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Family Law Blog New City, New York

News and insights about divorce and family law in New York.

Child Custody and Parental Drug Testing

In a perfect world, child custody arrangements would be simple and straightforward. However, there are some instances in which one parent may feel that their child is in danger while under the supervision of the other parent. Perhaps no such situation poses more danger to a child than parental drug addiction. This article explores the role of parental drug testing in child custody cases and the impact drug use has on parental custody rights.

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F.A.Q. About Domestic Partnerships in New York

F.A.Q. About Domestic Partnerships in New York As ideas about marriage and households evolve, the legislature attempts to reflect these changes within the laws. One such New York law allows couples who meet certain requirements to be able to file as domestic partners, entitling them to many of the same benefits as married couples.

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Custody, The “Home State,” and UCCJEA

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, also known as UCCJEA, was enacted in 1997 to establish which state has jurisdiction over child custody when more than one state is involved in the dispute. The Act gives the child’s home state jurisdiction over custody: the “home state” is defined as the state the child resided in for at least six months prior to the filing of the action. If the child has lived outside the home state for the six months prior to filing, the other state is given priority. If the child is less than six months old, the home state is whichever state the child has lived in since birth.

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New York Child Support and The Cost of College

Parents who wish to provide for their children’s college education are often confused by how the payment of child support affects their responsibility for their child’s future education costs. While each parent undoubtedly wants to provide for their child’s education, dividing the cost between two parents can be more complicated than just assigning a simple static monetary amount.

Standard child support in New York is calculated by the total combined income of the parents, minus deductions, to determine the pro-rata share of each parent based on the number of children needing support. In New York, the noncustodial parent is required to pay child support until the child reaches the age of 21. For those children who pursue a college education, this means that child support will still likely be paid for a portion of their collegiate years.

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Social Media Use and New York Divorce

Thanks to the widespread use of social media, it is now easier than ever to go online and find out intimate details about other people’s lives. While social media is a great way to keep your friends and family updated on your life, during a divorce or other family law case, social media use can be a liability. Few people realize the extent to which the comments, photos, location check-ins, and other activity can be admissible evidence in a divorce case. If you are considering obtaining a divorce in New York, here are some general guidelines to follow to prevent your social media use from jeopardizing your case.

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Exclusive Use of the Marital Home in New York Divorce

One of the biggest questions clients have when contemplating a divorce is which spouse is entitled to remain in the marital home during the during the proceedings. For obvious reasons, it is not always ideal to have both spouses remain in the home during a contentious divorce. Deciding who goes and who stays, however, sometimes must be decided by the court through an order granting temporary exclusive use of the marital home to one of the parties.

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4 Surprising Things You Can Do With a New York Prenuptial Agreement

Whenever a prenuptial agreement is mentioned in popular culture, the parties involved are usually incredibly wealthy. This association—that only the wealthy benefit from prenuptial agreements—is partly to blame for the general public’s lack of knowledge about them. Since most people aren’t incredibly wealthy, they write off prenuptial agreements as something that wouldn’t benefit them; unaware of the potential benefits to average couples; they miss out on the opportunity to save themselves thousands of dollars in future litigation costs should the parties later divorce.

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The Evolution of “Best Interest of the Child”: Transgendered Children and Custody Cases

As awareness and understanding of transgendered people and related issues grows, courts are being forced to examine how the “best interest of the child,” the standard used in all custody cases, is applied in cases where the parents disagree about raising their child as a transgendered individual. From hormone replacement therapy to name changes to transformative surgeries, transgendered children are fighting to establish their right to make changes to their identity without both parents’ consent.

Factors that may be considered:

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Forensics in New York Custody Cases

Forensic examinations can be an extremely useful tool employed by the courts to offer the judge a clearer picture of both parent-child relationships, the child’s home life, and other factors that are considered when establishing a custody arrangement.

What are forensics in child custody cases?

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Supervised Visitation in New York

For most divorced or otherwise separated parents, visitation is a time for the noncustodial parent to nurture a healthy parent-child relationship. In some cases, however, the court can order that the visits must be supervised by a third-party. Supervised visitation allows the noncustodial parent to maintain a parent-child relationship without subjecting the child to any danger of harm that might otherwise occur if the visits were unsupervised.

