When a couple with children decides to end their marriage, their primary concern is often determining an arrangement that best suits their children’s needs. In many cases, this will involve an agreement to live in a certain geographical area. The courts will typically adopt such an agreement if they find it to be in a child’s best interest. As demonstrated in a recent New York case, if a parent unilaterally decides to violate a geographical order or agreement and relocate a child, it may negatively impact the parent’s custody rights. If you have concerns about safeguarding your parental rights, it is advisable to speak to a New York child custody lawyer.

Case Setting

It is alleged that the mother and the father, parents of three children, entered into a separation agreement in June 2019, which was modified by an addendum in November 2019. They agreed to share joint legal custody, with the mother having primary physical custody and the father having specific parenting time. They also agreed not to move more than 50 miles from their current residence without court consent or written consent from the other parent. A final judgment of divorce in March 2020 incorporated this agreement and addendum.

Reportedly, in May 2022, the mother filed a petition seeking sole legal custody, claiming a breakdown in communication. In August 2022, the father filed a petition for modification, arguing that the mother had moved beyond the agreed 50-mile limit to enroll the children in a new school and sought primary physical custody. The trial court dismissed the mother’s petition, finding no breakdown in communication, but granted the father’s petition for the oldest child, allowing him to continue attending his former school. The younger children’s custodial arrangement remained unchanged, and the court set a parenting time schedule for all three children. The mother appealed the trial court’s decision. Continue reading

New York law demands that parents support their children financially, and in many shared custody cases, the courts will order one parent to pay the other child support, subject to the terms of a support order. The law also recognizes that circumstances can change over time and allows parties to seek modifications of support orders. The courts will only grant such requests if the moving party offers sufficient evidence demonstrating an amendment is warranted, though, as discussed in a recent New York ruling. If you have questions about child support, it is advisable to speak with a New York child support lawyer.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that the mother and the father, who were divorced, shared joint custody of their minor child, born in 2004. In March 2020, the father filed a request for a modification of the support order due to termination of his employment. Subsequently, in September 2021, both parties agreed to reduce the father’s child support obligations. In May 2022, after being laid off from another job, the father sought modification of the September 2021 order, citing a “substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances.” He requested suspension of his support payments until he found new employment and that the mother be required to pay him child support. The father amended his petition in July 2022 to include a claim that a “temporary medical emergency” prevented him from working for an extended period.

Allegedly, the Support Magistrate dismissed the petitions, concluding that the father had not demonstrated sufficient efforts to obtain employment or provided competent medical evidence to prove his inability to work. The father subsequently objected to this decision, arguing that the Support Magistrate did not adequately consider his involuntary job loss, job-seeking efforts, and the impact of his injury on his ability to work. The trial court denied these objections, and the father appealed. Continue reading

Generally, New York law dictates that child support obligations end when the child in question turns 21. Parents are free to extend their support obligations via a stipulation; however, for example, it is not uncommon for divorcing parents to develop an agreement defining obligations for their children’s college tuition. As demonstrated in a recent New York opinion, the courts will usually deem such provisions enforceable. If you need assistance with a child support dispute, it is wise to consult a New York child support lawyer to determine your options.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the husband and the wife were married and had three children together. The wife initiated divorce proceedings, and all ancillary matters were resolved through a Stipulation of Settlement in 2017. The stipulation addressed, among other things, child custody, child support, and college expenses. Pursuant to the Stipulation, the wife had sole physical custody of the children, while the husband was obligated to pay child support. The parties were divorced by a Judgment of Divorce later that year.

