When going through a divorce, there are many issues to be decided upon between the former spouses. Where divorces can get very emotional and intense is regarding the subject of child custody. The reason for this is that many parent struggle with giving up their right to see their child every single day in their own home and for special holidays. When going through a divorce, it is absolutely vital that you have a NYC child custody attorney representing you in order to get the best possibly custody decision for your children, asset division, and expedient procedures.
Physical Custody vs. Legal Custody
When deciding custody cases, custody is typically divided into the physical and legal components. Legal custody signifies which parent will make important decisions for the child’s well being until they are an adult. Physical custody in New York relates to where the children primarily live or whether there is a joint custody arrangement between the former spouses. Both physical and legal custody can be joint or sole depending on the individual circumstances of each divorce case between the former spouses.
How Our NYC Child Custody Firm Can Assist with Child Custody Matters
Obtaining child custody orders can be a very complex process because if the former spouses cannot agree, they have to go before a judge and get a court order or have a mediation session. Particularly if there are potential abusive circumstances involved or if one of the former spouses wants to relocate, the child custody battle can get very emotional and expensive quickly.
Our NYC child custody lawyers have many years of experience in dealing with all aspects of divorce cases. That being said, we also specialize in the process relating to child custody cases. The areas that our firm specializes in relating to child custody are: visitation agreements, custody arrangements, child support orders, enforcement of child support orders that have not been paid, child support order/defense, modification of existing support or custody orders, and paternity testing.
When to Seek Legal Representation
It is a very rare case when divorce can be resolved without an attorney. That being said, it is not impossible; however, if you are getting divorced, it is wise to speak to an attorney regarding your case. Usually, it is customary to meet multiple attorneys and ascertain which attorney is the best fit for your upcoming case based on skills and expertise. If the attorney sees no conflict of interest in taking on your case, then they will offer a retainer agreement in which a price for the representation is agreed upon. Once you retain an attorney, you may then begin to explore possible legal theories for your case.
When embarking upon a divorce and you know that there is going to be some conflict with your former spouse regarding custody or asset division, it is best to get a lawyer to look over the specifics of your case. Relating to custody, a lawyer will help you navigate the difficult and emotional aspects of custody battles. In fact, our firm has a great deal of experience in working with custody cases. Our approach deals with assessing the realistic schedule and situation of the former spouses and then to craft a plan to get the best possible results for our clients while simultaneously considering the children’s best interests in the long term. By using this method, we find that we are able to assist our clients in obtaining the best possible result during a difficult phase of their lives.
In order to learn more about how our NYC child custody law firm can assist you with your upcoming divorce case and child custody arrangement, consider reaching out to us today to schedule a consultation appointment. We would be elated to work with you in your upcoming divorce case.
NYC Child Custody Lawyers
Even if you’ve lived in New York City all your life, there are a few child custody laws that you might not know about. These laws are important to keep in mind if you have a child with someone and you end the relationship or you decide to separate during the marriage. These laws also come into play if you file for a divorce. A judge can usually make a ruling about child custody at any family court hearing even before your divorce is finalized. At times, the father might have to take a test to determine paternity if there is a question as to whether the person is the father of the child or not. Keep in mind that child custody usually doesn’t have any bearing on child support or visitation arrangements.
In order for a judge to make a decision about child custody, the child needs to have resided in the state for at least six months. A child younger than six months must have been born in the state before the court hearing. Although many custody hearings end with the mother being granted custody and the father visitation or joint custody between the two parents, this isn’t the case in New York. Each parent has an equal right to custody of the child. This is when it’s important to seek the assistance of an attorney who can gather all of the information that you want to deliver to the court to try to gain custody. When an order hasn’t been established, then the child can stay with either parent until the hearing unless there has been a case established to have the child removed from the home. When you go to the child custody hearing, the judge will take into consideration the child’s best interests before making a final decision.
