5 Child Custody Problems Fathers Face
Although fathers’ rights have come a long way in Long Island family legal cases, when it comes to child custody, fathers are often still at a disadvantage. Here are 5 of the most common issues fathers face in Long Island child custody disputes and how you can get the legal advocacy you need as a parent to fight for the best interests of you and your children.
#1. False Allegations of Domestic Abuse
Unfortunately, false allegations of domestic violence are a common problem that fathers on Long Island often have to deal with when they become involved in child custody cases. Your ex-spouse may file an order of protection against you or accuse you of abusing them or your child in an effort to gain control over the direction of the custody case. This strategy is often effective; Long Island judges are hesitant to award custody and visitation to parents who have accusations of domestic abuse against them. They also tend to err on the side of caution and unless the defendant is able to put forth a compelling argument that the allegations are false, they are generally assumed by the court to be true.
#2. Leaving the Marital Home Before the Divorce Is Final
A big mistake that men commonly make when making the decision to get a divorce is leaving the marital home to their spouse and children and living elsewhere until the divorce has been finalized. Often, judges will make decisions based on the current status quo, particularly if children are involved.
In an effort to avoid disrupting the lives of your children, it’s less likely that the home would be awarded to you if your ex-spouse has already been living in it with the children. It’s also unlikely that a judge would order your children to live with you elsewhere, often at a smaller and less equipped residence. However, if you and your ex-spouse are still living in the home at the time of the divorce, legally you would both be considered equal guardians and obtaining 50/50 custody won’t be as much of an uphill battle.
#3. An Ex Who Is Unwilling to Negotiate
Your ex-spouse may be unwilling to negotiate with you regarding matters of child custody or any other issue related to your divorce for the sheer purpose of making the divorce process more difficult for you. Fathers often face this problem when they seek equal physical and legal custody of their children. The other parent may begin to refuse to compromise, leaving fathers who want to see their children at all with no choice other than to agree to whatever terms their ex demands.
#4. Unfair Child Support Payments
If you are not the primary custodian of your children after custody is awarded and the dispute is resolved, you will generally be required to make child support payments to your ex-spouse who is the primary custodian. Child support payments are calculated based on your earned wages and cannot exceed a certain percentage of what you make. However, your ex-spouse may allege that you make more money than you do or that you can afford higher child support payments. It’s important to have good documentation of your total earnings every week or month so the calculation is accurate and fair.
#5. Parental Kidnapping
Parental kidnapping is a more significant issue than most Long Island families believe. If your ex-spouse takes your children out of state without informing you of where they are going, where your children will be located and for how long, and giving you contact information, this would likely constitute parental kidnapping even if your ex had the intent to bring your child back. Parents who accuse their exes of domestic violence may also commit parental kidnapping, taking the children to an undisclosed location for their alleged safety.
Should You Hire a Long Island Family Lawyer for Your Child Custody Case?
Child custody issues are among the most sensitive matters in any divorce. Get help with serious issues like custody and visitation rights, fair child support payments you can afford, and an ex who just wants to make life more difficult for you by contacting an experienced and aggressive family lawyer on Long Island. Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can assist you. Call now for your initial consultation at 631-923-1910.
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