sale, and skipped town.

The documents accompanying Silver’s lawsuit include an affidavit from a forensic document examiner, who asserts that at least two of the three signatures purported to be Silver’s on the closing documents are forged. Examiner Andrew Sulner says that all three are exactly identical, which in essentially impossible with personal signatures. He concludes that at least two and possibly all three signatures are fakes.

Silver, who now runs an online catering business, claims she is now without the resources to support herself and must rely on friends to get by. Newman, though, claims that Silver was “a damsel in distress” when he met her and that Silver used the proceeds from the sale to fund a “lavish lifestyle.”

Famed Caterer Says Ex-Lover Defrauded Her

Contact an Experienced New York Divorce and Family Law Attorney

At the law office of Chris Palermo, Esq., we bring more than 13 years of experience to men and women in divorce and family law matters, representing clients across Long Island. To learn more about our practice, see our divorce and family law page.  For an appointment, send us an e-mail or call us toll free at 1-800-483-1527. We have offices located in Huntington, Hauppauge, Garden City, Babylon and New York City.