A guide to fathers custody rights in New York.

Historically, when parents decided to separate or divorce legally, courts nearly always awarded the mother custody of the children. Today, our culture has recognized the importance of fathers’ rights and parents of either sex in parenting effectively. As a result, the laws are different, and courts may not award child custody to a mother simply…

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COVID-19 has presented practically all New York residents with economic and social challenges. Schools and nonessential businesses that cannot operate online remain closed, which means that divorced couples with children are facing parenting challenges that they could not have anticipated at the time of separation. Below is an overview of some general do’s and don’ts…

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Starting this Monday, April 13, 2020, the Bronx County Supreme Court matrimonial part(s) will resume hearing its matrimonial cases. Currently, there are three Matrimonial Parts located within the Bronx Supreme Court, and these parts are presided over by Judge Alpert, Judge Gouldbourne, and Judge McShan, who is transitioning to another division, and Judge Martin. Judge…

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The quarantine imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have had a detrimental impact on already troubled marriages. Divorce rates are going up, which shows that couples who previously enjoyed ample time apart have not reacted well to long hours under the same roof. In Xi’an, China, divorce requests multiplied so fast that appointment slots…

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When the court orders a custody and parenting time schedule, it typically meets the needs of everyone’s present circumstances. But what if an emergency–in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic–makes that arrangement unsustainable? What if you feel that it’s not safe for the kids to travel to visit their other parent? Although everyone’s situation is unique…

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For many people, divorce leads to long-distance parenting. According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly one-quarter of the nearly 18 million children of divorce have a parent living in another city. In addition, an estimated 75% of single mothers will move at least once within four years after divorce or separation. As a…

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One of the hardest—and most emotional—aspects of separation and divorce is child custody during the holidays. In many cases, it won’t be possible for your children to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah with both parents. How can you keep the holidays special when only one parent is with them when they unwrap their gifts on Christmas…

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Technically, yes. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Once a New York family court has issued a custody order, you and the other parent are bound by its terms unless you apply for a modification, which is generally granted only if you can demonstrate that circumstances have changed significantly since the order was…

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Last year, the New York Post ran an article revealing that Ashley Madison, the portal that connects cheating spouses, is as popular as ever despite a catastrophic data breach in 2015. The article stated that the company’s US revenue increased by 17% in 2016 and over half of its active users are female. Until 1967,…

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Your spouse was unfaithful to you for over two years, although you only learned about it a few months ago. You’re hurt, angry, and wondering whether her actions will have any impact on the outcome of the divorce. Will she lose her bid for custody of the kids? Receive less of the marital estate? Has…

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In 1991, a book came out called Divorce Hangover. It was about the emotional pain and turmoil that often accompanies divorce and suggested that like an alcohol hangover, it would eventually pass and leave you ready to cope with life again. The book acknowledged that divorce was a life-changing experience that aroused strong emotions like…

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Divorce has an uncanny way of bringing our most private circumstances to light. Even when the split is an amicable one, details like personal finances, a child’s special needs, and other intimate information take center stage so that they can be addressed and future plans made. Therefore, it’s an alarming thought that your family, friends,…

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Although New York still recognizes fault-based divorces, it differs from states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas in that incurable mental illness is not one of the accepted grounds. When one spouse’s mental health condition causes them to behave erratically and aggressively toward their family, the other spouse typically cites extreme cruelty, which is grounds for…

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What’s worse than not having the kids for Christmas? Not having them AND being out of the state or even the country over the holidays. Thanks to an increasingly mobile workforce, this scenario will be a reality for many divorced parents this season. It’s not a happy prospect, but remember one thing: the technological advances…

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If you’re filing for divorce and have a child with special needs, then it’s normal to be concerned about their future. Not only do they have unique medical and financial requirements, but they may also need to be supported after they become an adult. In New York, parents are typically required to support their children…

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Few things are more distressing for a parent than struggling to support their child financially. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many divorced parents throughout New York State. A child support order was included in the terms of the divorce, but their former spouse is chronically late or even refuses to pay at all, saying…

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We’re in the home stretch where August is concerned. For kids, this is a bittersweet month for two reasons: one actual and one potential. In the first case, they only have a few weeks of freedom left before heading back to school. In the second, they may also be coping with their parents filing for…

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Your New York divorce is over and matters of child custody and parenting time are in place. Now you and your former spouse must prepare to function as co-parents. This includes arranging custody exchanges that work for both of you as well as your children. Custody exchanges can go smoothly, or they can be emotional…

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Thanks to global trade expansion and an increasingly mobile workforce, more divorced parents are relocating to new cities, states, and even countries. According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly 35 million children in the U.S. have divorced or unmarried parents and approximately 25% of them have a parent that lives in a different…

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Being a parent can be overwhelming. We want to do what’s best for our children by disciplining them for inappropriate or unacceptable behavior, but it sometimes happens that people who disapprove of our parenting methods overreact by calling Child Protective Services (CPS), who may conclude their initial investigation by taking the children away. Although CPS…

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The holiday season is always difficult for divorced parents and their children. Parents have to let go of old grudges and bad memories so that they can work together and make the season special for the kids, who may be feeling sad at the realization that their family is now divided. Young children can be…

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When your child hands you yet another note from the school, you know without even opening it what it contains. Jane has not been doing all her homework assignments again, and the slacking off occurs on school nights when your ex has parenting time with her. You’ve talked to him about this already, and he’s…

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Fatherhood includes certain obligations and rights. Once a child’s paternity is established, the father has the right to see him or her and be actively involved in his or her life. Even if he elects not to do so, then he still has both a moral and legal obligation to support the child. When a…