It is the right of both parents to file for custody of the child. If both parents can provide a suitable home and living environment for the child, then a joint custody arrangement will usually be ordered. If there is a divorce hearing already taking place, then you would need to file for child custody in Supreme Court as you can only have one case open at a time in the state.
The judge will usually look to the primary caregiver of the child when making a decision about custody. While this is usually the mother, especially for infants and toddlers, there are times when the father is the primary caregiver because the mother works more hours or is unable to provide the same kind of living situation that the father can provide. The court will look at the parent who has physical custody of the child when making a final decision about custody. If the child doesn’t seem to be happy living with the parent or the living environment is questionable, then joint custody could be arranged or an alternative so that the other parent can keep the child until a final decision is made.
Older children are often able to voice their opinion of where they want to live and who they want to live with, but the court doesn’t have to base a final decision on these opinions. The judge will try to uphold the wishes of the child while ensuring that the child is safe and is in a home where the child can thrive. If you are unable to communicate with the other parent, then the judge could give custody to one of you and create a visitation arrangement so that the other parent can see the child. However, if you can communicate in a healthy manner with the other parent, then there is usually no reason as to why joint custody wouldn’t be an option.
The judge can open the case in the future if there are changes in the living situation of the child or if there are changes with the parent who has primary custody. Keep in mind that if you want to move to another city or state, then you usually need to approach the court and that the other parent has every right to file a petition to gain custody of the child or to prevent you from moving with the child. Once an order is established and a parent goes against that order by not letting the other parent have the child, then it can be considered kidnapping in the state
Child support is paid to the custodial parent
Child support is one of the biggest questions for most divorcing parents and all parents who are establishing a custody order for the first time. Parents want to know how much they can expect to pay or how much they can rely on to receive for the children. With child support orders lasting up until age 21 in the State of New York, what parents can expect in terms of child support is an important question. Child support is determined according to a formula established by the State of New York.
In New York, the court must designate one parent as the primary custodial parent. The parent that spends the most time with the children is the primary physical custodian. The other parent is the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. Even in cases where the parents have equal or nearly equal amounts of parenting time, the court still chooses one parent to be the primary physical custodian for purposes of child support. Generally, there’s no reduction in child support for the fact that the non-custodial parent spends time with the child, but the court can reduce the amount of child support that the non-custodial parent must pay in order to account for the direct support that they provide for the child.
Child support is determined by income
The purpose of child support in New York is to make sure that the children have the resources that they need and deserve based on the income of the paying parent. The child support formula tries to determine how much a typical family spends on a child based on income. They want the non-custodial parent to pay that amount to the recipient parent. Because parents with higher income usually spend more on their children, child support is a percentage of income. A parent pays a percentage of their gross income as their child support.
What counts as income for the purposes of determining child support in New York?
In order to arrive at the correct amount of support, the court must inquire into all of the different resources that a person might have available as income. Most people know that employment income counts, but a parent might have income that’s not recorded like tips or self-employment. These types of other income count for child support purposes. A parent might have disability pay or social security pay. Even regular gifts can count as income in some circumstances. The court wants to look at the entire set of circumstances in order to determine what the parent has available to pay support.
What are the child support percentages in New York?
In New York, a child support payment is a percentage of gross income. The exact amount depends on the number of children that are the subject of the order. A parent with one child pays 17 percent of their income in child support. If they have two children, they pay 25 percent, and for three children, they pay 29 percent. As children age out of the child support order, the percentages that the parent must pay are reduced.
What kinds of things can impact a child support case?
The court starts by determining the base child support amount from the non-custodial parent’s income. However, most child support awards are not the base amount. The court also looks at what the child needs in terms of medical support including health insurance and out-of-pocket bills for medical expenses.
The court can require either of the parents to put the child on their employer-sponsored health insurance or buy health insurance for the child. In addition, if the custodial parent needs child care, the court can order the paying parent to pay an extra amount to cover a share of the child care. A contribution for child care should be prorated so that each of the parents contributes an amount. The court may order child care so that a parent can work or attend school. Finally, if the child has extraordinary educational expenses, the child support order can reflect how each parent is to contribute to the expenses.
