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Co-parenting tips: How to make sure you're putting your children first

A divorce, no matter how amicable, is a tectonic shift in your family life. The underlying structure of the day-to-day has been altered, and even little things will change. Amidst all this, however, is one thing you do not want to see impacted: the well-being of your children.

While co-parenting after a separation comes with challenges, it is certainly not impossible. Here are five strategies to help you and your former spouse be effective, loving co-parents for your kids.

When can a parent seek a child support modification?

When two New York parents decide to separate or end their marriage in divorce, they will have to make many difficult decisions about how they will continue to provide for and love their children. Some of their decisions will focus on child custody, such as where their kids will live and how the parents will make choices about raising them. Other decisions will address their children's financial needs.

Child support is the financial maintenance that parents pay to ensure their kids have what they need to live. Both of a child's parents are expected to provide money to support them even if their relationship with their spouse has ended, and parents who do not have custodial rights often provide more child support than parents who are responsible for their children's day-to-day needs. Child support is either ordered by the courts or agreed to between parents and once support plans are adopted they must be followed.

A charitable trust as an estate planning tool

Trusts are useful estate planning devices that allow New Yorkers to pass their property to others without the burdens and costs of having it go through probate. While it is often the case that individuals set up trusts to support themselves and their family members, from time to time estate planners wish to benefit charitable organizations through their end of life planning. In this capacity, charitable trusts can be helpful to implement.

A charitable trust is a trust that benefits a charity. They are often set up as charitable remainder trusts. Under this scheme, a trust creator may establish a trust through which their needs are taken care of during their lifetime. Then, when they pass away, the remainder of their trust would be passed onto the charity that they have named.

Is spousal support a part of every divorce?

While the topic of divorce may be familiar to readers of this New York legal blog, the specific nature of individual divorces can be very different. That is to say, the resolution of one divorce and its related family law issues may be very different than the resolution of similar topics in another divorce. The unique factors and circumstances of each divorce will dictate when and how it will conclude.

For example, not every divorce will involve spousal support negotiations. Spousal support is intended to provide a financially dependent party with financial help from their ex so that they may be able to provide for themselves in the future. In some cases spousal support may be a short-term obligation between former marital partners, but in other cases it may be long-term.

Navigating aggressive custody battles

As a parent, you are biologically programmed to be protective of your child. When you are facing the prospect of dividing time with them or losing touch with them, this can be extremely scary. It is natural to feel anger and panic in this situation. However, it's likely that these emotions will be of little help to you. Instead, you should try and remain calm while thinking logically about maximizing your chances of success.

If your ex is aggressively fighting a custody battle, it is important that you make sure that the law is on your side. In the majority of circumstances, the child custody courts want to ensure that both parents have a good relationship with their child. You should not be overly concerned unless your ex is making serious claims against you. The following are some strategies for navigating an aggressive custody battle.

Laws surrounding intestate succession in New York

Intestate succession refers to the process of distributing a decedent's estate when the decedent does not have a will. As our readers are aware, a will is an important testamentary document that provides guidance on how the assets and property of a person's end-of-life estate should be distributed once they have passed on. While a will gives a person control to make important decisions about their wealth and property, the absence of one give these powers to the state.

A person who dies without a will generally has their estate assets pass to their spouse and children. Their spouse will take $50,000 of the estate plus half of the remainder, and the decedent's children will take the other half. If a person dies without a spouse, their children will take their whole estate and, if they die without kids, their spouse will take their whole estate.

Establishing a health care power of attorney

A previous post here discussed the importance of including durable powers of attorney in the estate plans of Buffalo residents. In review, a durable power of attorney gives a named party the right to make financial decisions on the part of another person who is unable to do so due to incapacity. Incapacity can happen to anyone at any time. An accident or unexpected illness may leave an otherwise healthy individual without the power to take care of their own affairs.

Similarly, individuals may also want to consider creating health care powers of attorney which are also known as a health care proxies. Like a durable power of attorney, a health care power of attorney gives decision-making rights to a named party as an agent. However, through this form of estate planning document, the powers granted to the named party revolve around the medical care of the incapacitated person, not their money and assets.

New businesses in New York need legal support

Many New York residents dream of starting their own businesses and becoming their own bosses. They may have envisioned futures in which they set their own goals, work their own schedules and enjoy their own profits. Not everyone who has these fantasies will follow through and create their own business entity, and not everyone who does will do so in a way that is sustainable.

Many new businesses fail within their first year of operations. Not many new businesses last for more than a few years. There are many reasons that businesses fail to find their footholds and not all new business owners understand the intricacies of running an entity with a corporate structure. For individuals who want to arm themselves with knowledge and know-how before starting up their dream businesses, it is important that they receive sound legal guidance.

What are the basics of contract under business law?

Business law permits verbal contracts in many situations, but most businesses in New York rely on written contracts when making an agreement with another entity. Because contract formation is so integral to many businesses, it is important to understand what the elements of contract formation are, so that the final agreement is legally enforceable.

First, a contract must contain a specific offer, acceptance and mutual consent. The parties to the contract must agree to it without coercion and of their own free will, so it is important that the terms of the agreement are specific, and that the parties have a mutual understanding of the terms.

Working out a parenting plan isn't always easy, but must happen

One of the most contentious issues for parents who are divorcing is what will happen with the children. Child custody matters can pit one parent against the other. When coupled with the negative emotions that come with divorce, there can be a lot of stress and difficulty involved in making the parenting plan.

Unfortunately, you need to get the parenting plan done quickly so that you are able to help your children adjust to the new way of life quickly. This will depend, in part, on your ability to negotiate and compromise with your ex. If this isn't going very well, there are some options that you might have to make the situation work.

Cohen & Lombardo, P.C.

4140 Sheridan Drive
Amherst, NY 14221

Phone: 716-262-8428
Fax: 716-881-2755

343 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222

Phone: 716-262-8428
Fax: 716-881-2755
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