Contrary to popular belief, drug use isn’t something penalized by family courts, even when illegal. A family court will not issue criminal charges but may forward the case to a prosecutor if deemed necessary, usually in clear instances where more than personal use is suspected. Rather, the primary consideration behind drug testing is ensuring the wellbeing and best interests of any children involved. If drug use is highly suspected, family courts will order testing to confirm and take appropriate action to reduce harm to the child, including but not limited to suspending child custody and visitation rights until a drug rehabilitation program has been completed successfully.
Child custody matters are difficult enough without adding distance to the mix. Unfortunately, many Long Island families must deal with exactly that. Navigating family legal issues when two parents live in different states requires a special set of rules that differ from those related to custody cases where the parents and child all live in the same state. Here’s what you need to know about long-distance child custody. (more…)
“Timesharing” your children after a divorce can get dicey during school breaks and holidays. Work schedules shift, the kids are at home, and family events seem to occur every weekend (or more). Navigating child custody and visitation during this time can be challenging — here are 5 tips to help you get a handle on it.
#1. Start the Conversation About Child Custody and Visitation Early
It’s common for ex-spouses co-parenting on Long Island to disagree about many aspects of raising their child post-divorce. When it comes to your child’s education, however, the stakes are raised because their long-term future may potentially be impacted. Here’s how you can handle disagreements about your child’s education with your ex-spouse and how to get help from an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer.
Establish Who Has Legal Custody
First and foremost, it’s critical to understand who has legal custody of your child. It may be either you or your ex-spouse, or you may share legal custody. Be aware that legal and physical custody are not the same; if you have sole physical custody, you may still share legal custody.
In cases of joint legal custody, both you and your ex-spouse must agree on your child’s education. If you don’t, this becomes a contested issue that requires resolution either via mediation or litigation. If only one parent has legal custody, they can make decisions about the child’s education even if the other parent disagrees. (more…)
Becoming a father is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling adventures for a man. Building a family can transform life in ways you never knew and shape you into an entirely new person. But what happens when the fairytale dissolves and you find yourself splitting ways with the mother of your children? How can you protect yourself — and your kids — during such a difficult time? Here’s what you fathers need to know about divorcing on Long Island and how to get help advocating for you and your family.
Alimony, often called spousal support or spousal maintenance, is a payment made from the higher-earning spouse to the other for the purpose of providing temporary financial assistance to a lesser-earning spouse during and after a divorce. Support payments typically continue until the lesser-earning spouse is able to support themselves financially.
If ordered to pay spousal maintenance, what happens if you can’t afford it? Fortunately, you do have legal options to reduce your alimony payments if they’re higher than what you can feasibly pay. (more…)
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