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Divorcing couples often wonder if they can hire one attorney, to save cost, you know… Many a time, it is merely one of the parties trying to be sneaky.

If your spouse advised using one attorney, it should trigger your spidey senses. The reason is this - they could be trying to acquire an undue advantage.

An attorney cannot serve the best interest of two opposing parties, hence the need to have a lawyer who protects your best interest.

Your one and only!

A lot goes into divorce, and it's rarely impossible to agree on everything.

Like:

Dividing the marital assets, child support, parental visitation, rights and duties of parents, and end of a marriage.

Your Ex’s Attorney Doesn’t Represent You

If your partner made you believe that one attorney is enough, probably to save legal fees, you shouldn't take it.

If your spouse persists, there could be an interior motive that you must watch out for. At the end of the day, your spouse’s attorney will seek for the best interest of your spouse, not you.

Divorcing With Neutrality

The fact is you cannot go into the courtroom with two parties sharing one attorney. In a situation where you don’t want to rely on the court to settle your differences, you can use mediation to come up with a divorce agreement that favors both parties.

During mediation, you can hire one attorney who doesn't represent either you or your spouse. Your family lawyer is the one to oversee the mediation while acting as a neutral party to help the couples come to a mutually beneficial conclusion.

The Responsibility of an Attorney-mediator

When it comes to meditation, your family lawyer is in charge of ensuring that all paperwork is complete and accurate. Also, your mediator will check the finances of both parties for full disclosure, easing tension and also drafting the final divorce settlement agreements. Other functions could surface, such as discussing the bone of contention of both parties.

It is worth noting that the attorney-mediator is working as a neutral party, and not technically for either spouse. However, in a case whereby both parties failed to agree to the mediation process, you will need an attorney different from your spouses.

If you're currently in this situation, you need an expert attorney who understands the legal system. Through our guidance and counsel, you will be able to take the right action that protects your interest. Feel free to give us a call 718-815-4500, or perhaps fill our contact form.

Times have changed when it seems as if fathers don’t have rights to their children. It is often presumed that the child is better off with the mother, while the father pays child support, and is told when to visit.

However, more and more fathers are stepping up, recognizing their rights, and fighting for them. A study by the Journey of Marriage and Family discovered that more and more fathers are getting more involved in the life of their children.

From making a significant contribution to providing essential benefits that aid the development of the child. It has led to massive changes in the law, especially in New York.

1. It is necessary

Although this is glaring since more and more people are giving birth out of wedlock. Some are often unplanned, but that doesn’t dispute the right both parents have over the child.

The reason paternity rights are very crucial in the development of a child cannot be overemphasized. For instance, establishing child support, providing health insurance for the child, determining decision-making authority, and most of all, parenting time often lies on the father.

2. Why assert paternity right

There are numerous cases where another man might insist he's the father of your child. Other times, it could be because you’re unmarried, and unmarried men are not legally recognized in the face of the law.

There are also cases of paternity fraud, where the mother deceives a man into believing he’s the father of the child. These are cases where paternity rights are to be established, especially after a DNA test has been conducted to ascertain the truth.

3. What you need to know

Take note that you have until four years before your child reaches 18 to file for a paternity action. If you’re unmarried, your name appearing on the birth certificate of your child is not enough. You will need to file a petition to establish paternity with the court to be recognized as the father of the child.

4. Establishing your right as the father

Both you and your spouse can sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form. That is where both parties are on oath that the supposed father is, indeed, the father of the child.

In the absence of Acknowledge of Paternity, where both parties don’t agree on paternity, you have the right to file for a court order to establish paternity.

Working with an experienced attorney

When it comes to establishing paternity rights, it can be a cumbersome process. The best line of action is to hire a licensed and experienced family attorney to guide you every step of the process.

When you have access to sound and expert guidance, you stand a better chance of coming out with the desired result. Feel free to give us a call (718) 815-4500, or perhaps fill the contact form. Let's begin.

