Child Support

How to Protect Your Children from Parental Conflict During Divorce

 

Divorcing couples may not agree on much but one thing that they can probably agree on is that they both want what is best for their children. Divorce is a very difficult and stressful time and children will feel the toll of divorce as well. The good news is there are some ways that you can protect your children from parental conflict during divorce.

 

If your children are old enough to understand what divorce really means, make sure that you are not getting into details with them about your frustrations with your ex. Even if you have teenage children and they ask you why you are angry with your ex; it is best not to vent to your children.

 

Just as you would not want your spouse to badmouth you to your children; it is best to have the same respect for your spouse as well.  Children are very sensitive to their environment, and it is best to create a safe and healthy environment for them. 

 

It is Best to Avoid Parental Alienation

 

Parental alienation happens when one parent influences a child into disengaging with the other parent, usually by speaking negatively about the other parent. The parent who is speaking negatively about the other parent may also refuse to coordinate time sharing and be uncooperative in the co-parenting process.

 

That is going to be extremely difficult on children because children want to be loved by both parents, they want to be accepted by both parents and they want to be loyal to both parents.

 

Parental alienation can also result in serious psychological and emotional issues that may impact your child custody case.

 

If you're struggling with divorce and need someone to talk to, reach out to a trusted friend or consider seeking the help of a qualified therapist or counselor.

 

Do Not Deny Parenting Time to Your Ex

 

No matter how old your children are children need both of their parents to be involved in their lives.  It would not be fair to keep your children from the other parent.  If you are trying to punish your ex by keeping them from their children, it also punishes your children.  Children do not deserve to be placed in the middle of a parental battle. 

 

Learn How to Effectively Communicate with Your Ex

 

Part of the co-parenting process is to be flexible. The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to get along with your ex and ensure that your children are not impacted negatively by the divorce process. The are parenting courses available online where you can learn ways to effectively co-parent and there are co-parenting apps that both you and your ex can use to communicate about the children and share documents, events, and calendar all in one place.  So look for resources and ways in which co-parenting can be made easier for you.

 

Speak to a Manhattan Divorce Mediator to Help with Parental Conflict

 

You do not have to figure it all out alone.  Reach out to Sabra Law Group today to schedule a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Divorce Mediation Can Help You Sort Through Child Support Issues in Manhattan

How Divorce Mediation Can Help You Sort Through Child Support Issues in ManhattanIf you are contemplating divorce, the way ahead may not seem clear. Many issues need to be decided, and the most contentious of these may relate to your children.

Mediation is a common-sense alternative to litigation when you are divorcing. One of the reasons why mediation works so well is that it can be used to settle even the most complicated matters, such as child support issues.

Divorce Mediation Works for Families

When a separating couple cannot agree on settlement terms, divorce mediation is a smart method for untangling even the most complex issues.

It's not unusual for couples to be unable to come to an agreement with regard to child support issues. Whether you expect that you will be paying or receiving child support, this remains one of the most hotly-contested questions.

Part of the problem is that no two families look or function in precisely the same way. A workable child support solution that's perfect for one family may be a disaster for another. Unfortunately, if you decide to go to court to settle child support issues, you're likely to end up with a one-size-fits-all solution.

Divorce mediation is your opportunity to create a unique child support arrangement that is ideal for your family's unique situation.

Getting the Facts About Income

Engaging in divorce mediation makes it possible for both sides to get a clearer picture with regard to the earnings of the opposing party. Chances are good that both parties already have rough ideas, but mediation necessitates disclosure of all sources of income so that a more equitable arrangement can be reached.

Even if it ultimately is not possible for a couple to settle child support issues during divorce mediation, going through the process will provide essential evidence that the court can use to make its calculations. In some cases, the mediator is called upon to give a professional opinion about which income should and should not count in child support calculations.

Is It Possible to Agree to No Child Support?

This is a possible outcome, but only if both parties agree that no child support is necessary. If an agreement for no child support cannot be reached in mediation, be prepared for the court to decide this question.

Help with Child Support Issues and More

Contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 to learn more about how beneficial divorce mediation in Manhattan can be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      

 

 

What Type of Expenses Are Covered Under Child Support in New York

One of the most important factors to sort out during a divorce is child support. For parents who have children, their main goal is to make sure that their children will have the financial resources they need for their health and financial well-being.

