Divorce, Support, and Family Court
If you and your spouse have even a single issue on which you cannot agree, like maybe a house, or visitation, or custody, or health insurance, or any other significant issue, it is not truly "uncontested". However, a contested divorce can be very expensive financially and emotionally. Years of endless legal fighting can take its toll on parents and children as well as cost more money than it was ever worth. The court process is slow and unresponsive. Judges are overloaded with cases. For every one hour you talk things out with your spouse you save twenty hours of legal fees.
As a first step, I always recommend trying to find common ground. If you agree, I can start by sending your spouse, or your spouse's attorney, a friendly letter explaining that I am your attorney and how this matter can be resolved without the pain, expense, and frustration of extended litigation. Often times couples can "agree to disagree" about what went wrong while also agreeing on the best path forward.
In the event no common ground can be found between you and your spouse I can move forward with a contested divorce. This is a lawsuit where you are the plaintiff and your spouse is the defendant. Marriage is a legal bond which requires a legal ending or "dissolution of marriage" by a judge in NYS Supreme Court.
I will invite your spouse to my office to exchange papers and documents and to review a checklist of the rights and responsibilities of each party. The legal process will then be in motion.
A judge decides which parent gets custody. This is often, but not always, the mother. The best interest of the child is of primary concern to the courts. Parental fitness and appropriate living environment are important considerations. As always, a judge makes the final decision. It is my job to make the best case for a decision in your favor.
Child and spousal support, (also called alimony or maintenance), is determined by numerous legal factors. Utmost care must be taken when seeking support as once a dollar amount is awarded by the court it becomes yet another legal process to change that amount, (either up or down), should circumstances change going forward. My experience can guide you through this process.
This the right of the parent that does not have custody to see the child or children midweek, weekends, holidays, overnight visits, vacations, as well as participating in the school and personal affairs of the child. It's the children that suffer the most so visitation that best serves their emotional needs is best for everyone.
You should also know the courts have been clear that visitation is a right greater than property rights. A custodial parent that interferes with visitation can suffer legal repercussions including loss of custody and even time in jail.
About Family Court
This is the court where matters of custody, visitation, and other child issues are handled between unmarried parents. Unmarried parents must address these issues in Family Court but married couples can bring these matters to either Family Court or a NYS Supreme Court. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. I can advise you as to which is best for your particular situation.
GET THE PROFESSIONAL HELP YOU NEED
Gather up all the paperwork and contact Keith Weidman to schedule an appointment.
Let my 35 years of experience put your mind at ease.
Keith Weidman, Esq.