We always carefully consider the complex emotional and financial concerns that arise from separation, divorce, and custody matters to ensure a fair and equitable resolution to your situation. We work closely with you throughout the entire process with professional discretion and sensitivity.
Beneficial settlements are achieved through mediation, collaboration, negotiation, arbitration and litigation, in trial and appellate courts, with the primary goal being a positive outcome for the children involved. We can help you settle paternity questions, child custody, visitation and support issues, and ensure equitable distribution of assets.
Kelly White Donofrio LLP also participates in Collaborative Law, in which other family professionals may also provide services to help you achieve a legal resolution that meets the needs of both parties and your children without the need for contentious litigation.
Divorce proceedings can quickly become very complex when children are involved, and include considerations such as:
Legal Child Custody. Generally, join legal custody is given to both parents unless a judge determines that a joint custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child. Joint legal custody means that both parents have a say in decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, and medical needs.
Physical Child Custody. Physical Child Custody (where a child will reside) is often awarded to one parent, who is then referred to as the custodial parent. However, in many cases, a judge may determine, or the parents may agree, that a shared physical arrangement is possible when there is evidence of ongoing cooperation between the two parents.
Visitation. Unless there is evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, the noncustodial parent is almost always given visitation rights. Typically this may include alternating weekends, weekday dinner or overnights, and alternating holiday and vacation times.
Child Support. The noncustodial parent often is required to pay child support to the custodial parent to help cover expenses such as food, clothing, medical expenses, childcare, housing and utilities, school fees and supplies, extracurricular activities and entertainment. In New York state, child support is determined through application of the Child Support Standards Act, which is designed to give a child the same standard of living no matter which of the parents' households the child may reside.
Spousal Maintenance (Alimony). Spousal Maintenance is ongoing financial support the higher earning spouse pays to the lower earning spouse during or after the divorce, in addition or separate from Child Support. Maintenance may be used to help the lower earning spouse cover expenses while they learn a new job skill or seek a new occupation. Longer duration maintenance may be awarded if it is determined that the lower earning spouse will have difficulty re-entering the workforce, or if the marriage is of long duration.
There are many legal considerations to weigh when you go through a divorce - especially if there are children involved. However, you don't have to go through it alone. At Kelly White Donofrio LLP, we can help you understand what courses of action are available, and help you decide how best to proceed.
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