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Caucus-Session-300x200Legal matters are complex in virtually every aspect of law. It is preferred to deal with a legal professional that has had years of training, experience and education to prepare them for your case. In the family law space, which governs cases surrounding divorce, child custody, child support, family offenses and other issues, legal professionals are also an important tool in separating yourself from the case emotionally, so you don’t make rash, dangerous decisions.

The complexity and emotional elements of family law mean most will advise against representing yourself in a separation or divorce case. Working with a family law attorney will give you access to important guidance, experience, and support when you need it most.

Most people will either hire a lawyer themselves, or have an attorney assigned to them in a case where a fundamental right such as freedom, parenting time, or custody is at stake. However, there may be other options available for those who simply can’t access professional counsel in a situation where the finances are not there to hire an up-front representative or to have a lawyer assigned to represent them. Continue reading ›

Negotiationpic-300x207Legal experts like family lawyers and divorce attorneys can offer today’s clients a lot more than just assistance with litigation. While one of the most common ways to work with a lawyer is to hire them to help fight your case in court, it’s also possible to explore alternative ways to benefit from the insight and expertise an attorney can give.

For instance, legal professionals can act as a consultant for people attempting to generate the best possible outcomes from a separation agreement or divorce case. If an individual decides to pursue mediation as a tool for planning a separation agreement, they can avoid some of the complexities and emotional hardships associated with litigation.

However, a mediator is an objective party, unable to give direct guidance or advice on how a specific party can serve their own interests in a case. As such, clients are usually advised to seek out support from a review attorney during the mediation. The review attorney can provide legal advice and support to the client, without necessarily taking on the role of litigator. Continue reading ›

Female-Judge-300x200The complex nature of family law or divorce proceedings means cases rarely go as smoothly as one might hope. While working with the correct divorce or family law attorney can help to make the process more straightforward, there are still cases wherein one party might strive to make the situation more difficult for the other.

In some instances, the actions of a party in a divorce proceeding, family law case or after a Judgment of Divorce has already been granted, may drive the other to seek an order charging the ex-spouse with “contempt.” This action highlights the decision of the party held in contempt to ignore court ordered requirments, or act inappropriately in a case. Continue reading ›

Parents-adventure-300x200Child support payments are intended to ensure children can continue to receive the quality of life within the guidelines and earning abilities of the parents that is in the best interests of the children. This includes providing the child with a consistent level of schooling (education), health care, and support to address other needs.

However, there are limitations to what’s intended to be covered in a child support payment. For instance, private school or full-time religious schooling may be considered as an allowable statutory “add-on” to the support. While other things, like hobbies and extracurricular activities may be considered something that is not a statutory add on. Continue reading ›

Coupledisputebacktoback-300x205It’s common in divorce cases for the less-monied spouse (the one with the lower income) to seek various forms of maintenance from the other spouse. It’s possible to work with your divorce or family law attorney to request both “temporary” maintenance, and post-divorce maintenance or to oppose the request for it, depending which side of the equation you find yourself.

Awards for both temporary and post-divorce maintenance are retroactive to the date of the application, and both forms of maintenance are awarded based on a specific formula. However, temporary maintenance isn’t subject to the same advisory schedule regarding duration. It’s also possible for amounts paid before a divorce is finalized to be considered when calculating the maintenance to pay.

Let’s explore some of the factors which might impact the kind of maintenance payments awarded to the less-monied spouse during divorce proceedings. Continue reading ›

Parents-with-Children-300x200Discussions surrounding paternity and equitable estoppel in the courts of New York can be challenging concepts to deal with for parents or alleged fathers. It’s always essential, in any case, for the courts to put the best interests of the child first. However, for parents, it can be difficult to determine what kind of results this may lead to.

Sometimes, testing the genetics of a parent can be an important step in ensuring the right decisions are being made on behalf of that child. However, there are exceptions in certain situations. As a family law attorney and divorce lawyer, I do my best to keep my clients, any anyone in search of information on the subject as informed as possible.

I’ve blogged about this before but it is worth analyzing further as from paternity a myriad of possibilities arise such as:  support; custody; parenting time; family relationships; inheritance among others.  Here’s a guide to the basics of paternity and equitable estoppel. Continue reading ›

Businessdebtpicture-300x200There are a lot of important decisions that need to be made during a divorce. Separating the lives of two people, particularly after a number of years spent together can be extremely complex. Decisions need to be made not just about children and property, but in regard to crucial family planning.

It is possible, today, for would-be parents considering having a child in the future to freeze embryos, or have embryos collected for the purpose of IVF. When these couples are divorced, decisions need to be made about what to do with an embryo.

Embryos, crucially, are not marital assets subject to equitable distribution, like a house or car. Rather, the concept of contract law needs to come into play. Continue reading ›

ParentsBeach-300x200When parents separate or divorce, the law is designed to try to ensure the parent with physical custody over a child or children has access to the right resources to raise the child according to the incomes of each parent. Child support is one of the most common issues which needs to be addressed in a case involving children.

While there are various factors which can come into play when determining who should be responsible for providing child support, and how much support needs to be given, there are also specific guidelines in place to help with the calculation of appropriate levels of child support.

As I often advise my clients, New York law does provide a formula which helps the court to determine an appropriate level of child support. This formula allows for deviations to happen according to the specific needs of the case. Continue reading ›

Kitchenfeeding-300x200The law is designed to be a changeable concept, ready to adapt to our evolving perceptions of justice, and fairness. As the world has continued to evolve in the last few years, and communities around the world have begun demanding further recognition and acceptance of a person’s individual identity, the law has had to adapt accordingly.

In 2021, a new set of regulations began to roll out in New York, regarding Gender Recognition and Name Changes. This update, known as the “Gender Recognition Act” is continuing to have an impact on the way people can legally identify themselves in the eyes of the law today.

On this blog, I’ve already discussed some of the changes implemented by the Gender Recognition Act, and what they might mean to name changing law. Today, I’ll be looking a little closer at the mechanism provided by the Gender Recognition Act for New Yorkers petitioning to have the courts change their official sex designation.

Updating Gender Identity in the Eyes of the Law

Continue reading ›

ParentsJeansKids-300x200Name changes are an important part of the family law landscape which can apply to a wide range of cases. There are various instances wherein a person might decide to change their name, their identity, or even their designated gender identifiers in today’s modern world. With the introduction of the new Gender Recognition Act, New York’s laws governing name changes have been updated and revamped.

The new guidelines, signed into law on June 24th, 2021, allow Transgender and non-binary residents of New York to have the documentation they need to accurately represent their gender identity. The act also ensures individuals seeking these forms of identification can access the right forms of protection.

If you’ve been looking into name change law or are considering changing your name in legal documentation to represent your gender identity, the following insights might prove useful. Continue reading ›

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