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Patchogue Family Law Blog

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.

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.

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