Family Law 101

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Marriage & Separation

Divorce cases are handled in the Supreme Courts in the state of New York. Divorce is said to be a process that can bring out the worst in people. While tensions and emotions are high, you want to make sure you have an attorney that will keep things in perspective and use reason to not only protect your assets but to also prevent you from engaging in excessive, costly, and unnecessary litigation. 

Child Custody, Visitation, & Child Support

In New York, there are four (4) types of custody: 


1) Legal Custody: refers to the rights of a parent to make major decisions concerning their child (i.e. education, healthcare, and religious upbringing).

 

2) Physical Custody: refers to where the child resides majority of the time.


3) Sole Custody: when one parent has both legal and physical custody of the child and thus makes all major decisions regarding the well-being of the child. 


4) Joint Legal & Physical Custody: when BOTH parents share legal and physical custody of the child by alternating a custody arrangement where the child spends equal amount of time with both parents and both parents have equal decisions making authority regarding the child. 


In custody determination the court looks at the totality of the circumstances to determine what is in the best interest of the child. In deciding custody between two parents, the Court looks at factors, including but not limited to the fitness of each parent, the ability of each parent to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parent, the needs of the child, the physical and mental health of each parent, the lifestyle and morality of each parent and how it affects the child, the economic status of each parent (though generally not determinative),and  history of domestic violence in the family is very closely examined. 

Modification

If you currently have a court order establishing child custody and/or child support. You may be able to get a modification if you can show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last order and the change you are requesting is in the best interest of the child. 

Relocation

Unless the parents agree otherwise, a parent must seek permission from the Court before relocating with the child. The Court will look at several factors in determining whether relocation is in the best interest of the child.