Divorce is naturally complicated when a child or children are involved, particularly when it comes to child support. Most parents maintain touch with their children after divorce by creating a 50/50 parenting schedule.

With such a plan, both parents ensure that they have the most possible impact on their children's life, notwithstanding their divorce. And, given that 39 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce, having a timetable is an unavoidable option.

However, to begin this cooperative plan, parents need to evaluate their child's needs.

When Does a 50/50 Parenting Schedule Work Best?

There is no doubt about the benefits of 50/50 parenting, but the crucial question is: under what situations is it appropriate? Parents who fail to adhere to the appropriate timing may subject their children to psychological consequences.

As a result, divorced couples should work together to create a conducive environment for amicable settlement. The following are the scenarios that necessitate such a schedule:

This timetable will produce excellent results when both parents are in accord and can talk to each other in a friendly manner without disagreeing.

It's not a good idea for parents who live far apart to create this arrangement. Because communication will be difficult and the youngster will be under mobility stress.

The majority of stress is borne by the child, thus parents should be aware of their sentiments as well. A one-on-one talk is the best way to do this.

Another crucial component in determining the success of the 50/50 parent scheduling is the level of agreement among the parents involved. There will undoubtedly be a conflict if the child's parents' desires conflict. On the other hand, if they are willing and able to agree, this arrangement will work.

50/50 Parenting Schedule Types

The 50/50 parenting schedule approach has various variations, depending on the availability of both parents and children. The many types are as follows:

    1. 3-4-4-3 schedule Type

The child spends three days out of seven with one parent and the rest of the time with the other.

The following week, switch shifts and spend four days with the first.

Then finish the last three days with your other parents.

     2.  2-2-3 schedule type

The youngster spends two days with one parent and then three days with the other parent.

     3. 2-2-5-5 schedule type

In this plan, the child spends equal amounts of time with both parents, ranging from two to five days.

Divorced parents who follow this parenting schedule pattern are more likely to provide their children with the fundamental support they require. It provides a win-win situation for all parties by allowing each parent to obtain their fair share of the child's attention.

Choosing a schedule, however, does not guarantee that it will be followed by all parties involved. To properly establish your schedule, you need to hire an experienced divorce lawyer. Give us a call 718-815-4500 or fill out the form below to get started.

Just concluded a divorce? The feeling and emotional trauma that comes with a divorce may be pretty difficult to handle. But there's a much more challenging task ahead, “becoming a single parent!”

Having a kid or kids during a marriage means you get a fair share of parenting time in the event of a divorce, depending on the divorce agreement.

Nevertheless, transitioning to single parenthood can be a hurdle altogether. However, you may find that it could also be an intriguing venture down the line.

This article aims to show you how to make the most of parenting time after a divorce.

    1. Try as much to be consistent.

Whether it is playtime with your kids, doing homework, eating meals, or any regular activity, a basic rule of thumb is to ensure consistency. Kids thrive better if they know exactly when certain things will happen in their lives. It keeps the whole process fascinating.

    2. Be understanding

After a divorce, chances are you may have to handle activities with your kids which were never your role while with your now-ex-spouse.

Be understanding, and know that your kids may require more time adjusting to the shared life with their parents

    3. Listen

Good parenting requires active communication with your kids but, more specifically, listening!

Always give listening ears to your kids whenever you can. It makes them feel they can always confide in you.

    4. Ensure every time spent with your kids are worth it

After divorce, you may find that most kids have a difficult time adjusting to their new reality. That is understandable. As such, helping your kids adjust to this new phase of life would go a long way in ensuring proper upbringing.

One good way to do this is to spend quality time with your kids whenever you get the chance. This doesn't have to be lengthy trips to the most luxurious places or giving them the most expensive toys.

A quality time with your kids doing what you both love to do is a more effective way to make the most out of your parenting time.

Dealing with being a single parent after a divorce can be a daunting task. However, meeting the needs of your kids will ensure you make the most of your parenting time.

