Successful Case Results

Samuelson Hause & Samuelson, LLP is one of the most respected and recognized firms in the Long Island area for marital and family law cases. Our legal team includes seasoned divorce litigators who have achieved successful outcomes for cases involving maintenance (alimony), child custody, child support, equitable distribution, fathers' rights, visitation, and much more. Our firm's success comes out of a strong foundation that is based on a dedication to fulfilling our clients' needs. Each family law attorney with the firm truly cares for their clients and will work tirelessly to guide them through the difficult divorce process. If you are searching for the right attorney to handle your case, read through our case results below before you schedule your complimentary phone consultation. We offer a case evaluation by phone for each of our clients, so you have nothing to lose by speaking with a Long Island divorce lawyer from our firm. Contact us today!

Reported Appellate Cases Argued Successfully by Our Attorneys

Subject to Equitable Distribution

McGowan v. McGowan, 142 A.D.2d, 355, 535 N.Y.S.2d 990 (2d Dept. 1988)
In this landmark case, members of the firm successfully argued that the wife's Master's Degree in Education is an asset for the purposes of equitable distribution and expanded the Court of Appeals' decision in O'Brien v. O'Brien, which determined that a professional license (i.e., a medical license) qualifies as marital property subject to equitable distribution.

Non-Biological Parent / Stepparent Rights

Jean Maby H v. Joseph H, 246 A.D.2d 282, 676 N.Y.S.2d 677 (2d Dept. 1998)
In New York, only adoptive or biological parents have standing to sue for custody or visitation. On August 19, 1998, this case appeared on the front page of the New York Law Journal in the lead article "Child's Interests Key to Custody: Limits on Stepparent Rights May Not Apply." Members of this firm convinced the Appellate Division to unanimously reverse a ruling of the lower court and rule that non-biological parent's custody or visitation application should be determined on whether it is in the best interests of the child to maintain a parental relationship with the non-biological parent.

Equitable Distribution

Etzion v. Etzion, 2009 WL 1240068 (N.Y.A.D. 2d Dept.)
Appellate Division permitted lawsuit to go forward for fraud and a constructive trust in action that sought $77 million for damages for sale of property for $84 million by husband where the appraisal value was at $6.5 million.

Custody

Rosenberg v. Rosenberg, 261 A.D.2d 623, 690 N.Y.S.2d 693 (2d Dept. 1999)
In that case, the parties' agreement provided that the mother had custody of the parties' three children. The father petitioned for a change and the court granted him temporary custody. Our firm obtained a reversal. The court held that the lower court discriminated against the mother because she was temporarily diagnosed with cancer, without any further findings as to whether she was physically capable of caring for the children.

Weil v. Clavering, 215 A.D.2d 766, 627 N.Y.S.2d 92 (2d Dept. 1995)
The father was Jewish and our client, the mother, Roman Catholic. The parties agreed that the child should be raised in the Roman Catholic faith. The father contended that the court's visitation order infringed upon his own constitutional rights because it denied him Sunday visitation. The visitation schedule was upheld because it ensured that the mother would be able to take the child to Sunday Mass.

Klat v. Klat, 176 A.D.2d, 922, 575 N.Y.S.2d 536 (2d Dept. 1991)
Our firm successfully obtained custody of the parties' eight-year-old child despite the child's expressed preference to live with his father. The court determined that the father brainwashed the child to do so. The father's petition for a change of custody was denied.

Child Support and Maintenance

Cohen-Davidson v. Davidson, 255 A.D.2d 414, 680 N.Y.S.2d 564 (2d Dept. 1998)
Members of the firm expanded the definition of child care expenses under the Child Support Standards' Act when the Appellate Division, Second Department ruled that summer camp expenses constitute child care expenses under the CSSA.

Albanese v. Albanese, 234 A.D.2d 489, 651 N.Y.S.2d 605 (2d Dept. 1996)
Our firm was successful in obtaining a large support award for the wife and parties' two children, based upon the husband's earning capacity, not his reported taxable income, since he owned his own business and was able to distort his true earnings.

Bernstein v. Bernstein, 213 A.D.2d 508, 624 N.Y.S.2d 45 (2d Dept. 1995)
On appeal, members of the firm were successful in obtaining a substantial increase in the temporary support award for the wife because it was inadequate to maintain the wife in the pre-separation standard of living.

