5 Things Parents Should Ask For in a Long Island Divorce
Knowing how to ask for provisions that your family will need both during the divorce process and after isn’t often easy. If you’re a parent going through the process of divorce, or even if you’re simply considering your options, you may not know where to start. The first step is understanding what you need in the divorce and why you need it.
For example, did you stay at home with your child and now you need to obtain additional education to support yourself and your child financially? Then you may need spousal maintenance, or alimony. Or, do you feel like your child may be unsafe if they stay alone with your ex-spouse? Then you may want to consider petitioning for full child custody. Cover these bases when asking the court for provisions for your family:
#1. Child Custody
Naturally, if you’re a divorcing parent, child custody is likely the first thing that comes to mind. However, it’s important to note that legally speaking, there are different types of child custody and you’ll need to decide what you want your arrangement to look like.
Physical custody refers to who keeps the child, and the courts typically want parents to share this, except in cases where doing so would pose a danger to the child. Physical custody can be split equally, or parents can share time in more creative ways, as long as both parties agree. Legal custody refers to who gets to make decisions about the child’s health and welfare, finances, and education.
Decide what you might want your custody situation to look like. Would you like to maintain full legal custody and share physical custody, or do you believe it’s best for your child if you have sole physical and legal custody? Ask your divorce and family law attorney what makes the most sense for your family and be prepared to back it up with evidence.
#2. Child Support
If you have physical custody of your child in any capacity, you’ll need to discuss child support. Typically, Long Island courts calculate child support based on how much each parent makes and what percentage of time each parent has custody of the child. Parents who have full physical custody would receive the most child support, while parents who share physical custody would receive less to account for the time the child spends at the other parent’s home. Work with an experienced attorney to make a case for maximizing your support in your circumstances.
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is different from child support and is awarded based on factors like the length of your marriage and financial need. If you have a child with your ex-spouse spouse, alimony becomes even more important, as it provides the means you’ll need to offer your child a home, food, clothing, and other basic necessities. Show evidence that illustrates your need for spousal support and how your ability to live independently after the divorce and care for your child will be compromised without it.
If you will have any physical custody of your child, it’s important that you have certain assets like a vehicle and a home for the child to live in. Perhaps it makes the most sense for you to continue living in the family home, especially if you’ll have more than 50 percent physical custody of your child. Or, perhaps your new apartment is further from your child’s school and you need a vehicle to pick your child up on Friday afternoons for the weekend. Ask the court to award you any property necessary for the care of your child.
#5. Provisions for Big Ticket Items
Big ticket items like daycare, braces, summer camp, school clothes, car insurance, school dances, cell phones and mobile service plans, computer equipment, and college expenses aren’t included in child support. If you foresee your child needing a big ticket item that support won’t cover, be sure to ask the court to include it in your divorce decree. Establish who will pay for what and how much now, before the issue arises.
Get What You Need. Contact a Long Island Divorce Lawyer Today
If you’re a New York parent considering divorce, you may be intimidated by the legal process and unsure of how to petition the court for custodial and financial arrangements that are the best fit for your family. Our Long Island divorce law firm can help. Call us today for a free consultation at 631-923-1910.
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