Modification of a Custody Agreement

On November 13, 2012, in Divorce, Family Law, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Modification of Custody Agreement

Understanding the common misconceptions.

There are many misconceptions regarding whether or not custodial agreements can be modified.  The fact of the matter is that a custody agreement is not that much different than other agreements or issues that arise in Domestic Relations Law in New York.  Courts do their best to encourage parties in custody disputes to reach their own agreement rather than rendering a ruling which dictates custody.  In fact, courts will do their best to uphold custody agreements as long as circumstances allow.

Certain standards are necessary for modification.

It may be said that the courts will initially view a case with the  presumption that the agreement should be upheld.  This should not be interpreted to mean that the agreement will be upheld in every case.  The best interests of the child, a change in circumstances, and overall well being of the children will always be considered by the court.  In order to succeed in modifying a custody agreement, it would be wise to focus your arguments in these areas.

Long Island Divorce Attorney

If you are unhappy with a custody agreement and need legal assistance in attempting to modify it, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a Family Law Attorney today!


Tax Fraud and Innocent Spouses

On October 10, 2012, in Divorce, Family Law, by Jason Mays, Esq.

Innocent Spouse Doctrine

Tax Fraud and Innocent Spouses

Generally, when spouses file tax returns jointly, each spouse is liable for any understatement on the jointly filed return.  This means that, for example, a husband will be held liable if his wife understates her income, and vice-versa.  In a sense, this places a burden on each spouse to ensure that the other spouse’s income is reported correctly.

But what if one spouse hides income from the other?  Individuals that can convince a court that they did not know of their spouse’s unreported income when they filed the return may be considered “innocent.”  Innocent spouses will not be prosecuted by the taxing authority.  But if the innocent spouse benefits from the unreported income, that spouse still may have to contribute to the tax debt.  Additionally, in a divorce action, a matrimonial court may distribute liability for the debt between the spouses without regard to the innocent spouse rule.

Long Island Divorce Attorneys

If you have any questions about Family Law, Divorce, or other legal issues, the attorneys at the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC can help.  Call our office at 516-858-2620 today.

Modification of Visitation Order

On August 15, 2012, in Divorce, Family Law, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Modification of Visitation Order

Has there been a sufficient change in circumstances?

Recently, we have received calls regarding the possibility of modifying a court order of visitation.   A lot of people are unclear about whether you can modify a custody order, similar to the way a custody order can be modified.  The truth of the matter is that a visitation order can be modified for the proper change in circumstances.  Uncovering whether or not the change in your own circumstances would be considered sufficient in the eyes of the court can be a difficult process.

Long Island Divorce Attorney

If you are have concerns about your visitation schedule and think that you may have a good reason to modify it, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak with a family law attorney today!


Divorce and Carrying Costs

On May 4, 2012, in Divorce, Family Law, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

What are “Carrying Costs” in Divorce Cases?

In the context of divorce, the term “carrying cost” refers to the expense of maintaining marital property, such as real estate, until the property is disposed of according to the terms of a divorce agreement or court order. Real estate carrying costs may include property taxes, insurance, or utilities, among other things. Typically, if marital property is to be sold, with the proceeds of the sale to be distributed equally between between the spouses, the property’s carrying costs – the costs of maintaining the property until the sale – is also allocated equally between the spouses. New York courts have declined to order a spouse to pay one-half of all carrying costs on marital property where that spouse was financially unable to make the payments. However, where one spouse has paid the other spouse’s carrying costs, a court may credit those payments to the paying spouse’s maintenance obligations. Courts have the power to allocate carrying costs differently as circumstances require.

If you have any questions about maintenance payments, carrying costs, divorce, or other matrimonial or family law issues, The Law Firm of Vaughn and Weber is here to help. Call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Family Lawyer and Divorce Attorney today!

*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS).

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