Family Law Attorney Serving Saratoga Springs, New York
The work of a family law attorney is widespread and covers almost every civil issue that can occur within a family, such as divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, asset division, or prenuptial agreements. When you’re going through conflict involving your family, you need someone you can depend on to give you sound legal advice and who has your best interests at heart. None of this is easy to deal with, but with the help of an experienced and empathetic attorney, you will get through it and come out on the other side in a better place.
For assistance in Fulton County, Schenectady, or Saratoga Springs, New York, reach out to CSG Law Firm to schedule a consultation and connect with someone who can help.
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Pre- and Postnuptial Agreements
One aspect of family law that CSG Law Firm handles is preparing and modifying prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Although a prenup can often evoke negative connotations, they can be incredibly useful legal documents that can actually strengthen a marriage.
Essentially, a prenup allows you and your soon-to-be spouse to create a contract before you tie the knot (or afterwards with a postnuptial agreement), listing the assets, property, and debts of both spouses. It will also outline the property rights of each spouse should the marriage end in divorce. Some benefits of signing a prenup include:
Having open and honest discussions upfront about your priorities and goals surrounding finances
Allows those who have children from a previous marriage to ensure they receive certain assets
Protect one spouse from the debts of the other
Can prevent disagreements and arguments down the road about money and assets
Divorce in New York
Getting a divorce can be a long and complicated process, and one where the two spouses will have to come to an agreement on a number of issues. Among these are:
Child custody, child support, and parenting plans: This will be discussed in depth further on, but one of the hardest parts of a divorce is deciding how to split up time between the two spouses and any joint children. You will need to decide not only whether one parent will have sole legal custody or if you will share custody, but you’ll also need to come up with a parenting plan which happens regardless of who has custody. In many cases, there will also be money that changes hands in the form of child support.
Asset division: New York is known as an equitable distribution state when it comes to dividing assets during a divorce. This means that joint assets won’t necessarily be split 50/50 between the spouses and that one spouse may end up with a larger share if it’s deemed more equitable.
Alimony: Just because you’re getting a divorce doesn’t mean you’ll automatically have to pay alimony, as this is decided on a case-by-case basis. Typically, if one spouse was the breadwinner of the family, they will pay temporary alimony to the other to give them enough time to reestablish themselves in a career and be able to support themselves.
Another divorce concern has to do with whether you’re filing for a contested or uncontested divorce as this can dramatically affect the amount of time your divorce takes and ultimately how expensive it is:
Contested: When one spouse disagrees with the terms that the other proposes for one or more issues (for example, they can’t agree on child custody), they must bring their case to the court and allow a judge to make a determination.
Uncontested: When both spouses are able to come to an agreement on all aspects of their divorce, even with the help of an attorney or a mediator, it’s considered an uncontested divorce, and you will not have to go before a judge.
Children and Divorce
The two biggest decisions you’ll have to make if you have children and are seeking a divorce are child custody and child support:
Child Custody: In New York, custody is broken down into two categories: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is used to address where the child will physically be living, and this can be between the two homes of the parents. Legal custody refers to the decision-making authority that either one parent has or the two parents share. Choices surrounding medical care, religious upbringing, and education are all issues that the legal custodian can make for their child. If the two parents can come to an agreement on this, a judge will generally approve their plan. However, if a judge must intervene, they will always consider the “best interests of the child” above all else.
Child Support: Oftentimes, the non-custodial parent will be ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. New York follows a set of guidelines when determining this amount, which generally takes a set percentage of the parental income for each child, though there are other factors that a judge will examine.
Family Law Attorney in Saratoga Springs, New York
If you have a family law concern and are in the Saratoga Springs, New York area, call CSG Law Firm to set up a meeting and learn more about your choices.