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Patchogue Family Law Blog

How to frame the divorce conversation for efficiency, success

As nervous as you may be, if you come to realize that divorce is the best decision for you, there will come a time when you have to discuss it with your spouse, as much as you may be dreading this conversation.

Depending on your situation, your spouse may be receptive to everything you say. This is often the case if your spouse also feels that divorce would be in his or her best interest.

Divorce mediation: There are things you need to know

No one wants to go through a divorce, but if you find yourself in this position, it's best to tackle the process in an efficient manner. This is why so many people turn to mediation as a better alternative to divorce.

There is no guarantee that mediation will work, but there are many benefits when compared to litigation:

  • More control over the process, as you don't have to worry about a judge making decisions on your behalf
  • An opportunity to discuss the matters at hand and compromise with your ex-spouse
  • Less expensive than litigation
  • Power to create an equitable divorce agreement
  • Minimize hostility to make it easier to get along in the future, e.g., when co-parenting

How will a New York court decide my child custody matter?

Aside from matters relating to money and assets, the biggest area of disagreement in New York divorce cases relates to child custody. This is because, when it comes to children, emotions and feelings run hot.

As difficult as child custody issues can be, parents are well-served if they can come to agreement and reach an out-of-court settlement -- as it will save them time, money and stress in the long run. However, sometimes parents need to take their child custody cases to court.

A property division checklist can save you time and money

Are you heading for divorce? Are you beginning to wonder what will happen in regard to property division? Do you have some concerns about losing out on property that you should be able to retain?

There is a lot to think about when going through divorce, with matters of property division at the top of your list.

Divorce, property division and your house

You may have lived withyour spouse in your family home for the last 10 years, but after your divorce is finalized, you won't be living with him or her anymore. One or both of you will have to move out and find a new home.

This begs the question: Who gets to keep the family home after a divorce?

Questions about child support modification

If you or your ex-spouse's financial circumstances have changed -- whether you're the recipient or the payer of child support -- you may be able to apply for a child support modification. If successful, a judge will permanently or temporarily alter the child support payments that apply to your divorce decree.

Parents who want to modify their child support orders will likely have a lot of questions about the process. Here are three general questions that will probably be on their minds:

How should parents spend child support money?

When a single mother or father has full custody of his or her children, the financial burden of caring for the children will be noteworthy. For this reason, New York family law courts usually order the noncustodial parent to pay a specific amount of money each month in child support payments.

Clearly, the recipient of child support cannot spend this money on his or her own enjoyment. Child support money must be spent on the kids who are supposed to benefit from it.

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.

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