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Williamsville, New York, Legal Blog

How to win sole custody

Getting a divorce is one of the most tumultuous moments of your life. Not only are you ending a relationship with your spouse, but you must deal with custody of your children. If you believe the other parent is unfit to have joint custody–or even any visitation at all–you are likely facing a lot of stress.

The idea of your children spending time with your ex may be difficult, especially if he or she is not an ideal parent. But you must be strategic in how you obtain a desired outcome from the court. Follow the below guidelines to have the best chance at getting sole custody.

Your prenuptial agreement and your divorce

If, like many others in New York State, you signed a prenuptial agreement, you may wonder about its implications for your divorce. Prenuptial agreements may contain provisions governing spousal maintenance, property distribution and other issues, which may differ from how a court would decide based on New York law. Courts cannot eliminate or reduce child support or require either party to go against the law.

Sometimes, people may want to know whether they can challenge the prenup or a particular provision in it. While courts usually favor upholding a written document signed by both parties, they will also consider evidence that goes the other way.

Divorce is nothing personal

One common mistake in contentious divorces in New York that help set the tone and pace of the process is making it personal. It is not easy to sever feelings and memories created throughout a relationship, especially if there are children, pets, businesses and real estate involved. 

The time for making emotionally driven decisions and dealing with unresolved feelings is not at the divorce table. To overcome hot issues that could cause a stalemate or raise unexpected reactions, it is a good idea to treat everything as a business transaction. People make and break promises all the time. Even if the decision to end the relationship is a mutual one, not everyone reacts to the circumstances the same way. Here are some tips to help prevent emotionally driven decisions in divorce. 

Understanding equitable division in a New York divorce

When a married couple decides that they are better off alone, the process of separating two lives that have been merged together can be tedious and strenuous.

To ensure that the parties receive a fair split, it is important to understand the different elements of a New York divorce. One key element of the process is equitable division. 

The process of relocating with a child after divorce

When a married couple decides to separate, one of the most contentious issues that will come up involves child custody and support. The parents may reach an initial agreement that provides both of them with sufficient time with the child, but after several years, one parent decides to relocate.

New York has strict laws concerning relocation. The parent wanting to move will need to seek permission from the other parent to still see the child after moving and seek a modification in the child custody agreement with a court in parents' jurisdiction. It is important to continue following the original court order until the matter reaches legal resolution.

Handheld device laws in New York

Cellphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become such a large part of our lives now that most people cannot imagine being without them. For many people in New York and elsewhere, this means using their phones while they are driving. It is important for you to understand the consequences you can face for using a mobile device behind the wheel.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 3,450 people across the United States died in 2016 in distracted driving accidents. As you are probably aware, cellphones pose one of the greatest distracted driving risks, especially for teenagers and young adults. Many young people are unaware of the impact that texting or checking social media can have on driving. The following points illustrate New York’s handheld device laws:

  • Drivers may not use a handheld device while driving, including talking on the phone, but they are allowed to use a hands-free cellphone.
  • Sending and reading text messages, checking email, playing games, taking pictures and other activities are also banned while driving.
  • Commercial drivers must not use a handheld device even when their vehicles are temporarily stopped, such as at a red light or in heavy traffic.
  • Commercial drivers may use a hands-free device as long as no more than one button is pushed to use the device.
  • Violators of cellphone driving laws may face a traffic ticket, fines, points on their driving record and possible suspension of their driver’s license.
  • Drivers with learner’s permits will lose their license for 120 days their first time with a cellphone driving violation, and will lose their license for at least one year on the second offense.

Should you wait until after a holiday to file for divorce?

Many holidays, whether they are big or small, figure majorly into the lives of quite a few families. For example, one family may have a fantastic St. Patrick's Day tradition, while another enjoys decorating the house for Halloween and coming up with elaborate costumes. For something such as Christmas, faraway travel or special gatherings may be the norm.

If you are planning to file for divorce and one of these holidays special to your family is coming up in a few weeks or a few months, could it be a good idea to wait to file? The answer is not always clear-cut.

2 ways divorce is beneficial for kids

One challenge that you may encounter while divorcing your spouse in New York is protecting your kids. You are already aware of how beneficial it can be for children to grow up with both parents in a single home. But what you may not know is that there are circumstances where divorce can be beneficial for them. 

You may have worked hard to save your relationship. All marriages are not meant to last. It is up to you to recognize when it may be time for you to leave your partner and move on to protect you and your children’s overall well-being. Here are some reasons why divorce can be healthy for children

3 back-to-school co-parenting tips

It is already August, which means it is time to start preparing for your kids going back to school. This time of transition comes with several challenges, especially in your post-divorce life. Both you and your ex have obligations to help your children out as school comes near. They deserve to feel confident and happy going into the school year.

How should you handle all of these responsibilities and make sure everything goes smoothly? Follow these tips for successful back-to-school co-parenting.

How to modify your child custody order in New York

Are you frustrated with your court-ordered child custody arrangement? As summer is approaching, you might want to spend more time with your children. While the agreement is legally binding, there are certain circumstances that might warrant a modification.

You cannot make a unilateral decision to change the child custody agreement, but you might be able to change it through a voluntary decision with your ex or with a court modification. Here is a guide to modifying child custody in New York.

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