Divorce is a tough subject. It’s taxing, it’s complex — and yes, it’s stressful. There are a lot of facets to a divorce, and all of the legal terms and procedures a divorcing couple may be encountering for the first time can be overwhelming. However, being well-informed can help alleviate some of the anxiety created by this life-changing event.
In a child custody battle, the judge is primarily concerned with making decisions that are in the best interest of the child. The judge will ask several questions to determine whether sole or joint custody is appropriate, what the child’s living arrangements will be, what the parents’ access schedule will be, and how the parents will support their child financially. If the circumstances allow, the judge will try her best to ensure that the child will be able to maintain a relationship with both parents.
Federal tax law has a longstanding history of providing tax deductions for alimony, or spousal maintenance – a trend that was recently broken by the Trump administration. For court decrees and alimony agreements entered into after December 31, 2018, alimony payments are no longer deductible. Divorce agreements entered into on or before December 31, 2018 remain unaffected. However, the new tax legislation does not specifically refer to prenuptial agreements, so how the law affects such agreements remains unclear; there has been some growing concern that the new tax code will confound existing prenuptial agreements.
In the realm of family law, grandparents have certain legal rights in regard to custody and visitation of their grandchildren. The overarching term to describe the process of becoming a legal caregiver for a child that is not biologically your own is called kinship care. Grandparents can seek temporary and permanent custody of children who are their blood relatives if the parents are unable to nurture in the best interests of the child. The broad purpose of placing a child with a suitable family member is to avoid placement of that child in the non-relative foster care system.
With the House passing the modified version of the Tax Bill on Tuesday afternoon, it’s looking like American families will be finding tax reform under their trees along with its usual gifts and sweets which are synonymous with the season.
Parents of children accused of bullying can now face jail time under new legislation passed by the City of North Tonawanda, which took effect on October 1, 2017. By holding parents accountable for their child’s misconduct, North Tonawanda Common Council members hope that this new law will prevent and protect children from bullying, especially in schools. Parental penalties include a $250 fine, and/or 15 days in jail, if twice in a 90-day period, their child violates any city law, including bullying. By requiring parents to have greater control over their children, North Tonawanda hopes to become a safer city.
A recent N.Y. Court of Appeals case, Matter of Columbia County Support Collection Unit v. Risley, 2016 N.Y. LEXIS 1603, 2016 NY Slip Op 04325 (N.Y. June 7, 2016), may be of interest for those involved in family law matters, specifically the regulations governing child support.
An order of protection is a court order directing an individual to stay away and refrain from communicating with another, or to refrain from “offensive conduct” toward another.
In New York, the biological father of child born out of wedlock has the right to be notified of an adoption. However, only under certain circumstances will his consent to said adoption be required. Generally, a biological father’s consent must be obtained if the following circumstances hold true:
In June of 2015, a bill passed the New York Assembly (A07645) and Senate (05678) relating primarily, but not exclusively, to the determination of maintenance/spousal support. These changes continue to await the signature of Governor Cuomo.