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New City NY Family Law Blog

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.

What does a legal separation agreement do in New York?

When married couples in New York contemplate divorce, they will often consider a separation beforehand. Legal separation can help parties transition out of a marriage and can give spouses space to breathe as they each prepare to move forward in a new phase of life. However, as with all family legal issues, legal separation can have many benefits as well as complications. Fortunately, many of the latter can be cleared up with the help of a legal separation agreement.

Interestingly, in New York a legal separation agreement is not granted by the courts. Rather, it is drawn up between spouses and is sometimes utilized as a basis for a later divorce. The document functions as a sort of contract that allows spouses to outline things such as how bills will be paid and where children will live. Additional considerations include child support and visitation, the handling of marital property and many other divorce legal issues.

Preventing alimony disputes via prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements serve many purposes in New York state, from asset protection to making clear the responsibilities and rights of both spouses during a marriage. Prenups are also extremely helpful for prevent divorce disputes if the marriage should end, particularly when it comes to the oft-disputed topic of alimony.

In New York State, a prenup can be used to address alimony expectations upon divorce. Spouses can come to their own agreement on alimony, without involving the courts. However, unless this agreement is made formally - which can be via a valid prenuptial agreement - there may be disagreement later on. Before agreeing to an alimony arrangement, though, spouses can ensure their rights are protected by speaking with a family lawyer. In some instances, a spouse may agree to not request alimony should a divorce occur, but without fully realizing his or her rights or the financial realities of life post-divorce.

Prioritizing parenting time after a divorce or breakup

In years past, the expected post-divorce arrangement for a family was often the mother enjoying physical custody with the father paying child support and having visitation rights. Nowadays, that same setup may still be right for some, but there are countless other arrangements that may benefit the whole family. In New York, there are as many different types of families as there are custody arrangements, but many parents seek joint custody as their preferred objective.

First, it's important to know the true definition of joint custody. There are actually two types of joint child custody; parents may share joint legal custody or both joint legal and physical custody. In the first situation, parents have equal participation and input regarding the major decisions of the child's life, such as where he or she will attend school, what religion the child will practice and so on. If parents have joint legal and physical custody, both parents also have relatively equal physical time with the child, including living arrangements.

Fiery allegations surface in recent high-asset divorces

There are several traits of high-net worth divorces that make them more complicated in the eyes of the law, as well as in the eyes of the public. First, of course, there are the very high financial stakes involved in any New York high-asset divorce. Significant wealth is often the source of conflict and divorce is no different from other matters in that regard. In high asset divorces, though, there may also be startling allegations that complicate the overall divorce process.

In New York City, several recent high-asset divorce cases have illustrated just how heated a split can become. In the case of a 42-year-old investment banker, his former spouse has publicly accused him of abusing drugs, cavorting with prostitutes and participating in wild parties with both co-workers and clients. Recently, the man quit his high-profile job with Jefferies, a global firm; he had previously taken a leave of absence and, reportedly, his firm had lost some clients due to the negative publicity.

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