It is reported that the Stipulation included provisions regarding the children’s future college expenses and the husband’s obligation to maintain a life insurance policy for the benefit of the children. The wife subsequently filed a motion seeking an upward adjustment of child support based on the husband’s increased income, contribution towards college expenses, and proof of compliance with the life insurance provision. Continue reading

Generally, New York courts will resolve disputed issues in divorce actions in the judgment of divorce. If a court fails to adequately explain its ruling or reasoning, though, there may be grounds for appealing a judgment of divorce, as explained in a recent New York divorce action. If you have questions about how dissolving your marriage could impact your rights, it is smart to talk to a New York divorce lawyer as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural Setting

It is reported that the wife bought an action for divorce against the husband. The husband subsequently appealed the judgment of divorce that, among other things, distributed marital assets and awarded attorney’s fees, spousal maintenance, and child support to the wife. The husband argued several points of error, including the valuation of his medical practice, the classification of certain real property in Vermont as marital assets, and the treatment of his premarital contributions to his individual retirement account (IRA). Additionally, the husband challenged the imputation of income to him for spousal maintenance and child support and the failure to grant him an equalizing credit for a portion of the plaintiff’s IRA.

Grounds for Appealing a Judgment of Divorce

On appeal, the court found merit in several of the defendant’s arguments. First, it agreed that the trial court had erred in valuing the defendant’s medical practice without explaining its reasoning for doing so. Further, the court erred in considering certain real property in Vermont as a marital asset. The court explained that under New York law, property obtained in exchange for separate property remains separate, even if the exchange happens during marriage. Here, the defendant convincingly demonstrated that the Vermont property was bought using proceeds from the sale of his separate property, making it non-marital. Thus, the court modified the judgment by removing the portions related to the Vermont property. Continue reading

When tasked with determining parental rights, the New York courts generally aim to maintain the parent-child relationship, but the health and welfare of the child is their paramount concern. As such, in some cases, they will find it to be in a child’s best interests to limit a parent’s access to a child or order the parent to undergo certain steps before they award them custody rights. In such instances, the affected parent typically cannot obtain a modification of the order absent a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, as discussed in an opinion recently issued by a New York court. If you need assistance protecting your parental rights, it is in your best interest to speak with a New York child custody attorney to determine your options.

Case Background

It is reported that the mother and the father, who had children together, divorced. The court issued a divorce judgment incorporating a settlement agreement suspending the father’s parental access to the younger child pending recommendations from a therapeutic parental access facilitator. Subsequently, the father filed numerous motions, which ultimately resulted in the issuance of two family court orders, which he appealed.

It is alleged that the first order, issued in March 2023, denied the father’s motion to vacate a prior order and enforce parental access provisions in the parties’ divorce judgment. It also granted the mother’s cross-motion to enjoin the father from filing further petitions related to custody or parental access without court permission and awarded counsel fees to the mother. The second order, issued one week later, further enjoined the father from filing petitions to modify custody or parental access without court permission. The case stemmed from a history of disputes between the parties regarding parental access, culminating in the father’s repeated attempts to modify court orders. Continue reading

New York law dictates that all parents must provide for their children financially. As such, when the parents of a child divorce, the court will often order one parent to pay the other child support. The courts rely on child support guidelines to determine what constitutes an appropriate support obligation. The courts are not strictly bound by the guidelines, however, but can exercise discretion and deviate from the parameters set forth by the guidelines when deemed appropriate, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling. If you want more insight into your rights and obligations with regard to child support, it is smart to talk to a New York child support attorney as soon as possible.

Factual History and Procedural Setting of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father were married in January 2014, and the mother adopted the father’s child from a prior relationship in December 2015. In April 2018, the mother initiated divorce proceedings, seeking ancillary relief. By March 2019, the parties reached a settlement agreement concerning child custody and parental access.

Allegedly, in October 2019, following a nonjury trial, the court rendered a decision determining that the mother should pay the father $150 per month in child support, a downward deviation from the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) guidelines. The court justified this deviation by considering factors such as shared physical custody, similar incomes, medical insurance coverage, the child’s eligibility for government benefits, the short duration of the marriage, and the mother’s adoption of the father’s biological child. The father appealed. Continue reading

People who are married typically are not only connected emotionally and legally but financially as well. While divorce severs such ties, if they disagree over how their finances should be handled during the pendency of a dissolution proceeding, it can become complicated, and they may seek a resolution from the courts. For example, a New York court recently analyzed whether it could compel the sale of a marital home while a divorce is pending, ultimately finding that it could. If you intend to end your marriage, it is wise to confer with a New York divorce attorney regarding your rights.