Wallach v. Wallach, 236 A.D.2d 604, 654 N.Y.S.2d 692 (2d Dept. 1997)
Our firm successfully limited the temporary award of child support and maintenance of a wealthy wage earning husband, because of the Wife's spend thrift habits. In addition, we successfully defended the wife's attempts to eject the husband from the marital residence since we showed that the husband was not abusive and the wife had failed to establish that it was necessary to protect her safety or property.

Support Enforcement

Haber v. Haber, 225 A.D.2d 664, 639 N.Y.S.2d 476 (2d Dept. 1996)
An order of contempt against the husband for his failure to pay the wife's medical expenses as directed by the court was successfully obtained by the firm.

Appellate Court Cases that Quoted Attorney Samuelson's Legal Articles

Non-Biological Parents

Christopher S. v. Ann Marie S., 173 Misc.2d 824, 662 N.Y.S.2d 200 (Dutchess County Family Court 1997)
Mr. Samuelson's views, expressed in a law review article entitled, "Is the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel Viable in a Child Custody Dispute?" 29 Family Law Review (March 1997) was adopted by the court, noting, "Mr. Samuelson opines that in determining custody issues, it is inappropriate for the courts to give greater concern to the concerns of parents than to the rights of children. The author goes on to suggest that in certain incidents, the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel should be applied to avoid destroying a loving and enduring relationship between a child and a non-biological parent."

Valuation Dates of Marital Assets

Wegman v. Wegman, 123 A.D.2d 220, 509 N.Y.S.2d 342 (2d Dept. 1986), mot for lv to app den 74 N.Y.2d 613, 547 N.Y.S.2d 847 (1989)
The correct date to value marital business assets, which greatly fluctuated, was in issue. The court cited Mr. Samuelson's article in the Family Law Review for his view that a court should value a marital asset as of the date of commencement of the action unless the use of such a date would result in inequity. Where an asset increases in value from the date of commencement to the date of trial due solely to the titled spouse's efforts, then the date of commencement should be used. However, when an asset increases in value as a result of past marital efforts, the trial date should be used. The Court noted as follows:

Some authorities have suggested that a presumption in favor of a particular date should be established but that a court should have the freedom to use another date if "good cause" is shown. One such proposal, resting upon the view that a marital partner withdraws from a marriage when he or she serves a summons (see Samuelson, Notes and Comments, Family Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 4, p . 1), suggests that a court should value marital property at the date of commencement of the action unless the use of such a date would result in inequity.

Ducharme v. Ducharme, 145 A.D.2d 737, 535 N.Y.S.2d 474 (3rd Dept. 1988), mot for lv to app den, 73 N.Y.2d 708, 540 N.Y.S.2d 1003 (1989)
Mr. Samuelson's position was adopted as expressed in his article in the Family Law Review, which stood for the proposition that when a business is under the complete control of one spouse, the court must select a valuation date that will permit a meaningful and realistic appraisal of the business' true worth to avoid any inequity to the non-titled spouse.

Valuation of Celebrity Status

Golub v. Golub, 139 Misc 2d 440, 527 N.Y.S 2d 946 (New York County 1988), affirmed, 73 A.D.2d 591, 422 N.Y.S.2d 129 (2d Dept.1979)
The court held that there is no rational basis to distinguish between a degree, a license or any other special skill that generates substantial income in determining the enhanced earning capacity of a celebrity. Mr. Samuelson's view in "The Valuation of Non-Tangible Assets of Non-Professionals, 19 (No. 2) Family Law Review (June 1987) was adopted by the court for the position that the O'Brien rule should be applied evenhandedly to all spouses, and a spouse should not be penalized simply because he / she is married to a nonprofessional who may have become an exceptional wage earner.

Indirect Contributions as Homemaker and Parent Are Entitled to Recognition

Price v. Price, 113 A.D. 2d 299, 496 N.Y.S 2d 455 (2d Dept. 1985), affirmed, 69 N.Y.2d 8, 511 N.Y.S.2d 219 (1986)
This landmark case held that a non-titled spouse's indirect contributions as homemaker and parent are entitled to recognition by the court in awarding a spouse a share of the appreciated value of the other spouse's separate property. Mr. Samuelson's article, "The Appreciation of Separate Assets: To Be or Not To Be Marital Property," 17 (No. 3) Family Law Review) was cited by the Appellate Division, Second Department, for the proposition that, "a homemaker aids in making the spouse involved in business successful by permitting him / her the freedom to concentrate his efforts on financial endeavors."

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