The story of Catherine Kassenoff, her likely death by assisted suicide, and her attorney-husband Allan’s use of Family Court, is not yet over.
Catherine was a former federal prosecutor who gave up career advancements to raise three children, and then lost custody of them in Family Court in Westchester County, New York.
She beat breast cancer twice and survived, but the third time, she said, was terminal.
Catherine said she chose assisted suicide in Switzerland.
Frank Report published her story hours after her Facebook post said she had an appointment with a Swiss facility for assisted suicide on March 27, 2023.
In her post, Catherine wrote, “This is a story that ends with my own assisted death in Switzerland.”
In a second story, Catherine Kassenoff Lost Her Kids, Home, Health, Savings and Life Through Crafty Husband Family Court , FR chronicled the history of Kassenoff v Kassenoff, the four-year 3,000 documents divorce and custody case.
The People Involved in Removing the Children
Husband, father and attorney Allan Kassenoff.
Judge Lewis Lubell ruled Allan should have sole custody of the kids and sole possession of the family home in Larchmont. He ordered Catherine evicted without notice.
Even a tenant who paid no rent and trashed an apartment would get 30 days notice. Judge Lubell, who never met the children, had Catherine evicted on the spot despite the fact she owned the home.
Judge Lubell officiated at the wedding of the custody evaluator, Dr. Marc Abrams, who determined the mother alienated the children.
Catherine successfully got Dr. Abrams removed from the custody evaluator panel for misconduct.
She accused Judge Lubell of retaliating against her, and Judge Lubell ultimately recused himself, but not before ruling she could not see her children or live near them.
Judge Nancy Quinn Koba, who, without hearing from Catherine or the children, signed orders to keep Catherine away from her children.
Carol Most, attorney for the children, reportedly billed $270,000 to work for the “best interest of the children.” She recommended the court remove the mother from the children’s lives.
Dr. Marc Abrams [above], custody evaluator #1. His recommendation: Because the mother “alienated” the children from their father, they should have no contact with their mother without a paid visitation supervisor listening to every word between mother and child.
After Catherine got Dr. Abrams removed from the the case, Dr. Kathleen McKay became custody evaluator #2.
She agreed with her colleague that Catherine alienated and manipulated the children, though she never witnessed Catherine with two of the children. She spent twice as much time evaluating Allan (who paid her) than with Catherine.
Dr. Mckay decided Catherine should not see the children at all, even with a visitation supervisor, denying Catherine’s last wish to see her children before she died.
(Dr. Mckay’s photo is unavailable. If any reader has a photo, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Susan Adler, a clinical psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist.
Dr. Carolyn McGuffog, neuropsychologist.
Dr. McGuffog and Dr. Adler worked to convince the children that their mother’s removal by the court was appropriate and and that they look to their father as their primary attachment figure.
The two psychologists billed reportedly about $100,000. The children’s attorney, Carol Most, referred the psychologists to the father and their reports were used in court to bolster the removal of the mother.
Allan Kassenoff’s attorney, Gus Dimopoulos (above) knows PA-friendly attorneys, judges, therapists, and custody evaluators – who all know and refer each other.
Dimopoulos is the maestro in the orchestrated removal of one mother from three children. One can only guess how much he earned from this case, but $1 million seems a probable minimum.
In a lawsuit against Dimopoulus, the plaintiff alleges he collected $3 million in a matter of another mother being removed from her children.
Allan Kassenoff made his Facebook settings private following his wife’s announcement of assisted suicide. His Facebook included photos with him with his children and dogs.
He is a shareholder in the law firm of Greenberg Traurig. His page on Greenberg Traurig remains active as of press time:
It reads in part:
Allan Kassenoff is a trial attorney with over 20 years of experience in patent litigation… technologies and industry… electronics, financial services, aerospace, automotive, avionics, biotechnology, chemical, consumer products and pharmaceutical. He has been lead counsel in countless cases….”
