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Syracuse Family Law Blog

You can diffuse a contentious divorce and toxic interactions

A toxic spouse is hard to handle when you're married, but when divorce is in the cards, he or she could become unmanageable. This person may be vindictive or do anything in his or her power to drag out the divorce, cost you money and make you miserable.

If this sounds like your spouse, it's important that you take care of your mental and physical health during your divorce. The toxic energy your spouse emits has the ability to poison your relationship with your children and others.

Why is a settlement agreement important?

When you're going through a divorce, it's possible that you may have disputes that you need to resolve. One of the ways to do that is through alternative dispute resolution processes. One option is mediation, and another is collaborative law. In either case, you can get help to work through your issues, so you and your spouse can get through your divorce and move on with your lives.

Any divorce needs a settlement agreement. This agreement resolves all the issues related to dividing assets, time with children, custody arrangements and other important items. A written settlement agreement drawn up before going to court can often be affirmed by the judge and accepted as the finalized legal settlement. In some cases, a judge may believe the settlement is unfair. In that case, there could be changes made, although it's unlikely.

Can you waive child support payments?

When you get a divorce, you may be against receiving alimony. Perhaps you don't want to receive it because you don't want to have continued contact with your ex. Maybe you don't want it because you no longer want to rely on your ex. Whatever the reason is, you can typically opt out of seeking alimony.

One thing you shouldn't do, however, is opt out of child support. Child support is not for you alone, it is for the health and well-being of your child. Yes, there is a likelihood that you can take care of your child on your own without financial support.

Unmarried fathers could lose their rights without paternity tests

One major problem that sometimes occurs is when a father is unaware that he has a child. If that child is put up for adoption, it calls into question if the father knows about the child and the relationship that he wants to have with the child.

Before an adoption can take place, both parents typically have to consent. One catch is if no one knows who the father is. In that case, it would be impossible to ask him if he is okay with the adoption. If a father does not step forward to establish paternity, then the court can later argue that he did not demonstrate that he was making a commitment to his child.

How can you help your teen get through your divorce?

In the teenage years, many find themselves emotionally challenged as their hormones change and bodies adjust. Add to this the threat of a teen's parents divorcing, and it can quickly become a difficult situation. If you have a teenage daughter, you may be feeling the strain right now.

While there is no simple way to address the problems your teen is going through, you can make the transition of the divorce easier by taking a few steps to make your teen more comfortable. For example, since teens want to spend more time with their friends and participating in activities they love, you may not want to fight over "parenting time" as much as you want to explain that you and your spouse would like some time with her alongside her participating in the activities she enjoys.

Can't afford child support? A modification can help

How much child support is too much? Every state has its own requirements, and you know that the guidelines may vary depending on the situation. There comes a point where you have to live, though, and no amount of pushing or prodding can make you produce money out of thin air.

Your child does deserve support, but if paying child support impacts your life so much that you can barely survive or aren't able to meet your responsibilities, then there is a problem.

Tips to decide if divorce is the right answer

No matter who you are, there could come a time when you begin to think about divorce. The thought alone may make you sick, but it could be something you need to consider in the near future.

There is no right or wrong way to decide if divorce is the right answer for you and your spouse. Everyone is facing a unique situation, so you need to review the finer details of your relationship to decide what to do next.

A custody order gives you a court-ordered parenting plan

After a divorce, you'll be given an order of custody for your child. This order describes the details relating to your child's care. It will include custody rights, control and maintenance information all in one place.

Anyone with a substantial connection or relationship with a child can petition for custody in family court in New York. A parent or grandparent is able to do so, as are family friends, aunts, uncles and others. If you intend to request custody of a child, then the court will need you to deliver a petition and summons to the person who presently has custody. When the hearing takes place, the custody request is addressed directly. There are no fees for filing for custody in family court, so it's easy to take this first step if you want to obtain custody of a child.

Your child deserves support from both parents

As a parent with a little one, you need all the help you can get when it comes to money. You always expected your spouse to be there, but now that you've divorced, you realize that won't always be the case.

One of the problems since the divorce has been a lack of financial support from your ex. Your ex says he is unable to pay child support because he doesn't make enough money. That doesn't take away the fact that the court has ordered him to pay.

Location tracking may not help in your divorce

When you're going through a divorce, one thing you might want to use as evidence against your spouse is his or her location. Location tracking devices are becoming more popular in divorces, but is using one legal?

Some believe that judges in New York may ignore the tracking data from services including Uber, because the state has a no-fault divorce law. Although the tracking could potentially prove a spouse's location during the divorce, it wouldn't be a high priority in the court room.