Emily Black Pyne was married to James L. Black, said a New York Family Lawyer. They had two children and divorced when the younger of the two, Allison, was about three years old. In their marriage dissolution agreement, Mr. Black was to pay child support for both children until they reach twenty–one. He stopped paying when the eldest, Rhonda, was sixteen and the youngest was twelve years-old. According to Mr. Black, this was because about two months before he stopped paying, which was Christmas time, he asked for visitation, but he was denied by Ms. Pyne.
From the time of the divorce to about nine years after, Mr. Black was working internationally and most of the time out of the country, so he had very few visitations with his children at most two to three days a year. At the time, when he asked for the Christmas visit, he had already left the international employment and was living near Ms. Pyne and the kids. After the visit was denied, he consulted a lawyer and sent a demand for regular scheduled visitation. A New York Custody Lawyer said that it disturbed Ms. Pyne, her new husband and the children as Mr. Black has not had that amount of visitation before. In addition, Rhonda who was sixteen at the time was in counseling and therapy because she was diagnosed as having agoraphobia.
Both Rhonda and Allison said they did not want to see Mr. Black. Rhonda, who was doing well in school, was also having a hard time with everyday living. She was thinking as well that Mr. Black may have been abusive to her and was afraid of him. For Allison, who was twelve, she felt rejected by Mr. Black and disliked him. Ms. Pyne had offered therapy for her to be able to reconcile with Mr. Black, but the child refused. Ms. Pyne did not want to force her children to doing anything, so she did not push, according to testimony read by a Nassau County Custody Lawyer.