30 May 18

Manhattan Family Law Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 11:18 pm

Family law covers a wide range of issues, but many of them are interrelated and it’s important to work with an attorney who has the necessary experience. An attorney with years of family law practice can help you in everything from securing your separation and divorce to establishing custody and child support. A legal advocate working on your side can make all of the difference, which is just what you need when decisions that will affect the rest of your life are being considered.

Even if you get separated first, you’ll probably end up pursuing a divorce sooner or later. For that reason, as well as for protecting your financial standing, obtaining a legal separation is necessary. This essentially breaks the union, as far as finances go, so that you and your spouse will no longer be responsible for each other’s debts. Additionally, it sets a verifiable date for the separation, which can make a divorce that much simpler.

When it does come time for a divorce, your spouse will likely have an attorney working for them and so should you. Hiring an attorney doesn’t necessarily mean you will be pursuing a bitter court battle. In fact, many divorce lawyers help their clients by trying to avoid that adversarial process. Instead, they try to arrange mediation for the divorcing couple, which can let them settle the division of property and child custody arrangements amicably.

If the couple can’t make compromises in mediation, divorce court may be the only option left to them. In that case, you will already have an attorney who is up to speed on your case and understands what issues concern you the most. You and your attorney can work together to develop a strong strategy, so you’ll boost your chances for a favorable outcome. While it’s impossible that you’ll get everything you want or expect, a good family law attorney can help you achieve more than you would on your own.

Child Custody
The courts in Manhattan and throughout New York place an emphasis on doing what’s best for the child, so any decisions the court makes will come from that standpoint. As such, custody is divided into two aspects: physical and legal custody. In terms of physical custody, the concern is for the physical living conditions of the child. Physical custody can be shared between the parents equally. While this is the preferred situation, sometimes that’s impossible and the child or children will live principally with just one parent. The other parent may be granted some custody or visitation rights by the court in that type of situation.

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Legal custody concerns the care and upbringing of the child. The division of legal custody between parents can sometimes be entirely different from the physical custody arrangements, so don’t assume that sole physical custody automatically presumes you’ll have sole legal custody. This type of custody involves making decisions for the child’s care, including education, medical care, religious upbringing, and similar conditions that will affect how the child is raised.

Child Support
Related to custody is the issue of child support. Often, custody will have to be arranged first, because the establishment of support will depend on which parent has primary custody of the child. Additionally, the income versus debt ratio of each parent will also be considered in determining how much support should be paid and to which parent.

When it comes to support, a family law attorney is vital to helping you arrange the best arrangement for your circumstances. Often, parents will go back to family court to argue for changes to the child support arrangements and that will require bringing your lawyers back in on the case. You will need a legal advocate to help you request an increase in child support to compensate for cost of living changes, or, conversely, to fight that request for an increase.

As this brief overview suggests, all areas of family law are complex and emotionally draining issues. A legal advocate working on your side can help you better understand the process and help you mount a strategy that will increase the chance of obtaining a favorable outcome. Whether this means establishing custody or appealing a past decision, an attorney can help to protect your rights.