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DecisionsTo lawyers: get a family lawyer for your family law problems (don’t DIY)

June 1, 2020

This is the take-away from Poppe v. Poppe.

I was going to write about how the mother/appellant was seemingly some sort of tax lawyer as she represented her husband in tax proceedings… but after some light googling it seems that the appellant is actually a family and divorce lawyer. Which kind of makes my point even stronger.

In family matters, as a party, it is really, really hard to be objective.

Even if you are a lawyer.

Even if you are a family lawyer.

Here, the mother brought an ex parte (without giving notice or the opportunity to be heard to the other party) emergency motion to New York Supreme Court to modify the custody and visitation provisions of the prior settlement to change the father’s visitation to supervised visits only, and to set arrears. That motion was denied, then appealed.

The appellate court upheld the denial and noted the father had previously filed to enforce those custody and visitation provisions and to vacate the child support order, and that the court found lack of grounds to modify the order – that the father’s diabetes was under control under physician care, and that the father’s other condition was previously known the mother when the original settlement was entered into. The appellate court left open the issue of awarding attorneys fees for the father.

Even a consultation with another lawyer might have thrown some doubt on the exigent circumstances to warrant the ex parte motion, and potential lack of substantial change in circumstances to warrant either a modification and, more pertinently, an immediate change to supervised visits (which is granted typically for child protective reasons).

Child custody is difficult. Visitation rights are difficult. Divorce is difficult. What makes it more difficult is subjective feelings. For you, for a party, for a parent, a husband, a wife, and especially a child – it is personal. Most people think they want a bulldog lawyer who charges ahead, but often what they need more than that it is someone who is objective and also happens to be an advocate knowledgeable in the law and skilled in the courtroom.

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About the author:

Founder and Principal Attorney at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg LLC, Middlesex County, NJ. With an unwavering commitment to guiding individuals through the complex and emotional landscape of divorce and family law matters, Bryan stands as the founding attorney of Law Office of Bryan Greenberg. Backed by years of legal expertise and a deep understanding of Middlesex County's legal landscape, Bryan is dedicated to offering compassionate yet pragmatic solutions to every client's unique situation. Through insightful blog posts, Bryan shares valuable insights, tips, and advice on navigating the challenges of divorce and family law, helping individuals make informed decisions during these critical life transitions. For comprehensive legal guidance and empathetic support, turn to Bryan Greenberg and the team at the Law Office of Bryan Greenberg.

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