Who Typically Pays for Child Support in New York? 

Usually, the non-custodial parent pays for child support (a parent that has fewer visitation rights or parenting time with the children) to the custodial parent.  The custodial parent is the one that the children live with most of the time.  

In addition to the standard child support obligations, parents may also have to cover school and educational expenses, healthcare costs, childcare expenses, and any costs that are related to extracurricular activities and summer camp for their children.

School and Educational Expenses

School and educational expenses can include enrollment fees, school supplies, school uniforms, or any other related expenses regarding education. Furthermore, if the children will also be attending a private school there will be tuition involved; therefore, the parents do need to determine how to divide the cost of the tuition. 

Another important consideration is tutoring. If your child needs extra help with their coursework and curriculum outside of school then there may need to be a discussion around how parents will pay for a tutor or other special services for their children. 

Daycare and or Babysitting Expenses 

For working parents, another important consideration will be daycare expenses or expenses to pay a babysitter while the parent is working. More than likely these expenses be split, however; it will depend on each family's unique situation.  

Health Insurance and Health-Related Expenses 

While one parent may have the children under their company health care plan, the other parent may be asked to contribute to this plan (again it will determine it will depend on both parents’ unique circumstances). 

Other health care costs can include copays for doctor visits, cost of medication, cost of treatments or even paying for a psychologist for any psychological-related health issues.

Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities

An essential part of children's development is their involvement in extra-curricular activities and sports programs. If parents choose to enroll their student in things such as ballet, tennis lessons, piano lessons, dance classes, gymnastics or any other programs that may require an investment, this also needs to be factored into the child support payments.

Need Assistance with Child Support Payments in New York?

If you are going through a divorce and need assistance determining who should be paying for child support and ensuring that your children have the financial resources they need during and after divorce, contact 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 to Handle Divorce When Children Are Involved

It can be complicated to get divorced when children are involved.  When children are involved in a divorce, the amount of topics and areas to sort out with your spouse substantially increase. 

There are many factors to take into consideration.  Decisions will have to be made pertaining to child support and child custody. It is also a good idea to come up with a parenting plan which outlines details of how the children will be cared for. 

Follow the below tips to make the divorce process a bit easier when children are involved:

  1. Try to stay on good terms with your spouse: it may be difficult to avoid arguments with your spouse, however, keep in mind that you will have to interact with them indefinitely.   When children are involved, you will have to communicate with your spouse to coordinate parenting time with your children, and as they grow older, to coordinate their after school activities and other aspects of parenting.  Imagine what it would be like for your children if they were to see you arguing with your (ex)spouse all the time versus if you and your (ex)spouse were to become masterful at co-parenting.  Do your best to preserve a cooperative relationship with your spouse so it makes it easier on the children.  It may not be easy, and there are many books that discuss this topic.   
  2. Be mindful of the appropriateness of “adult” issues and exposure to your children. The details of your divorce are painful for you, it could only be even more painful to your children should they learn of them. You may be tempted to vent to your children, however, it would best to protect them by withholding the details of the divorce and reserving any such thoughts, comments and venting for a session with a therapist or life or divorce coach.  Be mindful not to leave divorce papers out in the open where your children may get access to read them or leaving your computer open where your children might see that email discussing some of your divorce matters. 
  3. Determine an effective way of co-parenting: try to have respect for your spouse’s decisions and keep an open mind.  You may not agree with every decision your spouse makes, however, make an effort to see it from their point of view.
  4. Get outside assistance:  seek assistance from a specialist who can help you.  The specialist should be trained in child psychology.  This will help your child get through this difficult time if they are having trouble dealing with all of the changes that come with divorce.

Questions About how to Handle Divorce When Children Are Involved?

Contact Sabra Law Group today if you need assistance with parenting plans or divorce mediation.  You can reach Sabra and schedule an appointment at (646) 472-7971.

How to Determine if a Parenting Plan in New York Can Be Changed

While there may be many complicated issues to work out in a divorce, the one thing that most couples can agree on is that they both want what is best for the children.

In order to ensure the welfare of the children, it is imperative to have a parenting plan that has been carefully orchestrated.  When drafting a parenting plan, it is important to consider the long-term and not just the short-term. 

