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New City NY Family Law Blog

In New York visitation rights not linked to child support payment

In most New York divorce cases, parents understand that, despite their own feelings toward the other parent, it's good for their child to have an ongoing relationship with both parents. In some cases, though, parents may wish to keep the child from visiting the other parent, especially if the other parent has not met his or her child support obligations. Is there a link between child support and visitation rights in New York State?

In general, child support is paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. Thus, child custody usually needs to be determined before child support arrangements are made. For various reasons, though, a non-custodial parent may not make his or her monthly support payments. In such instances, the custodial parent cannot prevent the other parent from visiting solely due to not paying child support. Since the custodial parent may understandably be upset, it's easy to see how a child custody dispute can arise from these circumstances.

If one has a prenuptial agreement, does one need a lawyer?

Many New Yorkers are likely well aware of the value of a solid prenuptial agreement. After all, many high-asset divorce cases take place in Manhattan, and many residents in the New City and Rockland areas have sizable assets to protect. Some may assume that because prenups can resolve or prevent many divorce disputes, legal guidance isn't as important as the prenup itself. In reality, skilled divorce attorneys can make a crucial difference in how well a prenup can protect assets, address important issues and forestall drawn-out battles.

From the initial prenuptial agreement draft through enforcement if necessary, the attorneys at Johnson & Cohen LLP have the know-how to ensure a smooth and secure process. Attorney Martin T. Johnson was admitted to the New York bar in 1981, and has received multiple honors and awards in his decades of family law experience. Mitchell Y. Cohen was admitted to the New York Bar in 1986 and has also accumulated numerous awards and recognitions. Moreover, at Johnson & Cohen there are additional family lawyers whose experience and dedication add up to an impressive roster of results.

Actor's Manhattan divorce negotiations ongoing

Last week, the topic of protecting assets was reviewed in relation to the benefits of securing solid legal representation. Recently, a very public high-asset divorce has come into the spotlight. In this case, both former partners and their respective lawyers are understandably concerned with protecting significant financial assets.

Actor Richard Gere and his actress wife, Carey Lowell, began their divorce last year, which was filed by Lowell. It has been reported that the pair has resolved the child custody matter of their teenage son, but the property division aspect of their divorce has yet to be finalized. The duo, who were husband and wife for over a decade, were recently in the Manhattan Supreme Court. Gere's fortune is estimated to be around $100 million.

Protecting property rights in a high asset divorce

New Yorkers going through a divorce often view the process as confusing, overwhelming and inherently adversarial. A divorce, even a high asset divorce, doesn't have to be that way, however. When a party to a divorce understands their and their former partner's rights under the law, the entire process can run more smoothly and become much more manageable.

In a high net-worth divorce, the fair distribution of property is often of the utmost concern. The state of New York uses what is known as "equitable division" to divide marital property. Under this type of system, marital assets aren't necessarily divided into two equal-sized parts and distributed to each spouse. Instead, a judge will consider a variety of factors in order to arrive an equitable outcome. These factors include each spouse's income and assets at the beginning and end of the marriage, whether there are children and which spouse will be the custodial parent, the anticipated financial needs of each spouse and so on.

How are same-sex partners protected from domestic violence?

One of the most difficult areas of family law that same-sex couples might encounter is domestic violence. There are many misconceptions about domestic violence. One is that the issue does not affect same-sex couples, be they married or unmarried. In reality, domestic violence can affect any type of individual, regardless of the type of relationship that person is in. Fortunately, in New York there are crucial legal protections available to gay and lesbian couples as well as heterosexual couples.

A family court order of protection is available to someone who may be facing abuse from their same-sex partner. The order can provide a legal protection against assault, stalking, harassment, threats, unwanted repeated contact or menacing. A New York family lawyer may be able to help a gay or lesbian residents understand the process of obtaining an order, how their rights can be safeguarded and how related legal disputes, such as child custody, may be resolved in the future.

Type of child custody dictates where a New York parent files

Navigating any type of legal process can be difficult and emotionally draining, but a child custody dispute can be even more demanding. Within New York family law, child custody can be one of the most difficult topics a parent will ever have to encounter. Still, establishing a fair and stable child custody arrangement can benefit not only the child in question, but also the entire family.

How does a parent petition for child custody in New York? All processes can begin with the aid of a family lawyer, but which form used to file and where one files depends on the type of family law situation. For instance, if parents have just filed for divorce, their custody plans will likely be a part of their divorce proceeding. The actual divorce action often involves one or both parents filing for child custody. In New York, divorces are filed with the state supreme court.

Tax concerns for divorcing New Yorkers

With mid-April right around the corner, many New Yorkers likely have taxes on the brain. With springtime being a time of new beginnings, some may also be pondering starting new relationships or ending old ones through divorce or separation. In the financial world, these two themes tend to collide when individuals file their taxes.

The end of a marriage can mean many different things for tax season. One of the most important things to know is one's filing status at tax time. This status depends on what a filer's marital status was as of Dec. 31 of the year for which they are filing. For instance, many New Yorkers are likely wrapping-up their 2014 taxes this month. Thus, their filing status depends on their marital status as of Dec. 31, 2014. If a person got divorced, even on the last day of 2014, they are actually considered to have been divorced for the whole year and must file accordingly, either as head of household or single.

What types of prenuptial agreements can NY couples obtain?

Entering a New York marriage can be a cause for much joy and celebration, but also a reason to think about the future. Some couples may choose to have a prenuptial agreement (prenup) before they tie the knot. Others may realize the wedding that a prenup could have been beneficial. For these couples, a post-nuptial (post-nup) agreement may be an appropriate and helpful option. In addition to prenups and post-nups, there are other types of marital contracts, which couples can obtain in New York State.

Before a divorce, many couples choose to experience a separation. Some may use the period as a time to think about or work on the state of their marriage, while others may use a separation to prepare their families for living apart after an eventual divorce. In New York, couples who separate may utilize a separation agreement to address important issues relating to family matters. These often include child custody and visitation, child support, financial support between spouses and property division. A separation agreement is generally entered-into voluntarily by both parties and does not require court intervention.

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.

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