Family and Divorce Lawyers Syracuse NY
Divorce and family law is an especially challenging aspect of law, and if you find yourself in the family courts for any reason, it’s important to have an attorney who understands the nuances of the laws in your state and how they apply to your case. Family law cases usually include financial matters such as alimony (also sometimes referred to as maintenance payments) and child support, but they also deal with more complex issues like property division and child custody.
Alimony can cause a great deal of confusion for the parties in a divorce. There are generally guidelines that the courts must follow when deciding whether to implement alimony and determine the amount, but judges also have a lot of leeway to use their personal judgment in what they think is fitting for the situation. A higher income usually means more complicated assets and a more complicated determination of alimony, so it’s especially important in these cases to have legal representation who can look out for your rights.
Dividing up the marital assets can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process. It’s not unusual for the parties to disagree about who is entitled to what, and that’s where the courts step in. It’s important to remember that the family courts focus on equitable distribution of the assets, which is not necessarily a 50/50 split. The judge will look at factors such as the current income of both parties, future earning potential and what may be deemed personal property not subject to the divorce settlement. An experienced divorce lawyer can be particularly helpful if you know that there is a large disparity in what you and your ex deem a fair settlement or if you believe there may be hidden assets.
If the marriage resulted in children — or you find yourself in a custody battle with a former-partner — custody is a major issue. In general, the courts recognize two types of custody. Legal custody refers to who has decision-making power, and physical custody refers to the physical time split between the parents. The court will listen to arguments from both sides but is focused on the interests of the child when making the final decisions.
Child support is usually the least complicated part of a divorce, but it can be quite contentious. The state has a formula that it uses to determine the proper child support amount, and the courts usually only deviate from this if there are extraordinary circumstances, such as a disabled child.
To learn more about family law or to begin the planning process, contact our Melvin and Melvin Family and Divorce Lawyers today.