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!


Child Custody Disputes: Primary Caretaker as a factor

On May 2, 2012, in Divorce, Family Law, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

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)

Marital Agreements are Binding

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

Marital Agreements

Recently, we have received several questions regarding marital agreements such as prenuptial and separation agreements.  The questions seem to focus on whether or not the agreements are binding.  Primarily whether or not a court can decide to modify the terms of such agreements if they are deemed unfair.  The truth of the matter is that these types of agreements are legal contracts.  If executed in compliance of the required formalities, then these agreements are generally binding.  Modifications to these agreements are permissible as long as both parties consent and follow the appropriate formalities for modifications.  Courts, however, will tend not to modify the terms of such agreements unless there are extenuating circumstances.  It is not an easy task to convince a judge to alter or void the terms of these marital agreements.  One exception to this general conclusory statement is when the best interest of an involved child would dictate that the Court intervene and impose its will.  These agreements are very intricate and the necessary terminology can be the difference in whether one of these marital agreements are valid and enforceable or possibly declared void and meaningless.  As always, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak to a family law attorney!

Separation Agreements

On December 6, 2011, in Divorce, Family Law, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Separation Agreements

Separation Agreements need to be artfully drafted.  Each sentence should be carefully selected.  There are certain errors or omissions that can be fatal to the document’s survival.  It is highly recommended that these types of agreements are drafted by or at least reviewed by an attorney.  The risk of not doing so, regardless of the cost, is too great.  In the last couple of days, we have seen an increased number of clients who have attempted to draft their own agreements and have come to our firm to fix them.  This ends up costing more money in the long run.

We are aware that there are certain online programs that can assist you in drafting these agreements thru a data entry interface.  These programs are very general and not capable of adjusting to the unique intricacies of your particular situation.   Although these interfaces may be capable of pumping out a Separation Agreement in minutes, the quality is certainly declined.  The validity and effectiveness of the resulting agreement is going to be questionable at best.

I understand that the economy is currently struggling and funds are hard to come by.  We see it here just like every other type of business.   There are certain things that need to be done correctly however.   Taking shortcuts will only result in a longer and more expensive road later.  So if you feel that a Separation Agreement is important to you and you would like to feel comfortable that the terms will hold up in the event that they are ever challenged; then you should seek the assistance of an attorney to draft it for you.  As always, if you have any questions about Separation Agreements or Divorce in general please call (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Family Law Attorney!

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