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White Plains New York Family Law Blog

New York child support guidelines: How do they apply to your case

As someone who cares for a child as a single parent or guardian, it's your right to seek child support. Not everyone is eligible to seek support, but for those who are, it can be a vital income for a child's care.

There are some rules in place that determine who can seek child support.

Postnuptial agreements can help you before a divorce

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements. The difference is that postnuptial agreements are signed and created after you get married.

If it was difficult to talk about a prenuptial agreement with your spouse before getting married, then a postnuptial agreement might work better for you. You and your spouse will both have time to talk about what you'd like to see happen in the event of a divorce and come to a reasonable solution now instead of if/when you and your spouse divorce and may not agree with one another any longer.

Which type of separation is right for you?

Divorce is not the only separation option for couples with marital issues. Whether it be for personal, financial or religious reasons, some couples may choose to separate instead of divorce.

If you and your spouse need separation and meet certain residency requirements, read on to learn more about your options in New York.

Does military work hurt your chance of custody?

Child custody is a concern that many couples deal with during divorce. While it might seem simple to decide where a child will live or who provides the best care, it's not always that easy. Sometimes, the parents no longer get along, and other times, there are factors like aggression or abuse to consider. If one parent travels, is in the military or if there are concerns about siblings or stepsiblings, these are all things that have to be discussed before child custody arrangements are made.

In your case, you're worried that your deployment might lead to questions about your ability to parent. You'll be deployed in the future for at least a year, but you have little knowledge on what to expect beyond that. Does that guarantee you'll lose custody?

Answer these questions to prepare your finances for divorce

The primary purpose of divorce is to put a bad marriage in the past. While doing so, you need to pay close attention to your finances and what you can do to prepare for the future.

Here are some questions to answer as you prepare your finances for divorce:

  • Do you have all the financial records you need? This can include but is not limited to bank account statements, retirement account statements, tax documents and pay stubs.
  • Have you taken inventory of all your assets and debts? You must be clear as to which assets are subject to property division, which ones are considered separate property and the joint debt that you hold.
  • When was the last time you reviewed your credit report? This is a must, since you'll be on your own moving forward.
  • Are you ready to open individual accounts? Since divorce is on the horizon, you no longer want to rely on joint accounts. For example, you need to open a bank account and credit card in your own name.
  • What will you do to reduce your expenses? Moving forward, you'll only have one income. This may mean you need to reduce some of your monthly expenses as to better make ends meet.

What causes trouble when discussing a prenuptial agreement?

You have a lot to think about as your wedding day closes in. Even though you want to enjoy the here and now, you must also think about the future.

This means many things, such as considering the pros and cons of a prenuptial agreement. Many people shy away from this legal document, as they don't want to rock the boat.

These common events may lead you to divorce

The reason for divorce is not always dramatic. You may simply go through a life event that a lot of people experience, but it pulls your marriage apart. When you look back at it, you realize that it was the breaking point.

Below are a few life events that people have linked to divorce in the past:

  • Having a child: Children take a lot of time and attention. This means that the time and attention put into the marriage may decrease. Children can also create stress. In some cases, especially if one spouse did not want children to start with, it ends the relationship.
  • Getting sick: A serious illness can turn a happy marriage into a difficult relationship full of stress and obligations. It can bring on serious financial challenges. Some spouses simply are not up to it. This is especially true for chronic issues that will not fully heal.
  • Employment changes: Money is often linked to divorce, and job changes can significantly alter a couple's financial situation. Job loss can lead to stress, arguments and divorce.
  • Spending too much time apart: It is hard for a relationship to last when two people do not see each other often enough. This could be due to extensive business travel, for instance, or a career in the military. Couples may be able to make it work for a while, but many of them drift apart over time.

Can my child choose to live with me?

Divorce proves devastating for nearly every party involved, but custody battles may bring intense emotions and confusion.

You may have a positive relationship with your child. You believe that if up to them, they would choose to live with you instead of your ex-spouse. You may believe that a child’s preference may receive consideration, but a judge makes the final decision as to whom receives custody in a divorce settlement in New York.

What steps should you take to get a child support modification?

It feels good when you're able to make child support payments in full and on time. You know that the money you're paying is helping your child live a better life.

Conversely, if you're unable to make payments as expected, it can take a toll on your finances and mental state.

Work with your ex when choosing a babysitter

You and your ex share custody of your kids. Not only does this mean that you get the kids every other week, but you both have a right to make big decisions in their lives -- where they get medical care, where they go to school, etc.

One day, while you have custody of the kids, you decide to go out with your friends. You hire a babysitter, a girl who lives down your street. You leave her with the children and think nothing of it.

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