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Westchester County Divorce Law Blog

Prenups - Do you need one?

Your wedding is approaching! With all the excitement and chaos, the last thing on your mind, perhaps, is signing a prenuptial agreement. While it may be difficult to initially broach the subject with your soon-to-be spouse, a prenup is an important insurance policy for both partners that is best entered into when the level of respect and love for one another is highest. Most couples benefit from a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Individuals with high net worth, complex assets, disparity in income, or who are entering a marriage that will create a blended family should seriously consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

This is a sensitive subject with many couples, but it is a practical matter that can save both parties considerable stress and money if they divorce or separate. There are numerous benefits to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. Discussing the terms of property division and spousal support now will prevent the need to make those decisions when you are emotional and under stress. In addition, a properly drafted prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will prevent the need for lengthy, expensive divorce litigation if the relationship ends.

Can holidays be happy if you are divorced with children?

It's no secret that children look forward to the holidays all year. The time is meant to be magical for them, complete with family, presents and holiday spirit.

But for some children, especially children of divorce, the holidays can feel especially stressful.

Make it a happy Halloween for the kids

Co-parenting has challenges, and holidays can be especially difficult for parents. Halloween is no exception. Divorced and unmarried parents often find themselves facing issues they didn't expect, even if they have a thorough parenting plan/custody agreement.

Halloween doesn't have to be contentious. Learn how you and your co-parent can make Halloween easier for the entire family by following a few simple steps.

Divorce and visitation: grandparents' rights

The role of grandparents has evolved in recent years. More and more, grandparents are becoming increasingly active in raising their grandchildren. However, grandparents' desires and interests can clash with the child's parents' rights, especially if the child's parents decide to divorce.

In these situations, grandparents may be concerned about how their time with their grandchildren will be impacted. Those who find themselves wishing to seek visitation with their grandchildren can benefit from having a basic understanding of applicable laws. Generally, the court will favor a parent's rights over a grandparent's interest; grandparents have no automatic right to see their grandchildren or restrain a parent from moving with the grandchild. Therefore, it is necessary to intervene early when a grandparent feels the grandchild's best interests could be impaired by a restriction on their visitation.

Back-to-school considerations for divorced parents

The onset of the school year can bring about conflict for separated or divorced parents. During this time, it is not uncommon for parents to disagree about how to handle a multitude of school issues:

  • Should our child be enrolled in special/honors education?
  • Does our child need tutoring, and if so who will pay for it?
  • Should our child be enrolled in soccer?
  • Do we need to change the access schedule during the school year?

These are some of the many questions that separated and divorced parents find themselves grappling with come September.

Courts can consider criminal charges during child custody cases

The guiding factor of all court decisions made in child custody cases is what serves the best interest of the child. The goal is to place the child with the parent who is most able to contribute to the child's physical and emotional well-being.

If certain criminal charges have been levied against you while you are embroiled in a child custody case, the charges can negatively affect your case. The court can also amend an existing custody arrangement if developments arise in either parent's life that indicates that the child's safety is at risk.

Signs it's time to modify your custody order

After you have exerted the emotional energy required to secure a proper custody agreement, it may not seem appealing to do it again. Making changes to living arrangements or potentially altering parent-child relationships can be difficult, especially if it will upset your ex or your children. However, there are times when modifying your custody order is advisable or even necessary. The most important thing to remember is you need to do what is best for your children.

Do you need to modify your custody order?

Your decision to modify your custody order should be guided by what is in the best interests of the children, and whether there has been a significant or substantial change in circumstances. There are myriad reasons why modification may be either prudent or unavoidable.

Avoiding custody disputes over summer break

With summer vacation days away and the divorce rate hovering somewhere between 40 to 50 percent, many parents may be wondering how they'll coordinate summer trips and daycare drop-off and pick-up with their exes. When relationships between parents are already on shaky ground, bringing up proposed changes to the custody arrangement can be stressful. Below are some tips divorced or separated parents can use to avoid custody disputes and have a great summer with their children.

Preventing fights is key

Avoiding disputes is not always possible, especially when one party refuses to play ball. But as the saying goes, "You catch more flies with honey."

How much money will I get (or lose) out of my divorce?

When people are going through divorce, one of the most common concerns they have is how much money they can expect to gain or lose once everything is said and done. As with everything relating to law, the answer to this question depends on a number of factors. While you won't know exactly where you will stand financially without the help of a lawyer, the following information may be help you get a clearer idea of your property and financial rights and obligations during divorce.


During a divorce case, a judge may deem it necessary for one party to pay alimony to the other party for a certain period of time. The amount of alimony will depend on a number of factors, including the following:

How is alimony calculated?

Unlike child support, which is determined by a formula, determining whether a party is entitled to receive alimony, or spousal support, and the amount and the duration of payments was left to the discretion of the court.

In 2015, Governor Cuomo signed a bill providing comprehensive maintenance reform into law. The new law takes a more formulaic approach.


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