Monthly Archives : February 2019

  • When a Parent is Denied Visitation

    It is painful enough to have your child taken away from you by your ex-spouse but when you are denied visitation, the hurt just never stops. Sometimes the affected parent acts without even thinking. Emotions start to take over and the parents end up hating the system and the spouse.

    If you are denied visitation, you should understand why this happened and what options are available for you.

    Why Visitation is Denied by the Court

    To be denied by the courts to visit your child is a rare event. A common exception is the issue of visitation safety. This is when the court believes that your visitation would pose an emotional or physical danger to your child or children.

    The judge may require you to attend anger management classes, drug treatments, parenting classes, or alcohol rehabilitation before the regular visits resume. If the court requires any of these, you should comply immediately to show that you’re committed to having regular time with your children.

    Alternatives

    Instead of denying the parent, child visitation, the courts would allow supervised visitation. When this happens, the affected parent may or may not have the decision about where the visit would happen or who will supervise the said visit.

    Once the judge issues supervised visits, make certain you obtain the necessary details about the visits—who will supervise, the length of the visit, and where the visits will take place. You should also find out if there are other requirements (one example is the completion of drug rehab requirement) for the supervised visitation to end or if the supervision is merely temporary.

    Child Support and Visitation

    If the parents finally divorce, parents worry about not being able to send child support because this could be a strong ground for losing visitation or child custody. The consequences of being unable to pay child support in full and on time are:

    • Suspension of your driver’s license
    • Wage deduction
    • Incapability to get a passport
    • Imprisonment

    Losing your privilege to visit your child is not a standard punishment for being unable to pay child support.

    What to Do When You are Denied Visitation

    Maintain a log of what happens each time you are denied child visitation.

    Talk to your ex-spouse to find out why your visitation is denied and what you can do to remedy it. It is best to talk alone without your kids hearing your conversation.

    If you have a new partner, clarify the boundaries. Try to set specific lengths of time to spend with your new partner, especially if your ex is upset that you are now dating someone new. Once there is an established visitation plan, you can establish trust with your ex-spouse.

    If your spouse is the only one denying you your rights to visit your children, it is best to call the police to escalate the situation after formally filing visitation rights.

    It is always best to follow the courts when it comes to establishing child visitation. Knowing what you can do once you are denied this right helps accelerate the process of resuming your time with your kids.

    If you are in the process of getting a divorce and you know it’s going to be a challenge to adjust after the marriage ends, it is best to talk to your family law attorney. This way, you can understand your options more clearly and start your new life more smoothly.

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  • The Basics of Spousal Support or Alimony

    It is a sad day when a marriage ends. Yet, there may be some good despite all the hurt because it is possible for the courts to award spousal support or alimony to the former wife or husband. It may be granted based on the court’s decision or the agreement between the former couple.

    How Alimony is Important

    Spousal support aims to limit the unfair negative economic effects of the divorce process. It provides a regular income to a spouse who earns a lower wage or a spouse who doesn’t earn at all. This is justified by the other spouse’s decision to refrain from pursuing a career to care for the family. The said spouse would then need time to develop the necessary job skills to support herself or himself. Another reason for support is to help the economically challenged spouse to continue the lifestyle during the marriage.

    Determining the Amount

    Various courts have different discrete factors in determining whether to award spousal support or not. If it is to be granted, the courts also decide how long the other spouse will give the support and how much it would be. The UMDA (Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act advises the courts to consider these factors in deciding on alimony cases:

    • The payer spouse’s ability to pay alimony and still support herself or himself
    • The marriage period
    • The emotional state, age, financial condition, and physical condition of the former spouses
    • The standard of living during the marriage
    • The period for the recipient spouse to become educated and trained for self-sufficiency

    Period of Paying Alimony

    The courts consider alimony as rehabilitative they order it as long as the recipient spouse still needs training for self-sufficiency. If there is no alimony termination date indicated in the divorce decree, the support payments should continue until the courts order it to end.
    Most alimony awards terminate the moment the recipient spouse remarries. It doesn’t necessarily end when the payer spouse dies. The courts may order support payments from the payer spouse’s life insurance or estate proceeds.

    Changing Trends

    Decades ago, the courts awarded spousal support to former wives because the husbands used to be the sole breadwinners of families. In modern family culture, most couples establish two-wage earning families, in which men are more suitable primary parents and women are less dependent on their husbands. The number of cases in which wives pay alimony to their husbands is increasing dramatically.

