Family Law

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                        

4 Ways to Practice Self-Care During and After Divorce in New York

4 Ways to Practice Self-Care During and After Divorce in New YorkGoing through a divorce can be extremely painful and stressful; that is why it is important to practice self-care. Learn how to practice self-care during a divorce in New York with the 4 tips below.

Plan a Getaway

Sometimes it's important to get away to restore your sense of peace and regain your strength. Try to plan a quick weekend road trip or go to a retreat where you can practice meditation and yoga. It can also be beneficial to travel alone if you feel like you just need time alone to think and reflect. Traveling alone can bring peace and is usually less stressful than traveling with friends because you are free to do whatever you want.

Start by determining if your idea of a weekend getaway is doing something more relaxing or something more exciting.  Then based on that you can determine where you should go.  A quick trip or road trip can do wonders for your soul and help you reset. 

Don’t Keep Everything Bottled Up

Going through a divorce can be so emotional so if you feel like you need to talk to someone, get on the phone and call a friend and see if they can provide a listening ear.

Another outlet for not keeping everything bottled up is journaling.  Journaling provides an easy outlet too get your fears and frustrations out you will start to feel less weighed down. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help or Support

Don't let your pride get in the way of asking for help if you feel that you can benefit from counseling, consult a therapist or a divorce coach and then go ahead and make an appointment and at least try it out. Reach out to your friends and family for support and let them know that you may need their support from time to time. It is also important to find a babysitter or someone who can take care of the kids so you can get a break because sometimes you just need to be alone to unwind and de-stress during a time when it feels like your world is falling apart.

Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyle will help you feel better emotionally and physically. It is important to focus on eating a healthy diet, getting some exercise, and really taking care of your entire mind and body.

Try having a weekly routine where you either go to the gym, practice yoga or take an exercise class.  Even going for a daily walk can make such a big difference. It is also important to be cognizant of what type of diet you are eating. A healthy diet will give you more energy, whereas an unhealthy diet will make you feel exhausted and sluggish, and stressed out.

If you are considering divorce or need assistance with child custody and support, contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?

Do Grandparents Have Visitation RightsThe relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be incredibly important and rewarding. Unfortunately, many grandparents are barred from seeing their grandchildren by circumstances outside of their control. Though working through those family issues on your own is the preferred course of action, there may come a time when you wish to get the courts involved. Before doing so, it's vital that you know whether or not grandparents actually have any sort of rights to visiting their grandchildren in New York.

When Could Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?

It's important to realize that while grandparents do have visitation rights in New York, those rights don't extend to everyone. In fact, there are only three times when visitation rights are granted by the court: when one or both parents die, when the grandparents already have a relationship with the grandchildren, or when the parents have substantially interfered with the grandparents' ability to form a relationship. Only biological and adoptive grandparents are considered for this type of visitation; great-grandparents and other relatives don't have the same rights.

Parental Preference and Visitation

Though visitation rights are automatic when one or both parents die, things become more complicated when the parents don't wish to have the grandparents visit. As with most issues involving children in New York, the grandparents have to show that their visits are in the best interest of the child.

There are a number of factors that can come into play when making this determination. Everything from the age of the children to any pre-existing relationships that you might have had with children. One of the biggest factors that will come into play is your current relationship with the parents. While grandparents do have important rights in the state of New York, those rights rarely supersede those of the parents. It is, however, a path that may be worth pursuing for those who truly wish to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.

If you are currently being prevented from visiting your grandchildren, you may be able to get a court order to do so. Though it's not possible in every situation, it is something that you might want to pursue. If your difficulty with family matters have reached the point of needing to involve a third party, it may be time for you to contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to get the help that you need.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If My Spouse Cheated on Me, Can I Get More Money Out of My Divorce?

Spouse CheatedAdultery is one of the primary reasons that marriages end, and according to current information, one spouse cheating on the other is an influence in 15-50% of all divorces. This is a huge number, and it begs a very important question: If there is cheating in a marriage, can you get more money in a divorce?

The answer? Maybe, but it's complicated. It depends on your state. In some states, adultery can prevent a person from collecting alimony. However, that depends on the state and on the proof you have, as mere allegations of adultery do not count. If you think that your spouse cheated on you, you must be able to provide some level of evidence supporting the allegation. Again, the specifics vary, so you'll have to check with your divorce lawyer in order to determine what proof you need in order to make the claim that your spouse cheated on you and have that claim admitted into law.  Either way, seeking to prove and establish this in court takes time and costs a lot in legal fees and other expenses. 