Hire a professional divorce attorney

To ensure your kids get the best parenting they deserve, it will be best to hire a professional divorce attorney for expert guidance.

Feel free to call us 718-815-4500 or fill out our contact form to gain access to our plethora of attorneys ready to provide good counseling and represent you throughout the legal processes.

Seeing eye to eye with your ex can be quite challenging, and the holiday might be tougher without the right tips up your sleeve. However, co-parenting shouldn't be a hurdle when you understand not only how to co-parent, but coexist with your ex.

Jokes aside, it is never an easy route, but treating this newfound relationship as a partnership business that involves the well-being of your kids is the best mindset.

Here are a few tips that you can use to have the most fun holiday with your spouse, even though you still resent your ex for what happened in the past.

Talking to your children about the holiday

When it comes to how and who spends time with the kids during the holiday, you need to talk to your children. As long as your kids are old enough to understand, seeking their opinion will ensure you protect their interests and well-being.

Some children might want to stay with one of their parents, probably because it's closer to their friends. Perhaps they might want to have a split time or indulge in a specific activity during the holiday.

Seeking the opinion of your children will help them gain an understanding of the negotiation process and expectations. 

Prepare with your ex ahead of time

To have one of the most incredible holidays with your kids and ex, you might want to ensure that you’re in alignment with everything that will be done. You need to plan ahead of time, and that could entail how much time one has with the kids.

If you’re still on good terms with your ex, that will make co-parenting easier. If reverse becomes the case, putting your differences aside for the benefit of the kids will aid in a smooth relationship.

Split time equally

It may look different for every family, but it is best if both parents have equal holiday experience with their children. However, some factors could make this impossible such as your ex living in another state.

In this situation, the best course of action is to alternate the years and iron out the difference with other holidays.

Get Support

Co-parenting is never a bed of roses, and there is a need to seek support for a successful holiday. Your kids are the center of attention, and your decisions and actions should be in their best interest. 

If you still couldn't find a way to work with your ex regarding holidays with your kids, perhaps working with a good family attorney will be best. Our attorneys are the best, with years of experience working in divorced couples. If you’re having issues co-parenting during the holiday, give us a call or fill the contact form to get started.

Soren - Estate Planning Considerations For Divorcing Couples

You thought you had it under control. You had carefully planned your life with your spouse, even set up trusts to take care of your estate while you’re gone. And then, out of the blue, divorce struck! Maybe you saw it coming, or not. But the question is - what happens to your estate? 

Careful not to panic, as there is a way out of this rabbit hole. There are a few tactics that ensure you protect your interest in the course of the separation and divorce. 

First, you need to understand your documents. That includes your will, health care proxy, insurance policies, prenuptial, and trusts you and your spouse must have opened. Now that divorce is inevitable, do you understand the changes that are about to take place? These changes will need to be updated on your estate plans.

In that case, it is a good time to work with one of our experienced attorneys. You need an estate planning attorney with sound knowledge and experience in the legal system.

If you don’t have a will yet, you need one as soon as possible. Because when you die without a will, officially called dying intestate, you’re giving up control on who gets what when you’re no more. When this happens, a large portion of your estate goes to your spouse. 

But now, in the face of divorce, there is a need to update any advance Directive/Health Care Power of Attorneys or Durable General Power of Attorneys at your disposal naming your spouse agent. These are pretty powerful legal documents that give a third party the decision-making ability in your absence.

If you don’t have a trust, you can book an appointment with us to discuss the benefits of establishing one. When it comes to divorce, trust is an incredible tool for individuals with minor children, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

In that case, consider setting up a trust to take care of alimony and child support. if you’re no longer around, your children and heirs will continue to receive support.  

The good news is you don’t have to lift a finger when you have an estate planner that is ready to review your divorce settlement to inspect for gaps. Your estate planner will uncover what happens to your estates, businesses, and assets, whether they are protected under federal law or state law.

We understand that estate planning is a difficult subject to discuss, especially when triggered by divorce. To ensure you don’t make any mistake that puts your interest in jeopardy, you must work with an estate planning attorney.

