CUSTODY / VISITATION / CHILD SUPPORT
CUSTODY / VISITATION
Child custody, visitation, and support tend to be the most hotly contested family issues. That is why it’s necessary to have experienced family lawyers representing you in such matters. With our firm by your side, you no longer have to deal with the emotional stresses directly associated with negotiating, or, in the alternative, heated litigation. Our firm has assisted countless clients through divorce proceedings and family court proceedings over the years, and with great success, we’ve managed to procure favorable results. Many firms treat these cases as another number on the pile, we absolutely do not. We understand that this is a very trying time in your life, we understand that we are dealing with children, and we understand that this follows you home. Because of this, we negotiate where feasible or stand our ground and fight the good fight. It is our mission to get you in and out of your Court proceeding in the most efficient way possible, helping you close this chapter in your life.
Custody can be separated into two parts. Custody is understood as decision-making for the child[ren] and as a schedule for same.
Legal custody, or decision-making, typically considers the more important and substantial decisions you as parents will have to contemplate for your child[ren]—decisions pertaining to education, religious upbringing, medical care, etc. There are a few standards that courts deem acceptable.
Joint - both parents will have equal say as to what your child does.
Decision by one parent after consultation - parents must confer and try to reach a consensus, but if none is reached, one has the ultimate authority to decide.
Sole Decision by Either Parent - One parent will retain the authority to decide a particular issue and will inform the other of the decision.
Decisions do not have to be dealt with through one of these standards. These standards could pertain to some issues while reserving a different method for others—it all depends on the particulars of your situation.
The other aspect of child custody refers to what most people tend to think of when they think custody—physical custody. With which parent and for what days will the child[ren] stay. Typically, work and other practical considerations affect who retains physical custody of the child[ren], but we know best how to argue for your rights.
Sole Custody - one parent will retain sole physical custody of the child[ren] while the other has rights to visit same.
Joint Custody - both parents will split their time with the child[ren] equally.
Primary Custody - one parent will have the kids more than 50%.
Secondary Custody - one parent will have the kids less than 50%.
Child support is broken down into two separate categories: Basic Child Support & Mandatory Add-Ons.
Basic child support pertains to the monthly payments the non-custodial parent makes to the primary custodial parent. The courts in New York have created guidelines which detail how much the non-custodial parent would pay. They are as such:
1.The court determines the income of each parent and then adds both together.
2.The court multiplies the combined income by a percentage:
17% for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
35% for five or more children
3. The court divides that amount based on the ratio of each parent’s income.
Important to note, these are merely guidelines for the courts and as such, the figures are not a definitive representation of what the non-custodial parent will pay the other.
The court’s rationale for such guidelines is that it is presumed that the parent with primary custody spends more money on clothing, housing, food, entertainment, etc., than the non-custodial parent since the child[ren] spend most of their time with that parent.
Mandatory add-ons consider expenses related to education, work-related child care, unreimbursed medical bills, among other “big-ticket items”. These mandatory add-ons are typically shared between the spouses in a ratio commensurate to both individual’s salaries.
When it comes to children, the courts rely on the best interests of the child standard. To provide children with a sound family experience, it’s usually important for the child[ren] to spend time with both parents. Depending on the situation, courts decide on a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent. Usually, these schedules are strictly adhered to and deviation from them can come with serious consequences. As time goes on, if certain changes arise, it may be possible to modify custody, child support, and visitation orders.
Should you be in need of an experienced family court attorney, please do not hesitate to give us a call! During your consultation with our office, we will be able to give you an overview into the options that may be available depending on the facts of your case. Consultations are always FREE and there is no obligation. We offer flexible payment options and look forward to helping you!
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