Using the SUNY (State University of New York) Cap to Determine Higher Education Contributions

Oftentimes, parents seeking to contribute to their child’s higher education are unaware of how child support may be impacted. In New York State, child support is based on a pro-rata (fewer deductions) share of parental income for the first $80,000 of combined income. Once you have the pro-rata share, the state applies a statutory percentage of income as follows:

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Taking Children Out Of The Country

Now that school has begun, many parents may be planning a family vacation outside of the United States during a holiday break. For many divorced couples, this may present certain challenges, especially for those without a detailed custody agreement. Continue reading “Taking Children Out Of The Country”

Legally Preventing A Parent From Communicating With Their Child

While it is important for children to have a relationship with both of their parents, there are circumstances, such as dangerous or abusive behavior, when it is not in the best interest of a child to see a parent. In these instances, a parent can be legally prevented from having contact with a child. However, it is not a simple task and should not be taken lightly. Continue reading “Legally Preventing A Parent From Communicating With Their Child”

How To Establish A 50/50 Parenting Plan

legal parentsWhen establishing an equally shared parenting plan (50/50 parenting plan) it is important to develop a plan that is viable and will offer the most meaningful relationship for the children. In today’s society, many separated or divorced parents wish to be equally involved with their children’s needs, interests, and lives.  A parenting plan that is 50/50 can be created through a multitude of ways.  However, it must be developed through negotiation and compromise. It is important to remember that the plan must conform to the needs and best interests of the children. It is important to be familiar with and understand the difference between sole custody and joint custody prior to establishing a parenting plan. Working together with a legal professional to establish a plan is often key to a successful parenting plan. Continue reading “How To Establish A 50/50 Parenting Plan”

Adult Adoption Is A Growing Trend

In New York State, an individual may adopt a person over the age of 18. This grants the person over the age of 18, the legal treatment of a biological child. Adult adoption often occurs for the purpose of establishing legal rights, including inheritance or recognizing a parent-child relationship. New York State does not have strict laws governing who is eligible to adopt as well as who is eligible to be adopted. For instance, in certain states, an adoptee must be a minimum of 10 years younger than the adopter. New York State only requires that the adoptee agrees to the adoption.

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Collaboration for Co-Parents Is Key During the Summer Months

Summer break can be complex for divorced or separated parents. While children are off from school, making child custody arrangements for their daily activities or summer vacations may become problematic. It is important to remember that consistent and responsive communication will benefit all parties involved, resulting in a less complicated summer.

Here are a few tips for co-parenting in the most effective way:

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Losing Custody Due To Mental Illness

In many instances, parents suffering from mental health issues may not seek help due to the fear of losing custody of their children. In some states, a parent may lose custody of their child, if they are suffering from mental illness.

According to studies, 70 to 80 percent of parents suffering with mental illness lose custody of their children. If the parent becomes hospitalized in a psychiatric center then the children are often raised by grandparents or other relatives. Those without extended family are placed in foster care.

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Establishing A Father And Child Relationship May Preclude DNA Testing

According to the 2007 New York Family Court Act, paternity proceedings may be started at any time from pregnancy until a child is 21 years of age. If a motion is made by either party to perform a DNA comparison, the court may order the genetic testing unless the test is not in the best interest of the child. If testing is not within the best interest of the child, the court must provide in writing whether it is due to “equitable estoppel, the presumption of legitimacy of a child born to a married woman, or res-judicata, which means the issue has been judicially determined.”

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Equitable Distribution

In New York State, the law provides for an “equitable distribution” of assets and liabilities that were accumulated throughout the duration of a marriage. The majority of the accumulated assets obtained during the marriage are considered to be marital with a few exceptions. The first step in determining equitable distribution is to evaluate the total assets and liabilities. If an individual is considering filing for divorce, it is important that he or she determines what constitutes marital and separate property as early as possible.

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