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Staten Island Family Law Blog

The potential benefits of a no-fault divorce

When a marriage breaks down, it's not always true that one person is to blame. Sometimes, people grow apart over time and realize that they want different things from their lives.

Until 2010, New York law only recognized fault-based divorce grounds. This meant that one spouse needed to cite grounds such as adultery, cruel treatment or abandonment to file for divorce. However, in 2010, New York added no-fault divorces, making it possible to cite a separation of one year as grounds for divorce.

Denying paternity in New York

You might remember the tabloid 1990s talk shows where DNA test results supposedly revealed if a guest was a child’s biological father. Sometimes he was happy he was, and sometimes he was happy he wasn’t.

Some men do fight to get visitation and custody rights, and others take legal action to avoid child support. But TV shows aside, the legal idea of paternity is more complex than the up-or-down results of a cheek-swab.

How do fault grounds and no-fault grounds for divorce differ?

Deciding that it would be best to end a marriage is usually not a decision someone makes lightly. If you have decided that it is time to end your marriage, you probably have your own reasons for reaching that decision. However, when you file for divorce, you must select a legally valid reason, called a ground, for your action.

New York recognizes seven grounds for divorce, and you will not be granted a divorce without selecting one of them. Most of these grounds are fault-based. However, since 2010, New York has also recognized one no-fault ground.

What is it like to divorce with a prenuptial agreement?

Ending a marriage is not always an easy and painless experience. Oftentimes it is one of the hardest moments in a person’s life, even when you have a prenuptial agreement. A prenup may have been signed with the awareness of the reality of divorce. However, it doesn’t make it any easier emotionally. In fact, you may have regrets over the prenup or have felt pressured into signing one at the time it was presented.

Nevertheless, if you are divorcing and have a prenup, the divorce process will be different than traditional divorces. The beauty of the prenup is that it can eliminate conflict in areas related to marital assets and spousal support. The legal document signed pre- marital vows may also outline what is expected when one of the spouse incurs debt. Divorces without such specifications often lead to bitter trials that are highly contested, exhausting both time and resources.

Preparing children for an upcoming divorce

Every breakup comes with its own set of challenges for each person involved. It’s difficult enough to deal with the end of a relationship and what that means for your own life, but with the added responsibility of parenthood those challenges multiply.

Telling children about an upcoming divorce can be a difficult conversation for any parent. Divorce brings any number of changes to a family dynamic, so parents can do well to prepare for sharing this news with children. Your preparedness can make all the difference in how a divorce affects your kids moving forward.

4 things to consider for 50/50 custody and visitation schedules

Joint parenting is an ideal situation where you and your spouse can enjoy time with the children. Organization and compromise is the foundation to any 50/50 custody and visitation schedule. You will want to make sure that the time is divided fairly so you can both be involved in the child's upbringing. Ultimately, you should keep your child's best interests top of mind when reaching an arrangement. The first step is meeting with your spouse and preparing an outline that considers the various elements of your parenting goals.

Basic elements of a residential schedule

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Jay S. Baum Attorney at Law
3117 Richmond Road
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Staten Island, NY 10306

Phone: 718-980-5200
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