Archive for November, 2017

How To Get A Child Support Order In New York

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

When the topic of obtaining a child support order is brought up, it is important to get a few key details out of the way early on. First, and most importantly, the parent who has custody of the child, and moreover the parent the child spends the most time with (sometimes referred to as having physical custody), is able to get child support for the child.

The most common scenario for this is when the two parents do not live together, and one parent has legal custody of the child. In this scenario, the custodial parent is the one receiving the child support from the non-custodial parent. Non-parental guardians (caretakers of the child that are not related to the child via paternity) are able to get child support from either one or both of the parents.

Another, less common situation is when the two parents did not end up getting married. In this case, the first step is to complete an Acknowledgment of Paternity or an Order of Filiation to establish paternity. The Order of Filiation is an order by the court that definitively names the father of a child. This sometimes includes a DNA test if the mother and proposed father cannot agree that he is the father, but usually there is no request for one. By being named the father, this parent now has the right to custody of the child as well as visitation rights, but also includes the potential responsibility of paying child support.

The Acknowledgment of Paternity involves the scenario in which the mother gives birth to the child out of wedlock. In this scenario, the child has no legal father, which means that the biological father has no rights or responsibilities to the child. The acknowledgment is therefore often done at the hospital following the birth of the child, and it names the father of the child and, like the Order of Filiation, gives him right to custody of the child and visitation rights, as well as bestowing upon him the responsibilities of child support.

To begin the process, the custodial parent must file a child support petition in family court. It is important to note that in almost all cases, the family court must be in the county or city in which the child resides. The non-custodial parent will be served a summons, which in this case will include the petition, as well as a financial disclosure form, which is included because that is a factor the courts take into consideration when deciding on the amount of support ordered.

If you have questions or need help in getting child support, contact Paul E. Rudder, Esq. today. Call 212-826-9900 to set up a consultation.

Related Articles:

If Both Parents Have Joint Custody Of The Child, Who Pays For Child Support?

How To Collect Past Due Child Support In New York

Should You Pay Child Support Through The Special Collection Unit (SCU)?

What Is A Forensic Evaluation And How Can It Impact A Child Custody Decision?

Monday, November 20th, 2017

When a couple is unable to agree on the legal and physical custody of their child/children, the court will hear arguments from both parents in what is often called a “custody battle.”  The word “battle” is not there by accident.

Child custody litigation can be a very costly and emotionally charged process, one that sometimes requires every member of the household to go through a painful and scarring process, and for loved ones to be separated for long periods of time.

The Court’s main concern in these scenarios is what is in the best interest of the children. Considering the best interest of a child guides them in determining things like who has legal/physical custody, visitation rights, etc. The child also has to undergo a forensic evaluation.

So, what is a forensic evaluation?

A forensic evaluation involves assigning a psychiatrist or a mental expert to evaluate the family through a series of interviews, information gathered and looking into essential documents. The mental health expert will have access to various family documents and third-party accounts (extended family, family friends, neighbors, etc.) of interactions with the family.

Typically, the expert will meet with the child alone, the parents alone, and the child with each parent. The expert will ask a number of questions regarding the parents and their relationship with the child, as well as with each other.

Psych tests will also be administered that will help the expert understand the different personalities and emotional strengths and weaknesses of everyone in the family. This is done to understand the dynamic of the family and create their evaluation. Note: Child Custody Evaluators are prohibited from making an express recommendation as to which parent should be afforded legal or physical custody. However, these evaluations hold significant weight, and the guardianship position is often influenced by these reports.

This written report includes the test results and all other relevant information that the mental health expert accumulated during their investigation. It will highlight the child’s relationship with both parents, the parent’s relationship with each other, and potential risks that could influence child custody or visitation time. While the court can disregard the results of the report, which is very rare, the report is often an essential tool in the final ruling.

If you need legal representation contact Paul E. Rudder, Esq. today. Mr. Rudder has helped numerous clients through child custody disputes. Call 212-826-9900 to set up a consultation.

How To Win Back Custody Of Your Children

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Having your children separated from you in the wake of your divorce (an already emotionally brutal experience) can be overwhelming and traumatic. More times than not, custody decision by the court is not likely to be overturned soon after the divorce, barring some huge and egregious act by the spouse that was awarded the custody. In order to initiate this process, it is important that you examine the reasons why the court decided to not give you custody of your children.

Moreover, it is imperative that you significantly change your behavior and/or lifestyle that the court felt was a risk to the welfare of the child. Once you file the post-judgment motion with the court, you are going to have to prove to the court that not only have you changed to the point that you can have custody of the children, but that your child’s life would benefit from a change in custody, and that the change is necessary for their welfare.

Changes that occur in the child’s life and home are known as material and substantial changes, and the courts use these as well to determine if a change of custodial parent is best for the child. If you are requesting to modify the custody agreement under these kinds of changes, note that they must have happened since the divorce was finalized. What this means is that you cannot call on some behavior of your ex during the marriage that “proves” they are an unfit parent; the court would have decided that themselves during the divorce if they thought so.

If the court, when explaining their reasoning for not awarding you custody, involved a drug/alcohol problem, or inappropriate parenting, you should already have been attending treatment courses or parenting classes. Resolving the issues in your life that the court identified as the reason you cannot have custody of your children is the best way to not only show that you have changed, but care so much about your children that you overcame extremely difficult obstacles in your life in order to have them back.

Throughout this process, it is important to retain legal counsel, as an attorney can best inform you what you need to change in your own life in order to attempt to gain custody of your children, but they also can make sure that the court is keeping an eye on your ex-spouse as well, so that if their behavior begins to compromise their ability to parent, your child is removed from the unfit location and their welfare is secured.

If you need legal advice from an experienced child custody lawyer in New York. Call Paul E. Rudder, Esq. today. Mr. Rudder can be reached by calling (212) 826-9900.