at Home & Internationally
with Family Law Issues
While some disputes between family members can be easily resolved, many disagreements result in litigation that can have lasting effects on a person’s rights. Often, spouses or parents are caught off guard when presented with a family law issue and are uncertain about how to respond. Regardless of the nature of your dispute, you should retain a New York family law lawyer who will aggressively advocate on your behalf to help you protect your rights. Attorney Valerie S. Wolfman has decades of experience handling complex cases and will strive to obtain the best legal result available under the unique facts of your situation. Ms. Wolfman’s office is located in Manhattan, and she represents people in family law cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.
The decision to end a marriage can lead to more legal complexities than the spouses expect. New York differs from some states in that it allows for both fault-based and no-fault divorces. There are several grounds under which a spouse can pursue a fault-based divorce, including abandonment for one year or more, adultery, inhuman and cruel treatment, imprisonment of one spouse for three or more years, and living apart pursuant to a separation agreement or decree. Conversely, if a person wishes to seek a no-fault divorce, he or she must merely allege that the marriage has been irreparably broken for at least six months. For the New York courts to exercise jurisdiction over a divorce action, typically at least one of the spouses must have resided in New York for one year prior to the filing of the divorce petition.
Disagreements over child custody are another common issue that may require the assistance of a knowledgeable family law attorney in New York. The New York courts determine child custody arrangements according to what is in the best interest of the child. In New York, custody is divided into legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions regarding the child’s care and upbringing, such as which religious practices, if any, the child will observe, where the child will attend school, and which medical providers will provide care and treatment to the child. Physical custody is the right to have the child reside with the parent. There are several factors that a court weighs in determining child custody, including where the child historically has resided, whether the child has special needs and, if so, which parent is better equipped to meet the child’s needs, and the physical and mental health and stability of each parent. More often than not, a court will award joint legal and physical custody to both parents.
Child support disputes frequently coincide with child custody disputes in New York. Under New York law, both parents are obligated to provide financial support for a child. New York family law attorney Valerie S. Wolfman can help you negotiate or litigate a child support obligation. Child support amounts are generally determined by statutory guidelines, which employ an income shares method of determining how much support is owed. The income shares method arose out of the concept that a child should receive the same proportion of each parent’s income that the child would have received if the parents were raising him or her together. Thus, the income shares method calculates the combined income of the parents and assigns each parent a percentage of the monthly cost to raise the child, based on the parent’s contribution to the combined income. Although the courts generally adhere to the guidelines, they are permitted to deviate from the guidelines if a deviation is warranted under the unique circumstances of a case.
If you are dealing with a family law matter, it is essential to understand the nuances of your case and the potential implications that you may face. Valerie S. Wolfman is a knowledgeable family law lawyer in New York who is adept at helping people navigate the emotionally and legally complicated process of contending with family law disputes. Ms. Wolfman has ample experience in handling cases involving international family law disputes and cases involving high net worth individuals. You can contact Ms. Wolfman via the online form or at (646) 293-4704 to schedule a confidential meeting to discuss your needs.