Family & Divorce Law
We’re here to help you and your family.
The practice of Family, Matrimonial, and Divorce Law is about raising children, caring for them, paying for them, managing a household, planning a future, and securing finances. When you find yourself looking down the barrel of a family court petition, divorce summons, prenuptial agreement, or contempt application, these are the things at issue — the most important things in your life.
Zucker Law Offices P.C. will not charge you up front for a consult and will only bill you if you decide to hire our office. You will feel better about whatever it is you are facing after you talk to one of our experienced and professional staff members, so give us a call and feel better today!
Family Law Services We Offer
The amount of child support that is paid is based upon the child support standards act. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of their gross income (before tax income) based upon how many children they have. 17% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, 31% for four, and 35% for five or more. Gross income can be found on your w-2 on line five. However, if the parent doesn’t receive a w-2 or owns their own business, gross income can be difficult to calculate.
Once child support has been ordered, life often changes. Kids get older, expenses go up, people change jobs, and people sometimes just stop paying. Modifications and enforcement of child support awards are emotionally charged and very stressful. If the payor (the non-custodial parent who pays support) gets behind, the court is authorized to put them in jail for a period of six months. This extreme outcome is generally not ideal for either party since you can’t pay child support in jail. Zucker Law Offices, P.C. employs a series of strategies to ensure jail time can be avoided and the payee (the custodial parent receiving support) can continue receiving the support they need.
Child Custody and Guardianship
There are two types of custody that need to be resolved in a custody case: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. Legal Custody is the right of a parent to be involved in the decision making process for a child. Legal custody is generally referred to as joint custody or sole custody. Joint custody is when the parent need to cooperate in the decision making process for a child. Sole custody is when only one parent makes the decisions for a child. Decision making is the process of deciding which extracurricular activities in which a child is involved, what kind of medical care they get, and how to handle issues in school. Physical custody is where the child is at any given time. This is the schedule the parents follow for sharing time. Parents can share physical custody equally or one parent can have more than the other. The metric for deciding is always what is in the best interest of the child/children.
Guardianship cases are initiated when you are not a parent but need to act like a parent for a child. Perhaps a family member has a drug problem and a baby needs a stable home. It might be that your sister is the subject of neglect proceeding and you don’t want your niece or nephew in foster care. Guardianship petitions are often filed by a child’s guardian angel.
Domestic Abuse and Violence
However, in family court domestic violence is often a tool to rend a child from another parent. As such, domestic violence is scrutinized and examined in ways that often feel like the victim is reliving that trauma again. On the other hand, with the epic volume of false allegations in family court, a careful and appropriate examination of those allegations serves both parties. Zucker Law Offices has handled both sides of domestic violence cases with the care and respect and care that domestic violence requires.
Divorces are uniquely complicated. Though there are only seven issues that need to be resolved in a divorce:
- (1) grounds (This is the reason for getting divorced. NY is now a no-fault state which means you do not need a reason)
- (2) Legal Custody (decision-making)
- (3) Physical Custody (the visitation schedule between the parents)
- (4) Child Support
- (5) Spousal Maintenance
- (6) Equitable Distribution
- (7) Attorneys fees.
Presenting a divorce as having only seven issues is deceptive. The reality is that each of those issues has a panoply of sub-issues that makes the resolution of any one a truly herculean task. Divorces require patience, finesse, and a very careful implementation of brute force.
However, if paternity is established, you will instantly need an attorney and will not have the time to get one before a decision about child support or custody is made. This point cannot be stressed enough. If you are filing or receive a paternity petition, you need an attorney. If you do not have one, by the time the determination of paternity is made, you are already paying child support or determining an access schedule alone and without any help.