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Couple-Home-300x200Maintenance is a common consideration in many divorce cases, wherein extra support needs to be offered to a specific spouse. In many divorces, the less-monied spouse seeks temporary maintenance to help with the costs of getting legal representation and supporting themselves when the divorce is ongoing. At times both temporary maintenance and post-divorce maintenance (support given at the end of a divorce), can help to preserve a spouse’s financial wellbeing during the case and when a marriage is dissolved.

Any maintenance order given by the courts in New York, whether temporary, or post-divorce in nature, has the possibility of being retroactive. This means the party seeking support may receive payments owed backward from the moment they applied for this support. For individuals attempting to get back on track as quickly as possible, it’s important to ensure you’re getting access to all of the financial support owed.

Notably, temporary maintenance is not subject to the same advisory schedule for duration as post-divorce maintenance. Let’s take a closer look at the complexities of calculating maintenance arrears in the case of temporary maintenance. Continue reading ›

Parentswithbaby-300x200Until recently, under New York law, a parent’s obligation to provide support to a child with a developmental disability generally ended at age 21. However, New York just joined 40 other states in enacting legislation that allows custodial parents of adult children with special needs to pursue child support after the child reaches the age of majority. For certain young adults with “developmental disabities”, child support may now go on to age 26. This can include child support for those that are still under 26 that were previously already deemed aged out.

The law applies to single parents of adult children over the age of 21 who (1) have been diagnosed with a developmental disability by a medical professional; (2) reside with the parent seeking support; and (3) are principally dependent on that parent for maintenance.

The newly enacted legislation uses the New York Mental Hygiene Law’s four-pronged definition of “developmental disability.” First, the disability must be attributable to (a) an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neurological impairment, familial dysautonomia, Prader-Willi syndrome or autism; (2) any other condition of a person found to be closely related to intellectual disability because such condition results in similar impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior to that of intellectually disabled persons or requires treatment and services similar to those required for such person; or (3) dyslexia resulting from a disability otherwise satisfying this definition.
Secondly, the disability must have originated before the adult child attains age twenty-two. Parent-caregivers of children disabled after attaining the age of twenty-two cannot petition for child support under the new law. The third element of the definition is that the disability has continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely. Finally, to constitute a “developmental disability” for purposes of the new law, the disability must constitute a substantial handicap to the adult child’s ability to function normally in society. Continue reading ›

Meditation-Coach-300x200Welcome to the last edition in our series of articles and guides on parenting time and visitation. Through the course of this series, we’ve talked about various factors which might be relevant when you’re making decisions about visitation and parenting time following a divorce.

Although all aspects of divorce can be stressful, choices made about the care of children are often the ones that cause the most complexity for many of my clients. Each parent may believe they are doing what’s best for the child when they ask for specific agreements and orders to be made. However, not all parents will naturally agree with each other about what should happen next.

In this segment of our parenting time bullet point guide, we’re going to be looking at the concept of mindfulness in child custody and parenting time arrangements, and what may happen if you decide to discuss visitation issues during mediation. Continue reading ›

Baby-and-Mom-300x200During a divorce or separation between parents, and for parents that were never married, there are various issues which need to be considered to ensure the long-term safety and wellbeing of the child. In New York, the courts will often do everything in their power to ensure the negative impact of a divorce, or parents that do not live together, on a child is as minimal as possible. While the end of a relationship, whatever the length (long term or a one-night stand), or a marriage between two parents can be upsetting for a child, it shouldn’t negatively influence that child’s ability to thrive in life.

Sometimes, to ensure a child continues to access the opportunities they would have had should their parents have stayed together, or to simply take care of their needs, the court will need to order child support. This payment, given to the primary caregiver or the residential custodial parent of the child, helps to ensure they can give the child the best quality of life without the presence of the other parental figure.

In most cases, child support is calculated according to a specific formula. However, certain children will have advanced or specific needs which require the standard formula for child support to be reconsidered. For children with special needs, additional considerations will often contribute to the decision of how much child support a non-custodial parent should pay. These special needs can also influence how long support is awarded for.  A law just signed into effect in New York now extends the age of child support for special needs children.  This can mean proceeding with or defending against an onslaught of child support petitions in Family Court, or post-divorce judgment motions in the Supreme Court for special needs children that have already aged out. Continue reading ›

Female-Judge-300x200Welcome back to another addition to our series of bullet-point guides on parenting time and visitation in child custody cases. As you’ve likely noticed throughout the course of these series, parenting time decisions can be a source of significant stress and complexity for a lot of couples.

