Carton & Rosoff PC-Attorney at Law

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White Plains Divorce Law Blog

Guiding one through the complexities of child custody disputes

Parents in New York need to make many decisions for their children as they raise them. Some are simple decisions such as what the child will eat for lunch, but others are much more difficult. This is especially true when the child does not like the decision and makes life difficult for the parents. However, no matter what the child thinks, these tough decisions need to be made to ensure that the best interests of the child are being met.

The hope is that the parents can make these decisions together even if they do not 100 percent agree with each other. However, especially in situations where the parents are divorced or separated, making the decisions together may not be a realistic option. Usually in these types of situations the couple will have a child custody dispute. These disputes are highly fact-specific though with the court analyzing a number of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child and ultimately which parent will have custody of the children.

What basic child support covers and what expenses can be added on

Raising children in New York is not always an easy job. First and foremost parents have to make sure that their children's needs are met, but there are many other decisions they need to make as well. These include which medical providers they will go to, what schools they will attend, what sports and activities they will participate in, what religion they will be raised in as well as many other decisions. This is in addition to making sure their children are following the rules of the house and doing what is expected of them.

Raising children also costs money. Providing all of the things mentioned above costs money and it is the responsibility of both parents to pay for these costs. This can be a somewhat difficult task when the parents are separated or divorced though. Therefore, to ensure that both parents are providing financially, there are usually child support orders that govern how much one parent owes to the other one.

Hedge fund manager in New York locked in contentious divorce

People in New York have varying levels of income and assets. Based on these incomes, people live very different lives. Some are able to live lavish lifestyles, live in expensive homes and take expensive vacations. Others make enough to get by, but may not be able to afford some of the extravagances that wealthy people can afford. Just like people's lifestyles are very different, people's divorces are also very different based on their income and assets.

Those with many assets can have a much more complicated divorce than those with fewer assets. This is highlighted in a hedge fund manager's high asset divorce. The couple owns many different properties and the husband owns many different companies, which he has set up to funnel money and assets through. This means that this divorce is very costly and due to that a judge recently ordered that the husband pay his wife $4.1 million just for her attorney's fees and costs. This money will be spent as the couple goes through the process of dividing their over $200 million in assets.

Using divorce mediation to equitably divide assets in a divorce

Over time couples in New York tend to acquire more and more assets. These assets could just be various household goods, tools and other stuff that ends up in storage in garages and basements. Couples also acquire and grow more valuable assets, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, collectibles and other valuable monetary assets. The more assets a couple acquires during the marriage, the more it can make dividing these assets more difficult if they divorce.

However, the couple must divide all their marital assets equitably. This does not necessarily mean evenly. Also, many times, if one spouse was more responsible for earning the income, that spouse may be more reluctant to give an equitable portion to the spouse who did not directly earn the income. This can cause more conflict between the couple in a situation in which there is already conflict. That is why couples going through a divorce may find divorce mediation useful.

What to expect at a child custody hearing

One of the duties of parents in New York is to make decisions regarding their children's well-being. When the children are younger, this includes making decisions about what they are going to eat and wear each day. While some of these types of daily decisions will change as the children get older, there are certain decisions that parents must make no matter how old the children are at the time.

These include major decisions such as decisions about where the child will go to school, which doctors they will see and what medical treatment they will receive, what religion they will be raised in and other major decisions. Parents need to make these decisions whether they are together, divorced or separated, but it can become much more difficult if the parents are no longer together. This is especially true if the parents do not agree on the decisions.

Brittany Spears' ex-husband seeking to increase her child support

Brittany Spears has been in the spotlight for much of her life and many people in New York know that she was married to Kevin Federline for a few years. The couple had two children together and when they divorced Spears was ordered to pay Federline $20,000 a month for child support. Federline recently filed to increase that child support obligation. He states that he is earning less now and he believes she is making more. Spears was recently subpoenaed by Federline to attend a deposition to discuss her finances.

How can you find hidden assets in a divorce?

While people in New York are married, they may share everything whether they realize it or not. For the most part, it does not matter which spouse earned the income, paid the bills, purchased various assets, which name the bank accounts were in or who incurred debts. So, if the couple divorces, they will split all marital assets no matter which spouse actual owns the assets in name. This can become a contentious issue in divorces, especially in high asset divorces when there are many assets to argue over.

So, one spouse, generally the one who has ownership over the assets or earns the higher income, may try to hide assets in a divorce to avoid having to give half of them to the other spouse. It is important for the other spouse to know about these assets, so finding hidden assets is important. In order to do this, there are a number of different actions spouses can take.

Role of the mediator vs. role of attorneys in divorce mediation

Our readers may know from previous posts here that divorce mediation may be a useful tool for many couples who are going through a divorce. There are many decisions that need to be made about their children, finances and other issues. Since, in most divorce cases, things are not going smoothly for the couple to begin with, addressing these issues can be difficult. But, a mediator may be able to help a couple reach agreements even in very contentious situations.

The role of the mediator is to be a neutral third-party who assists the couple in reaching agreements. The mediator does not make decisions for the couple, but instead tries to help each side see each other's points and to help them create solutions tailored to their specific situation. This is much different than the role of the attorney, who is representing what the client wants and is not necessarily trying to reach a compromise.

Establishing paternity is very important for unwed fathers

Children in New York are born into many familial situations. Some are born to parents who are married and sometimes the parents are not married. Being born to fathers who are not married to the mother does not mean that the fathers are not the biological fathers, but in order to be recognized as the legal fathers, they must establish paternity first.

Establishing paternity can be done in a couple different ways. One is by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity, which is a legal document that states that the man is the father of the child. This can be done in the hospital at the time the child is born or at any other time before the child is 21-years-old. This form can also be signed by the parents at different times and locations. The other way to establish paternity is through a court proceeding, generally when child support is being established.

Preparing to go to a child support hearing

There are many parents in New York who are not together with the other parent any longer. This could be because they are divorced or because they were never married in the first place. However, it does not matter why the parents are no longer together, both are still required to provide for their children. This is usually accomplished through a child support order.

Parents can agree to a child support amount, but if they cannot reach an agreement ultimately they will have a child support hearing and a judge will make the decision for them. So, it is important to understand how to prepare for a child support hearing and know what to expect.

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