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New York City Divorce Blog

Acknowledgment of Paternity, child custody and visitation

A child custody and visitation rights dispute does not necessarily involve people who were married and have gotten a divorce. People who have a child out of wedlock can still face these concerns and need help in handling them. The Acknowledgment of Paternity is an important factor in addressing these complex cases. Knowing about the importance of the Acknowledgment of Paternity and having legal assistance to represent the interests of the mother or possible father is critical.

If the mother is unmarried at the time of the child's birth, there will not be a legal father. Until there is a legal father, the biological father will have neither the rights nor the responsibilities that a legal father has. To rectify this situation, the parents can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. This is generally done at the time of the child's birth, but there are other locations where it is available such as the birth registrar or the child support office. On this form, there will be a father named. He will be given the right to have custody and visitation. There might also be the requirement that he pay child support to the mother. With this form, the father's name will be placed on the child's birth certificate.

What if I want my child support order changed?

New York couples who have children and have gotten a divorce will need to continue to deal with one another as the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent. For many, this is not a problem as they are happy to support their children. In some cases, however, there is a dispute over the payments and it is not due to a parent not paying or not wanting to pay, but because of the amount that was ordered in the case.

A question that is often asked is whether the child support can be changed. For the custodial parent and the supporting parent, it is important to understand that it can be changed and to know the circumstances when it can be done. A change in circumstances will warrant a change in the child support order. An example might be if the supporting parent lost his or her job and cannot make the payments as they were ordered in the decree. It is also possible to ask for a modification if three years have passed since the order or if there was a change of 15 percent or more in the income of either party in the intervening time from when the order was made.

Actor and wife plan to divorce amid potential custody dispute

There are many prominent, wealthy and famous people in New York and when there is as high-profile couple, it is likely there will occasionally be a newsworthy divorce. While most people cannot relate to those who have massive assets and are known everywhere they go, there are certain common denominators in every divorce that make keeping an eye on these proceedings useful. For those who might not be famous, but are wealthy themselves, it is even more important to keep track of these divorces in case their own marriage comes undone. Having legal assistance from a law firm that is experienced in a wide variety of divorce cases is always beneficial.

The Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower are divorcing after two decades of marriage. While the divorce is known to the public, it was quietly reported that the couple is preparing for a custody dispute over their 7-year-old daughter. The child was conceived using a surrogate. Mr. De Niro filed for divorce in mid-December. The case was kept under wraps by it being filed anonymously. This is a rarely allowed strategy by the state and it is done to shield children from the scrutiny of a divorce.

Can my address be confidential during a custody dispute?

Domestic violence is all too common in New York and when a person who is being subjected to abuse finally decides to end the relationship, there are inevitable concerns as to what the abusive spouse will do. It is vital that people be protected from abuse and if there are allegations to that effect, it is possible to have an address be made confidential during the process. Understanding how this can be done is key.

A person who has a case in family court has the right to request that his or her address be confidential and the other person not be allowed to have it. Court papers have addresses on them, so it is imperative to request that the address be confidential and to follow the established procedures. The person who wants a confidential address must inform the family court clerk of the request.

Child custody and visitation and extraordinary circumstances

In New York State, child custody and visitation can be a complicated matter that has a seemingly endless number of variables. As always, the best interests of the child are paramount. In some instances, there will be people who want to have custody of the child in addition to the parents. This can be a difficult to navigate situation, but the law addresses it by assessing what is known as "extraordinary circumstances."

For all parties who are seeking child custody or are embroiled in a child custody dispute, understanding this is critical. When there are people who play a prominent role in the life of the child, that person can request child custody. It is not necessary for it to be a parent. The judge who is deciding on custody - regardless of who is seeking it - will gauge the situation to determine if it falls into extraordinary circumstances. Then, the best interests of the child will be assessed.

Business partners after the romance ends

Here's a common story in America: A couple has an idea for a small business. They start it together in their garage. Over the years, the company grows and expands.

The rate of growth is different for every story. Some people are happy to make enough to get by. Others become millionaires or even billionaires with assets all over the world.

How is the basic child support calculated in New York?

For New York couples with children, divorce can be complex. Once one or both spouses plan to divorce, the child support will be a major concern to both sides. The main objective is to ensure the child is cared for properly and his or her best interests are served. As the child support amount is determined, it is wise to understand how the basic child support obligation is calculated.

The amount the parents earn is key to a case. With that, the court will determine how much the parents make in combination. The combined income will then be multiplied based on the established percentages and how many children they have. It will be prorated based on the proportions of the parents' income. If a custodial parent is employed or receiving various forms of education - elementary, secondary, higher education or vocational training - and the court determines that this will result in employment and there are child care expenses due to that training, there will be a reasonable amount of child care expenses calculated in the parents' income.

A qualified divorce lawyer is essential with significant assets

New York is a city that attracts attention. Since it is so glossy, cosmopolitan and popular, it will naturally have a vast number of high-profile people who live there. Many of these people are married and live a notable lifestyle. Given the prevalence of divorce not just in New York, but throughout the world, it is unavoidable that some of these unions will not stand the test of time and the couple will decide it is best to part ways. However, this can cause problems as they seek to divide their property interests and determine who will get what. With a high-asset divorce, both sides need legal assistance.

Investments, real estate, portfolios, collectibles - all are likely to be in dispute as the parties in a high-asset divorce move forward with their case. Often, both sides will want to keep a certain amount of what they acquired during the marriage or would like compensation or an accommodation for letting it go. This requires deft handling and legal know how to navigate. The key to this is not just what it is worth, but whether the parties are on reasonable terms to negotiate.

Is a child support agreement modification possible in New York?

For New Yorkers who share a child and have gotten a divorce, it is common that one spouse will pay child support to the custodial parent for the child's care and upkeep. There are calculations that are generally used to determine how much it will be. However, circumstances can change and there might be the need on the part of either the paying former spouse or the receiving former spouse for an agreement modification. Understanding how and when such a child support modification can take place is key to it being done in a timely fashion.

The main objective with child support is for the best interests of the child to be met. However, it is unavoidable that people will experience changes in their lives. Financially, they could meet a rough patch. They could lose a job. Or there could be sudden medical expenses. If there is a change in circumstances and a paying parent has fallen behind in payments, even if there is a modification, the child support that is owed from the past still needs to be paid.

11 questions to ask when determining child custody rights

Child custody battles often feel more complicated than they need to be simply because parents do not know what the court is looking for. They have never been through this process before, in many cases, so it's brand new territory and it can feel overwhelming.

What you need to remember is that the court is looking out for the best interests of the children. That's what really helps to determine the custody situation. The court wants to keep both parents involved, but they only do so if that provides the best possible living situation for the kids.

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