Father’s Day– Not Always A Happy One

Richard Feinberg, New City attorney, talks about matrimony and the aftereffects of the pandemic

Separation, divorce can create a cloudy picture
By Kathy Kahn

Covid cases are down in Rockland. County Executive Ed Day on Monday asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow Rockland to open its stores in time for families to shop for Father’s Day. Unhappily, Dad’s special day may not be high on the list for couples contemplating or already in the process of divorcing.

Attorney Richard Feinberg has handled many cases in both Rockland and NYS Supreme Courts during his legal career. The married father of two said of all the cases he’s handled, the most difficult and heart- wrenching are when children caught in the middle are involved.

The daily headlines about hospitalizations and reported numbers of deaths and intubations due to the pandemic have been usurped by the Black Lives Matter protestors, problems within the family unit have largely ignored by the mainstream media. It’s been a trying time for many families who are not having any major issues with one another.

Feinberg says the couples with children that work through their divorce with civility and cooperation—albeit testily at times—have better outcomes. “Money, property and other material things can be settled on, but you can’t cut your children in half and share them or move away and take them away from the other parent.”

“Couples who fight over where the children will live, go to school or over contact with family and friends can find themselves spending thousands of dollars and making many court appearances—as well as being subject to the scrutiny of the court during a contested custody case,” said the attorney. “It’s very draining for all involved, but particularly children. Nobody really should leave it up to a court to decide what is best for their kids. It may not be the decision they wanted to hear.”

Feinberg noted that two couples who initially had filed for divorced before Covid struck have reconciled after spending nearly two months in lockdown. “The stay at home order had a lot of problems, but I was glad to hear that a few couples decided it was better to stay together. For them, the virus helped them talk it out.”