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the definition of infidelity may vary. A deep emotional relationship may count in some states, a kiss on the lips in others, and a more intense physical encounter in others. This is not a small distinction, as you may need to take additional measures, such as hiring a private detective, in order to prove the adultery and thus save yourself money in a divorce settlement. 

It is also worth noting that an unfaithful husband or wife can wind up losing property. For example, if the cheating partner has expended a significant sum of money on the third party, or paramour, it is possible that a Judge may award a more favorable settlement to the wronged party. This would be to compensate for the financial losses incurred by the cheated spouse. 

Last, it is possible that someone who cheated may wind up losing leverage in a divorce settlement. In the vast majority of cases, divorces are settled before they go to Court. However, a spouse who has cheated may feel guilt, the fear of public embarrassment, or the threat of a less than favorable ruling by an unsympathetic judge. As a result, they may be more inclined to make a favorable settlement to the wronged party. 

If your marriage is coming to an end, Sabra Law Group can help make sure your interests are protected and that you get the settlement you deserve.  Call us at (646) 472-7971 for a confidential consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn What Factors Determine Spousal Maintenance in New York 

Spousal MaintenanceSome people confuse spousal support, spousal maintenance and alimony.  In New York, these terms are used interchangeably and refer to a payment that is made by one spouse to the other during or after divorce.  In 2010, New York passed a statute requiring a formula to be applied to determine “temporary maintenance”; i.e. spousal support that is paid during the pendency of a divorce action.  There is also a formula for determining “permanent maintenance” which is support one spouse continues to pay to the other after a divorce has been finalized. In addition to the application of the appropriate statutory formula, courts will apply various factors in reaching its determination. Are you wondering what factors determine spousal maintenance in New York? 

Spousal Maintenance in New York is Determined by Applying and Evaluating the Following Factors: 

    
(a)    the age and health of the parties; 
(b)    the present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce; 
(c)    the need of one party to incur education or training expenses; 
(d)    the termination of a child support award during the pendency of the temporary maintenance award when the calculation of temporary maintenance was based upon child support being awarded and which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been had child support not been awarded; 
(e)    the wasteful dissipation of marital property, including transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration; 
(f)    the existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a predivorce separate household; 
(g)    acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include but are not limited to acts of domestic violence as provided in section four hundred fifty-nine-a of the social services law; 
(h)    the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties; 
(i)    the care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party's earning capacity; 
(j)    the tax consequences to each party; 
(k)    the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage; 
(l)    the reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage; and 
(m)    any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper. 

 

If you have questions about what factors determine spousal maintenance in New York, or are considering a divorce, contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to assist you with all of your family law matters. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it Possible to Save Your Marriage During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

save your marriageAre you wondering if you can save your marriage during the COVID-19 Pandemic?  If so, you are not alone, thousands of people are struggling with their marriage amidst the pandemic.  There are many factors that can go into play when it comes to staying in a marriage or getting out. 

 

One of the most important factors to consider is if your marriage was rocky prior to the pandemic or did it become rocky during the pandemic?  Asking yourself this question will help you determine if your marriage was already on the rocks due to underlying reasons or if it was the stress of quarantine and pandemic life that has pushed your marriage to the breaking point.

 

You Can Try to Save Your Marriage During the COVID-19 Pandemic with These Tips:

 

  1. Have a reality check with yourself:  this means you need to determine if you are seeing things clearly and objectively or are you seeing things through cloudy lens.  It takes two people to make a marriage work; and it also requires you to do the work to save your marriage.   By becoming more cognizant of your old patterns and how you react to your spouse, you can recognize “bad habits” and use this time to create more trust and connection with your spouse instead of “fault finding” your spouse. 
  2. Take a break from your spouse to see what it would really feel like to be separated/divorced:  sometimes it’s important to take a break from your spouse to see how you really feel about them.   If you have a family member or friend that you can stay with for a few days or weeks, it may be the best way to get away and evaluate your marriage, and how you really feel about your spouse.  For some couples, “distance will make the heart grow fonder” and they will realize that they do still love each other and that giving their marriage another shot is worthwhile.  Unfortunately, for other couples; there may come a realization that they are happier being alone than in an unhappy or tumultuous marriage.
  3. Communication is key:  it is best not to assume anything at a time when emotions are running high and stress is impacting how couples are interacting with each other.  If your partner has suddenly become closed off or distant; it may make sense to sit down and have a heart to heart conversation.  You can do this by being open, kind and curious in order to get your spouse to feel comfortable opening up.

