A professional family lawyer New York, NY residents recommend understands that when family law legal issues arise, it can be especially stressful for clients. The legal team at Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. has extensive legal experience in all aspects of family law and will work diligently to reach the best outcome possible for your family.
Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. has advocated for clients for more than three decades and each family lawyer New York, NY offers from our firm has extensive knowledge of family law state statutes. As our lawmakers continue to legislate how courts address child custody, divorce, and other family law issues, it is important to work with an attorney who stays informed on new and pending statute changes. You can be assured that if you work with our law firm, your family lawyer in New York, NY will be well-informed on any current or upcoming changes. Some of the services we provide include:
Whether you or your spouse has made the decision to end your marriage, it is important to have a seasoned family lawyer New York, NY families depend on representing your best interests. Even the friendliest of divorces can quickly turn acrimonious, especially when negotiating issues such as the division of marital assets, property, debt, and spousal support.
Sometimes couples who are having problems decide to legally separate instead of filing immediately for divorce. A legal separation offers all of the protections a divorce does, except neither spouse can marry someone else because the separation does not legally end the marriage.
Child Custody and Child Support
When a couple splits up, whether they were married or not, it is for each parent’s protection that the court issues a legally binding child custody order. This makes a family lawyer from New York, NY essential to representing you. Sometimes, parents can work through their own parenting agreement which addresses whether the parents will share custody or if one parent will have primary custody, visitation, holiday schedule, and vacations. Other times, parents cannot agree and the court will make the final decision. The court will also decide which parent will be responsible for child support and how much that obligation will be, as well as how other expenses for the child will be divided.
Family lawyers in New York, NY have seen a fair share of situations in which there is a denial of paternity, either on the mother’s or father’s part. Whether you are a father who is being denied access to your child, or you are the mother of a child whose father refuses to acknowledge and support your child, our firm can assist in having the courts establish legal paternity.
Frequently Asked Questions on Child Custody
When it comes to divorce, it can be an incredibly messy and uncomfortable situation. However, this time is only made more difficult when you have children involved and you and your spouse want to decide what is best for them in terms of care and living situation. When this is the case, it is imperative that you hire a New York, NY family lawyer who can help you with your divorce and create a reasonable plan that discusses how your children will be involved and what kind of custody rules will apply. If you would like to speak with a family lawyer in New York, please reach out to Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. today to discuss the different options we have for you and your family. When it comes to our clients, their family is of the utmost importance and we want to ensure you come out with the best situation possible for your children.
New York, NY Family Lawyers Answer Frequently Asked Questions on Child Custody
Will a court be more likely to award custody to a mother than they would to a father?
While it used to be the case that a court would likely award custody in favor of the mother when a child was five years of age or younger, this is no longer a popular method for determining custody. When both parents are fit to raise their children in a healthy home, then a court will look at both parents as viable options for custody. When it comes to custody, a New York, NY family lawyer wants you to know that states require the court to evaluate what is in the best interest of the child. This gives them a chance to stay with either the mother or the father. Thus, if you are a father and are seeking custody of your child[ren], do not hesitate to work with us to pursue this custody.
Can moving out affect my chances of custody?
Yes. If you choose to move out—even if it is a better and safer situation for you to move out—it will likely have some effect on whether a court grants you physical custody later on. A family lawyer from New York, NY has seen children and parents significantly impacted by this type of situation. When you leave (and do not take your children), it can show the court that you believe the other parent is more suited to raising your children and that you believe their same environment—school, the home, and activities—should remain the same.
Is it possible for both parents to have custody?
Yes! Working with a New York, NY family lawyer can help you to negotiate child custody. It is very common for a court to award, at the minimum, partial custody to both parents. This is called “joint custody.” This may be in the form of:
- Joint Legal Custody—both parents make medical/educational/religious decisions for the child.
- Joint Physical Custody—Children spend a lot of time at both parents’ houses.
- A Mix of the Two.
What factors does a court look at when deciding on custody?
Common factors are:
- The child’s current education
- The parent’s mental health
- The child’s sex, age, and mental health
- The parent’s physical health
Understanding Child Support
When a child is involved in a divorce case, the non-custodial parent is usually required to pay child support to the custodial parent. A family lawyer in New York, NY can help to understand the way child support is calculated. Often, calculating child support is based on a number of factors decided upon by the court. In the event the parent stops or refuses to pay the child support, the court can turn to the Child Support Enforcement Amendment of 1984 as a Federally-mandated means of collecting delinquent child support dollars. A family lawyer from New York, NY want you to understand that the Federal law mandates that each state:
- Require employers to hold money from the paychecks of delinquent parents for child support for at least one month
- Allow property liens to be imposed on parents delinquent in child support payments
- Take child support payments from federal and state tax refunds
The Federal law also mandates that each state:
- Establish criteria where established guidelines may not be appropriate and require the judge to put in writing his/her reasoning for finding the guidelines inappropriate.
- Use the guidelines in determining when determining any child support modification requests.
Negotiating and obtaining child support is an important component of the custody process. Working with a family lawyer that New York, NY residents rely on can make all the difference when working to reach a resolution.
Child Support Orders
Family court issues the child support orders, using the state of New York’s child support guidelines as a basis for determining the amount ordered. One of the main criteria taken into account is how much money the non-custodial parent earns. The court works also to help the child maintain the same standard of living that he/she had prior to the divorce. As in any situation, the court always looks at what is considered in the best interests of the child when making any decision that may have an effect on the child. A family lawyer from New York, NY knows that obtaining child support helps to ensure that your child’s needs are met. We will work closely with you to represent your interests throughout the process.
Child Support When Parents were Never Married
One of the first steps when seeking child support with the help of a New York, NY family lawyer is to positively identify the paternity of the father of the child. This can be done using DNA testing and will be done either voluntarily or by the court issuing an order to the prospective father to submit to testing. After paternity is determined, child support is then figured using basically the same guidelines used in a divorce situation.
What if the Parent Paying Support Moves Out of State?
A New York, NY family lawyer wants you to understand that The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act has a procedure in place to enforce the paying parent to pay child support if they live in another state. The custodial parent can:
- File a request to enforce child support in the court where the other parent lives
- Forward the order of child support to the ex-spouse’s employer and request they garnish the wages with the amount owed
- Request the court to impose enforcement of child support on him/her
If you are having a hard time collecting child support, your first step should be to contact a New York, NY family lawyer with experience in child support issues. A family lawyer can help get the orders enforced so that you and your child can receive the support entitled to you by law.
Let a Family Lawyer New York, NY Provides Fight for You
Whether you are considering a divorce, are in the midst of a custody battle, or need a New York family lawyer for any other family law issue, Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. can help. Being in any kind of family legal battle can be incredibly stressful, especially if it involves your children. We are available to meet and discuss your situation and offer advice on the best way to proceed.
Call a compassionate family lawyer New York, NY clients trust at 212-642-0950 for a free consultation.
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