Nassau County Family Law Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A New York Mom Becomes First to Benefit From New Custody Laws

How might New York’s new custody laws impact me?

Recently, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an important ruling expanding the definition of a parent to include caretakers with no adoptive or biological ties.  Now, just days after the monumental ruling, a Manhattan mom became the first person to benefit.  The mom had filed a lawsuit seeking shared custody of her six-year-old son after her ex-partner attempted to move to London with the child.  With the new law in effect, the judge presiding over the case blocked the move and confiscated the child’s passports in order to conduct a hearing to determine custody.  Without the new ruling, this mom would not have had standing to seek custody of her son because she was not on the adoption papers, even though she was involved in the boy’s life since his adoption in 2011.

Read more . . .

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Divorcing Harry and Linda Macklowe Battle Over $1 Billion in Art

How is property divided during a divorce in New York?

New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe is divorcing his wife of 57 years, Linda Macklowe.  The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage.  Now, the divorcing spouses are dueling it out to determine who will receive what out of the billions of dollars in marital property at stake. 

Among the couple’s assets is one of the most valuable private art collections in the industry.  Linda and Harry Macklowe own a massive postwar and contemporary art collection with an estimated value of over $1 billion.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New York Tobacco Heiress Entrenched in Child Custody Battle

What impact could my dating have on child custody?

The tumultuous divorce between Anne Resnik, daughter of the late Philip Morris CEO, and Crocker Coulson recently heated up in Brooklyn Family Court.  The couple had a “no paramour” clause in place, preventing their seven-year-old twins from meeting any of their parent’s dates or romantic interests pending finalization of the divorce.  Recently, Coulson moved to have the ban lifted so that his children could meet his pregnant girlfriend.  Coulson urged that meeting his girlfriend, who will soon give birth to the twins’ half-sister, is in the best interests of the children.  Resnik made several allegations against her soon to be ex, including claiming that he visited a brothel at the time his girlfriend became pregnant.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Adoption & Consent

Are you interested in adopting?  The adoption process can be lengthy and complicated, so it is advised to seek advice and guidance from a licensed family law attorney.  Depending on your state’s legal requirements, consent may be needed from a child or even from the birth or stepparents of a child in order for an adoption to be legally permitted.  However, the requirements may vary depending on your status, such as if you are single or married.  For example, if you plan to adopt and are married, your spouse may also be required to adopt the child.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Grounds For Divorce

Did you know that you need to have a particular ground, or reason, to bring a divorce?  The seven grounds for divorce in New York include: (1) “Irretrievable Breakdown” of the marriage, (2) “Cruel and Inhuman Treatment,” (3) “Abandonment” by your spouse, (4) “Imprisonment” of a spouse, (5) “Adultery,” (6) “Judgment of Separation” or “Decree of Separation,” or (7) a “Separation Agreement,” which may result in a “Conversion Divorce.”  Once you have a valid ground, you may litigate your action in the Supreme Court for your region. 

The typical category that most parties fall under is “Irretrievable Breakdown of the marriage” because no fault is needed to be proven.  Typically, the marriage must have “broken down irretrievably for at least six months.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Divorce And The Distribution Of Your Assets

Will you lose the home that has been in your family for decades?  Who will be obligated to pay your spouse’s credit card debt?  Does your spouse have any right to a bank account in your name?  Do you have to share the accrued interest in your personal business?  These common questions often race through the minds of spouses anticipating divorce.  An attorney can answer your questions in detail, so you can feel secure in knowing which assets you are entitled to.

If you and your spouse cannot arrive at a mutual agreement, your assets will be distributed via the court’s discretion.  The word “equitable” is often misinterpreted to mean “equal,” but that is a misnomer.

Read more . . .

Monday, June 27, 2016

Gaining Custody—What Are The “Best Interests Of The Child?”

According to the guidelines for determining custody, the “best interests of the child” will hold substantial weight.  There are particular factors that a New York court evaluates to make a final decision regarding which parent is best fit to care for the child, many of which relate to the health and security of the child. 

Some considerations include:  the length of residence with a parent and the child’s primary residence, whether a child has special, emotional, or intellectual needs that could be better handled by one of the parents, as opposed to the other, evidence of domestic violence, or parental alienation.  Other factors include the location of relatives and siblings, with the goal of keeping siblings in the same household, alcohol and drug abuse and the parents’ mental and physical health, work schedules, a strong bond with one of the parents, and even the child’s personal preference towards a parent.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bill O’Reilly’s Children Choose to Live With Their Mother

How much weight does the child’s preference carry in a custody case?

When there is an issue of child support and two parents cannot come to a resolution, the courts will often become involved.  The courts decide custody matters according to the best interest of the child standard. This standard consists of many factors, one of which is the preference of the subject child.  The preference of the children has played a large role in an ongoing New York case involving a celebrity news anchor.

Famed Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly married Maureen McPhilmy in 1996 and they had two children.

Read more . . .

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Primer on Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Are pre-nuptial agreements only for the wealthy?

Gossip columns are often filled with stories of high-profile celebrity divorces and the details of prenuptial agreements of the rich and famous. While these stories may be cringe worthy, the fact is that many marriages don't last. In fact, more than 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and the odds for success are even less for second and third marriages. With this in mind, any couple, regardless of their financial status, should consider having a prenuptial agreement.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, or pre-marital agreement, is a contract entered into by a couple prior to the marriage that specifies the future spouses property ownership, as well as debts, and clarifies each spouses property rights in the event that they divorce.

Read more . . .

Saturday, May 7, 2016

One New York County Behind Over A Million in Child Support Payments

Why does Nassau County have $1.2 million in undisbursed child support payments?

If you receive child support payments, it might have been a real battle to get the financial help your child is entitled to.  There may have been countless arguments, meeting with your lawyer, court hearings and paper filings during the process.  At this time your child’s other parent has been making the designated payments so all is running smoothly, right?  Wrong!  Now, the county in which you live is holding over a million dollars in undisbursed child support payments.

When a court orders child support, the responsible parent pays the designated amount to the State of New York.
Read more . . .

Monday, April 25, 2016

How Divorce Mediation Allows for Mature Discussion

What are the alternatives to divorce litigation?

There are many reasons why marriages end in divorce: financial problems, falling out of love, extramarital affairs or other difficult situations. In the end, problems often arise between spouses because they fail to communicate, and being an effective communicator is really a matter of listening. Because contentious divorce litigation does not foster listening, many couples today are choosing other alternatives.
Read more . . .

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