Patrick M. Noe, Jr., Attorney at Law

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Williamsville New York Family Law Blog

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.

Be mature enough to attend school activities with ex

When a journey that began in a pretty wedding chapel winds up in a cold divorce court, the focus is often on the big things like who gets the gold and the summer house. However, child custody is often a big part of divorce, and it involves more than just deciding which children are with which parent on particular days. It also involves helping the children to have as positive of lives as possible, and that includes keeping both parents involved with the children's school activities.

For example, a child may be in a school play. Of course, their role may simply be Tree #2 or Tomato #7. Still, they want both parents to attend their play, to see them on stage and to be proud of their acting. That means that the parents, who are divorced, will likely see each other at that play.

Is your soon-to-be ex entitled to your stock options or bonus?

There are a variety of factors that make for contentious divorce negotiations. Conversations over child custody or support, alimony and property division often get heated. Williamsville judges often consider each spouses' income and their compensation structure when making awards.

If you receive a standard salary, then negotiating a settlement in your divorce will be easier than it will be if you're paid using a variable compensation plan.

Divorce negotiation may lead to a less hostile divorce

You and your spouse have had a hard time seeing eye to eye in many aspects of your lives, which is partly why you are getting divorced. You look forward to finally getting on with your own life. At the same time, you wonder how hostile the process will be for you both.

The good news is that your divorce process does not have to be an acrimonious one. Instead, if both parties can find common ground during informal negotiations, you can resolve your issues outside of court. Let us take a look at how divorce negotiations work in New York.

Co-parenting after divorce takes being on the same page

When New York couples separate or divorce, they often face a number of hurdles in their quests to successfully move on to the next stages of their lives. One of those hurdles is putting together a child custody arrangement that respects the children's need to have a warm and constructive relationship with both of their parents. That may take quite a bit of sorting out. However, the story doesn't end when the child custody arrangement is established and approved by a judge. It just begins there, with the next chapter being about co-parenting successfully, especially if one or both members of the original couple remarry.

When a remarriage happens, there can be serious jealously issues. A father may feel that he is being replaced by his former partner's new husband, or a mother may feel that she is being replaced by her former partner's new wife. Those feelings are real, and need to be talked about by those involved, so they don't wind up having an adverse effect on the children.

Stay at home parents should plan divorces carefully

Some New York couples have one marital partner pursue their career while the other marital partner devotes their time to being a stay-at-home parent.

When a divorce happens, it is important for the stay-at-home parent to understand the family's finances, so that they can be assured the fair and equitable property division that New York law requires. There are several good ways for the stay-at-home parent to get that understanding, allowing them to navigate the financial aspects of their divorce successfully. Here are some recommendations if you're that spouse:

Divorce peacefully for everyone's sake

Many couples in Williamsville and other areas of New York stay happily married for decades. For other couples, however, their love stories end in divorce. Fortunately, divorce does not have to be acrimonious. While the divorcing couple is naturally going to have their issues with each other, they can still proceed with the divorce in a constructive manner. Here are some ways to do so.

1. First, set aside blaming the other person.

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

Phone: 716-803-8741
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