I am not receiving my child support payments. What can I do?

You can file a petition for a violation of a child support order and seek a money judgment, interest and incarceration of noncomplying parent and a finding of willfulness. If your child’s parent has willfully defaulted on child support payments, then the judge may award you legal fees to pay for the legal fees and court costs that you paid to recover the owed child support payments. Mr. Lutzky has obtained all of the preceding remedies in prior cases for his clients.

If you are brought to court for a violation proceeding, then it is best to retain experienced counsel to minimize your exposure to drastic remedies.

I am being denied my visitation rights. What can I do?

You can file a petition in Family Court or a motion in Supreme Court if you are denied your visitation rights obtained from a court order. You can also seek a change in custody in an extreme case of being denied your visitation rights.

I currently pay child support payments, but my income has recently dropped, and now the payments are not affordable. What can I do?

If your income has decreased, then you can seek a downward modification of child support. The decrease should not be due to your actions. If you quit a job or were fired for cause, then you are not entitled to a reduction in child support. If you move or change careers, then you will not be entitled to a downward modification of child support.

Am I entitled to a portion of my spouse’s retirement plan? to spousal maintenance? to child support?

The portion of a retirement package, such as a defined benefit plan, a defined contribution plan, thrift savings plans, deferred compensation arrangements, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans or IRAs, earned while married is considered marital property. Therefore, the portion of the pension(s) earned during the marriage are typically split up per expert analysis of the plan and court approval upon divorce.

Spousal maintenance, which is typically referred to as, “alimony,” is designed to help support one spouse in a marriage if he or she earns significantly less than the other spouse. Marriage is an economic partnership, so courts may include spousal maintenance payments in a divorce settlement. Spousal maintenance is not automatic, so your lawyer will have to ask for it and may need to negotiate its terms depending on the length of marriage and the income of the parties.

Child support may be awarded to the spouse with custody of the child or children. This type of support is based on guidelines that take into account the paying spouse’s income and the number of children from the marriage. In addition, your lawyer can request regular payments for “add-ons,” like child care, college tuition and expenses educational expenses, unreimbursed medical expenses, co-pays and deductibles and summer camp.

What is marital property and how, if at all, must it be split in a divorce?

Marital property is anything earned or obtained during the course of a marriage by either spouse. For example, if you contributed to your pension while you were married, then that part of your pension is marital property. Another common marital property is a house, co-op or condo. There are exceptions as to some property acquired during the marriage, which may not be marital property. Assets obtained by an accident award, inheritance or as a gift may be separate property. You should consult Mr. Lutzky to discuss the particulars of your case.

Typically, a divorcing couple splits their marital property 50/50 by value under the principle of “equitable distribution.” This is not always the case, however, and if you have questions about how your marital property may be split in divorce, then you should contact an attorney.

Do I need to get divorced to file for child custody and/or visitation?

No. While child custody and divorce may be included in a divorce settlement, many people who are not currently going through a divorce may also set up a custody and visitation arrangement. The Family Court handles these matters. It places importance on what is best for the child or children, and works to ensure a fair agreement.