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Patchogue Family Law Blog

What is constructive emancipation?

Nearly all children want to be adults as quickly as possible. It's only later that -- as adults -- we might hark back to the days of when we were younger and didn't have a care or concern.

Sometimes, teenagers will actually act on their wish to be free, move out and establish themselves as independent adults. But what if you're paying child support to your ex-spouse regarding a minor teenager who has moved out of the home and is now financially independent? Should you continue paying child support in a situation like this?

Need-to-know information for sole custody parents

Regardless of whether you and your spouse agreed to sole custody, you received a sole custody award through litigation or the judge deemed the other parent unfit to share custody, there are a few things you should know as a sole custody parent.

First and foremost, you need to know what kind of sole custody you have. If you have sole physical custody, it means that your child will live with you full-time and the other parent might have visitation rights. If you have sole legal custody, it means that you'll have decision-making authority over important child care and parenting matters - like medical care, education, religion and extra-curricular activities.

What's parental alienation syndrome?

Children need to have a strong relationship with both their parents. They also need protection from the arguments and conflicts that come up between their parents.

In spite of the needs and best interests of their children, however, some parents fight to push the other parent away. They might even encourage their child to choose sides, and manipulate their child to dislike the other parent.

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.

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