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Patchogue Family Law Blog

Can I change my child custody plan?

There could be any number of reasons why you'd want to change your child custody plan. Maybe you started a new job and your work schedule doesn't fit in with this. Or, maybe you got sick and you can't take care of your children in the same way at this time.

If you need to change your plan, you'll have various options at your disposal depending on your situation.

Pets and divorce: What does your dog really want?

In New York child custody cases, courts will always consider the best interests of the child first and foremost in arriving at their child custody decisions. In certain circumstances -- when the child is old enough and mature enough -- courts will also ask for input from the child when making their determinations on what is in the child's best interests.

But what about pets? Should divorcing spouses think about the best interests of their pets when deciding who the family dog will go to in their divorce proceedings? And, can we know what the best interests and preferences of an animal would be?

Can my wife take my ski cabin in our divorce?

You've had your ski cabin for years. In fact, you grew up going to that mountain cabin in Vermont, which used to belong to your grandparents. Then your parents inherited it, and now it's yours. It's always been your favorite weekend escape.

You and your wife and kids have enjoyed the property, too. The last ten years, you've learned to rely on it as the perfect way to entertain your kids during the cold winter months.

8 ways your spouse tries to hurt you during divorce

You think you and your spouse both know that the marriage is a bust. You tell him or her you want a divorce. At this point, you're almost expecting relief.

Instead, your spouse is furious. There's shouting. Shoes get thrown. Plates get knocked off the kitchen table. Doors get slammed. You're starting to worry that the neighbors are about to call the cops when your spouse storms out, screaming about staying in a hotel.

Can cheating impact the outcome of your divorce?

Many marriages end in divorce these days. In the United States, cheating is one of the most common causes of divorce. It is the second most common reason that married couples separate and later divorce. If you have caught your spouse cheating, it can be a shock. Hurt and betrayal are common responses, but those feelings often fade quickly.

Most people become angry after a while, and that can lead to poor decision making. One of the most important things you can do after discovering an affair is speak with an experienced New York family law and divorce attorney. Your attorney can help you explore options regarding separation and divorce. You may want to try to use the affair as leverage in your divorce, but doing so rarely has much impact on the outcome of a divorce.

Did your spouse euthanize or steal your dog when leaving you?

For many couples without children, dogs end up thought of and treated like "fur babies." Emotionally, those pets become your children. In some cases, such as a suddenly discovered affair, dogs and other pets can become leverage during a divorce. Your former spouse may have filed for divorce, changed the locks and kept your dogs. In some cases, your former spouse may have gone even further and taken your pet to the veterinarian to have it euthanized. Not only do you have to live with the end of your relationship, you'll also be grieving your beloved pet. The emotional fallout can be long-lasting.

If your former spouse is trying to use a pet as leverage or had your pet put down as a way of exacting revenge and hurting you, you need to make sure the courts know that. Unfortunately, pets obtained during marriage are likely considered shared or marital assets, meaning your spouse didn't break the law. Working with an experienced New York divorce attorney can help you present your case during the divorce. This, in turn, can ensure that the courts consider your spouse's terrible behavior when the courts decide on issues like asset division, as well as the permanent placement of your pet.

Can't afford your child support? It's time for a modification

As you go through the divorce process, you look forward to the day when you can finally get your life back on track. Even though things are sure to change, you know that this is the best way to regain control of your life and feel better about what the future will bring.

Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a difficult position with regard to child support. If the court orders you to pay child support, there is no way around this. Instead, you should know the exact amount that is due as well as the date by which your ex-spouse should receive the money.

Not getting enough time with your kids? Don't withhold child support

Sharing your child with your ex can be really difficult, and often one parent will use a child to punish the other parent. This is inappropriate, and certainly not a good method of parenting. However, if you are thinking about withholding child support payments to force your ex to give you more time with your child, take a moment to rethink that plan.

You may feel that withholding child support is the only leverage you have, but you could land in legal hot water if you choose to do so.

Three tips to find hidden assets during divorce

Think your future ex-spouse is trying to hide assets during the divorce process? You are not alone. According to a recent report by CNBC, approximately 7.2 million Americans have hidden accounts.

For some couples, the account may be an emergency credit card account. For others, the accounts are bank accounts that are kept on the down low.

Whatever the reason for these accounts, those that are started while married or that has been commingled with marital property are likely subject to the rules of divorce. This means that if you are going through a divorce and your spouse has secret accounts, you are likely entitled to a portion of the account.

Parental alienation syndrome has a long-lasting impact on children.

Property and asset division. Alimony. Child support. Child custody. These are just a few of the issues confronting parents as they are engage in divorce proceedings. In order to find common ground with a contentious spouse, those separating may be forced to make compromises. The process isn't tidy and may be exhausting; however, when the divorce papers have been signed, the contract should signal an agreement that is amenable to both parties.

In a perfect world, the end of a marriage should signal a conclusion of conflict. This is rarely the case. In the real world, former spouses don't stop feuding once the court ratifies the contract. Issues can persist for years, entangling others. Former spouses who feel they have been wronged in the proceedings may conscript their children to fight their battles for them. So common is this unfortunate reality, it has been assigned its own title: "parental alienation syndrome" (PAS).


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