Once a Parenting Plan is Finalized with the Divorce Decree Can It Be Changed?

The parenting plan can only be changed under certain circumstances; for example: both parents can agree to modify an existing parenting plan whenever they choose to do so.

One of the simplest ways to modify an existing parenting plan is for both parents to agree on modifying the plan.  If you feel that the current parenting plan does not meet the best needs of the children or is lacking certain factors, consider having an open and honest conversation with your spouse to see if you can come to an agreement on the suggested modifications.  Once you can both agree on the modifications, the process is quite simple:

  1. Draft a new parenting plan
  2. Both parties need to sign the new plan
  3. Then it has to go to the court for their signoff
  4. Once the court signs off on the new plan, it becomes official

Can a Parenting Plan Be Changed to Reflect a New Schedule or Changes in Schedule?

Yes, a parenting plan can be changed due to schedule conflicts.  Whether the schedule conflict has to do with one parent’s new job or a child transferring schools, it may require a change to the parenting plan that once was a good fit but now no longer serves its purpose. 

If the Changes to a Parenting Plan Are Significant, There Must Be Valid Reasons

Changes cannot be made to a parenting plan just because one parent decides that they want changes.  There must be good, valid reasons that directly impact the children’s best interests. 

Need to Make Changes to an Existing Parenting Plan, Consult a Mediation Attorney

If you need to make changes to an existing parenting plan and need some guidance, it is best to consult a knowledgeable mediation attorney who can guide you along the way.  Contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.

Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Explains Drafting an Effective Parenting Plan

Parenting during and after a divorce can be a challenge even in the best of circumstances. What makes a parenting plan so beneficial in these situations is that you and your ex-spouse get to set the parameters of the plan without allowing the court to impose its own constraints. This means that you have greater control over your parenting decisions.

There will necessarily be compromise involved in drafting an effective parenting plan. The more that both sides can agree to some flexibility in terms of scheduling and daily arrangements, the less time and money you will spend ironing out small details. The most important aspects of the plan to decide on are the health, educational and well-being decisions on behalf of your child. Setting clear guidelines as to how the parents will communicate and act with respect to major decisions in the child's upbringing makes for a much easier transition for all parties involved.

An effective parenting plan will also include some contingency planning. This means setting some guidelines for what will happen in the event of an emergency and how parents will contact each other if something happens to the child. Having a plan in place ahead of time can hedge off any miscommunications and misunderstanding about how emergencies will be handled. These are some of the most important things for the parents to agree upon at the outset.

Other topics of consideration include:

  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Passport and birth certificate
  • Relocation
  • Higher Education
  • Overnight guests

Contact an Experienced Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Today

To learn more about what an effective parenting plan could look like in your situation, call (646) 472-7971 and schedule an appointment for your mediation in New York. Sabra Law Group is ready to assist with all of your divorce and child custody mediation needs in New York. Find out why so many couples are turning to this convenient and cost-effective method of navigating divorce and legal parenting issues through divorce mediation in New York.

Manhattan Divorce Mediator Shares How to Protect Your Children’s Confidence After a Divorce

Most divorces are not as simple and straight-forward as we would like them to be.  Divorce can be complicated and involve quite a bit of conflict, but the worst part is that your children will go through so many emotions during their parents’ divorce.  It is imperative to support your children during this stressful time and ensure that their confidence and self-esteem is not shattered so that they maintain their self-confidence both during as well as after divorce.

Conflicts that commonly arise during a high pressure divorce can also cause stress in children, as a result that stress can impact their social skills, confidence, grades, and even friendships.

