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Articles Posted in Child Custody

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 ›

Law is an ever dynamic and changing field, which responds to evolutions in our society and the way we live. When changes occur to laws which may influence my clients, I attempt to offer an overview in the form of these blogs and articles, to assist in developing a deeper understanding.

Recently, changes occurred within the standards used to “indicate” a case in Social Services law. These changes were introduced within “Part R” of chapter 56 of the laws of 2020 – sometimes referred to as the “SCR reform legislation”. Among other alterations, the new law changes the standard of evidence which must be implemented when determining whether to indicate a report of child abuse or maltreatment.

The new standard adapts the rule from providing “some credible evidence” to providing “a fair preponderance” for evidence. Let’s take a closer look at the changes. Continue reading ›

Kitchenfeeding-300x200It’s no secret that cases involving children are among the most emotional and complex in family law. There are many different things parents need to think about when not living with the other parent or beginning a divorce, from how they’re going to split the family home, to how they can manage parenting and custody time.

One element which can become confusing in some cases is how the “residential custodial” parent is determined in a case when there is equal parenting time distributed between both parties.  In the custody context, the residential parent would be the one that the child lives with most (residential custody being separate and independent from “legal custody” which refers to decision making authority for the child).  Notably, in the family law world, to count as a day living with one parent or another is counted according to the place the child sleeps and then wakes up the following morning on a given occasion.  In other words, it is measured by overnights with the child.  If both parents receive the same number of overnights with the child, and the parents both look after the child in their own properties, it can be difficult to determine which is the “residential custodial” care provider.  Although I have blogged about this topic before, it is worth looking at again, as shared residential custody seems to come up in more and more of my mediations, negotiated cases and even litigated matters. Continue reading ›

Arms-Crossed-200x300There are various complicated concepts which apply to legal cases in matrimonial law. Courts must consider the various components of each case on an individual basis, as the situation surrounding those involved can make a huge difference to the order made.

One possible consideration which may emerge in some postnuptial, prenuptial, separation, and stipulation of settlement cases is the choice of law clause. This is a clause in the legal world which can influence decisions of which state laws should be applied to certain cases.

Here, we’ll be exploring the concept of the choice-of-law clause, and how various factors can make a difference to which state’s laws are applied to particular family law cases. Continue reading ›

Kissing-Parents-300x200In a previous blog, we began discussing the basics of “Maltreatment” in cases involving children. The term “maltreatment” can be somewhat complex, as it often refers to a number of different acts which might put the child in the case in danger. Maltreatment might be identified as “negligence” or direct endangerment of the child. It could also apply to situations wherein a care provider has failed to properly look after a child in their charge.

Child maltreatment cases can emerge in everything from personal injury law, where parents or officials may make a claim against an individual for maltreatment, to family law, where a party may use a finding of child maltreatment to reduce a spouse’s exposure to a child.

To further define what “maltreatment” may entail in the legal landscape, particularly the world of family law and Child Protective Services investigations, let’s look at some cases wherein the courts of New York explored the issue in greater depth. Continue reading ›

Young-Parents-1-300x207Since I began my focus in matrimonial and family law in 2004 and working as a child custody attorney, divorce lawyer, and mediator throughout New York and Long Island, I’ve discovered some cases are always more complex than others. Cases involving children, for instance, are often the most emotional for everyone involved. This is particularly true when the safety of the child is brought into question.

The duty of ACS, Child Protective Services or a court when dealing with cases involving children is to make sure the child in question remains safe and protected with the order provided.  For CPS investigations this might mean “indicating” someone for child maltreatment or filing a neglect case in family court. In a child custody and parenting time case this means when making orders around custody and visitation, the courts will consider all of the details of the situation surrounding the case carefully, to determine what outcome is in the “best interests” of the child.

A number of factors can contribute to a determination of a child’s best interests, including any evidence presented by an individual or party in the case, and the accusations made by plaintiffs during a child custody or divorce case. One particularly worrisome concept is when an individual is accused of “maltreatment” of a child. 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 ›

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 ›

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