Child Custody

What Happens to My Rights of Access if I Have a Child with a Partner and We Are Unmarried?

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for unmarried couples to have children. This has presented a relatively new set of challenges when these couples decide to separate.

The good news is that unmarried parents have many of the same rights that married ones do in New York. For instance, it is possible under state law for unmarried parents to claim visitation, custody, and child support.

What Are Some Issues that Can Arise in Cases Where Partners Are Unmarried?

Nonetheless, other issues may arise in such cases that do not usually attend typical divorce cases. As an example, questions of paternity are more likely to arise in these cases than they are in more traditional divorce matters.

Another issue that is more likely to arise is rights of access. Simply because the relationship between the adults is ending, the responsibilities of parenthood do not cease. As the couple separates, it is necessary to create a sensible and realistic plan for continuing to raise the children, ideally with both parents in the picture.

A big part of this plan is custody. "Custody" refers to legal responsibility for caring for a child. Residency or physical custody relates to where the child lives while legal custody relates more to the power to make decisions with regard to factors like health care and education.

How Are Decisions Regarding Physical Custody Handled in New York?

The parents or the court may make decisions with regard to the child's "physical custody," or primary residence, with one of the parents. Consequently, the other parent likely will be granted "visitation" rights, also referred to as “parenting time.” These are effectively rights of access that ensure that a child and parent are able to spend adequate time together to foster a meaningful relationship.

Either of the parents may be granted physical custody, and the other parent is virtually always granted rights of access. Remember that the standard applied by the courts is in “the best interest of the child.” Typically, this means having quality access to both parents. Even if you and your partner were never married, this should not be an obstacle to you or your former partner receiving rights of access.
 

Who Determines Visitation?

The court determines whether or not visitation is in the child's best interest, but, if possible, it's wise to try to settle such matters out of court. Mediation is a sensible and less confrontational option that can settle questions of custody and rights of access.
 

Need Assistance with Your Rights of Access in New York?

If you would like to learn more about rights of access, contact the Sabra Law Group today by calling (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       

 

Do I Have Rights to Be Present During the Birth of My Child if the Mother Keeps Me Away?

Do I Have Rights to Be Present During the Birth of My Child if the Mother Keeps Me Away?

You have conceived a child with a woman that you are not married to at this time. Whether this pregnancy was planned or not, you want to have an active part in the process. However, the mother does not want you to be involved in the pregnancy or birth process.

Your question is, “Do I have rights to be present at the birth of my child”?

The Answer is No, You Do Not Have Rights to Be Present

Under the guidelines of the law, pregnancy is seen as a medical condition, and the woman who is giving birth has the right to privacy for the medical care for this condition. You cannot force or compel her to allow you to be present at the birth of your child.

However, once the baby is born, you do have parental rights. These rights give you the ability to bring a proceeding in court for visitation and other parental duties for the child. When you start a proceeding to enforce your rights, you will also have to establish paternity as well as a child support plan for that child.

Speak with An Experienced Attorney Focused on This Area of Law

Establishing parental rights under these circumstances can be challenging when one parent does not want to interact with the other. Parental rights will have to be established through paternity testing, and there will need to be legal documentation presented.

If you have found yourself in a position where you want to establish your paternity so that you can have an active part in your child's life, work with an attorney who focuses on family law.

Sabra Law Group Can Assist with Establishing Your Rights as the Child’s Father

The New York family law attorneys at Sabra Law Group can help you with this situation. They can help establish your rights and seek visitation rights for you with your child. Through mediation or direct legal action with the courts, Sabra Law Group will actively represent your rights as the child's father.

You may not have the legal right to be present at the birth of your child, but this does not mean you do not have the rights to be involved in their life. If you want to be actively involved in your child's life, speak with one of the attorneys at Sabra Law Group today. Call 646-742-7971 and find out everything Sabra Law Group can do for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                        

What You Need to Know About Child Custody if You Relocate Outside of New York 

relocate outside of New York

Issues concerning child custody are limited by jurisdiction. For a court to make any determination on child custody issues, it must be established that the child has lived within the jurisdiction for the previous six months. This is usually not an issue, but if you relocate outside of New York prior to establishing custody, there may be some additional legal issues you must address.

Rules For Custody Jurisdiction

In most cases, if there were prior child custody hearings about the child or children in question held in New York and the children have since moved, New York may elect to keep jurisdiction over the custody hearings if one of the parents has remained in New York. However, if the child has lived outside of the area for over six months, the court in the new state may assume jurisdiction over custody hearings. This applies to every state except Massachusetts.