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New York Custody and Visitation for Same-Sex and Unmarried Couples

On August 30, 2016 in a landmark case, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that non-biological, non-married, non-adoptive parents can seek custody and visitation of a child born within their relationship, with the biological parent’s consent.

The huge impact of such a ruling cannot be overstated. The case has substantial ramifications for parents of same-sex couples, as well as couples who never married and later split up. Previously, individuals in either circumstance were treated as if they were total strangers to the child in the eyes of family court, and had no legal standing to seek custody or visitation. Now, thanks to this case, “where a partner shows by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together, the non-biological, non-adoptive partner has standing to seek visitation and custody.”

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New York Family Offense Petitions

In New York, the court allows for certain protections against inter-family abuse. One such protection is a family offense petition. A family offense petition is filed in cases where one family member has committed one of several punishable acts against another person in the family. A family offense petition can lead to a temporary order of protection that is effective until the date of the hearing, and if the allegations are proven at the hearing, a final order of protection that is valid for up to five years is issued.

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Is Mediation Right for Your New York Family Law Case?

New Yorkers know that litigation is time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. Traditional litigation has its place, but when the case involves families, an alternative resolution option that is less adversarial often works best to protect the relationships and happiness of the parties involved. If you are a New York resident who would like to avoid the cost, stress, and time-commitment of traditional litigation and think mediation might be a good solution for you, read on for a brief explanation of mediation and examples of the types of cases that can be successfully mediated in New York.

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Pet Custody and Mediation

Divorcing couples who are also pet owners have unique concerns about what happens to their beloved friend once their marriage ends. In the not-so-distant past, pets were seen as the property of one or the other spouse, and “ownership” of the pet was granted based on a number of factors by the court.

Increasingly, New York couples are rejecting the traditional view of pets as property and are instead looking to alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, to develop a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of their pet. By choosing mediation, pet owners can avoid the stress and high cost of traditional litigation, while ensuring that their pet continues to receive the love and care it needs.

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Client Divorce Checklist

New York residents who are preparing for divorce are faced with a myriad of issues, from child custody to home ownership to spousal support. The first step in preparing for your divorce is to consider the unique issues your divorce raises for your family, as well as gathering documentation to support valuation and ownership of assets. The following divorce checklist, though not exhaustive, offers clients a general overview of the types of documents needed by the court as well as the issues that will need to be addressed during your divorce.

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How Caucus Can Help Your Divorce Mediation

Generally, mediation occurs in joint sessions with both parties present. The idea behind joint sessions is that compromises are best reached when both parties are present and participating. Joint sessions can have drawbacks however: some clients are uncomfortable revealing certain aspects of their divorce in front of their partner or the divorce may be so contentious that the presence of both parties hinders mediation.

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Common Myths About Mediation

Common Myths About Mediation in new york stateAs mediation becomes more popular, common myths about mediation have developed that confuse or dissuade prospective clients from pursuing alternative dispute resolution, despite its proven effectiveness. In this article we will address common myths about mediation and shed light on the reasons why these myths are false.

Only people who agree on key issues can mediate

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Steps in a New York Child Custody Mediation

custody support modification new yorkIn New York, child custody mediation is not mandatory; however, many parents choose mediation over traditional court proceedings because of the affordability and efficiency mediation offers. Mediation is a great way for each parent to be able to address their concerns while working with an experienced mediator to reach a child custody agreement that is a long-term workable solution for the entire family.

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How to Prepare for Mediation in Four Easy Steps

How to prepare Mediation in Four Easy StepsMediation is an alternative dispute resolution wherein the parties, with the help of a mediator, can retain more control over the outcome of their legal dispute without the expense, time commitment and adversarial nature of traditional court proceedings.

Before embarking on your first mediation session, there are four simple steps that you can utilize to make your mediation effective and as stress-free as possible.

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New York’s Primary Caretaker Standard in Custody Cases

New York Primary Caretaker Standard CustodyIn any custody case, the main objective of the family court is to protect and ensure the best interests of the child. However, there are other factors that will be considered by the courts in determining what custody arrangement is suitable in each case. One such factor is the primary caretaker standard which is recognized by New York courts and can be persuasive in a child custody case.

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