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Articles Posted in Child Custody

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Upset couple having a disagreement at the beach

I’ve been updating my blog regularly recently with bullet point lists designed to curate some of my older articles and insights on divorce litigation into bite sized chunks. These guides might prove useful to you if you have questions about divorce litigation and want to get answers quickly. Today, the focus of our guide will be on senior divorces, and the unique issues that need to be addressed when an older couple parts ways.

There are many reasons that a couple may choose to pursue a divorce later in life, and like with younger couples, these individuals may find that alternative dispute resolution options like mediation aren’t suitable for them.  I am always a fan of mediation for couples of all ages, but, when an agreement cannot be reached outside of court, that is the reason we have judges.  If you’re considering litigation later in life, you may need to consider some of the issues I address here. Continue reading ›

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll be familiar with the bullet point series I publish from time toCouplefightphone-300x200 time. These cover everything from child custody lawyer tips, mediation insights, to information about divorce litigation. Today, we’re carrying on with the divorce litigation bullet points, providing an insight into issues like serving summons, and deciding whether divorce is the right choice.

I often find that divorce is a complicated and emotional experience for all parties – no matter how their relationship might be coming into an end. Sometimes, understanding the processes that you need to go through when getting divorced can make the experience a little less stressful and the right choices clearer.

Serving Summons in New York Divorce

As I often remind my clients, while there are certain differences to New York divorces compared to cases in other states, these procedures often follow the same basic steps of most lawsuits. A plaintiff spouse who is filing for the divorce needs to either serve a summons and complaint on the other side together or provide the other spouse (the defendant) with a summons with notice that describes the nature of the lawsuit. Continue reading ›

Cross-Exam-300x199Divorce attorneys use specific techniques aligned to a certain structure when presenting a case for New York divorce litigation. These presentations often start with an opening statement, where the attorneys on both sides present the case to the court, allowing the judge (there are not juries in matrimonial and family law in New York) to get an insight into what the argument is about.

Divorce litigation trials progress after opening statements with things like direct examination, cross examination, re-direct and re-cross of witnesses. Today, as the ninth guide in our bullet point series for divorce litigation, we’ll be summarizing some of my more in depth articles over the years covering the concepts of storytelling throught direct exam, cross-examination, and closing statements – and the role these things play in the success of a case.

Storytelling and in Divorce Litigation

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Swearing-In-300x211Divorce is a complex process at the best of times. Couples need to come to terms on complicated matters, like spousal support (maintenance), child support, and equitable distribution. In the case of divorce litigation, when the case appears in front of a court for judicial guidance, the toughest part of the divorce can be the trial itself.

Many people prefer to avoid facing the court entirely by choosing methods like mediation for alternative dispute resolution. However, there will be cases when this simply isn’t possible. Continue reading ›

Meditation-Coach-300x200Staying together for the kids is often not the choice people make in an unhappy marriage or relationship. For many, the best thing that can be done for both yourself and your little ones, is find a way to move on.  For others it might be continuing to work on the relationship. When the relationship with your children’s other parent doesn’t work, you need to think about how you can move forward without causing excessive discomfort for you and your child.

One common question that you may need to think about is whether it’s better to have the child living equally with you and another child’s parent. Another option could be to limit the amount of time that your child has with the other parent if the other parent might not be suitable for your child. Some parents even need to think about fighting the requests of other parents and making sure that they get adequate parenting time out of the new agreement.  What is the right choice?  What is the best process to use to get agreements or to make court orders?

Addressing Different Perspectives in Child Custody Litigation

Everyone has a different perspective and unique goals with these cases. In one of my first days at law school, my professor said something to our class. This point has stuck with me for over 26 years, and it’s something that resonates more than ever today. He was quoting a legal scholar.  He said that his wish was that he was able to put on everyone else’s glasses and see the world through their eyes.  He meant that true wisdom could come from seeing the world through all perspectives. Continue reading ›

Going through a divorce is a difficult process at the best of times, but it can become particularly complicated when Parents-Walk-300x200there are children to consider. When arranging your litigation strategy with a divorce attorney, you’ll need to think about things like who should be paying for child maintenance. There are also concerns to address about what sort of visitation and parenting rights need to be implemented for the best interests of the child.