What Happens if Your Child Has Large Connections to New York State

If you relocate outside of New York, but the child has a large connection to the state, such as education, medical care, or spends a significant time with the other parent who lives in New York, the state may retain jurisdiction over all custody hearings.

There Are Many Complexities When It Comes to Child Custody 

There are many complexities that can arise when it comes to child custody. If the child was wrongly removed from the state, New York may automatically assume jurisdiction as the home state for the child. 

If there were other circumstances that have removed the child from living in the state for the prior six months, but they really should be considered a resident of New York, the state may decide to retain authority.

Work With A Child Custody Attorney

If there are any questions about residency when it comes to child custody, it will be in the best interest of the parent to seek representation from a child custody attorney. An attorney can help establish jurisdiction as well as help solve all of the issues regarding custody.

It will be especially important to seek legal representation if you have recently relocated outside of New York and need to make any changes to your child custody agreement. 

Contact Sabra Law Group today to discuss your child custody case at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

How Domestic Violence Can Impact Child Custody in Manhattan

Domestic violence is always a difficult topic to discuss, however, it is important to know how to protect your children if they may have been impacted by domestic violence. The most critical thing to keep in mind is to remove your children from the situation as soon as possible and keep them safe.  

When children witness domestic violence between their parents, it can really take a toll on their mental health.  A family law judge in New York state will take domestic violence charges very seriously and the outcome of child custody and visitation will be impacted. It is the responsibility of the judge to ensure that the safety and well-being of children are taken into serious consideration prior to granting any child custody or visitation rights. 

Domestic violence in New York state is handled in courts as a “family offense.” The types of crimes that are included under domestic violence may include assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment, strangling or choking, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, sexual abuse, intimidation, threats, intimidation, or coercion.  

It is unfortunate, but sometimes a parent may fabricate domestic violence claims to take advantage of gaining full custody or preventing custody to be granted to the other parent. 
 

In most cases, the person accused of domestic violence will be able to present proof that they are not a threat to their spouse or children, but it is always not so simple to do so. If this is the case, it is imperative to consult an experienced New York family law attorney who can provide sound legal counsel.  

If you have experienced domestic violence, it is just as important to consult a family law lawyer who can help you.  With the assistance of a family law attorney, you may be able to obtain an emergency restraining order that keeps your spouse from entering your home.  A temporary restraining order can be valid for up to four weeks. It is also a good idea to ask your divorce lawyer if they can refer you to a criminal lawyer that can further help your case and situation. 

Regardless of if you have been wrongly accused of domestic violence or if you have been the victim of domestic violence, it is best to consult a Manhattan Divorce Attorney who can provide guidance on your case and the best way to protect your children when it comes to child custody.  

Need Assistance with Child Custody in Manhattan? 

Contact Sabra Law Group today if you need assistance with child custody or divorce in Manhattan, call (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Handle Post-Divorce Child Custody Conflicts During the Pandemic

Post-Divorce Child CustodyThe COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of life. It should come as no surprise, then, that those changes have extended to post-divorce child custody. While the agreements made by former spouses during the divorce process were almost certainly made with the best interests of the child in mind, the truth is that the pandemic has no respect for such agreements. As such, there are a few basic steps that should be taken to ensure a safe and effective custody arrangement during these trying times.

While difficult, the first thing to do is to be realistic about how the pandemic is going to impact your custody arrangements. A parent being quarantined may cause one party to lose his or her visitation time, so an alternate arrangement should be found if possible. Likewise, changes in the availability of travel or childcare will have to be looked at to determine how the child's routine will be changed. These changes will be quick and often difficult, but it will be up to the parents to ensure that they are navigated as smoothly as possible.

If communication between the parents is possible. it is often a good idea to make a parenting plan for COVID-19. This will include both the steps that both parents will take to keep the children safe as well as basic steps that can be taken when unusual circumstances occur. Referring to this agreement can help the parents to better adapt without having to hash out the argument every time the situation changes.

With this said, there will be times when disagreements occur, and steps may need to be taken in order to keep the children safe. While in-person mediation is unlikely to occur in many areas, mediation through teleconferencing can be an effective way to allow both parents to have their say while still allowing a third party to mediate the situation. In those situations when a compromise is impossible, it may be necessary to go to court in order to have the custody arrangement temporarily changed in order to better navigate the new reality of COVID-19.

There is no easy way to co-parent during COVID-19 but there are steps that you can take to simplify the process. Try to be realistic about the situation and make whatever compromises you can, but make sure that you're willing to work to ensure that your child is kept as safe as possible. If you are dealing with a post-divorce child custody issue, make sure to contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to get the help you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Keep Your Ex-Spouse’s New Partner Away from Your Children? 