His profile states he is an expert in ex-parte actions. He successfully used ex-parte actions against his wife to remove her from the children.
According to Catherine, it cost Allan over $3 million to get custody. That is $1 million per child.
If Catherine had gotten primary custody, Allan would have paid child support, possibly spousal support, and split marital assets. Now he likely gets to keep the marital assets. That alone might amount to more than the $3 million he paid to obtain custody of the children.
In most cases, buying custody of children in family court even for affluent fathers is less costly. Usually, you can buy custody of three children for less than a million. But Catherine was a good fighter. That raised the cost.
Family law attorneys thrive on high conflict cases like Kassenoff’s, where a wealthy, allegedly abusive father and protective mother fight it out.
The solution is to get experts to blame the children’s fear and loathing of the father on the mother, not his own abuse, and call it “parental alienation.” Then hand temporary custody to the wealthy father.
This will set off a chain of motions and court actions because protective mothers will fight desperately, and affluent abusive fathers will pay anything – to lawyers, GALs, children’s attorneys, custody evaluators, and therapists who support the father’s position of parental alienation.
In this case, Allan had the advantage. While his wife took care of the kids, he made money and was able to outspend her using the marital assets. He also spied on her emails and texts, possibly violating the law, but knowing her moves ahead of time. He knew enough to pick pro-parental alienation lawyers and therapists.
Despite being outspent by millions, Catherine [above] put up a brave fight and lost her home, her apartment, her savings, her children, her health, then, it seems, her life in the battle.
The family court – without juries – and judges who can make up laws as they proceed make it a sure bet for the litigant with more money.
Where there is no jury to hear a mother’s cries, the lawyers, therapists, and evaluators recomend to the judge, who alone decides what evidence he or she will hear.
The other effective tool of custody evaluators is to bring value to the fathers who pay them is to report that the mother ‘presents’ as mentally ill, as they did in Catherine’s case.
Neither of the two custody evaluators in the case are legally qualified to diagnose mental illness.
The mother was not their patient. But they use language shy of diagnosis, such as she “appears to present” and then fill in a specified or unspecified personality disorder, which the courts can use to buttress their decision to remove the mother because she is dangerous.
Once the custody evaluation report is complete – claiming parental alienation and the appearance of mental illness, the children’s lawyer and the father’s lawyer ask the judge for an emergency ex parte hearing, pleading: ‘The mother is mentally ill. She alienates the children. We need an emergency ex parte hearing to protect the children from their dangerous mother.”
A parental alienation-friendly Judge, like Jeffrey Lubell, will sign an ex parte motion to remove the mother from the house and bar contact with the children – even if she is their primary attachment figure in the “best interest of the children.”
Catherine, like many mothers who lose their children, after being abused by their spouse, may have presented as if she was unstable.
Applied Mental Illness
Catherine went from being a mother to losing her kids overnight, was evicted from her home without due process, later removed from her apartment, based on the word of her alleged abuser and his “professionals.” She lost her dogs, couldn’t take her clothes or personal possessions with her. Her husband reportedly wouldn’t even give her her coats for the winter. She was arrested on false charges that were eventually dropped, but lost her job before she could prove her innocence. She lived in friends’ basements or out of her car. Many people would present as unstable under similar circumstances.
Family court arguably causes this emotional distress. The custody evaluators call it a personality disorder – as if it existed before the trauma of family court occurred, and use it as proof that the mother should have no contact with the children.
Conversely, the calm, collected, father is persuasive in court.
A Court of Inequities
In coming posts, we will share more than 20 videos of the couple, where Allan is not calm but appears to present as mentally ill. We will also post documents as we try to unravel what happened.
Catherine’s last post was like a deathbed statement. In law, a deathbed statement is an exception to the hearsay rule, because it is presumed true, as a person would not lie while dying.
What happened to Catherine is not unique. It is happening nonstop in America’s family courts. What is unique is her deathbed statement.