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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Unique Tri-Custody Case in New York

A recent New York child custody case involved the custodial rights of three parents. The child custody case involved a married couple, Dawn and Michael, who had a relationship with their neighbor, Audria. Audria and Michael had a child together. Michael and Dawn separated, and Dawn and Audria moved in together. When the child was born, the three parents worked together to raise the child.

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A Look Into New York’s First Case Under New Definition of “Parent”

The New York Times reports that the first case to test New York State’s new definition of parent is underway. On August 30, 2016 the New York Court of Appeals issued a monumental decision regarding the definition of “parent” in relation to visitation and custody determinations. The case of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C., held that after a party proves “by clear and convincing evidence” that both parties had come to an agreement to conceive and raise a child together, then they will be deemed a “parent” in relation to seeking custody and visitation. Prior to the ruling, New York law held that only an adoptive or biological parent had the ability to seek custody or visitation.

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2016 Provided for Many Changes in New York State Matrimonial Matters

Over the last two years, New York State has enacted new legislation, forms, and rules aimed at providing more efficient and effective adjudication of matrimonial matters. Parties of matrimonial actions in New York Supreme Courts now have a greater access to legal services and more protection of confidential information. In 2016, the changes accounted for a significant change in the process and the practice of matrimonial law in the state.

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New York Orders of Protection

An Order of Protection (OP) is a Court Order mandating an individual to either refrain from certain behaviors against specified individuals, or to stay away from the protected party entirely. The purpose of an OP is to protect the alleged victim from harm. Most often OPs are directed in response to incidents of domestic violence. Multiple courts have jurisdiction to issue OPs, and all orders require the restricted individual to surrender any firearms they may have.

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What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?

A divorce is considered contested if either you or your spouse do not want a divorce, disagree about the legal grounds for the divorce, or disagree about what will happen with your children, your finances, or your property after the divorce.

Contested divorces generally necessitate the court to decide issues that you and your spouse disagree about. Because the judge presiding over your case will require detailed information to decide the issues you disagree about, your contested divorce will require you and your spouse to go to Court numerous times. A contested divorce can be very expensive because attorneys are typically paid by the hour.  In addition, these types of divorces can be very stressful for the parties involved, and the process can take months or even years to resolve.

Conversely, a divorce is considered uncontested if two factors are met. First, you and your spouse both want to get a divorce. Second, both you and your spouse agree about what will happen with your children, your finances, and your property after divorce.

An uncontested divorce provides a few advantages. An uncontested divorce is relatively inexpensive, less stressful on the parties, and typically can be resolved within several months. Continue reading “What Is the Difference Between a Contested and an Uncontested Divorce?”