ChildrenWhether your divorce is finalized or not, it can be painful to hear that your former spouse has re-entered the dating pool. 

This may be especially troubling if you learn that your ex-spouse's new partner is frequently around your child or is actually babysitting during the former spouse's parenting time.

You'll probably be experiencing a mixture of emotions like hurt, anger and discomfort. After all, you may wonder what impact your ex-spouse's new partner may have on your child or simply feel uncomfortable with the idea that a stranger is helping to raise your child.

All of these feelings and concerns are valid and natural. However, in most cases the law says that is perfectly acceptable for a new partner to be around your kids. How is this possible?

It's because of the parenting time that your ex-spouse has been granted by law. If a parent is deemed competent by the courts to raise a child, this includes their ability to decide about whether or not it's appropriate to have a new boyfriend or girlfriend around the kids. 

While you may not be happy that your ex-spouse is moving on and you may dislike that the new partner is around your kids, it's best to proceed with caution. Judges in New York generally prefer to allow kids to have contact with both parents unless one of them is putting the child in danger. If you try to prevent your kid from spending time with your former spouse and their new partner, then your actions may be construed as interfering in the relationship between the parent and child.

However, if you suspect that your child is being abused or neglected while in the care of the other parent, including while in the care of the new partner, then you have every right to seek legal recourse. This includes situations in which the new partner has issues with drugs or alcohol, is impaired by a mental health issue or is violent or abusive.

If you believe that your former spouse's boyfriend or girlfriend is harming, abusing or neglecting your child, then it is wise to immediately consult with a family law attorney. The courts will protect children who are in abusive and neglectful situations, even if it means limiting or terminating the parent-child relationship. 

If you have concerns about your ex-spouse's new partner, then contact the Sabra Law Group today at 646-472-7971.

 

 

 

 

How Does Having Multiple Children in Multiple Households Impact Child Support in New York

Multiple Children in Multiple HouseholdsChild support can be a confusing topic for those who have never dealt with it before. While there are many formulas out there for determining support, it can be more difficult to get information if your situation doesn't fit the standard examples. One important question that should be asked, for example, is how child support in New York works when there are multiple children in multiple households. 

The amount of child support in New York owed by a non-custodial parent is based on his or her Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The combined AGIs of both parents will be combined to create a household income, and then the non-custodial parent will owe child support based on the number of children in the household and the percentage of the household income that the non-custodial parent's AGI makes up. 

When a parent has multiple children in multiple households, the same sort of formula is going to be used. What changes, though, is the parent's AGI. The amount of child support paid to the first household will be deducted from the AGI of the non-custodial parent when determining child support for each subsequent household.

For example:

If Parent A has an AGI of $100,000 a year and that 100,000 a year represents one hundred percent of Household 1's earnings, the basis for determining child support for the children in Household 1 will be based off of that AGI. In this case, let us say that there is one child in the household, so he or she would pay about $17,000 per year in child support. 

If Parent A then owes child support for a second household, Household 2, then Parent A's AGI would be his or her total AGI less the child support payment that he or she makes towards Household 1. In this case, the AGI that forms the basis would be $83,000 ($100,000-$17,0000), and with one child he or she would then owe $14,100 per year in child support to that household.

As you may be able to see, the household that is able to file for child support first gets a significant monetary advantage over each subsequent household. As such, it is always important to file for child support quickly once parentage is established or once any form of separation agreement begins.

If you are dealing with child support issues, it's vital that you work with an attorney. Doing so not only gives you a chance to find out what your child deserves, but it gives you the representation you'll need to interact with the legal system. When you're ready for help, make sure to contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Domestic Violence Can Impact Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Domestic ViolenceDomestic violence can cause emotional, psychological, and physical trauma to the spouse who is being abused as well as the children that are living in an abusive household.  If you are in a situation where you are experiencing domestic violence, it is best to remove yourself from that situation for your safety as well as your children’s.   Let’s examine how domestic violence can impact child custody during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

A New York family law judge will take domestic abuse charges very seriously when it comes to determining how child custody and visitation may or may not be granted. If the abuse was serious enough or happened repeatedly, it is unlikely that the judge will grant child custody to the abusive spouse.   Both the New York family law judge and your child custody attorney have the same goal in mind; to do what it takes to protect you and your children from an abusive domestic environment.

 

Children who witness domestic abuse between their parents are at the highest risk for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next; it is best to get them out of that type of environment as soon as possible.  Their future depends on it.

