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03 Jul 17

Long Island Family Court Lawyers

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Here are just some of the ways in which we can serve you as your Long Island Family Court Lawyer:

Prenuptial Agreements

People who are planning to get married can plan out whether they will take on joint assets, including as bank accounts or real property, and determine in advance what will constitute community property and separate property.  They can decide how expenses will be apportioned during the marriage and how premarital debts will be covered. All of this can be documented in a Prenuptial Agreement.  A Prenup can be a smart move, particularly where one or both of the people own property or other significant assets coming into the marriage, or have children from a prior relationship.

The recommendation is that each party have their own attorney to represent them in negotiating a Prenuptial Agreement.  

Adoption

Adoption is a time-consuming and document-heavy process that a long island family court lawyer can help you navigate. There are numerous reasons for people to adopt. Stepparents that have forged a familial bond may want to make it official. In some cases, grandparents and other family members have stepped in for the child’s wellbeing and want to achieve a legal parental status to protect the child from future legal actions from biological parents. Adults can get adopted to formalize a relationship for multiple reasons as well, including to bequeath benefits and inheritances. Having a skilled lawyer on your team in an adoption case will heavily impact the outcome.

Paternity

A Paternity case in court addresses the question of the identity of the father of a child. In New York Family Law, if a man is discovered to be the father of a child, he has an obligation to support his child until they turn 21, with a few exceptions. If, after they turn18, the child moves away from home, joins the military, gets married or becomes employed and self-sufficient, the child support can be ended. The right attorney can help you navigate the Family Court in the State of New York to deal with issues of paternity.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is when you move away from your spouse and follow certain living arrangements per a voluntary, written agreement. If a spouse violates a legal separation agreement, family court has the authority to enforce it. If you wish to legally separate, you must have a separation agreement. 

A separation agreement is a written contract between you and your spouse that details the rights and responsibilities of each spouse while living in separate residences. These can include division of property and debt, child support, custody and visitation. 

Note that having a separation agreement is what makes you legally separated. In New York State, are not legally separated unless you have one.

You and your spouse voluntarily agree to all the terms of your agreement. Having a seasoned family court lawyer to draft or review your separation agreement can protect you from unfair terms that your spouse may be attempting to impose on you.  

Divorce

In divorce, the stakes are high, and the outcome will likely affect your life for years to come. Throughout asset division and child custody, your divorce should be handled by a professional long island family court attorney who will fight for your rights.

As common as divorce is in New York, it is never easy. Not only can divorce inflict deep emotional scars on families, there are numerous difficult logistical issues that need to be resolved before you can go on with your life. It is critical that you have strong legal protection.

Conversion Divorce

A conversion divorce is a one that is based on an existing separation agreement.  

In a conversion divorce, you ask the family court to include all the terms of the separation agreement in the divorce. The judge will review the terms and decide whether to do so.

It is always wise to have a lawyer in divorce. If you had a lawyer for your separation agreement, he or she can help you file a conversion divorce.

Child Custody

A court is required to make child custody and support orders in every New York divorce or custody matter. New York courts have a great deal of discretion to draft orders.

Child support

The family court is obligated to consider child support and award as appropriate. Child support determinations are often a matter of debate. A parent’s income might include business income, interest income and assets that could be invested to produce additional income. The court often has to make a judgment call as to whether certain income or deductions count for a child support calculation. It’s important to work with a long island family court lawyer in order to help you prepare evidence to present to the court.

The court also makes determinations about how each party should contribute to the child’s health insurance expenses. The court can order one or both parents to obtain health insurance for the child. If a parent fails to get health insurance when they’re ordered to, they might be solely responsible for the child’s health care expenses. Child care costs are another important addition to child support costs.

Are Custody Orders Difficult to Change?

It’s important to work with a long island family court attorney no matter what stage you’re at in a custody proceeding. That’s because courts usually hesitate to modify child custody orders once they’re in place. The courts think that children need stability. For that reason, it takes a great deal of evidence to convince the court to make any changes to an order once it’s in place.

If you need to change an order, it’s critical to work with an attorney on how to approach the case. You might need to gather evidence of your child’s school records and medical records. You might also need to gather opinions from experts, your employer, the other parent’s employer or even criminal records.

