Patrick M. Noe, Jr., Attorney at Law

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Williamsville New York Family Law Blog

January is the month for resolutions including getting divorced

Many people look to January as a month to get their lives started on a new footing. For many, this means deciding to leave their marriages. This is one of the reasons why January has been dubbed by many as "Divorce Month".

A spokesperson for the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP) notes that divorce appears to be a seasonal phenomenon. They note that while many married couples steer clear of divorcing during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's, there is an uptick in their efforts to file immediately following these holidays. There's also an uptick in filings right after Valentine's Day and in August when kids go back to school.

How can a New Yorker appeal a child custody order?

There are a lot of disappointing decisions that people make and we have to live with, like a mechanic's denial of inspection on a car. But some decisions are so important that we can't simply get over it. And few decisions are more important than the ones that affect our children.

  • What happens if a child custody case is decided against a parent?

Child custody is often the most divisive part of a divorce or separation, because things and assets may be replaced but time spent with offspring never can be. If a decision made by a family court in New York is unacceptable, a person may appeal on some occasions to a higher court.

  • Why would this be the case?

High-profile divorce included spousal support request in error

Divorce can be a messy business, especially when emotions are inflamed. But it is important to remember that passion is rarely the thing that makes the end of a marriage go smoothly. It is also rarely the thing that helps resolve the material factors of a divorce, such as splitting assets or getting spousal support as well as financial help for raising children.

Another important part of a divorce is the right legal representation. An attorney can take a lot of the pressure off people by handling the proper filings and representing a person's interests in court appearances or while dealing with issues brought up by the other spouse.

Property division: what is a "pet-nup?"

For many people, pets are more than just furry companions. They are often considered members of the family. They receive as much love and care as any humans in the household. That is why pet care can be difficult to determine in the event of a divorce. Oftentimes, both spouses have a strong attachment to the pet and both want to care for it, which can run counter to the desire for both of them to move on with their lives after the divorce is finalized.

Experts have a suggestion for pet owners here in New York that may help. Though the law considers pets as property and as such are subject to property division in a divorce agreement, some couples are opting to create a "pet-nup." The pet-nup outlines exactly who will care for the pet in the event of divorce.

Don't use divorce as a threat

Thoughts of divorce are not uncommon. They often come up when two people have an argument or a disagreement. One or both start thinking about what it would be like to end the marriage and have the freedom to do whatever they want -- thereby "winning" the argument.

This happens to people at all stages in a marriage. Sometimes, it really does lead to divorce. Other times, it does not.

Know that equitable distribution is supposed to be fair

New York, much like many other jurisdictions in the country, is an equitable distribution state. This means that judges focus their attention on splitting up property fairly. There are many factors that Williamsville judges take into account when deciding what's the most equitable way to divide up a couple's property.

A judge will generally take into account both the health and age of each spouse before making any decisions about what should happen with the property that they own. They'll also look to see what property and income each spouse brought into the marriage and how that compared to what each of them has now that their divorce is imminent.

How are child custody decisions in New York made?

Husbands and wives who love their daughters and sons often get divorced, necessitating decisions about who will raise the children in their homes. Often, the answer to that is both parents, at different times. It can be ideal when the divorcing husbands and wives can put together a parenting plan that works for both of them, and of course, for their children. If they cannot do so, the courts will make the child custody decisions for them. Here are some key answers about how New York courts make child custody decisions.

Do family court judges have a lot of discretion?

How do you co-parent with a narcissist?

Is your ex-spouse a narcissist? Many divorced people would answer "Yes" to that question. Narcissism is a personality trait that runs on a spectrum. At the far end of the spectrum is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), which is considered a mental illness. However, even a person with a high degree of narcissism that doesn't reach that point can very difficult to deal with -- and particularly to co-parent with.

It can be impossible for a narcissist to put anyone's well-being (even their children's) above their own. Following are some common traits of narcissists:

  • They have an exaggerated feeling of self-importance
  • They easily feel slighted or offended.
  • They have a great need for constant admiration.
  • They believe they're superior to other people.
  • They often don't listen to others and interrupt frequently.
  • They're easily angered and even enraged if they don't get what they want.
  • They're unwilling or unable to understand others' feelings or needs. Some feel no empathy.

Get your finances ready before you file for divorce

If your marriage has seen better days, you may be ready to face the reality of divorce. Ending your marriage will certainly bring many personal changes, such as rediscovering things you once enjoyed on your own or even rejoining the dating world. However, divorce often brings changes to one's finances that are not so pleasant.

Struggling financially is common in the months and early years after a divorce. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the negative impact a divorce can have on your finances. By taking care of some details before you even file for divorce, you can prepare yourself for the difficult financial questions that will certainly arise during the divorce process.

When can seek out a modification of child support?

A judge generally enters in a final order when they decide child custody or support matters. Once they do this, any parties to that original agreement must request that a judge signs off of any modifications before any changes can be made to the order or it's enforced.

Certain criteria must be met for a parent to request a modification of child support. The paying parent must generally be in a permanent predicament to warrant any change in their support obligations.

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Patrick M. Noe, Jr.
1301 North Forest Road, Suite 2
Williamsville, NY 14221

Phone: 716-803-8741
Fax: 716-565-1575
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