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New City NY Family Law Blog

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.

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.

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