Primary Caretaker as a Factor in Child Custody Disputes.
Often, when contemplating a child custody dispute, a parent may expect to be awarded custody of a child simply because that parent has spent more time raising or caring for the child. Depending on the circumstances, however, a court may or may not award custody to such a parent.
The New York Domestic Relations Law – which governs issues such as child custody, divorce, and other family law matters – contains the following language.
In all cases there shall be no prima facie right to the custody of the child in either parent, but the court shall determine solely what is for the best interest of the child, and what will best promote its welfare and happiness, and make award accordingly.
With this language, the New York Legislature has directed courts to award custody based on what the court believes to be in the best interests of the child. Courts consider all aspects of a child’s living arrangements and relations with parents when making custody decisions. The fact that one parent has acted as the primary caretaker of the child will certainly be taken into account. But a court will not award custody to either parent for this reason alone. This may seem unfair to some parents. But again, the court’s sole concern in custody determinations is the best interest of the child. Courts are not concerned with redressing grievances between parents, or compensating a parent for his or her investment in a child’s well-being.
If you are currently facing a child custody dispute, or are concerned that you may be facing one in the future, The Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 393 Jericho Turnpike, Suite #208, Mineola, NY 11501. Call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Family Law Attorney today!
*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS)
In the past few months we have received a lot of phone calls from people who either attempted to file their own uncontested divorce or hired the cheapest attorney they could find to file their uncontested divorce for them. Unfortunately, these folks have found out the hard way, that mistakes in the paperwork or the filings of these uncontested types of divorce can lead to serious delays and stress. Although an uncontested divorce is not as technically challenging as a contested divorce may be, it should still be taken seriously. An uncontested divorce controls the manner in which a marriage is dissolved. Issues of child custody, child support, maintenance, and property distribution are all at stake when these divorce papers are prepared and filed. It is very important that you find a competent professional to prepare and file your divorce. Saving several months time and a lot of money that it takes to fix mistakes in the divorce process is well worth the slightly higher cost that you may pay. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620!
It has become apparent to me that the term “UNCONTESTED DIVORCE” has a lot of people confused. An uncontested divorce is actually quite simple. In short, an uncontested divorce simply means that the two parties will have no dispute as to maintenance, child support, child custody or visitation, or equitable distribution. If you fit these criteria, then your marriage may be ended via an uncontested divorce. If there is a dispute to one or more of these issues that cannot be resolved by the parties, then the divorce will be transferred to the contested divorce calendar. Although the uncontested divorce process is less litigious, it is still wise to consult with and retain an attorney to ensure that the proper paperwork is completed and filed. Errors in the divorce papers themselves, or filing errors will result in extreme delays of the judgment. The uncontested divorce process on average will take anywhere between three to six months to complete. Errors can double or triple that time frame. Severe errors could lead to a dismissed case or a case being sent to the contested divorce calendar. Cooperation of the parties can significantly shorten the wait time for the divorce to be complete.
Long Island Divorce Attorney
If you have any questions on how to process an uncontested divorce as quickly as possible, please feel free to contact one of our attorneys at (516) 858-2620!
The new “No-Fault” divorce law in New York (NY DRL §170(7)) has drawn quite a reaction. Some positive; as would be expected. Some negative; which goes without saying. For years, there has been controversy over whether New York should follow most states down the path of “Irreconcilable Differences,” as a grounds for divorce. Should New York value marriage more than other states? Should New Yorkers be forced to have a good reason to end their marriages? The flip side of the coin has focused on the reality of the situation. Those in favor of irreconcilable differences have kept the view that New Yorkers will get divorced anyway; even if they have to lie about the reason. Should New Yorkers have to lie about why they are ending their marriages? Well now they won’t have to. At least, according to some. On October 15, 2010, New York became the last state to enact a “No-Fault” divorce statute. In a recent article on August 16, 2010 on Bloomberg.com by Carlyn Kolker and Patricia Hurtado entitled “Divorce Easier as New York Ends Need to Lie,” New York’s divorce record and data are presented. You can see that article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-16/breaking-up-not-so-hard-to-do-as-new-york-s-divorce-law-ends-need-to-lie.html.
The fact of the matter is that New York has come a long way in making divorce easier with the implementation of this new law. It is not as easy as some may think though. “No-Fault” simply ends the battle over blame. It ends the need to lie over whose fault the divorce is in the first place. It doesn’t resolve the issues of child custody and visitation, maintenance, child support, and equitable distribution. All of these issue still need to be resolved or the removal of the blame is all for naught. To be honest, the grounds issue is not litigated as often as the other issues anyway. So in most cases, this “No-Fault” statute, will not be helpful.
If you are considering getting divorced and all of the publicity about this new law has you confused; Feel free to call us at (516) 858-2620 !