5 Red Flags to Look for In Your Child Custody Agreement
Getting a divorce on Long Island is difficult enough, but when you’re dissolving your marriage (or an unmarried partnership) after having children, things can become much more complex. After your split, you’ll likely have a child custody agreement in place that discusses what you and your ex can and can’t do with regard to the wellbeing of your child.
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure there are no red flags that give your ex too much authority over the legal and physical custody of your child. Here are 5 red flags to watch out for and how to get the legal help you need.
#1. Your Ex Seeks Full Child Custody with No Visitation
Never sign a custody agreement that gives your ex full custody of your child(ren) with no visitation. Unless this is something you’re interested in and fully aware of what rights you are giving up by signing such an agreement, it’s never a good idea to box yourself into a corner, so to speak. Even a standard child custody agreement would afford you at least some regular visitation with your children like every other weekend and two weeks during the summer.
#2. Your Ex Is Requesting Your Child Visitation Be Supervised
If your ex is requesting that you only be allowed supervised visitation with your children, this is a red flag that they may be getting ready to claim that you abused them or the child, or were violent in some other manner. If you are suspected of domestic violence, you may find it exceedingly difficult to spend time with your child, even if you were never convicted.
If you agree to supervised visitation unknowingly, it may be assumed that you were involved in domestic violence or another crime simply because you’re not “allowed” to see your child without a mediator present. Supervised visitation should only be something you agree to if it’s legitimately the only way you can spend time with your child and continue developing a relationship with them.
#3. You Are Being Ordered to Pay More Child Support Than You Can Afford
Your child custody agreement may also include the amount of money you are ordered to pay your ex in child support. This amount should be calculated based on how much money you make, but it could potentially be more than you can afford. Do not agree to pay an amount you aren’t able to sustain with your current income. Instead, get legal help gathering documentation to prove you can only pay a lower amount.
#4. Your Ex Is Making False Claims of Domestic Violence
If you notice in the child custody agreement that your ex is alleging you have a history of domestic violence and they are seeking sole custody for that reason, you should take action right away. False accusations of child abuse can not only rob you of your relationship with your child, but can also impact your reputation and career.
#5. You Are Being Asked to Support a Child That Is Not Your Own
In some cases, two unmarried partners who split will end up embroiled in a child custody case when the mother of a child attempts to obtain child support from her ex even if the child named in the order is not biologically related to the alleged father.
If your ex is asking for child support and you aren’t sure if the child belongs to you or someone else, you need to obtain a legal paternity test prior to signing any child custody agreement.
Dealing With Child Custody Disagreements? Contact a Long Island Divorce Lawyer Today
If you’re involved in a child custody dispute, don’t wait to get legal help. Long Island divorce and custody laws can make these cases complex, and any case involving children can quickly become highly emotional. It’s important that you have someone on your side with the skills and experience to adequately represent you in a New York family court.
Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation to discuss the details of your case and to go over your custody agreement. We can help you draft any changes and submit them back to your ex’s attorney. Call now at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form below.
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