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New City NY Family Law Blog

Is your divorce truly "uncontested?"

New York residents who are approaching the end of a marriage may be a bit bewildered as to starting the process and filing the necessary paperwork. When residents of New York seek a divorce, they must generally determine if their divorce is contested or uncontested. Many spouses may automatically assume their divorce is uncontested, but this may not be the case.

According to the New York courts, an uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses are in agreement on all divorce legal issues: spousal support, child custody, child support, property division and so on. In addition, in order for a divorce to be defined as uncontested, the other spouse must also agree to the divorce - or, at least, not appear to be against it.

Family-centered New York child custody arrangements

When a New York resident secures an attorney for any legal matter, that professional is tasked with representing the rights and interests of the party for whom they work. However, in child custody situations, there is another very important figure: the child or children from the relationship. At Johnsen & Cohen, L.L.P., the skilled legal team is ready to help parents achieve a custody solution centered on the best interests of the child.

As a divorce or breakup approaches, parents may be understandably worried about how best to continue their relationship with children. Every family's situation is different, but issues, such as parenting time and visitation rights, are likely to be at the top of most parents' priority lists. Without a skilled child custody lawyer, a mother or father may not fully understand their parental rights. This leaves open the possibility of missing out on important opportunities to make sure parenting time is fair and that the child gets to have a full, fulfilling relationship with each parent.

Rosie O'Donnell files for divorce in Manhattan court

In last week's post, the topic of alimony for New York same-sex partners was reviewed. Recently, a famous same-sex couple filed for divorce in Manhattan, again raising the topic of spousal support for same-sex couples. Late last month, Rosie O'Donnell filed for divorce from her same-sex partner, who she wed in the summer of 2012. Court documents reveal her reason for divorce was an "irrevocably broken relationship."

For a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple, the length of the marriage is likely to play a large role in any spousal support decision. Since O'Donnell and her wife were married for less than 3 years, it remains to be seen if O'Donnell's ex will request support. According to O'Donnell's representative, the same-sex couple have been experiencing a separation since last fall.

Do same-sex partners receive alimony upon a New York divorce?

New York's 2011 Marriage Equality Act was landmark legislation for many residents of New York State. The act effectively granted gay and lesbian spouses all of the privileges given to heterosexual married couples. The Act had significant implications in the area of family law because a same-sex couple can now receive the legal protections, which had previously only been offered to other couples. One such legal protection is spousal support, should a divorce occur.

While marriage offers many benefits to all types of couples, it also entails certain legal obligations. In some cases, these obligations may include payment of support after a divorce. For same-sex couples, there are several important things to know about alimony in New York. First, support may be an issue, even if the couple has only gone through a separation and and not yet actually divorced. A same-sex separation can be legally complicated and often raises many questions about topics such as child custody and marital property. A Rockland family lawyer can help any couple answer such questions.

Considerations for both parents in NY child support cases

When New York parents decide their relationship is no longer sustainable, they may ponder a divorce, separation or permanent breakup. A parting of ways can have many financial implications. One of the most significant is how any children from the relationship will be cared-for and supported. In most cases, this question is answered through the family law topic of child support.

In New York, it is generally the custodial parent who seeks support from the non-custodial parent. Thus, parents who divorce or break up must also come to an agreement regarding child custody. If parents are divorcing, child custody will typically be addressed during divorce proceedings. If unmarried parents break up, child custody will need to be established before child support can be obtained.

Using a prenup to address the New York family business

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 3.5 million United States businesses share a key feature: they are owned jointly by spouses. In New York, countless residents own businesses and may either already have their spouse listed as a joint owner, or may be pondering adding their husband or wife into the family business. In any case, those who own, or are thinking of owning, a business can benefit from seriously considering a prenuptial agreement.

Prior to launching a business, most owners will have at least pondered how to make the operation as successful as it can be. The same is true for marriage, of course, but in both business and marriage, there are few guarantees. A marital contract can serve to protect assets in a marriage where a business might be at stake should a divorce occur.

Navigating New York's property division law

When New Yorkers think of family law, images of child custody battles and family conflict may spring to mind. While the effects of family law decisions can impact an individual or family on a deeply personal level, they can also have important financial ramifications. When one is going through a divorce or breakup, the outcome of the distribution of property can affect one's financial future. As a result, using the guidance of a family lawyer can help a party secure their personal and financial well-being.

Unlike some other states which use a community property system, New York uses the equitable distribution system of property division. While the system can prove highly complex, essentially, it aims to apportion marital property fairly. Not surprisingly, parties to a divorce can have widely differing definitions of fairness regarding the fate of marital property. In any divorce, but especially a high asset divorce, arriving at this fair conclusion is no simple task.

Why would a marriage be annulled in New York State?

The end of a marriage can come about in many ways, and for many different reasons. However, a marriage in New York State does not always end in a divorce per se. At times an annulment may be an appropriate way to end a marriage, but like all family law topics, there are many questions surrounding this legal action.

First, it's helpful to know what an annulment is and is not. An annulment occurs when the court declares a marriage to be invalid. In popular culture, annulments are sometimes thought of as things of the past, performed when parents disapproved of young couples marrying or when a marriage was otherwise objected-to. Nowadays, though, an annulment can be needed for several different reasons.

Taking the mystery out of child custody decisions

A child custody case can be enormously stressful for both parents and children alike. One of the most challenging aspects of a custody case -- or, at times, a custody dispute -- is not knowing exactly how legal decisions are made. Parents may need to seek help to understand how and why child custody decisions are made in New York along with how to enforce or modify a child custody order.

Overall, the primary factor in a child custody decision is the best interests of the child. Of course, parents may disagree about what is in a child's best interests. This situation is understandable, and the law considers many different factors that can add up to form a picture of a child's well-being. One of the factors considered is often time, specifically, how the long the child has spent with one parent as a primary caretaker. Another factor is the amount of time the current custody arrangement has been in place. These two factors emphasize a third factor, which is the fact that the child will likely benefit from stability and continuity.

Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage cases this year

Now that same-sex marriage has been legal in New York State for several years, many same-sex couples have experienced the same family law issues other couples have: prenuptial agreements, separation, divorce, property division and custody of children, just to name a few. In addition to these issues, sometimes a person and their same-sex partner will move to a different state and encounter different laws. This can complicate any legal issues that may arise in the event the couple decides to divorce.

While gay marriage is now legal in 36 states, the United States may be inching closer to nationwide legality of same-sex marriage. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will review several cases on the subject. The cases in question involve gay marriage bans in four states. The cases are set to be argued this spring, with decisions expected around the end of June. One of the possible outcomes is a decision that same-sex marriage is a national right.

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