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If the unmarried parents of a child separate, then some general issues that they may face are how to establish paternity, how to file for child support, and how to file for custody or visitation. Establishing Paternity Paternity can be established if the father is listed on the child’s birth certificate, and he signed an…

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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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For families, Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year. Everyone gets together around a dinner table heaped with roast turkey and all the trimmings, happy to put their smartphones away and enjoy a meal that has been a cherished tradition for generations. For some of us, this is one of the few…

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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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Back-to-school season is stressful for parents as well as kids, but when you’re recently divorced, the challenges can be amplified. How will you split the cost of school supplies? Who will go shopping for them? Will both of you accompany the kids to the bus stop or drive them to school? The back-to-school transition is…

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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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Normally you look forward to Father’s Day, but if this is the first time you’ve celebrated it since your divorce, then you may be wondering how you’re going to manage. These feelings can be even more difficult if you are the noncustodial parent or you share custody but the kids live with their mom. Sometimes,…

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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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If you’re a newly divorced single parent, then the holidays can be more stressful than usual. You have to coordinate the holiday visitation schedule with your former spouse, plan your traditional Christmas dinner, and buy gifts for everyone. If the divorce left you with a lower household income than last year, then you might be…

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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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What was Thanksgiving like before the divorce? Was there a huge roast turkey on the table, finally ready for eating after tantalizing everyone with its aroma for hours? Were there last-minute rushes to the grocery store for extra cranberry sauce or whipped cream? Was it all topped by a feeling of togetherness as everyone gathered…

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All good parents have one thing in common: they love their children deeply. Therefore, one of the worst things a parent can experience in a contentious family law case is an accusation of child abuse. Imagine that you are going through a divorce from a vindictive spouse. They are accusing you of all kinds of…

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You and your spouse had an amicable divorce, in which you agreed to joint legal custody of your young son, Brad. The schedule called for him to spend every other weekend with you.  For years, both you and your son looked forward to these weekend visits. When the weather was pleasant, you enjoyed outdoor activities…

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We live in a highly mobile society today, so it is not unusual for divorced parents to want to relocate to a different city, state, or country with their children for personal or work-related reasons. While some noncustodial parents view such a move as beneficial for the children and reluctantly give their blessing, others vehemently…

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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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When custody disputes occur, New York judges attempt to resolve the matter without putting the child in the position of having to choose between their parents. In some cases, however, input from the child may be necessary to give the court the information it needs to make the best decision, so a “Lincoln hearing” will…

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If you’re like many people, then you had to make a lot of financial changes after divorce. If you didn’t know how to budget before, then you learned quite quickly. Things are especially complicated if you’re a stay-at-home parent. Although you are definitely working full-time, being a parent doesn’t come with the paycheck it deserves.…

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At first glance, it seems like an unusual custody arrangement. Every two weeks, Sandra packs a small suitcase, kisses her young son and daughter goodbye, and moves out of her Bronx home for three days while her former husband, Joe, moves in. After those three days are up, Joe drives home to Queens and Sandra…

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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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The first New Year’s after divorce is always difficult. Now that you and your spouse are no longer together, how are you going to handle the parties and social events that have been a New Year’s tradition for so long? Avoid them entirely? Talk to your ex and find out which ones he’s attending so…

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Ending a marriage is not a decision that anyone should take lightly. When you file for divorce, the financial and emotional effect on the rest of your life is immediate and far-reaching. Because it is so important to be sure that the marriage is irretrievably broken before initiating divorce, New York law supports an alternative…

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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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When their parents divorce, children often wonder what went wrong and whether or not they might be to blame. These anxious and confused feelings are heightened when one parent moves out, splitting the household and causing them to see that parent less often. Although there is no way to ease the pain of divorce completely,…

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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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It’s common knowledge that a criminal record can have a detrimental effect on your life. Not only are there immediate penalties such as significant fines and possible incarceration, but you also face long-term complications such as restricted employment options, loss of access to public benefits, and even challenges when you seek custody of your children.…

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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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Sometimes circumstances leave you unable to attend your upcoming appearance date in Bronx Family Court. Perhaps you now live in a different state or even country, or an emergency has come up, forcing you to be out of New York when court is in session. Provided your absence is for a valid reason, you may…

