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Long Island Family Law Blog

House rules: Vying for consistency in child custody arrangements

When New York couples have children, they often do so with the intention of raising those kids in a loving household with both parents. However, it is common for parents to later get divorced and find themselves having to navigate the new waters of acting as single parents. This new scenario can have its difficulties, which can range from creating child custody terms to setting rules for both homes.

It is not unusual for each parent to have his or her own style of parenting. Though this often takes place, children still need a sense of consistency. After a divorce, parents may have a more difficult time ensuring that certain rules are enforced in both homes. However, if children lose out on a consistent sense of order and routine -- especially when one parent simply hopes to spite the other parent -- the kids could suffer long-term effects.

Focus may play an important role in child custody decisions

For many New York residents, the amount of conflict in their marriages is what led to their wanting divorces. Unfortunately, this conflict may come out even more during legal proceedings like those concerning child custody. Because children can be immensely affected by the outcomes of this process, parents may want to work on lowering the amount of conflict.

Often, custody proceedings can become a battle as each parent tries to gain custody of the kids. However, joint custody can typically work in the best interests of the children. The idea of sharing custody may not immediately seem appealing, but if parents shift their focus to each individual's strengths as a parent, they may be better able to feel more ready to make amicable custody arrangements.

Clear presentation for child custody preferences may be useful

As parents, many New York residents have serious concerns when it comes to how divorce will affect their kids. Additionally, parents may also have apprehensions about how child custody outcomes will impact their ability to see their children. Though many custody agreements are satisfactory for all parties involved, individuals may still wish to prepare ahead of time to work toward the terms they desire.

During this preparation, parties may want to determine what type of custody arrangement they hope to gain. A variety of options exist, including joint, shared and sole custody. If a parent has a particular preference, he or she will need to have valid reasons for this preference and be ready to present those reasons to the court if necessary. Having a clear reason could allow individuals to argue their sides more meaningfully.

Second-parent adoption adds essential protection

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same sex marriage in 2015 it was a major event for the LGBT community. While there has been significant progress in gaining rights for same sex couples, parenthood remains a challenging issue with different rules in every state. While New York’s laws are generally favorable to LGBT parents, traveling or interstate moves present a unique challenge.

In a same sex marriage, both partners may act as equal parents, but many states give preference to the biological parent, regardless of the relationship. Even if your name is on the birth certificate and you are married to the biological parent, another state might not recognize your relationship from a legal perspective.

Remaining aware of divorce impacts may help during proceedings

Anyone who goes through the end of a marriage likely wants the legal proceedings to move forward as quickly as possible. However, each case is different. Though certain aspects of the divorce process may move slowly for various reasons, there are some actions that divorcing New York residents could take in hopes of making their proceedings go as smoothly as possible.

First of all, communication can play a significant role in how the process goes. Even before an individual files a divorce petition, he or she may want to discuss the wish to end the marriage with his or her spouse. This may help both parties understand what is happening and help them get on the same level when it comes to dealing with the issues that often come with marriage dissolution.

Alcohol consumption, attractiveness may increase divorce risk

There are many factors that could contribute to individuals choosing to end their marriages. Some of these conditions are generally well known, such as having parents who divorced, but there are also other details that could have a bigger impact on relationships than some New York residents may realize. As a result, they could end up facing the potential for divorce.

One risk factor that some parties may not have considered fully relates to alcohol drinking habits. One study indicated that among couples in which one spouse was a relatively heavy consumer of alcohol and the other spouse rarely or never indulged, 45 to 55 percent of those couples ended their marriages. When drinking habits were more evenly matched, the divorce percentage dropped to 35 percent.

Do genetics contribute to divorce?

Genetics and environment make a person who he or she is. A recent study suggested, however, that genetics trumps environment when it comes to divorce. According to the study, those in New York or elsewhere who choose to end their marriages may do so because they are hardwired to do so.

Researchers at a noted university collaborated with a team in Sweden to look at the effects of divorce on adopted children. The marriage histories of their adoptive and biological parents were looked into to see if environmental or biological factors contributed to their own divorces. After analyzing the situations of over 82,000 adopted individuals, it was found that there was sufficient evidence that adoptees follow in the footsteps of their biological parents rather than their adoptive parents.

Could drug testing play a role in child custody proceedings?

Having an alcohol or drug abuse problem can often cause many hardships in a New York resident's life. When it comes to child custody, the court often views these issues harshly because of the possible negative impacts the children involved could face. As a result, one parent could end up seeing the children much less often than he or she had hoped.

Though some accusations of drug or alcohol problems may be warranted, some parents could also make such claims simply because they want certain custody outcomes and think such claims could make it more difficult for the other parent. Whatever the reason for the accusations, drug or alcohol testing is often required by the court if there is sufficient evidence to support the claims. Some of the forms of testing used include hair and nail tests, urine screenings, blood tests and breath tests.

Alimony, other divorce settlement outcomes may impact finances

Staying on top of finances is important during any stage of life. An emergency or considerable life change could occur, and without the proper financial knowledge, individuals may feel at a loss. When it comes to divorce, understanding how settlement terms and other outcomes could impact future finances may be vital.

New York residents may have many areas of interest related to their monetary funds during divorce. One area that may provide some concerns relates to alimony. Though individuals who receive alimony after ending their marriages may feel that it is helpful to their newly single situations, they may want to remember that receiving this support counts as income. As a result, an alimony recipient will face taxation on the amount they receive.

Kardashian, Chyna child custody battle comes to terms

Custody battles can be difficult for everyone involved. In some cases, it can take a considerable amount of time and negotiation in order for a decision on terms to come about. Sometimes, additional factors can also impact the progress of child custody proceedings, and parents may face a long road before the process comes to an end.

New York residents may be interested in a custody case that recently came to terms. The parents involved are reality celebrities Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna. The two individuals were once engaged before ending the relationship as Chyna made allegations of domestic violence. A custody battle began approximately one month after their child was born, and the case involved especially controversial aspects, such as Kardashian reportedly posting revenge porn online and Chyna obtaining a temporary restraining order.

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