Things to know about child support in New York
Custodial parents must pay an annual service fee of $25 for child support collection and disbursement. If a parent doesn’t pay support as the court orders, they’re subject to the enforcement powers of the court which may include jail time. In addition, either parent can ask the court to change the child support amount if the circumstances change or a parent’s income changes significantly.
NYC Child Custody Modification Lawyers
Your custody agreement specifies who has legal and physical custody of your minor children, what type of visitation schedule the non-custodial parent must follow, and whether any third parties, such as grandparents or other close relatives, have any custody rights.
If the custody agreement is not working out for you or your children, it is possible to have the order modified by a judge. However, you must be able to demonstrate that there have been substantial changes in your circumstances before a judge approves such a modification. The Spodek Law Group can help you fill out the necessary paperwork and convince a judge that the proposed modification is in your children’s best interests.
Relocating with Minor Children
Relocation is one of the reasons a judge might grant a modification of your original custody order. For the judge to approve your relocation, however, you must demonstrate that relocating will not make it impossible for the other parent to visit your children. The judge also considers the reason for relocation when deciding whether to grant a modification. If you receive a job offer with a substantially higher salary or better benefits than you have now, the judge might be willing to approve a custody modification so your children can benefit from an improved lifestyle.
Custody Changes Based on Living Environment
Another reason you might want to modify an existing custody agreement is because you have concerns about your children’s living environment when they are with their other parent. It’s not enough to disagree with your ex-partner’s parenting style, however. You must be able to demonstrate that his or her choices have the potential to hurt your children physically or emotionally. If your ex-partner drinks excessively, uses illegal drugs in the presence of your children, or associates with people who have violent criminal backgrounds, you have the right to request a modification of your custody agreement. A judge won’t usually modify a custody order based on religious differences, but if your ex-partner’s religious beliefs are putting your children in harm’s way, the judge might make an exception. An example would be refusing to seek medical treatment for a sick child due to the belief that prayer is more powerful than medicine.
Watch carefully for behavioral changes after your children visit with your ex-partner. These changes don’t always indicate a problem, but they are a sign that you need to pay close attention to what is going on. Excessive crying, acting out, nightmares, anger, and withdrawal are some of the signs that there may be problems in your ex-partner’s home. Sleep disturbances or anxiety before a visit with the other parent may also indicate the need to request a modification of your custody agreement.
Altering Visitation Schedules
If your current visitation schedule isn’t working out, you can ask the judge to approve a new schedule. There are several reasons you might need to change your current schedule. If you previously worked during the day and now you work at night, you might need your ex-partner to take care of the children while you work. You can also request a modification if your ex-partner’s employment circumstances change or your ex does not follow the terms of your current agreement. Showing up late for one visit is not enough to justify changing your visitation schedule, but if your ex-partner frequently cancels visits at the last minute or shows up late for almost every visit, you can ask the judge to change your visitation agreement.
As children get older, their preferences tend to change. Judges are willing to consider a child’s preferences when deciding whether to modify a custody agreement, but the final decision often depends on the child’s age. A 10-year-old is probably not old enough to decide which parent he wants to live with, but a 16-year-old is capable of making this decision.
Death of a Custodial Parent
If a child’s custodial parent passes away, the original custody order must be modified. In some cases, the judge gives full custody to the other parent. If the other parent cannot provide a stable home for the child, the judge might grant custody to a grandparent, aunt, or adult sibling.
Voluntary Custody Agreements
If you and your ex-partner agree to change your custody agreement or visitation schedule, it’s still important to request a formal modification, even if the change seems to be working well. There’s always a chance your ex will want to go back to the original agreement, and you won’t have any legal recourse if you never asked a judge to make the changes permanent.
Custody Modification Paperwork
It’s important to hire experienced NYC modification of child custody lawyers to help you complete the paperwork required to make a change to your custody agreement. The paperwork can be confusing if you don’t have a legal background. Working with an attorney ensures you don’t make any mistakes that put your request in jeopardy.