Follow These 5 Tips to During Divorce to Protect Your Children’s Confidence

  1. Don’t put your children in the middle of the divorce: during a divorce there are many issues that need to be sorted through amongst the parents.Don’t make your children the messenger if you do not wish to communicate with your spouse, instead seek the assistance of a savvy Manhattan divorce mediator who can mediate on your behalf. It is crucial to keep your children out of conversations that have to do with the custody battle, visitation schedule, or shedding a less than positive light on your spouse.
  2. Make time for your children:yes, the demands of work, dealing with divorce matters and everyday life can get in the way, however, it is more important now than ever to be there for your children and make time for fun activities.Children need to feel secure and loved and it is important to have family time for fun activities.
  3. Get your children more involved in extra-curricular activities: make sure your children can pursue extra-curricular activities at church or school that they are passionate about.This also allows them to be surrounded with their peers and keeps them active; staying active will make for a healthier mind and body.
  4. Show your children that you appreciate them:remember to praise your children on their grades, after school activities such as sports, band or any other activity that they may be involved in.Children need validation and appreciation for their efforts.It is important to spend time talking to your children on a daily basis and determining where their interests reside and also accessing when they need help.
  5. Learn to resolve disagreements with your spouse in a positive manner: Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.If you need to have a conversation that is difficult with your spouse, carefully think it through before speaking and then approach it in a calm manner.You never know when your children may be eavesdropping on your conversation and it is best to maintain calm.

Contact a Manhattan Divorce Mediator if You Need Assistance

If you are having difficulty sorting through difficult issues that arise during a divorce, contact an experienced Manhattan divorce mediator who can assist you with coming to an amicable resolution.  To learn more about divorce mediation, contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.

How to Develop a Parenting Plan in New York That Works

If you are going through a divorce in New York and have children, it is important to develop a comprehensive parenting plan so that the parenting of the children is clearly outlined.

There are two parts to an effective parenting plan; part 1 involves establishing custody and visitation and part 2 involves everyday schedule and routine activities of the children.

Part I. Establishing Custody

  1. Determine what the normal schedule will be:the first step in this process is to figure out who the child will live with and how often the other parent will get to spend time with and visit with the child (also referred to as parenting time).There are a couple of different scenarios that can occur:joint custody or sole custody.
  2. Create a plan for how to deal with holidays and vacations:determine which holidays will be spent with which parent.It is also important to determine a plan for travel and vacations.Will one parent allow the other to take the child out of the country for summer vacation? If one parent gets to see the child on the weekends, will that parent make an exception for Father’s Day weekend and let the child spend the weekend with his/her dad?
  3. Allow for special circumstances:there may be instances in which the child may be sick and it may be best for the child to remain at home and not be sent to the other parent.For example, the child may want to attend a friend’s birthday party that is closer to one parent than the other so it would make more sense for the child to remain with the parent closest to the party.
  4. Set guidelines for who you trust around your child or not:the first concern should be the safety and welfare of your child, so it may be best to outline who you allow your child to be around and who you do not.
  5. Determine how the child will be transported from one parent to the next:will the child be dropped off or will the non-custodial parent be picking up the child?

Need Help Developing a Parenting Plan in New York That Works?

Contact the Sabra Law Group for a confidential consultation on developing an effective parenting plan at (646) 472-7971.  You can also check out Part II. In our next blog that will cover establishing everyday activities and normal schedule of a parenting plan.

How to Determine if Your Child is Having a Hard Time Dealing with Divorce

Some parents are so caught up in the divorce process and their own sadness that they may tend to overlook the fact that their child is also struggling with the thought of their family being torn apart. 

 

If your child is old enough to truly understand the meaning of divorce, it is likely that  he or she will not accept this change in family dynamics easily.

 

Below are some warning signs to be aware of:

 

  1. Withdrawal: if your child has suddenly lost interest in hanging out with friends or family members that they are normally fond of, this could be a sign that your child is suffering from dealing with the divorce.
  2. Sudden Outbursts: your child has episodes of yelling and screaming that seem to come out of nowhere.  It seems that every little thing now sets  your child off, whereas, in the past your child was easy going and happy-go-lucky. 
  3. Trouble Sleeping: stress can disrupt normal sleeping patterns and it is important to take note if your child is complaining about not being able to sleep at night.
  4. Nightmares: if your child is complaining about nightmares, subconscious fears of loss and abandonment can cause nightmares. 
  5. Harming Oneself: this one can be a cry for help and/or attention. Your child may be trying to tell you that he or she needs more of your time and attention
  6. Grades Start to Drop: if your child normally is a straight “A” student and now is getting “C” grades, this can be an indicator that your child is distracted and not able to focus on school activities. Make sure you attend parent teacher conferences and take the time to ask your child how their day was at school. 

 

There can be many other symptoms as well, but the above are some of the most common indicators that your child is struggling with the concept of divorce. 

 

If you are having a hard time dealing with divorce and need legal guidance, contact the Sabra Law  Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.