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Rockland & Westchester County Divorce Lawyer > Orange County Family Lawyer

Orange County Family Lawyer

Until recently, most New York children grew up with their pure biological siblings under the care of their married biological parents who had never been married to anyone else. That situation changed in 2014. As of that year, most children grew up in “nontraditional” households, such as single parent, stepparent, or adoptive parent-headed households. These families must get over some additional legal and financial hurdles, if they are to thrive.

The dedicated Orange County family lawyer at The Law Office of Robert Sunshine work very hard to find long lasting and cost effective solutions for families throughout the Empire State. Hard work is only part of our formula for success. We also believe in zealous client advocacy and open communication throughout the process. Our team never settles for anything less than the best possible result under the circumstances, and we never want you to be in the dark.

Divorce and Paternity

When spouses divorce, their marriage dissolutions almost always involve complex financial and emotional issues. Child custody and visitation provisions must be in the best interests of the children and the marital property division must be equitable.

Child custody matters have changed significantly since the joint custody days of the 1980s. Today, the Empire State, like most other jurisdictions, has a co-parenting law. This law includes a presumption that children benefit from frequent, meaningful, and consistent contact with both parents. So, children no longer “live with” one parent and “visit” the other one. Instead, both parents must take an active child-rearing role, at least in most cases.

Property division, as well as spousal support determinations, usually hinge on the application of various factors. Since most divorce cases, and most civil cases in general, settle out of court, a tradeoff is usually involved. For example, Wife might accept lower alimony payments if Husband gives up a greater share of his retirement account.

As for paternity matters, it’s very important for parents to formalize child custody and parenting time issues. Only formal judicial orders are enforceable in court. Without such orders, one parent may unilaterally dictate such things. In fact, mothers may be able to put children up for adoption without notifying their fathers.

Paternity orders benefit mothers as well. The additional assurance of financial support makes a big difference in a monthly budget. Additionally, if their children get sick, doctors have access to all their family medical history, and not half of it.

Our Orange County family law attorneys handle all other family law matters as well, such as adoptions, grandparent visitation, and stepparent adoptions.

Family Law Modifications

As mentioned, only written orders are enforceable in court. It’s great for parents to work out issues between themselves without getting the lawyers involved. But as we all know, it’s always best to get it in writing.

Initial emotional and financial decisions are based on the emotional and financial circumstances at the time. When these circumstances change, the orders should change as well.

Frequently, we recommend pre-filing mediation in these situations. A professional mediator takes broad agreement on general principles, like the best interests of the children, and translates it to specific matters. If parents present agreed modification motions to judges, the judges usually don’t require a hearing. Instead, they simply sign them. This procedure saves time, and more importantly money, for everyone.

Reach Out to a Dedicated Orange County Family Attorney

Family law matters almost always involve emotional and financial issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County family lawyer, contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. We routinely handle matters throughout the Empire State.

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