Even if your relationship came to an end in an amicable way, each parent may disagree on how to ensure they get the best for their children. Unfortunately, not all parents will see eye to eye when it comes to defining the best interests of the child. So far during this series, we’ve looked at various factors that can come into consideration when a court is making decisions about parenting time orders.

Now, we’re going to examine the statements a child custody attorney, like myself, might make when representing a client during a case for visitation and parenting time. Continue reading ›

Parents-adventure-300x200Recently, I’ve been publishing bullet-point guides on the topic of parenting time and visitation in child custody and divorce cases. So far, we’ve covered a lot of different points that may arise during these complex cases. In this segment of our guide, we’ll be looking at a quick snap shot about appeals, and when orders may be upheld, or reversed.

In the New York courts, decisions made about child custody, visitation, and parenting time rights must always focus on the “best interests” of the children standards. This means the courts will carefully consider all of the circumstances of the case, before issuing an order considered to be in the best interests of the child or children involved.

Of course, there will be occasions when the parents in a divorce or separation case will not agree that the order is right for the child. When this happens, parents may choose to work with a child custody attorney to appeal the decisions made by the court. Continue reading ›

familyfloor-300x200In child custody, visitation, and parenting time cases, a lot of issues can come to the surface. While any family law case can be a complicated and emotional experience for everyone involved, cases which include children are often particularly difficult, because everyone has strong opinions about how the case should be settled.

In many cases, I find that parents end up agreeing to their own idea of the perfect parenting time and visitation strategy through mediation with a professional like myself (when I am a mediator for the parties, I am neutral and meet and speak with the couple together from the outset and throughout). This agreement can then be given to the courts for their approval. However, in other circumstances, for couples that choose litigation as their divorce process, the case may need to go to the courts. In this bullet-point guide series, we’re looking at some of the major factors parents and other parties may need to know when addressing parenting and visitation time cases.

In this section, I’ll be talking about forensics, and when they might be ordered by the courts to help with making decisions about a child’s wellbeing. Continue reading ›

Parents-Waving-300x200Parenting time and child visitation cases are often some of the most complicated for any family to deal with. Unfortunately, when two parents get a divorce, or decide to separate, decisions need to be made about how the custody of the child should be split between the two people.

In many cases, it’s possible for two parents to come to an agreement based on the perceived best interests of the child. Unfortunately, after a while, one parent or another might decide that the order of child visitation or parenting time is no longer appropriate for the situation. This is when people come to Child custody lawyers like me for help requesting a modification.

In this section of our parenting time bullet guide, we will be looking at occasions when the courts may dismiss a request for modification for custody and parenting time without a hearing. We will also be touching on sobriety as an issue for visitation cases. Continue reading ›

ParentsPark-300x200Parenting time and child custody cases often go hand-in-hand. Once a person has been granted primary custody over a child, the other parent in the case will often receive some type of order in terms of parenting and visitation time (if it is requested). This ensures the child can build or continue a relationship with both parents.

Of course, making decisions about how much time a child should spend with either parent isn’t always easy. Often, people will argue that an order should be modified if they feel something needs to be changed about the parenting schedule.

In today’s bullet point guide, we’ll be looking at the modifications that may occur in a case regarding child custody and visitation following accusations of parental alienation and interference. We’ll also be briefly looking at the evidence time period for a modification of custody and visitation orders in New York. Continue reading ›

Kid-Piggyback-300x238Welcome to another addition in this bullet point guide on parenting time and visitation in family law. As you may know if you’ve read some of the other blogs on this website, parenting time and visitation issues are a common cause of arguments and unrest in many divorce and separation cases. People are often unwilling to compromise when it comes to seeing their children.

Often, it’s difficult to determine when the “right” time might be for visitation to a non-residential custodial parent. I have worked with countless clients in the past who have preferred to use their own schedules, rather than pre-set suggestions common in the legal landscape.

Today, we’re looking at how parenting time can be affected by considerations like school nights, and even difficult global situations. Continue reading ›

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