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New City NY Family Law Blog

Domestic abuse can affect all types of relationships

Nowadays, it's fairly well-known that domestic violence is a serious crime both in New York and in the rest of the nation. Domestic violence may even be one of many divorce legal issues that a New York resident has to navigate during a difficult and emotional time. Like many legal issues related to divorce or separation, though, there are many misconceptions surrounding domestic violence. One of the strongest is that this crime affects only women.

In reality, domestic violence can harm any type of person in a relationship, whether male, female, gay or straight. According to the American Bar Association, approximately 835,000 men are victims of domestic violence each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about one out of every seven males is on the receiving end of intimate partner violence every year. While women still make up the majority of victims of domestic violence - over one million are victims annually, notes the ABA - it is likely to surprise some that there are so many male victims as well.

Various professionals decide family law cases in New York

Having to go to court for a family law hearing can be an intimidating experience to many in New York. For lots of local families, they have never needed to go to court before, so the situation can be very unfamiliar as well. A New York family law attorney can guide a family member through the court system, which can be confusing as well as overwhelming.

What types of cases are heard in family law court? Many different family legal issues are heard and decided in New York's family court. These issues include, but are not limited to, child support, spousal support, guardianship, adoption, juvenile delinquency, paternity and voluntary foster care approval. Many types of families can encounter these issues, from married parents to unmarried couples, domestic partners, extended relatives and more.

New York man goes to Appeals Court over property division

In New York, money talks. During a high-asset divorce, money and the actions swirling around it can speak volumes. Not surprisingly, during any divorce couples may fight about financial matters such as child support, spousal support or property division, among others. In these instances, and especially in a high-asset divorce, it may be beneficial and even lucrative to be represented by an assertive and experienced family lawyer.

Recently, a New York man going through a divorce argued before the Court of Appeals on the subject of the financial proceeds from a property sale. According to an attorney for his wife, the man is being defiant and refusing to say what happened to the money from the sale of a Brooklyn property. According to the man's own attorney, it's within his rights to refuse to testify and it's actually up to others to prove he has the money.

What happens when a NY Parent won't visit their child?

Coming to an agreement on child custody can be an enormously challenging task for many parents. Whether they recently divorced or broke up years ago, agreeing on custody can involve many strong emotions, mixed feelings and difficult choices. In many cases a child custody dispute will erupt because both parents want more parenting time with their child. However, in some cases it is just the opposite; one parent will wonder what they can do if the other parent does not visit enough or at all.

It's highly understandable that this type of situation can be particularly draining for both the custodial parent as well as for the child or children involved. What custodial parents can benefit from knowing is that the courts cannot force a non-custodial parent to exercise his or her visitation rights. However, if a parent who has visitation rights refuses to visit his or her child, it is possible for the court to limit those visitation rights. In such instances the court may give the rights back to the non-custodial parent, but slowly so as to re-establish the parent-child relationship in a stable manner.

Disclosure of assets in a prenuptial agreement

Before getting engaged, many couples find that they are completely comfortable with each other and feel like they can share anything with their partner. However, when it comes to drafting and forming a prenuptial agreement, couples may be confused about what they should share regarding their personal finances. Since one of the subjects couples fight about most often is money, it can be helpful to ensure a prenup adequately covers the financial aspects of a potential breakup.

Of course, getting a prenup does not mean a couple will get divorced, or even that they expect to divorce at some point in the future. A prenuptial agreement means that the couple has thought thoroughly about their future and wish to protect assets if the unthinkable should occur. In order to avoid a prenuptial agreement dispute, though, it can be extremely beneficial for couples to obtain advice from a New York family lawyer when beginning their prenup-making process.

Helping same-sex couples understand their custody rights

Parental rights are vitally important to couples in New York, whether those couples are same-sex partners or heterosexual parents. For same-sex couples, though, there are likely to be even more questions about custody issues when it comes to a divorce, separation or parting of ways. The legal team at Johnson & Cohen understand the custody questions same-sex parents have and can offer much-needed support and guidance.

In New York, there is no formula for child custody; custody decisions which are decided by the court are done so in light of each situation's unique circumstances. One factor the courts will consider in a custody dispute, among many others, is the fitness of each partner as a parent. Thus, it can be critical for those involved in a custody dispute to present appropriate evidence regarding their ability to care for their child. The attorneys at Johnson & Cohen have represented many same-sex partners in child custody cases and are familiar with the best ways to present evidence while protecting the child's interests.

Simple steps can help prevent financial drama in a divorce

It's a well-known fact that the cost of living is high in New York. As a result, the cost of just about everything often tends to be a little bit higher in the New York metro as well. Divorce, however, doesn't need to be as expensive as some may assume it to be. There are several key financial steps New Yorkers can take in order to lessen the financial impact of a divorce.

Since many divorce legal issues are financial in nature, it can benefit either party to a divorce to thoroughly organize their finances before filing. This usually entails locating and reviewing all of one's important financial documents, such as credit card statements, tax returns, bank statements and retirement account paperwork. In addition, if valuable items are subject to property division, it is helpful to have up to date appraisals of these items on hand.

What New York court do I go to for divorce & family law issues?

Navigating any type of court system is rarely easy. When it comes family law in New York, it can be quite confusing to figure out which court one utilizes for their family legal issues. One of the most basic questions that New York residents may have about family law is which court resolves family-related situations.

In New York, the Supreme Court -- and only the Supreme Court -- handles divorce cases. Accordingly, the only people who can grant a divorce in New York State are judges on the state Supreme Court. In order to obtain a divorce, married couples need to go to the Supreme Court in the same county in which they or their spouse reside. Couples cannot get divorced in family court, although New York's family court system can decide upon a multitude of divorce-related matters, such as child custody and visitation, child support, paternity and spousal maintenance.

The contents of a valid prenuptial agreement

Couples in New York who are considering entering a marriage likely have plenty of questions for their partner, such as where they will live, how expenses wil be split and will they have children together. There are countless additional questions New Yorkers may wish to ask their partners before tying the knot. In many cases, a prenuptial agreement can help answer these, but it's important to know what can and cannot be included in a marital contract.

Some may already know that a valid prenup can be a great tool for stopping alimony disputes before they start, or resolving them once underway. A prenuptial agreement can do much more than that, however. A solid contract can protect assets in a variety of ways, from keeping family property within the same family to making sure children from a prior relationship are provided for. A prenup can be an integral part of an individual's estate plan, in addition to other documents such as wills and trusts.

Could a major website hack lead to more divorces?

New York residents meet their spouses in countless different ways, from being set up by friends to meeting by chance to using online dating sites to meet that special someone. Still, while the internet can be used to bring people together, it can also be used to drive them apart. Recently, a website that functioned as a way for married people to meet each other was hacked, which means users of the site have reason to worry their infidelities could be exposed. What does this mean for divorce in New York?

Some might assume that if their spouse's infidelity is exposed and undeniable, the non-cheating spouse will "win" the divorce case - receive a larger settlement, get custody of the children, etc. However, the hacking of "Ashley Madison," the website specifically designed for affairs, may not necessarily lead to a rash of divorces in New York or elsewhere. First, every spouse deals with infidelity differently; some may seek a separation rather than divorce, some may choose to forgive and forget and some may consider divorce.

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