Do Agreements About Child’s Religion and Upbringing Standup in Court?

Yes there is freedom of religion, but not until you are 18 years old. Child Custody Agreements which specify a child’s religious upbringing, schooling and other particulars generally do stand up in New York Courts. Therefore it is best to be careful about what you agree to in writing regarding the upbringing of your child. However failing to be specific enough may lead to further litigation. 

Where the two parties differ in how religious they want the child’s upbringing to be, there may be court litigation. Where the mother claimed that the parties were never that religious and where more secular in their faith, but the father claimed that the child’s upbringing would be damaged if the child was not put into a religious school, the court allowed an order where the child’s placement in a religious school was granted on a temporary basis while the parties litigated the issue. 

Modification of an existing court-sanctioned custody or visitation arrangement is permissible only upon a showing that there has been a change in circumstances such that a modification is necessary to ensure the continued best interests and welfare of the children. The burden of proof is on the party bringing the action for modification. 

If you are seeking to enforce the terms of a custody agreement or to modify it, contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law to provide you guidance on the issues.

Why You May Need the Court’s Permission to Relocate Your Child

If a New York Court granted you custody of your child, you may assume that you are entitled to move the child wherever you want to go. However, that is inaccurate. Why can’t you do what you want with your own child once you have an Order of Custody? Here are a few reasons why: 

Disruption to Child: Moving a child interferes with the child’s access to the other parent. If you move your child from New York to Los Angeles, for example, it would be disruptive to the child’s life to exchange the child with his other parent for visitation every other week. The other parent could not liberally visit the child without great expense and effort.

Interference with Parenting Time: Moving a child away from the other parent increases the required travel time to see the child. If you move the child from New York to New Jersey, even if it is across the river, you may have increased the other parent’s commute time to over an hour if you used to live down the street. The result is that you have cut their parenting time. 

Imposing Parenting Time Expense on Other Parent: If you move to a different state that is far away, this becomes more obvious. It becomes expensive for the other parent to pay for plane tickets to come see the child or for the child to come to see the parent. Courts have been known to grant a downward modification in child support to accommodate the added expense on the parent who must travel to see their child. Also, if the traveling parent decides to move closer to the child but cannot find a comparable paying job, the Court has also granted a downward modification of child support. The Court’s reasoning is that it was the custodial parent who decided to move and therefore they are to bear the expense of their decision. 

If you are considering moving your child to another state and have been granted custody by a New York Court or you are the noncustodial parent who objects to the move, contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law, to obtain Counsel on what your rights are.

The Danger of Transmutation: Changing Separate Property into Marital

You may have thought that separate property can never become marital property but that is a fallacy. It can easily be done when someone fails to think properly about the consequences of changing the form of assets or their location. How could you possibly change separate property like inheritance into marital property? It’s called transmutation. Here are a few examples: 

Mixing Accounts: If you put separate property cash together in the same account with marital money and fail to keep account. 

Selling Assets: If you sell and asset that was once separate property and then mingle the proceeds with martial money and purchase a new asset without failing to keep account. 

Signing Over Ownership: If you put your spouse on the title of your separate property such as a home it becomes a tenancy by the entirety in which each spouse owns 100% of the property. 

If you are considering using your separate property to build a new life with your spouse but are not sure about how to protect your interests in the event of a divorce, contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law to provide you reliable counsel. 

When do a child’s actions cause child support payments to end?

In New York, Children can be removed from child support, otherwise known as emancipated, for a list of reasons. Typically the reasons have to do with the lack of need to support the child because the child has taken on adult behaviors or is self supporting. But there are other reasons. 

The following are typical examples of reasons a child can be emancipated: 

{a} Reaching the age of 21 years, unless if the child attends a full time college program     

{b} Marriage 

{c} Death of a child;

{d} Entry into the armed forces of any Country 

{e} Engaging in permanent full-time employment 

Children can also be emancipated if they have no contact with their child support paying parent. In a case where a pre-teen girl had little or no contact with their father because she had been poisoned by her mother, the Court found the father no longer had to pay child support. 

If you are considering asking the Court to terminate your child support or you are defending such petition, contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law to provide you reliable counsel in the matter. 

What is the difference between legal and physical custody?

Legal and physical custody are the different legal rights that a parent has over a child. However, one should not get too attached to the meaning of being granted legal or physical custody because in the end both parents have a right to be involved in the child’s life assuming a parent is not dangerous to the child’s welfare. 

Physical custody traditionally means the home base of the child. Joint physical custody means that the child spends about 50% of his or her time at each parent’s home. If physical custody is granted to one parent, usually the other parent is given liberal visitation. 

Legal Custody means that the right to decision making regarding the child. If the parents cannot get along usually only one parent is granted legal custody of the child. However the other parent who was not granted custody is entitled to be fully informed about what is happening in the child’s life. 

What does this mean for child support? Not much because child support is calculated based on both parents’ incomes. The parent with physical custody still must contribute to the child support. The parent living outside the home of the child happens to pay it because they are not there to buy the child’s groceries like the custodial parent is. The bottom line is that parents should not be too concerned about labels with regard to physical custody. 

If you are seeking clarity and or guidance with the concepts of physical and legal custody and would like to retain counsel in your child support or custody matter, contact Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law. 

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