 

Legally, the abusive spouse may be allowed to rebut the domestic violence charges.  This process may include having to provide evidence that shows that he/she is not a threat to the children or spouse. An example of when a spouse may need to rebut the domestic violence charges is if their spouse fabricated some or all of the domestic violence allegations in order to have the upper hand when it comes to child custody.  It is also an opportunity for the accused spouse to prove their case and/or make an effort to fight for their custody rights.

 

How to Get Immediate Help If You Are Experiencing Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The first step is to find a way to either remove yourself from the situation and your abusive spouse.  You can do this by either finding another place to stay temporarily or get assistance from your New York divorce attorney who can guide you. Your attorney may be able to guide you in getting an order from a New York family law judge to restrict visitation or help you obtain a temporary restraining order.  

 

Call Sabra Law Group Today to Determine How Domestic Violence Can Impact Child Custody for Your Unique Situation

 

Each situation is different, so it is best to have a knowledgeable New York family law attorney advise you on what the best course of action should be for you. Call Sabra law Group today to book a confidential phone consultation at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Handle Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Child Custody During the COVID-19 PandemicCo-parenting and child custody can already be challenging but when you couple that with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it takes stress and uncertainty to a whole other level.

 

So much has changed because of the pandemic.  Most day-care facilities remain closed, forcing parents to quit their jobs or take on the additional responsibilities of having to parent and work from home with no outside assistance.  Many schools are still doing homeschool for the safety of the children and educational staff. What many parents are realizing is that what previously worked or was put in place regarding child custody no longer makes sense.  For many parents, it’s time to re-evaluate child custody and parenting and modify existing child custody orders/plans.

 

Questions About Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

 

Are you wondering if you still have to comply with the custody schedule and order that was in place prior to the pandemic? The short answer is “yes”, however; any deviations made must be based on the best interest of your children.  Because the COVID-19 Pandemic has put many travel restrictions on the public as well as state to state quarantine restrictions, traveling out of state to see your child may not be feasible.  Instead of seeing your child in person, you may have to modify the order to be able to have video chats instead or if you are able to travel, to have an extended duration with your child in an effort to minimize the back and forth.

 

Another valid concern that many parents are having is the worry of exposing their child to COVID-19 at the other parent’s home if that parent works in a setting that makes it easier to contract the virus.  If you have genuine concerns about the safety of your child, then it is best to communicate that to your ex and figure out an alternative game plan.  In all fairness though, do not use the pandemic as an excuse to keep your child from your ex. 

 

Another option is to discuss a temporary agreement that revolves around the new nuisances that the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought upon.  If you are able to discuss a temporary agreement and come to an agreement, then it is important to also put the stipulations in writing.

 

If you are not able to come to amicable terms on your own, then it may be time to consider getting a New York Divorce Mediation Attorney involved who can help you both come up with a temporary agreement that best meets the needs of your child or children.  Even with the assistance of a mediation lawyer, it is essential to be flexible and accommodating with your ex-spouse when it comes to child custody.

 

Contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 for assistance with handling child custody during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Handle Co-Parenting and Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

COVID-19 pandemicEven prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, parenting was a challenge for separated or divorced couples; now with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more difficult to navigate.

 

There are some guidelines that you can follow to alleviate the struggles of parenting during this unprecedented time. 

 

Even though the majority of parents may find themselves in a situation where the child custody schedules were already determined, it helps to be more flexible during this time.

 

What it Means to Be More Flexible

 

The COVID-19 pandemic presents new situations and stressors that definitely have to be considered.  There are now remote work situations, remote learning/school, and the fact that families have to struggle to juggle it all (without access to daycare).  At a time like this, both parents need to be flexible when following the parenting plan/schedule as what worked in the past will no longer suffice.

 

Be Understanding of Financial Situations

 

Many families are facing financial challenges that come with losing their job or being laid off from work or even reduced hours.  Even the inability to work because you now have to take care of your children can hinder the opportunity to make money.  This is why it is so important to be empathetic and understanding of your spouse or ex-spouses’ situation.  Do not use this time to be petty or make the other person frustrated.  It is best to find a way to be more accommodating and flexible for the sake of your children.

 

Use This Time as a Learning Opportunity

 

Set a good example for your children by tactfully mastering the art of conflict resolution.   In life, there will certainly be adversity and challenges; but what’s more important is teaching your kids how to handle roadblocks.  Children always look up to their parents as role models, so remember to put your best foot forward even during the most stressful times.

 

Even if both parents are keen to cooperate with each other, there will always be unforeseen challenges to deal with.  There is a lot of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, it is best to focus on what we can control. 

 

Certain stressful situations will always arise, but we can control how we react to these situations.  Children are quite sensitive and can feel the negative energy between parents, so it is best to keep calm when it’s time to handle conflict with your spouse/ex-spouse.

 

Contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.