If you have to go to court to discuss your modification request, the judge might ask you to bring witnesses who can verify any statements you’ve made. If you are concerned that your ex-partner drinks excessively while caring for your children, for example, you might need to bring a neighbor or acquaintance who has seen your ex drinking alcoholic beverages in your children’s presence. An attorney can help prepare witnesses for court so you get the best possible outcome.
Modifying a custody agreement may be necessary if you have concerns about your children’s well-being, or if you need to relocate to provide a better life for your kids. Don’t attempt to file the paperwork or prepare for court on your own. Hire an experienced NYC custody modification lawyer to guide you through the entire process.
Whether you’re going through a divorce or simply establishing custody and support for the first time, having our NYC child support lawyers on your side can help you arrive at a fair amount of child support. The purpose of child support is to provide for the needs of the children based on the resources of the parent. In New York, the non-custodial parent pays income to the custodial parent for minor children.
NYC child support lawyers
In NYC, the courts use income tables in order to determine child support awards. There are exceptions when a parent has a very high income or a very low income. The paying parent pays 17 percent of their gross income to the other parent if there is one child that’s a part of the child support order. If there are two children involved, the parent pays 25 percent of their gross income. There are additional amounts for more children. If there are five or more children involved, the paying parent must pay at least 35 percent of their income, and the court has discretion in order to determine exactly what the parent should pay.
According to the NYC child support formula, the child support amount depends on the gross income that a parent reports on their taxes. It should also include income that a parent should have reported on their taxes. If a parent is self-employed or if they earn tips, there may be some extra steps involved in determining the parent’s actual income. Generally, it’s the parent’s gross income that counts. In cases of self-employment, there may be some business expenses that should be deducted in order to fairly arrive at the amount that the parent should pay in support.
Our experienced NYC child support lawyers can help you determine what income should count in your child support case. You may be surprised to learn that bonuses, military allowances, social security benefits, disability benefits and voluntarily deferred pay can all count as income for determining what a parent should pay in child support. In cases where a parent is below income thresholds, the court may order an amount as low as $25 per month.
NYC child support attorneys for joint custody
When the parents have joint custody, child support can be a topic of debate. In most NYC child support cases, both parents spend at least some of the time with the child. When a parent directly cares for the child, they need at least some financial resources to provide for the child’s needs in their care. The question becomes what child support awards are most appropriate when both parents provide at least some direct care for the children who are a part of the order.
NYC and New York is one of a minority of states that does not make a significant allowance for parents with joint custody. Even when a parent has equal or nearly equal parenting time, the court may still order the parent to pay the entire child support award to the other parent. The courts have discretion in joint custody cases to make allowances for the fact that the paying parent must directly provide for the needs of the child.
If you have a case where both parents spend at least some time with the children, it’s important to work with your NYC child support attorneys in order to determine the correct amount of child support. You need to tell the court what the court order for child support should be and why. You may need to present detailed evidence of the resources of both parents, the lifestyle that the children enjoyed prior to the case at hand and why it’s best for the court to order the amount of child support that you’re looking for.
NYC child support collection attorneys
A child support award is the judgment of the court at the time that it becomes due. If a paying parent doesn’t pay the amount of child support that’s ordered, they are in arrears and subject to the enforcement actions of the court. If you’re facing a situation where you aren’t able to pay the amount that’s due, you should work quickly in order to examine your options with an experienced NYC child support lawyer so that your situation doesn’t snowball into a serious situation where you can’t get caught up. If you’re owed child support that you don’t receive, our experienced child support attorneys in NYC can help you explore all of your options in order to collect the support that your children need. If you’re facing a child support matter, contact our NYC child support lawyers in order to begin working on your case.
An In-depth Look Into Child Support Law, Legal Practice, and Lawyers in NYC
Receiving or paying for child support is usually a problematic process regardless of where you live in the U.S. Each state in the United States implements its regulations and rules that guide how you can make payments, seek help or file for such a case. As an NYC resident, here is what you should know about how child support attorneys work to protect your interests.