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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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Two recently separated New York parents obtained a child custody and visitation agreement. According to an October 18, 2016, New York Law Journal article, the father wished to modify this agreement. In the agreement, the two parents agreed to reside within fifteen miles of each other to benefit their child. The father sought to change…

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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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Although divorce can wreck emotional havoc on everyone involved, it is important to try to stabilize healthy parent-child relationships once the divorce has concluded. In many cases, there are so many emotions happening between the divorcing partners that the feelings of their shared children can easily be swept under the rug after the divorce 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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Pope Francis announced last week that the church aims to make it simpler and faster for Catholics who want to get a marriage annulment. This painful process has been known to take years and frustrate both spouses, which is why the church has taken some action to address growing concerns. Many people who have wanted…

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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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When it comes to child custody, there is years of case law and relevant application to help consider how a court might decide. There are clear guidelines about how things should happen, and established systems for helping divorcing couples navigate the process during and after the divorce. What about pets, though? There is a lot…

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When a parent relocates to another country with his or her minor child, he or she usually needs the consent of the other parent. However, consent can be implied based on the actions of the parents as was the case described by a recent New York Law Journal article. A couple that met in New…

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Sometimes, parents do not have equal custody of their child or children. This may result from their schedules, their locations, or it may result from a decision regarding who would be the best parent to take care of the child or children provided that the parents have separated. The Administration for Child Services (ACS) can…

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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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The Domestic Relations Law is part of New York’s legal code. This part is often abbreviated, DRL. The DRL is composed of sixteen articles. These articles form the backbone of New York’s laws on marriage, divorce and family law. A summary of each article of the DRL follows. Article 1 The article gives the short…

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When one has a case in both in Family Court and New York State Supreme Court, it is possible to combine, or consolidate, these case cases into one court only. However, that is not always permitted as evidenced by a case mentioned by the New York Law Journal’s August 14, 2014 edition. A family had…

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The mother of a child was granted custody of the child. The two live in the United States. Later, the father petitioned to get custody of the child according to an October 17, 2014 New York Law Journal article. He was allowed to bring this petition to court due to regulations from the Hague Convention…

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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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The father of a Native American child has been in a struggle to obtain “permanent custody” of his child under the laws governing Native Americans. Recently Oklahoma’s highest court held that the father can “continue to raise her for the moment,” but the child will eventually be returned to her adoptive parents as reported by…

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New York City Family Courts have experienced a rise in the number of family law cases that it handles yearly.  As a result, the New York City Family Courts want to make some information readily accessible to the general public so that the public can become educated on certain matters as well as stay informed…

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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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Ferry, a sex offender, was sent to prison and was released in 2009. Then he was sent to a mental institution. While he was in prison he was neither able to appear for his family court proceeding nor was he represented in court. Nevertheless, the family court granted his aunt sole custody of his two…

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Many couples get separated after having a baby, and with the separation comes the child support obligation. One of the parents, either the mother or the father, has to pay support for the child, most likely the father will; and most definitely if the father is a millionaire. According to a case reported on April…

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Before understanding all of the factors that are applied in a child custody dispute, it is important to know what the term actual involves. Child custody is the legal relationship between a parent and the child. However, there are three types of custody: physical, legal, and joint. Physical custody determines where the child’s main residence…

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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 woman sought to obtain child visitation or joint custody over the children that she co-parented while in a relationship with the child’s mother, as reported by the Topeka Capital Journal in a February 22, 2013 news article. During the women’s relationship the mother of child was artificially inseminated and gave birth to two children.…

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An Albany Appellate Division awarded sole custody to the father of the child after the court saw an improper posting on Facebook made by the child’s mother, as reported by the New York Law Journal in a February 19, 2013 article. The posting in question involved the mother calling her 10-year-old son an “asshole” on…

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What is bird-nesting? After a divorce with a child or children involved, there are a few options for parenting. One is sole custody, where one parent has control over the children. The non-custodial spouse can apply for visitation rights. Another option is joint custody where both parents share custody over the child. Bird-nesting has been…

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Either of the child’s parents may file for custody rights in New York. Although a parent may file without an attorney, the courts strongly recommend that you consult one to ensure all of your rights are protected. Furthermore, in some rare cases if you cannot afford an attorney due to extreme financial hardships, then the…

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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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