Our bullet point guides have been on hold for a while. However, the issues surrounding litigation for children will be particularly important now that we are beginning to return to work from the offices and courts are allowed to accept new filings for divorces in the New York Supreme Courts or child custody and parenting time issues in family court (they were not deemed essential during the New York on pause order) after COVID-19. If the court deemed any single matter “essential” then children litigation issues could be heard prior to the reopening for which we are in Phase 3 now on Long Island at the time I am writing this blog.

In today’s bullet point guide, we’ll be focusing exclusively on some of the issues that may need to be addressed during divorce litigation when children are involved. Continue reading ›

At the time of writing (mid-June 2020), Long Island just entered the second phase of the “reopening” strategy, following the COVID-19 pandemic. The second phase began on the 10th of June 2020, soon after New York City entered phase 1 on June 8th, 2020.

Professional services and law firms, like mine, are now part of the business that are able to return to the office during phase 2. According to the executive orders of New York State, we can start meeting with people again at the office, if phone or video consultations are not selected by the client or potential clients. Throughout the pandemic, my services have still been available with clients and potential clients. However, many of my conversations have taken place over Zoom or phone calls. As we enter phase 2, though we are able to speak to clients in the office, safety protocols will be in place.

We will be adhering to social distancing requirements and wearing masks for safety. Additionally, we will adhere to safety and sanitization practices as required. For those of you who would prefer to maintain remote conversations at this time, we still offer phone, email, mail, Zoom, and other services. We have been doing litigation and negotiation consultations about divorce and family law issues or divorce mediations by phone and Zoom with couples during the pandemic as well as for pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, divorces, and separation agreements. We plan on continuing these services going forward. Continue reading ›

Video-Call-300x200Even in challenging times, when the courts aren’t operating as normal, our lives continue to progress, with various unique concerns to consider. Throughout New York and Long Island today, there are many people struggling with things like child custody concerns and making decisions about parenting rights. Unfortunately, at the time of the writing of this blog during the coronavirus pandemic, since the courts are closed for new filings right now (except for cases deemed essential and emergency matters), it can feel as though you’re stuck in limbo, unable to make progress.

The good news is that people in search of new solutions for the best interests of both themselves and their children can still get help using a family law and divorce mediator like myself. Mediation has always been a useful mode of alternative dispute resolution for couples who prefer to maintain an amicable relationship with the other parent to their child or spouse in a divorce. However, mediation also has other benefits. For instance, for unmarried couples, it can be a useful way to discuss issues that need to be addressed when ending a serious relationship, particularly for couples with children. For married partners, mediation can also offer a more reasonably priced and quicker way to get the courts to approve an order that’s suitable for both you and your partner, without exposing yourselves to litigation. Continue reading ›

Selfie-Mother-300x200At the time of writing this blog, the New York Courts are still only willing to accept new cases that it deems essential to help reduce interactions in the times of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This means that many issues have been put on hold for the time being.

In cases of child custody or divorce, it’s common to feel as though all of your issues are essential. However, the court may not be willing to hear them unless they can see a reason for the case being an “emergency”. One thing that is generally not dealt with, at this time during the coronavirus pandemic, as an emergency is child custody and parenting cases. However, there’s always a chance that a court could choose to accept any particular case as an emergency or essential when considering an application.

Recently, I’ve received a number of calls from parents looking to limit parenting time or that are concerned that they are not getting their parenting time because of COVID-19. The starting point in this situation is to remember that if an order already exists for custody and parenting time for a parent, then the starting point for any analysis is that order. There should be a presumption that this order is the proper custody and parenting time that should happen. However, if there are health concerns posed by the pandemic, for example, there might be exceptions.

Addressing Parenting Time In Difficult Circumstances

Continue reading ›

Arms-Crossed-200x300Welcome back to our bullet point series addressing some of the biggest issues that people face with divorce litigation. If you’ve ever considered a divorce before, or you know someone who has been through the process, you probably have some questions about how everything works. This bullet point guide is designed to give you a better insight into what you can expect.

In this part of the series, we’re going to be looking at things like the costs incurred in a Queens, Nassau or Suffolk County, New York divorce, and the different options available to suit your budget. We’ll also address agreements and strategies that can speed up your divorce, and how money can come into the discussion when you’re planning your divorce.

The Costs of a Divorce in New York

One of the biggest concerns that clients have when it comes to figuring out how to plan their divorce, is how much everything is going to cost. Beyond your divorce attorney fees, filing for divorce isn’t free. The court filing fees are approximately $370.00. At the same time, there are expenses like marital debts to think about too. So, how much is everything going to cost? Continue reading ›

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