Elliot J. Wiener is the Chair of Phillips Nizer's Matrimonial & Family Law Department. A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers with over 30 years experience practicing family law, he concentrates his practice in the areas of matrimonial and family law including divorce, custody/visitation, support, and related matters. He has a particular interest in child custody and visitation issues and in trial work.
Mr. Wiener’s interest in family law is reflected in his membership on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. In September 2006, he began a three-year term as the Co-Chair of the Matrimonial Law Section of the New York County Lawyers’ Association. He is also the past Co-Chair of the Interdisciplinary Forum on Mental Health and Family Law, a group of lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals who meet monthly to discuss issues of mental health and family law, and he is the former Co-Chair of PEACE/NYC. Mr. Wiener was also a member of the Legislation Subcommittee of the Matrimonial Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York which spearheaded an effort to reform the “fault” requirement of the New York divorce laws.
Trial Experience and Mediation Training:
At trial, Mr. Wiener has persuaded Courts in custody cases to reject the opinions of neutral experts and court-appointed forensic psychiatrists. He has successfully defended individuals charged with child sexual abuse and has won two trials (out of two) involving allegations of Shaken Baby Syndrome, in each case persuading the Court to reject the conclusions of the neutral neurosurgeon and neurologist. Mr. Wiener has extensive trial and appellate experience in all areas of family law and he practices in all courts throughout metropolitan New York. In addition to his trial skills, Mr. Wiener is also a trained divorce mediator.
Extensive Range of Experience in Family Law:
Over the course of his career, Mr. Wiener has been the law guardian for hundreds of children in proceedings which span the entire range of family law. He also has extensive experience representing parents in child neglect and abuse proceedings. Mr. Wiener has represented numerous parties in adoption proceedings, including international adoptions. In a test case, he successfully challenged the adoptive subsidy system of the New York State Department of Social Services. In 2010, he attended a course given by the FBI addressing International Parental Kidnapping.
General Law Practice History:
Before joining Phillips Nizer, Mr. Wiener was a partner with the law firm of Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood LLP in White Plains and New York City. Prior to that, he was a partner with the firm of Abbott, Duncan & Wiener in New York City and, for four years, he was a staff attorney with the Juvenile Rights Division of the New York City Legal Aid Society. He was also a clinical instructor of law at New York University School of Law in the early 1980s.
In May 2016, Mr. Wiener lectured to the Westchester County Bar Association’s Domestic Relations and Family Law Section on “The Spectrum of Parental Alienation and Estrangement: Challenges for Mental Health Professionals, Attorneys and the Court”. In 2007, he was invited by the New York State Judicial Institute to conduct a series of seminars to Supreme Court and Family Court judges on the subject of "parental alienation." Mr. Wiener was also an esteemed member of the faculty for the New York State Bar Association's 2010 Continuing Legal Education program, "Matrimonial Law: New Legislation, Counsel Fees, Relocation and Ethics," which in part, addressed the State's "no fault" divorce legislation, child support modification and custodial relocation. Mr. Wiener frequently presents on issues relating to child custody before law guardians throughout the Metropolitan New York area.
Representative Sampling of Published Articles:
- "The Separate Property Credit in Divorce Actions" (New York Law Journal, Matrimonial Law Special Report, July 31, 2017)
- "Conflict-Ridden Homes, Harm to Children, and Reform of DRL 234" (Family News & Views, a publication of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts/AFCC-New York, 2017 Volume 2, Issue 1)
- "The Impact of Internet Pornography Use and Cybersexual Behavior on Child Custody and Visitation" (Journal of Child Custody, Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2013)
- "Collecting Support from a Payor Who Has Filed Under Chapter 11" (The Matrimonial Strategist ALM Law Journal Newsletter, November 2007)
- "Court-Ordered Psychotherapy In Custody Disputes: Do parties benefit when they are forced to participate?" (New York Law Journal, Matrimonial Law Special Section, July 30, 2007)
- "Reforming the Language Of 'Custody' Law: Let's remove that term as well as 'visitation'" (New York Law Journal, Matrimonial Special Section, August 7, 2006)
- "Our Dual System To Modify Child Support" (New York Law Journal, Matrimonial Special Section, June 6, 2005)
- "Unconscionable Separation Agreements in New York" (New York State Bar Association Family Law Review, June 1999)
Peer Review Rating:
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Family Law (Since 2010)
- Selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers® - Metro New York Edition in the area of Family Law (Since 2006)
- Selected as one of "Ten Leaders" in Matrimonial & Divorce Law in the New York City (Manhattan) region
- Mr. Wiener earned his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law and his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Boston University.
- Mr. Wiener is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of New York and the District of Columbia.
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Fellow)
- International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (Member)
- New York State Bar Association (Member, Family Law Section; Member, Executive Committee)
- New York County Lawyers' Assn. (Co-Chair, Matrimonial Law Section)
- New York College of Matrimonial Trial Attorneys (Faculty Member)
- FamilyKind Ltd. (Chair, Board of Directors)
- Interdisciplinary Forum on Mental Health and Family Law (Immediate Past Co-Chair)
- The Matrimonial Strategist, ALM Law Journal Newsletter - Member, Board of Editors