 

If you have tried everything to save your marriage during the COVID-19 Pandemic but have been unsuccessful, it may be time to consult an experienced Manhattan divorce attorney who can guide you on the divorce process during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Protect Your Business Financially During a Divorce

protect your business financially

Are you a business owner who is considering divorce amongst the pandemic?  If so, you are not alone, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and upheaval.   Whether that stress has been financial, emotional, or caused by other extenuating factors, it has definitely contributed to the rising divorce statistics.

 

When there are children, real estate, and businesses involved in a divorce, it definitely makes the divorce process more complex. 

 

By being more knowledgeable, it can give you the upper hand. It is best to speak to legal and financial professionals who can provide guidance based on your state’s regulations.

 

The first aspect to consider is that your spouse’s attorney may request financial documents related to the business as well as an explanation of what type of business you own and how it is structured.

 

It is best for you to continue focusing on your business and perhaps appoint your accountant or a business appraiser as the designated person who will compile all the necessary documents and information.

 

Furthermore, the best way to approach this is to be upfront and honest and not hold anything back.  The more upfront you are from the beginning, the smoother the entire process will go.

 

It is also important to consider that depending on the complexity of your business; your spouse’s attorney may not understand the business; which can complicate matters if not handled strategically.  The best way to handle this is to set up a meeting with both side’s attorneys, both spouses, and a financial expert.   This meeting will help provide more clarity to your legal team so they can provide the best guidance.  

 

What Happens When Both Spouses Own the Business Together?

 

For the most part, it is unlikely that both parties would remain a part of the business after the divorce.  A more realistic scenario may be that one party may end up buying the other party out or giving up the business with their soon to be ex-spouse and start a separate new business (whether solo or with additional business partners). 

 

The business partner that usually ends up staying in the business or buying the other partner out is the one that was the most involved in the business (this can equate to more hours spent, more investment spent, more contributions made, etc.).  

 

If you need assistance with how to protect your business financially during a divorce, contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a Way to Have a Simpler Divorce in New York

simpler divorce in New YorkHow long does it take to get divorced? If you follow celebrity gossip, then you may have the impression that getting divorced requires months, if not years, of legal wrangling.

At the end of the process, both parties are physically, emotionally, and financially exhausted.

Unfortunately, it's not only celebrities who get stuck in a seemingly endless and painful divorce process. It also happens to ordinary families.

This is always sad because it is possible to get a simpler divorce in New York. In fact, an easier divorce process is available to anyone, and it can be achieved through mediation.

It isn't necessary to be rich or perfect to take advantage of mediation. All that's needed is the right mindset.

This means focusing on the things that really matter. For you, that may be the well-being of your children or your own personal health. Perhaps you're choosing to turn your thoughts to a brighter future in a new city or with a new career or by furthering your education.

Whatever your priorities are, it's worthwhile to focus on these healthy, hopeful things rather than looking back at the past and staying mired in the disagreements and arguments of yesterday.

This gives you all of the incentive that you need to enter mediation with the right mindset. When your focus is on your family's well-being and the future, you'll find that you're more willing to compromise, negotiate, and get creative when it comes to settling your divorce.

Accordingly, you'll be less likely to insist on litigation or asking a judge to decide important, private matters on your behalf. This is the key to having a simpler divorce in New York. You will not only forego numerous court dates, each of which may be scheduled months apart but also have a personal hand in critical decisions relating to child custody and support as well as the division of assets.

Moreover, mediation is the far less expensive way to approach divorce. With fewer court dates, fewer court filings, and less time spent with an attorney, more of your family's assets will remain intact so that you can use them to improve your future.

With all of these positive things to recommend it, why wouldn't you choose to mediate your divorce?

If you would like to learn more about how to get a simpler divorce in New York, contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971.