If you made the difficult decision to get a divorce, you are not alone: many statistics show 40-50% of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Most of these divorces include many emotional, financial, and legal questions, with some of the most difficult and life-changing involving the division of property and child custody. Consider the following legal questions a matrimonial attorney is frequently asked.
How is property divided?
The division of property between spouses is aimed to be fair and equitable and is based on a variety of factors. These factors include the value of the property, when was the property acquired, and what were the contributions of both spouses to the acquisition of that property.
The goal in many divorce cases is to ensure each spouse retains ownership of the property they owned prior to the marriage. Additionally, any inheritance or gifts acquired by one spouse will also be kept by that spouse unless it can be shown that the property was transformed into marital property.
How does a court determine child custody?
Child custody is determined by the judge based on what is in the best interest of the child. There are different types of child custody in the State of New York. However, joint custody is the most common.
Joint custody is one way the court attempts to keep both parents involved in the life of the child on an equal footing. Factors in determining child custody include the amount of time the parent is able to spend with the child, the ability of the parent to foster a relationship with the child and with the other parent, the child's preferences, and any past history of substance or physical abuse.
Can I be prevented from seeing my child?
In child custody cases, the child's best interest usually includes regular contact with both parents. A parent can only be prevented from seeing their child if the court finds the child's welfare is in danger while in the presence of that parent.
Factors such as substance abuse, physical abuse, and neglect may limit a parent's visitation. However, a court may rule in favor of supervised visits rather than preventing the parent from seeing the child altogether.
Divorce can be a difficult process, which is why many Americans often seek family law advice from an experienced family court lawyer. For more child custody advice and information on property division, call Kelly White Donofrio LLP today at 585-232-1415 for a consultation.