Grandparent’s Rights

According to New York State legislation, there is no specification that grandparents should be permitted to access their grandchildren. In such a case, you should get strong legal guidance from our attorney who has experience helping grandparents stand up for their desire to continue relationships with their grandchildren.

If you wish to successfully petition for child custody or visitation rights, a knowledgeable family law firm can help you fulfill the required conditions. The only condition in which a grandparent can get custody is “where circumstances show that conditions exist which equity would see fit to intervene.” For example, visitation rights may be granted to a grandparent if one of the child’s parents is deceased.

Although, in general, the courts prefer the natural parents to have custody of their children, in some situations, a biological parent may be incapable of effective parenting or providing a safe and loving environment. In such scenarios, it could be in the child’s best interests for the grandparents to be awarded custody.

Do you have a strong connection to your grandchild? If your grandchild resided with you for a long time, if you were the one who raised the child, or if you otherwise have a pre-existing bond and one or both of the child’s parents are attempting to prevent you from seeing your grandchild, you may be able to request visitation in family court.

If you can prove that a pre-existing relationship existed, for example, if your grandchild has lived with you all their life, the court might grant you visitation.

Work With Us

At Spodek Law Group, we know that family court matters are difficult. We’re here to be your partner and your teammate as we work together in order to help you arrive at solutions that work for your family. Please contact us today to talk about your case.

Successful Divorce

Though the New York State Unified Court System provides all the forms necessary to file a contested or uncontested divorce, they do not recommend divorcing without a lawyer. No one expects your best friend and business partner for life to quit without putting up a fight. No one expects a divorcing spouse to know the outcome of every decision or to consider your needs right up to the judge who signs the final order of divorce. Our divorce lawyers are prepared to mediate, negotiate, resolve disputes, or litigate complex family matters from domestic violence, child custody, and child support to the complex division of marital property, assets, and debts.

The process of divorce is planning a successful future for all parties to the divorce including your children. Though you are in a state of emotional upheaval, you have to decide where and how you and your children will live, how to divide marital assets and debt, and how separately and together you’ll pay for the children’s needs and for the divorce. Our family law firm has 50+ years of experience representing clients in the process of divorce.

Child Custody

Our insight and understanding of the law can help you plan for your future. You need legal representation to preserve your rights. Our family law lawyer can work diligently with you to reach an amicable agreement to benefit you and your children. Our attorney can help you with:

⦁ Child custody and support

⦁ Visitation

⦁ Relocation

⦁ Modification of existing orders

The parent with legal custody makes the important decisions in your children’s lives until they are 18 years-old. Physical custody is where the children are domiciled. A joint custody agreement allows the children to live with each parent. Joint custody reduces the financial burden for parents who want equal rights when raising their children.

Alimony/Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, alimony, is awarded temporarily or permanently at judicial discretion with no set guidelines. Temporary alimony helps the lower-income spouse maintain a satisfactory standard of living. Permanent alimony is only awarded to long-term spouses supported financially for many years.

Parental Rights

Even if your divorce was preceded by domestic violence or the arrest of a spouse, you have rights even if you have no money. Our long island family lawyer provides counsel and supports victims of domestic violence. Our divorce lawyer skillfully drafts motions and legal pleadings and is adroit and thoughtful while paying attention to minute details in child custody and visitation issues. Our multilingual attorneys speak fluent Polish and Russian, and they prefer dispute resolution over litigation in your personal family matters.

Orders of Protection

Even if you’re suddenly facing an order of protection, our family law attorney can help you preserve your rights to visit with your children. Our family law office will strive for the best possible outcome in your case. Your children have the right to both parents. Our family law firm can help you prove paternity and modify existing child custody and child support orders when necessary.

Premarital Agreements

Couples who are looking to get married can lay out plans as to whether they will take on joint assets, including  real property and bank accounts, and determine in advance what will constitute marital property and separate property.  They can make choices in advance about how expenses will be apportioned during the marriage and how premarital debts will be handled. All of this can be documented in a Premarital Agreement.  Getting a Premarital Agreement (also known as Prenuptial Agreement, or Prenup, for short) is a smart move, particularly where one or both of the people have significant assets coming into the marriage.

The best advice is that each member of the couple should get their own lawyer to represent them in negotiating a Prenuptial Agreement. 

Fathers Rights

It is important that fathers maintain a consistent relationship with their children. Children raised by both parents are well-adjusted and motivated. They grow up with high self-esteem. Exercising your rights as a father is the best gift you can give your children. Joint custody of your children advances equal rights for their mother.