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  • Reasons for Choosing Child Mediation

    When things are not going so well between a married couple, they should start thinking about the welfare of their children. Separation of the parents usually results in having to make choices. These include the often confusing process of where the children should stay. To avoid the stressful and traumatizing court hearings that could settle the matter, many parents resort to child mediation. Below are some of the reasons why disagreeing parents choose child mediation:

     Divorce is filled with conflict. It can leave a negative effect on  children who see their parents go through the process. As the fight goes on, the children are often caught in the middle. Through child mediation, the situation becomes a lot easier for the children because here, the parents cooperate in deciding what’s best for their kids.

    There is no one to blame in child mediation. When parents always argue and blame each other, they become ineffective in caring for their children. In child mediation, there is a child mediator, who looks out for the welfare of the children. Through the mediator, the parents eventually agree on a parenting plan for their children. Whatever the result may be, no one blames each other because the decision is made by both parents.

    Child mediation is classified as non-adversarial. Mediation for child custody is a collaboration that aims for what’s best for the children. This process is unlike the process of divorce, which is usually a fight between the couple. Child mediation concentrates on what is best for the kids. This process intends to come up with a good parenting plan enabling both parents to be present in the lives of their children. If things do not go smoothly, everyone must go to court.

    Child Mediation reduces conflict and stress. Stress is terrible when the conflicts heighten during a divorce. It usually leads to lack of concentration, diminished patience, and inadequate sleep. Child mediation lowers the stress by making the parents forget their conflicts whenever they work on the parenting plan for their children. This prepares a brighter future for the children.
    Every disagreeing married couple should stop and look at their children first. Through child mediation, both parents can make sure that their children won’t suffer even if their marriage ends.

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  • Choosing the Right Buffalo Family Law Attorney for Your Needs.

    The Right Attorney for You

    Choosing the Right Buffalo Family Law Attorney for Your Needs. If you or your spouse is considering getting a divorce, one of the first things you should do is investigate a family law Attorney. You may be asking yourself, why do I need an Attorney? These type of cases can become a nasty legal battle and you want to make sure that you have someone on your side that will fight for an equal division of property, spousal support, child custody, and or child support.

    There are a few things that you should look for in a good family law attorney. First of all, they should be objective.  As someone coming from outside the case, they tend to see things a little differently than you. That is why you are hiring them. Make sure that whatever resolution you come to is suitable for you and just remember, quicker doesn’t always mean better.

    Whichever attorney you consider should be familiar with the paperwork that is needed for your state. A good family law attorney should have an elite staff of consultants and experts that they can lean on in the specialized areas of the argument. They should also be well versed in working with other attorneys, more precisely the opposing counsel.

    Making sure that they make the primary exchange of information properly can be a big benefit to the case.  However, if worse comes to worse, then they are there to represent you zealously and achieve the best outcome possible. 

    These are just a few of the reasons why having an experienced family law attorney is important. You want to make sure that whichever attorney you choose fits your needs. You never have to select the first one you meet with, there are typically multiple ones in every area. Meet with a few and determine which you feel would best suite your needs.

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  • Winning Child Custody

    Families differ from each other. Sometimes, there are families that must divide to function the right way. This leaves the family to undergo child custody procedures. Both parties struggle to fight for their right to raise the kids. Below are some pointers to remember if you truly want to win the child custody case:

    1. Exercise your rights as a parent. Take advantage of visitation rights once they are granted to you. Do your best to spend time with them. While doing so, make sure they stick to their routines like chores and schoolwork.
    2. Be willing to cooperate with your ex-spouse. There have been cases in which the parent lost child custody because they are not willing to work with the other parent. Even if you dislike your ex, that person is still part of the lives of your children. You must exert effort in showing the court that you are willing to work with the other parent for the well-being of the children.
    3. Request an “in-home custody evaluation”. If you are concerned that your ex would say negative things about your home life with kids, request this evaluation. This will be helpful to the court during their evaluation of your performance.
    4. Learn about family law. Know more about family law, particularly about child custody laws. This way, you will know what to anticipate.
    5. Remember that perception is everything. It is difficult to digest that it truly doesn’t matter if the things being said about you are true or false. In a custody case, the most important thing is what the court believes. Exert your best effort in presenting yourself as a loving, competent, and hands-on parent. Examples of such efforts are dressing properly, practicing proper etiquette in the courtroom, and being on time.
    6. Work with a credible and experienced lawyer, specializing in child custody. A free consultation is enough for you to gain information about your possible options, even if you don’t have the money to hire a lawyer.

    Child custody battles are exhausting, challenging, and expensive. If you want to win it, follow the given tips. Also, talk to your lawyer for more information about what you must do to be with your kids as they grow up.

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  • Grandparents Rights

    Sometimes circumstances can change within a family setting. If you’re a grandparent and are worried about being unable to see your grandchild(ren) you should know that you have the rights. Separation, divorce, and death are life-altering changes and can affect your relationship with your grandchildren. In some cases, you do have legal rights as a grandparent.