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As the last day of school before summer break approaches, we feel a more pressing need to confirm vacation plans for the summer. For divorced parents who have agreed to establish their own vacation schedule, this can be as difficult as it is exciting. We would love to take the kids to Disney World in…

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Parents are obligated to support their children even if their relationship comes to an end. When this happens, the typical arrangement is that the non-custodial parent pays child support to the parent who retains primary custody, with the amount calculated to cover the children’s needs and help them enjoy a lifestyle similar to the one…

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As the last day of school before summer break approaches, we feel a more pressing need to confirm vacation plans for the summer. For divorced parents who have agreed to establish their own vacation schedule, this can be as difficult as it is exciting. We would love to take the kids to Disney World in…

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Once the decision is made to end your marriage, you’ll likely feel a powerful surge of emotions: grief, anger, sadness, maybe even relief. Chances are that your children are feeling just as strongly about the way their lives are about to change. How a child will react to the news of parental separation will vary,…

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Many individuals who are about to become involved in a New York family law matter, such as divorce, child custody, and support, or spousal maintenance, wonder whether they should hire a family law attorney to represent them or save some money and handle their own case. While there is no law that requires you to…

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Family law deals with domestic relations, so Bronx family court lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and associated matters such as spousal maintenance, child custody and support, and division of marital property. Many lawyers also assist victims of domestic violence in civil protection court order proceedings. Child custody There are two types of custody arrangement…

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A litigated divorce is one where both parties can’t come to an agreement and resort to the courts to settle their differences. This type of divorce usually happens when one party refuses to settle on key issues, deliberately hides information such as financial records, or refuses to disclose details about all property they owned prior…

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Most people today are using some form of social media. It can be a great way to keep friends and family up to date about what you’re doing, especially if you don’t see them often. Unwise use of social media, however, it can get you in a lot of trouble, especially during a divorce action.…

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Same-sex marriage has been legal in New York State since the passing of the Marriage Equality Act in 2011 and, as with all unions, divorce is always an unfortunate possibility. The requirements for same-sex divorce are the same as those that apply to heterosexual couples: you must satisfy the residency requirements set forth in New…

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Appealing a decision or order from the New York Supreme or Family Court is a complicated process. To begin with, you should have sufficient grounds for appealing: being dissatisfied with the outcome of your case is not enough. The following circumstances must also apply: You or your attorney must have objected to the issue during…

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When a couple divorces in New York State, child custody and the possibility of future relocation will invariably come up if there are minor children involved. In general, there are two types of custody arrangements: sole and joint. Both situations involve one parent receiving sole physical custody of the children while the other parent retains…

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Under New York law, children are entitled to benefit from the income and standard of living that their parents enjoy. When those parents divorce, the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent so that any children under 21 are not left financially bereft by the separation. Child support in New York State is…

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As a parent, a divorce can impact your life deeply. Trying to figure out the best way to tell the children about the plans is just the beginning, because then you need to enter the stage of changing their life in a big way. As you might expect, not all children are going to react…

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Although child custody is often one of the most hotly contested aspects of a divorce, many individuals with and without children also face challenges over what happens to family pets when a marriage dissolves. While normal property can be sold or divided, a beloved pet is irreplaceable. The conversation about what happens to a shared…

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With all the recent news about same-sex marriage, there is a lot of legal precedents that remains to be set with regard to same-sex divorce. Although the phenomenon of parting ways from a same-sex marriage is not necessarily new, it has not been handled in America’s courts in the high numbers that heterosexual marriages have.…

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New York’s law on domestic relations is codified in the Domestic Relations Law which consists of 16 Articles which are further divided into 272 Sections. Substantive Sections include Sections 5 through 61 (marriages and rights of spouses); Sections 71 through 78-A (child custody); Sections 80 through 85 (guardianship); Sections 109 through 117 (adoption); Sections 121…

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Being served with divorce papers can often be confusing, and often embarrassing.  The following months and in some cases years, can be long and emotionally difficult. Firstly, there are different types of service that may be made in a case. In the case of a divorce, personal service must be made, what this means is…

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Filing jointly or separately Getting divorced often means changes in the way you fill out your tax return. You will be able elect among filing a joint return, a married separate return and a separate return depending on your marital status as of December 31st, regardless of the date you file your taxes. If you…

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In New York, a parent may obtain full child custody and visitation rights even if the parents were never married. However, when it comes to a father’s rights they must either have been married to the child’s mother or signed an ‘Acknowledgment of Paternity’ before they are granted custody rights. Legal paternity must be established…

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A New York woman petitioned the Family Court seeking to obtain custody of her cousin’s child. According to a March 4, 2013 New York Law Journal article the child is currently in foster care because the mother was found to have neglected the child’s needs. The woman’s petition was met with hostility from the mother,…

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New York parents argued in court over whether their custody order should be modified, as reported by the New York Law Journal in a December 14, 2012 article. The original order granted both parents joint legal custody but gave sole physical custody to the mother with visitation to the father. The mother sought to modify…

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Under New York law, in the majority of child custody and visitation cases, the court will assign an “Attorney for the Child.” An attorney for the child is an attorney assigned and paid for by the courts to represent the child’s interest.  These attorneys are normally attorneys who have prior child custody and visitation experience.…

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According to a new American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) report, more lawyers are obtaining information about the opposing party from online dating sites. The report states that 59% of the country’s top divorce attorneys reported their increased use of collecting relevant evidence from sites like Match.com. This type of evidence has started to become…

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