Child Support

Child support is enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Office of Child Support Enforcement. The New York minimum child support per child from a noncustodial parent living below the poverty level is $300 per child. If joint custody is awarded and each parent provides equally for the children, no child support will be awarded.

Factors considered by the State of New York when child support is awarded are: the number of children involved, the comparative income of each parent, alimony, medical insurance payments, and payments for daycare while the custodial parent works. The New York Court provides a Child Support Worksheet Form UD-8(3) to help you calculate your financial obligations to your children.

Division of Marital Assets

Our family law lawyers know clear concise communication helps clients save time and money. You must divide your marital assets and assume debt. Understanding and agreeing on the task will help you avoid excessive court appearances and legal fees. Our law firm can help you plan your future:

⦁ Business interests

⦁ Retirement funds

⦁ Real estate

⦁ Investments

You may want to protect your assets or plan for the succession of your business or exempt organization. You have taxation issues to consider. Our divorce lawyer can help you mediate a fair settlement with your spouse. 

Grandparent’s Rights

Do you have a strong bond with your grandchild? If your grandchild has been living with you for a long time, if you were the one who actually raised the child, or if you otherwise have a pre-existing connection with the child and one of the child’s parents are attempting to stop you from seeing them, you might be able to request visitation in family court.

Pursuant to the New York Family Code, there is no law that mandates that grandparents should be permitted to access their grandchildren in any scenario. You should get strong legal guidance from our lawyers who have experience helping grandparents stand up for their desire to sustain a relationship with their grandchildren. Nevertheless, if you can demonstrate that a pre-existing relationship existed, for example, if your grandchild has lived with you most or all of their life, the court could possibly grant you visitation.

Our family law attorney is licensed to practice law in both New York and New Jersey. Your initial consultation in one of our three conveniently located New York City offices for an evaluation of your intimate family law matter is free.

When it comes to family law, there are many factors at work. Whether it’s a divorce between a couple who has been married for many years, a battle for child custody between parents who are letting their emotions get the best of them, or a father who feels as if many of his legal rights have been taken away, there are a variety of emotional, financial, and legal burdens that begin to pile up on a person who has not retained the services of an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney. As a result, many people find themselves coming out on the losing end of negotiations and court hearings which they felt should have been in their favor. Rather than wait until these situations develop, hiring the services of a family law attorney can help you avoid many unnecessary legal pitfalls.

A Variety of Topics
When it comes to family law, a wide variety of topics are covered. Along with child custody and divorces, other areas can include allegations of child abuse, annulments of marriages, domestic abuse, protective orders, and other areas that greatly impact people’s lives. Because of this, having a family law attorney with experience in these matters can be the difference between winning a case or facing a variety of penalties, which can include fines, restitution, and possibly even jail time. For example, protective orders in New York include not only issues of domestic violence, but also stalking as well. According to the New York Family Court Act, protective orders prohibit the person named in the order from being in or near the other person’s dwelling, school, or place of employment. However, since there are times when misunderstandings result in these orders being violated, a family law attorney will be needed to examine the details and provide proper legal guidance. More information about this can be found at Your text to link….

Adoptions
With numerous children in foster homes today, more and more families are choosing to adopt as a way to provide these children with a forever home. However, since adoptions are complicated even under the best of circumstances, hiring a family law attorney will be crucial to ensuring no unexpected surprises derail the process. This can be especially true if the child in question has a disability or emotional issues. If this is the case, the child may be classified by the court as a ” hard to place child,” meaning there will be numerous aspects of a family’s life that will have to be examined by the court before an adoption is approved. Since in many cases these children will have additional medical expenses and other financial needs regarding counseling and other types of treatment, it’s vital to make sure they are placed in homes that have not only a stable family environment, but also the financial resources that will be needed to ensure these children can live full and happy lives.

The Importance of an Attorney
Regardless of the type of situation you may be facing with your family life, consulting with an attorney who deals with these issues on a daily basis is necessary to ensure your legal rights are protected throughout the process. Whether you are the subject of a protective order, or a family who is seeking to adopt a child that nobody else seems to want, working with a family law attorney can make even the most difficult process seem much easier. As more and more laws are passed on various family law issues in New York and other states, having the proper legal representation is more important than ever.

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