History of the Case

It is reported that the husband and wife were married and had two daughters, one of whom has special needs and requires ongoing care. Throughout their marriage, they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, supported primarily by the husband’s income from a manufacturing enterprise and some financial assistance from the wife’s parents. The wife primarily served as a homemaker but later took a flexible sales position.

It is alleged that financially, the couple faced significant challenges. The marital home was at risk of foreclosure due to missed mortgage payments, despite a previous attempt to prevent foreclosure by the husband. The husband filed a motion to compel the wife to execute a mortgage on the marital residence, while the wife filed a motion to compel the sale of the marital residence. Continue reading

It is not uncommon for married couples to separate while contemplating whether they want to legally end their marriage. In such instances, they will often enter into a separation agreement indicating their rights and duties during their time apart. Such agreements are essentially contracts and are enforceable as such. There are exceptions, however, like agreements that are the result of overreaching or duress that will cause a court to deem them unenforceable, as demonstrated in a recent New York case. If you are determining whether you should end your marriage, it is smart to talk to a New York divorce lawyer to determine what steps you can take to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case and Procedural Setting

It is reported that the husband initiated a divorce action asserting that the parties had been living separately under a property settlement and separation agreement filed nearly two years prior, as per Domestic Relations Law § 170 (6). The husband sought summary judgment to enforce the separation agreement, while the wife countered with a cross-motion, alleging that certain provisions of the separation agreement were unconscionable and the result of fraud, duress, coercion, and lack of financial disclosure by the husband.

In many divorce actions, the main point of contention is the division of assets. While parties may not want to divide marital property during a divorce, behavior designed to hide such property will likely be uncovered by the courts, as demonstrated in a recent New York opinion issued in a divorce case. If you want to end your marriage and want to learn more about how it can impact you financially, it is in your best interest to speak with a New York divorce lawyer about what measures you can take to protect your interests.

Case Setting

It is reported that the wife instituted a divorce action. The court noted that the husband engaged in deliberate actions to obscure and hide marital assets. Specifically, the husband violated court orders restraining him from transferring assets or accessing safety deposit boxes. Moreover, the husband undertook transfers of ownership of his various businesses to his brother and a long-term employee, both before and after the wife initiated the divorce. He also engaged in transactions aimed at creating the appearance of having no assets, even going so far as to portray himself as earning a nominal income of only around $12,500 per year.

It is alleged that the trial court subsequently issued three judgments. The first one distributed marital property, including maintenance and child support, to the wife. The second judgment addressed attorneys’ fees, particularly for the wife’s attorneys, and the third judgment finalized the monetary aspects of the case. The husband appealed. Continue reading

Ending a marriage often has emotional ramifications, but some people are able to set aside their feelings and negotiate and enter into settlement agreements that set forth their rights and obligations instead of engaging in litigation. Simply because parties enter into such agreements does not always mean that they will abide by their terms, though. In cases in which a person fails to comply with a stipulation of settlement, the party impacted can seek relief from the courts, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling. If you consider a divorce, it is smart to meet with a New York divorce lawyer as soon as possible to determine your options.

Factual Setting and Procedural History

It is reported that the husband and wife were married and had two children together. The husband filed a divorce action in 2010. The parties subsequently entered into an oral stipulation of settlement in February 2011. The stipulation granted the defendant sole custody of the children and outlined the sale of the marital residence, a cooperative apartment in Yonkers.

Allegedly, the husband, who was responsible for the maintenance fees associated with the marital residence, had his child support obligations stayed until the apartment was sold. The divorce was finalized in August 2011, with the stipulation incorporated but not merged into the judgment. In December 2012, the wife moved to transfer the title of the marital residence, citing the husband’s refusal to sell, non-payment of maintenance fees, and impending eviction. The trial court granted the wife’s motion, and the husband appealed. Continue reading

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