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New York NY Family Law Blog

Child custody and mediation in New York

Most New York residents would agree that a divorce emotionally affects children of the marriage. While spouses usually want to break the marital bond as quickly as possible and move on, children most often want their parents to stay together. With outcomes at odds, family courts across the country, including those in New York, rule in the best interests of the child, usually by ordering one parent to take custody of the child and the other to pay child support.

However, with one parent chosen over the other, child custody disputes may arise. Some spouses may opt to meet with a mediator to resolve all issues pertaining to visitation and child custody disputes. In New York, court mediation is a voluntary process and is free of charge. The task of the mediator is to resolve issues that have been brought before the court by helping couples find common ground for agreement.

Grounds for divorce in New York State

In New York State, and everywhere else in the United States, there are many different reasons for a couple to want a divorce. Abandonment is one of them. One spouse may divorce the other spouse if the second has abandoned the other for a period of more than one year. Abandonment may occur when the spouse leaves the marital home with no intention of returning within one year and without the consent of the partner.

Constructive abandonment is also another reason for divorce. That happens when one spouse refuses to have a sexual relationship with the other spouse for a period of more than a year. That situation must have occurred for no apparent reason.

Experienced attorneys can draft child custody agreements

New York residents may agree that divorce often becomes much more complicated when children are involved. Many times, children feel insecure when their parents fight over child custody issues. Hence, in the best interest of the child, courts across the country, including those in New York, usually award one parent custody of the child; the other parent is ordered to pay child support and is awarded visitation rights. However, child custody disputes still occur.

The Mandel Law firm works with spouses in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Nassau counties and in other parts of the New York area. We help parents to reach an agreement about child custody that is in the best interest of the child. The attorneys understand that being in the middle of a custody battle can upset the child, who loves both parents and probably has the desire for the parents to stay together. After all, most attorneys are parents and they have experienced the joys and tribulations of parenthood just as much as other parents.

How are child support amounts determined in New York?

As most New York residents would agree, divorce is made more difficult when children are involved. While spouses are eager to move on to a new life, the children still want their parents to stay together under the same roof. Courts in the U.S., including in New York, often order one parent to take child custody and orders the other to pay child support.

The courts use a guideline while ordering child support, tracking the non-custodial parent's income in a year. The court calculates the parent's gross income and the number of children included in the child support claim. Then the court makes certain adjustments, such as deducting Social Security, Medicare, New York tax and then arrives at a figure-the adjusted gross income. Then this income is multiplied by a percentage for the number of children involved in child support. This percentage is provided in the standard guideline in New York and is enumerated here.

New York Assembly passes bill to help domestic violence victims

Domestic violence, in its various forms, is a concern that plagues people across the United States, including many in New York City and in the rest of New York State. Although federal and state laws have a number of provisions to prevent incidents of domestic violence, it seems that much more needs to be done before the problem is eliminated. A recent development in New York may offer relief to domestic violence victims.

According to news reports, legislators in the New York State Assembly took protective measures on behalf of domestic violence victims by passing a bill that prohibits employers and landlords from discriminating against people because they are victims of domestic violence. In addition to this measure, the Assembly also approved the proposal of an initiative where domestic violence victims can obtain a protective order electronically. This initiative would be launched as a pilot program.

What should you consider before creating a prenuptial agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are becoming increasingly more popular with the younger generations in the United States, including people in New York. As the younger generation works hard to establish themselves in the industry, they also do not want their investment to slip out of their hands in the event of a divorce. Many couples discuss prenuptial agreements in order to formalize the understanding of how marital property will be split if they divorce.

Admittedly, many couples find it difficult to discuss a prenuptial agreement in the early stages of their relationship because a prenuptial agreement has a stigma attached to it for many couples. However, there are a few points to consider before creating a prenuptial agreement. While one partner may be comfortable discussing a prenuptial agreement, the other may not be. To many people, it seems as though the person is saying "That although I wish to spend the rest of life with you, I do not trust you completely."

Creative conflict resolution can simplify a New York divorce

Divorce definitely marks a crossroad in a New Yorker's life. It not only marks the end of a long-cherished relationship, but it also means that there are many things to handle, such as alimony payments and child support. At such a critical juncture, the person will definitely need support of people who not only empathize with the person, but who also help the person to make decisions with great confidence. That will help that person to begin the next phase of life.

The attorneys at the Mandel Law firm understand that every circumstance is unique. The attorneys strive to understand the goal of each client and then provide detailed, sound advice. That will help the person who is divorcing to navigate through the divorce process with a greater sense of empowerment. The attorneys, who have decades of experience, are skilled at handling various types of divorces, such as no-fault or uncontested divorces.

Important information for same-sex couples in New York

Same-sex marriage has been recognized in New York since 2011. Governor Cuomo signed New York's Marriage Equality Act, which gave same-sex couples the right to marry legally. New York has always been known for its diversity and openness and the city clerk offices have been performing ceremonies for same-sex couples ever since gay and lesbian marriage was legalized four years ago.

However, there are several steps that a same-sex couple needs to complete before the marriage can occur. The same-sex partners need to submit a marriage license application with the city clerk through City Clerk Online. A confirmation number will be given once the application is submitted online. The same-sex couple is required to take the number to the clerk's office.

How do parents in New York ask for visitation rights?

Courts in New York, like anywhere else in the country, want a child to have an enduring relationship with both parents, even after divorce. If a parent has sole custody, then the court will allow visitation rights for the other parent who does not have child custody. That parent is allowed to spend adequate time with the child and visitation rights cannot be denied unless the court finds a good reason to do so.

Although child custody and a visitation hearing are two separate things, the issues are really decided simultaneously. A petition for visitation can be filed separately and a New York court will order visitation only if it determines visitation is in the best interest of the child. Visitation can also be referred to as parenting time. Besides the child's parents, siblings and grandparents can also ask for visitation rights. A request for visitation rights is not automatically granted by the court. The court will review the request and make a judgement. Termination of parental rights to a child also ends visitation rights.

Rock musician, ex-wife settle child support dispute in Manhattan

Custodial parents in New York and the rest of the country would agree that child support is critical for the upbringing of a child of divorced parents. Therefore, when child support payments are inadequate or when they are not received on time, the custodial parent and the children have to deal with a number of difficulties. In order to modify payments, many parents choose to take legal action. One such child support dispute recently reached a settlement in Manhattan Supreme Court.

A two-year feud between Liam Gallagher, the vocalist of the rock band Oasis, and his former girlfriend, Liza Ghorbani, over child support for their two-year-old daughter has ended. According to reports, lawyers representing the two parties informed the Manhattan Supreme Court that their clients have finally agreed to settle their child support battle for an undisclosed revision to the child support amount. The court had originally ordered the British rock star to pay $5,000 in monthly child support.

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