The general law practice entails representing clients amidst legal battles, drafting legal paperwork, and giving legal advice. In New York City, the requirements for child support lawyers include a Juris Doctor degree earned from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association and passing the New York State Bar Exams. An attorney should have obtained a license from and gained admission to the New York Bar.
For an attorney to handle child support cases in NYC, she or he must have taken a legal specialty certification course in family law. This course is offered by the National Board of Legal Certification. This individual must have also completed 32 credit hours of continuing education for license maintenance as mandated by the New York Court System. New lawyers are required to take the continuing education during the first two years of legal practice.
Laws Pertaining Child Support
According to the Social Security Act, each U.S. state is permitted to enact and implement its child support calculation model. The act also mandates each state to publish correct guidelines for this model after at least every four years.
The three models used to calculate child support payments that U.S. states follow include the Melson Formula, Income Shares, and Percentage of Income. New York state uses the Income Shares model, which asserts that parental support provided to an offspring should be the same as that provided by parents who live together. It also states that both parents contribute approximate shares of their income to raise the child. The parent with higher income is also mandated to pay more for the support.
How an Attorney Can Help
You should hire a private practice attorney to assist you in establishing or enforcing a child support order. This attorney can also help you especially when you have disagreed with your ex-partner regarding your kid’s concerns. Child support agencies, which are recommended by the federal law do not handle spousal issues regarding child support. Private practice attorneys can best handle matters such as child visitation and custody with a specialty in family law.
A competent attorney should guide you in filing the required paperwork with the judicial system to obtain a child support order. Your attorney can offer you with the assistance of locating your ex-partner and legally serving him or her with a notice stating your interest in a child support order. The notice should also indicate that you want to draft income that your ex-spouse earns.
Specialized software programs are essential in calculating child support payments. Your attorney can advise you on the necessary financial details required to determine the amount your ex-needs to pay for the obligation. After finding out how much should be paid for your kid’s parental support, following up on these payments can be overwhelming.
Enforcement Remedies for a Noncompliant Spouse
If your ex-spouse declines to pay his or her share, you can rely on the court system or child support office to enforce the order. A private practice lawyer could also obtain garnishment orders for the same, especially if your ex-spouse is employed. The lawyer can file a case against your ex for not abiding by the child support order issued by the court. Other enforcement remedies that the lawyer could pursue include placing holds on passports and intercepting tax refunds.
The state of New York has two main types of support payments involved in divorce agreements. With these payments, one spouse will pay their former spouse an agreed-upon amount based on the terms of their settlement.
The first type of support is child support, which involves payments that a non-custodial parent gives to the custodial parent for their child’s upkeep. This is a way of filling their financial obligation as a parent. The second type of support is spousal support. This support is used when there’s a significant pay gap between the spouses, and the lower-income spouse needs payment to maintain financial independence.
Child Support Payments in New York City
Child support laws vary slightly from state to state. Fortunately, New York has passed a Child Support Standard Act. This act, also referred to as the CSSA, helps regulate the calculation of child support payments throughout the state. The goal is to make child support cases follow uniform laws rather than being entirely based on the whims of the judges.
However, child support laws and calculations are extremely complex. They take into account a great deal of different factors. Because of this, it’s imperative that you have a family law attorney help you with the process. They’ll be able to make sure that your rights are respected, that all paperwork is filed correctly, and that all calculations are accurate. An attorney is essential no matter whether you’re the spouse providing support payments or seeking support payments.
Child support payments are determined by considering both spouse’s incomes and the child’s standard of living. Any special developmental necessities or medical conditions will also contribute to the payment amount. Child support payments can be adjusted by the judge if there is a change in circumstances. One example would be the non-custodial parent losing a job, or the custodial parent suddenly gaining significant new income.
The goal of child support payments is to make sure the child is well cared for. The judge must rule with the child’s best interests at heart.
