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New York City Divorce Law Blog

New York court rules on case of a child's religious training

When parents of different religions divorce, one of the matters addressed in the custody agreement, particularly if one or both is a devout practitioner of a faith, is often who will be responsible for determining the children's religious upbringing. This month, a New York appellate court upheld a family court ruling on a case where that was not spelled out in the custody agreement, but became a serious issue.

The case involved a couple whose daughter was just two at the time of their divorce in 2009. The woman, who was Christian, converted to Islam when she married her husband, who is Muslim. When they broke up, she returned to her Christian faith.

Planning for your post-divorce financial future

Divorce rates among people in their 40s and older have been increasing. Those preparing to be single again at this stage in life, often after many years of marriage, have unique financial issues that they need to consider.

Women, in particular, often find themselves at a disadvantage -- especially since many wives still leave the finances to their husbands while they take the lead in caring for the kids. As one author who has written about the gender wealth gap notes, "Women are just as great at managing money, but a lot of it comes from education and from practice and having the knowledge and the confidence."

Census Bureau data paints grim picture of child support payments

One of the most crucial parts of a divorce for parents is determining how the two of them will share in the financial support of their children. It's generally best if the spouses, with the help of their attorneys, can reach an agreement on their own. If they can't, a court will decide the matter.

However, sometimes for the person granted primary custody of the children (usually the mother) whose co-parent has been ordered to pay child support, that's only the beginning of the battle. Recently-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau provides a disturbing look at just how bad the problem of unpaid child support is.

Child support doesn't always end if paternity fraud is uncovered

Many women who give birth don't list a father's name on the baby's birth certificate. They choose not to if they're unclear as to who he may be or because they they don't want the information made public. Those who list it may do so simply on a hunch of who the father may be or based on what they feel is in the best interest of the child.

Sadly, in instances such as the latter, it's not uncommon for these "dad's" to later find out that they're unrelated to the child. Often times, this happens months or years after they've begun paying child support. This type of scenario is known as paternity fraud.

If I think my spouse is hiding assets, how can I find them?

Divorce is complicated, and it is quite normal for two spouses to find themselves in contention over the details of the financial divorce order. One of the most commonly contested issues in a divorce is over money, and you may have serious concerns about securing a fair agreement in order to have a stable post-divorce future. In some situations, it may be necessary to consider the possibility of hidden assets.

If you suspect that your New York spouse is hiding assets, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests. This is a complex issue, but with help, it may be possible to locate, identify and appropriately value the marital assets to which you have a rightful claim. You have the right to pursue a beneficial settlement and the full protection of your rights.

The perils of digitally spying during divorce

Family law attorneys are finding that divorcing spouses are increasingly turning to popular smart devices and software programs to spy on each other. This includes spyware apps that can track financial activity and communications on personal computers, GPS trackers that can be surreptitiously placed on a vehicle to find out where their spouse has been and "security" cameras that can capture who is coming into their homes or what's going on inside them.

People may use these as a means of maintaining some control over an estranged spouse. Other times, the motivation comes out of jealousy or because they believe the evidence gathered will help them get a better divorce settlement or custody agreement.

Can an 'anonymous' divorce really protect your privacy?

Many high-profile couples have chosen to have their divorce filings listed as "Anonymous vs. Anonymous" to keep the details away from the media. Last fall, we discussed one such divorce -- that of former New York congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

However, you don't have to be a national or international celebrity to want to keep your divorce private. People who are known within their community or their profession, whatever it is, may be concerned that the details of their marriage and family could harm their reputations and careers.

What you should know if your child travels by air alone

When divorced parents live a long distance apart, their children may fly back and forth between their parents' homes for vacations and other visits. When children who are young are flying without an adult, they're referred to as "unaccompanied minors."

Airlines have different age limits for when a child is no longer considered a minor as well as varying rules about the lowest age at which children can travel unaccompanied. However, parents can generally elect to pay the additional fee for kids over the airlines' age limit if they want them to receive this additional assistance and supervision by airline personnel both at the airport and on their flights.

How can I bring up a prenup without angering my partner?

You've waited a long time and have finally found the person you believe you could spend the rest of your life with. The only problem is that you've spent the better part of the past decade growing your savings.

As much as you care about your significant other, you don't want to squander what you've worked so hard for if your marriage doesn't work out. If this describes one of the thoughts circulating in your mind, then you might want to draft a prenuptial agreement.

Why could it be important for you to establish paternity?

New York readers know that fathers play a critical role in the lives of their children, yet establishing and maintaining this role can be difficult when there are disputes over paternity. If you were not married to the mother of your child at the time of birth, it may be necessary for you to seek to legally establish paternity in order to protect your rights as a father.

You may have a verbal or informal agreement with the mother of your children regarding visitation, support and parental rights, but in many cases, it is necessary to take legal steps to protect your interests as a father. If you need to seek custody rights, visitation or have concerns about your ability to be an active and loving father, you would be wise to seek an understanding of your legal options regarding paternity.

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