Family Law Attorney in Garden City, NY
Unfortunately, life often fails to turn out the way we hope or expect. When family’s lives go awry, hiring a New York family law attorney may not be one of the first things considered, yet legal issues related to families are often the most difficult to resolve. Those who are going through a divorce, a child custody issue, or other family matters need a solid advocate in their corner. The decisions which are being made during this difficult time can potentially follow those involved for life. When negotiating the complexities and emotions involved in family law issues, it is imperative that a law firm the individual can place his or her trust in is involved.
The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C., is such a firm. Our law firm will fight for our client’s rights, both in and out of court, ensuring both financial and emotional protection. We understand the importance of a fair and balanced division of assets during a divorce, as well as ensuring the best interests of the child are protected during a child custody matter. We have the experience to address spousal maintenance issues, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, paternity issues, and many other matters associated with family law.
What is Family Law?
Family law is a legal practice area focusing on family relationship issues. The lawyers who represent clients in family court proceedings or negotiations, draft related documents including court petitions and property agreements. Each state determines its own requirements, rules, and procedures for marriage, divorce, child custody, and other family law matters. Family law attorneys can even help clients with such matters as foster care, adoption, and reproductive rights. The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C., helps clients with any of the following family law issues.
- Divorce—In a divorce, each spouse will hire his or her own family law attorney who will work with the client to devise a settlement plan, which takes into consideration asset division, spousal maintenance, child custody, child support, and any other issues related to the divorce. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the matter will be set for trial, and a judge will make those decisions after hearing from both sides. It is extremely important to hire a family law attorney who is equally experienced in negotiation and litigation when facing a divorce.
- Division of Marital Assets—The state of New York is an equitable division state, rather than a community property state. This means that once marital and non-marital assets are separated, the marital assets will be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. If the spouses cannot come to a mutually agreeable decision regarding marital assets, the judge will divide the marital assets based on a number of factors.
- Spousal Maintenance—Due to the number of women in the workforce, spousal maintenance is not as common as it once was, however, there are still situations in which spousal maintenance is appropriate. As an example, one spouse may have missed out on educational or career opportunities due to helping the other spouse in his or her educational or career opportunities. In such a situation, the spouse requesting maintenance could be entitled to maintenance for a specific length of time while he or she obtains education or training to increase financial opportunities.
- Modifications of Spousal Maintenance—When the spouse who is paying maintenance experiences a significant change in circumstances, he or she may be able to request a modification of spousal maintenance payments. The paying spouse could have lost a job or been diagnosed with a serious illness, which affects his or her ability to continue to pay the ordered amount of maintenance. There are some instances when the receiving spouse might also be entitled to a modification of maintenance; an experienced family lawyer can help determine whether a modification is warranted. The current income cap as of 2020 is 184,000.
- Child Custody—Child custody is an emotional issue in family courts. Although both parents may be asking for custody, the courts will always make decisions based on the best interests of the child, which is based on a number of factors. One parent is usually designated as the custodial parent, meaning the children primarily live with that parent, while the other parent is the non-custodial parent and receives visitation or parenting time. Absent information to the contrary, the courts operate under the belief that it is always in the best interests of the child to spend time with both parents.
- Child Support—It is expected by the court that both parents will financially support their children. A formula is used to determine New York child support, which takes into consideration the income of both parents, any allowable deductions to that income, the percentage of time the child will spend with each parent, and the number of children to support. There is little “wiggle room” within this formula, other than for parents who have a combined income greater than $154,000, and parents who fall below the poverty level, then adjustments can be made by the court.
- Modifications of Child Support—When the paying or receiving parent experiences a substantial change in circumstances, he or she may ask the courts to modify the amount of child support. The change in circumstances must be more than temporary and must be a significant, provable, change.
- Pre-and Post-Nuptial Agreements—More and more couples are choosing a pre-nuptial agreement or a post-nuptial agreement to ensure a fair division of assets in the event of a divorce. It is important that both parties have legal representation prior to entering into such an agreement.
How The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C. Can Help with Your Family Law Matters
There is no doubt about it—divorce, child custody, and other family law issues can be incredibly stressful, however, hiring a New York family lawyer should not be. It is important to find a family lawyer who treats his or her clients with respect, as well as offering compassion, experience, and knowledge of the law. The attorneys at The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C. are well-equipped to handle the complexities of any family law issue; we are highly skilled negotiators as well as aggressive litigators when necessary. Katherine Ryan represents clients in Garden City, Stewart Manor, New Hyde Park, Mineola, Huntington, Melville, Woodbury, Commack, Smithtown, Syosset, Jericho, Roslyn, and Manhasset. For all family law issues, contact The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C.