    There are times when a grandparent, in the state of New York, has the right to request court-ordered visitation.

    This can happen when:

    • The grandparent has a substantial relationship with the grandchild.
    • The parents of the child are interfering with marked efforts by the grandparent to maintain a relationship with the grandchild.
    • One or both parents have died.

    Grandparents rights apply only to biological or adoptive grandparents. This right does not extend to other relatives or great-grandparents.

    You may have questions about what you need to prove in court in order to be granted court-ordered visitation.
    One of the things that you must have is called the “burden of proof”.

    What does “burden of proof” mean?

    This means that you must have the sufficient evidence to back up your request for court-ordered time with the child or children in question. You must prove that ordered visits are in the child’s best interest.

    Once you have established that there are legal grounds for your visitation you need to then give reasons why spending time with the grandchild is in their best interest. Things that are considered are:

    • The child’s age.
    • The distance from your home or visitation site and the child’s home.
    • The child’s wishes. (If the child is old enough to express their personal preference.)

    Etc.

    The court will likely assign an attorney to any children in this case. The attorney for the child(ren) will then represent the child and what actions are in the child’s best interest.

    How do you start the process?

    It all begins with a petition which is filed in court. This petition is typically filed in the county where the child involved resides.

    For more information on the process of grandparent’s rights, please contact our office. In many cases, grandparents do have a legal right to see their grandchild.

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  • How Do You Prepare Yourself for Mediation

    “Assisted negotiations” is another term for mediation. This doesn’t give anyone much orientation about how to prepare for it and what to expect. Mediation is a process and the principles below can guide you toward the satisfying resolution of your dispute:

    1. Make certain that the representative and the party are completely informed, have the right to resolve the issue, and present during the mediation. If parties cannot attend, teleconferencing and video-conferencing can be utilized. Even so, it is always best to be present physically at the venue.
    2. Always be prepared for anything. There will always be new developments and information about the dispute’s resolution. Be open to them. View them as a means to eliminate or decrease the issues.
    3. Be aware of the tactics. Take note that mediation does not go well if litigation tactics are applied in it. Think about your reaction to your plan. See if it is in your best interests, possibly offensive, or necessary.
    4. Learn to listen. This allows you to focus on the problem at hand. Do not get distracted by the people associated with the dispute.
    5. Prepare your mind for your mediation. Speculate what you must do in “what if” situations. Spend some time reflecting on your approach and how you should discuss it.
    6. Be careful of how you act or speak. You should present your better version and how you present yourself. This invites a more productive conversation.
    7. Use your imagination. If you do this, you can turn crises into productive situations.
    8. Understand and review your strategies and preferred mediation methods. Also, know your goal and the results you want to get.
    9. Never underestimate the instructing party. Mediation is easier if everyone participates as a team.
    10. Make sure your mediation materials are in order, complete, compelling, and most of all, delivered ahead of time to allow every participant to absorb their content. Also, be prepared to explain and clarify your own materials.

    Mediation can be stressful and disheartening if you do not know how to handle the situation well. Resolving disputes is never a pleasant thing. Take the time to think about your every step so that you can get through the mediation smoothly.

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  • Child Custody Laws

    Child Custody Laws differ from state to state. You need to check with your state’s laws to get the most current information. When it comes to child custody Laws, there are a few states that have all the procedures laid out for the separating parents and there children. The judges must follow these guidelines to assist in determining the custody of the children during and after a divorce.

    There aren’t many federal laws that apply to children’s custody, with the exception of transporting across different state lines. States do have differing laws that deal with jurisdiction between other states, but not all states have this understanding however. So if one parent lives in one state and the parent and children in another, the state where the children reside will have more influence. Of course you must take into consideration which state the separation and custody papers where filed.

    Child custody Laws are designed with interest of the children as the first priority. Child custody laws are designed to prevent custody going to abusers of drugs or alcohol. Laws are also in place that prevents the children from going to an environment where there is clear mental or physical abuse. Most states prefer joint custody between the parents, where both parents can be a functional part of raising the children. The parents would share both physical and legal custody of the children.

    It’s really important to understand these two distinctions in the Child custody laws. Physical custody is where the children are residing. When a child lives a large portion of time with one parent, that parent has what is known as physical custody. Often times during the summer months children leave one parent to live in the house of the other. During those situations physical custody moves from one parent to the other.

    Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make important decisions regarding health, education, and well being issues. Often both physical custody and legal custody are with the same parent, unless the parents have joint custody. During those situations the court may decided that where the children reside at the time that that parent can determine what is best for the children at the time. However is would be wise to have a consensus between the parents.

    Again, research the child custody laws of your state or province to determine what the best solution is for you during these trying times. Always have the children’s best interest when making these decisions.

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