Each parent’s income is calculated by taking the gross amount of their assets and wages, then subtracting deductions like taxes. The final number is the amount of money that goes into each spouse’s pocket. If there are any spousal or child support payments that the non-custodial spouse is already paying, these will be deducted from the total income as well.
New York law has a specific algorithm that calculates the support amount based on the number of children and the non-custodial parent’s net income. Payments must continue either until the children have reached age 21 or become legally emancipated.
Spousal Support Payments
In the past, spousal support payments were referred to as alimony. New York state law considers spousal support to be very similar to child support. Like child support, the amount of the payment is calculated through a predetermined formula. Unlike child support payments, however, the money goes to the spouse rather than the child.
A related type of support is spousal maintenance. This action might be ordered during divorce proceedings, when the divorce has not yet been finalized. Since the couple is still married, spousal support payments have not yet gone into effect. However, some kind of spousal maintenance may be necessary for the lower-income spouse to live independently during the divorce proceedings.
Spousal support payments also bear a similarity to child support in that they may be adjusted if the circumstances change. When the cost of living goes up, a judge may reconsider the amount of the support payments. A judge might also adjust the amount if one spouse’s income changes significantly.
For changes in the payment to be made, one of the spouses needs to file a petition with the court. No matter whether you’re the spouse receiving payment or the spouse giving payment, it’s important to get a family law attorney to help you present your case.
Family law attorneys are familiar with family court and spousal support systems. They’ll be able to make sure your petition paperwork is filed on time and in the appropriate venue. They’ll also review the facts of your case and gather the necessary proof to justify the adjustment.
Changing a support agreement can be difficult no matter whether you want to lower or increase the payments. The original support agreement is considered a binding contract. You need to provide information explaining why that contract is no longer valid and needs to have its terms updated. An attorney can help with this
Child Abduction / Child Stealing
The United States has become quite strict regarding legislation for individuals who abduct children. The rationale behind this is that policy makers want the United States to be perceived as a place where families and children are safe. Due to parents who have previously suffered the perils of child abduction, there has been a system in place to alert authorities called the Amber Alert System. This has helped catch many child abductors before the child was harmed and/or disappeared for good. There have also been statutes enacted to protect against parents who are denied child custody during a divorce from kidnapping their children across state lines for a different custody decision. Regardless of what kind of child abduction charge an individual is potentially facing, being convicted of child abduction can cause a very long prison sentence. If you are being accused of child abduction, it is highly recommended that you work with one of our criminal law attorneys. By doing so, you will have a skilled advocate help you navigate the complicated details of your case.
What Constitutes Child Abduction/Child Stealing in the State of New York
Within the state of New York, an individual is guilty of kidnapping in the first degree when they abduct another person and possess the following: abduct the person for more than twelve hours with intent of injury. Within the framework, an individual can be guilty of additional crimes such as compelling a third person to pay or deliver money or property as any form of ransom, influence politics or to commit a felony with the fear that the abducted will be harmed. If the individual dies or is sexually assaulted while they are abducted, there are additional charges that can be brought with the abduction charge. Furthermore, if the victim is a child, there are additional charges that can be sought even if the abductor is the child’s other parent who does not possess legal custody.
Why Getting an Attorney Can Help Your Case
Child abduction charges are very severe in nature and have very little chance of defense if there is convincing evidence. Where an attorney can help your case is that they will be able perhaps diminish the duration of your sentence, which will be beneficial to you in the long term. The moment that you learn you are facing charges related to child abduction in the state of New York, it is highly recommended that you reach out to one of our attorneys at our criminal law firm for a consultation appointment. At this consultation appointment, you will be able to discuss important details of your case and our attorney will be able to assess whether your case is an ideal fit for our firm at this time. Thus, do not hesitate to contact our criminal law firm today. We would be elated to work with your as your legal counsel for your upcoming case involving child abduction. By choosing us, you can be sure that your case will be in competent hands.