We have been in the legal system for decades, and we understand every intrinsic aspect of the law regarding estates, especially in the event of a divorce. Do give us a call or fill out the contact form to begin this process.

What are the Differences between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce?

When it comes to Mediation vs. Collaborative Divorce, our clients often have tons of questions to ask. One of these questions is the difference between these two elements of divorce.

Although neither of these options is best or perhaps, worst... rather depends on the nature of your case.

A mediator is there to help you negotiate, but has no power to decide the case or offer any legal advice. What determines the approach you adopt lies in your individual preference, the nature of the case, and the availability of good mediators or collaborative attorneys.

A collaborative divorce is sometimes a great option if you need an attorney to look out for your best interest. If your case is somewhat complicated or there are some financial issues, collaborative divorce often proves to be the best tool in such a scenario.

Factors favoring mediation

Aside from mediation being less expensive, it is super flexible and helps both parties to resolve their differences without battling it out in court. This process often comprises three participants: you, your spouse, and the mediator.

However, nothing stops you from getting other people involved in the process. Take note that having an attorney involved is not a requirement. From a logical stance, it is evident that mediation is most likely more efficient and cost-effective compared to collaboration.

Cons of mediations

If after the back and forth bickerings and no settlement were reached, there will be a need to start all over again with a new lawyer. It can cause you to lose money on the mediation process unless it went smoothly without any contention.

Also, mediation doesn’t necessarily result in an agreement. Any of the involved parties can be tempted to abandon the process and idea of a mutually beneficial outcome. When this happens, it becomes a highly contentious case.

Factors favoring collaborative divorce

If you desire a process where you’re under the guidance of an experienced attorney, then collaborative divorce is the ideal route to take. If you believe your case is somewhat complicated, collaborative law becomes the best option as it seeks to protect your best interest.

With a collaborative attorney at your disposal, you’re likely to express yourself with confidence even if your spouse disapproves. If there is a power imbalance in your relationship, that is when collaborative divorce becomes most efficient.

Cons of Collaborative divorce

Just like mediative divorce, collaborative divorce comes with its flaws too. The most obvious downside is that if it doesn’t work, your lawyer is expected to withdraw so you can start over with a new lawyer.

It can also incur lots of expenses and delays since you’ll have to hire a new lawyer and get them up to speed with your case.

For a better chance, hiring an experienced mediative or collaborative lawyer is crucial. Do give us a call or fill the contact form to get started.

How Long Does A Divorce Take In Staten Island?

Divorce is rarely a great time, a time of a rollercoaster of emotions you never knew you had.  This horrible feeling is why most people want to get over their divorce as soon as possible. In frustration, they keep asking their attorney when it will end. That brings us to the crucial question: How long does a divorce take in Staten Island? 

There is no straight answer to this question since no two cases are ever the same. However, some pointers could shed light on how long it might take. If you’re already working with a divorce attorney, they are likely to give you a ballpark idea of what to expect. 

In some cases, it can take approximately 12 months for a divorce to be finalized in Staten Island. Exceptions are only for cases with a more severe complication. Aside from complications or situations surrounding a divorce, other factors can play a role when it comes to delaying divorce in Staten Island, and they include:

1. Someone doesn't corporate

If your soon-to-be ex-partner is embittered by the situation, he or she is likely to frustrate you by delaying the divorce. One of the ways this is done is failing to provide information or responding until the deadline approaches. Other times, your soon-to-be-ex could banter on who gets the pillow, or perhaps the old chair left to you by your ancestors. Little bickering like this delays the divorce process, and an experienced divorce attorney could help accelerate the process.

2. Complex case

As we had previously stated, some cases are complex, and this drags the duration of the duration. The separating couples might have sizable assets, investments, and businesses that will need to be resolved. It could take months or even years for some divorces to be finalized due to their complexities.

Every step you take is a process, and it takes months to resolve.

3. Child Custody

When it comes to the kids, emotions are always involved, and this strips both parties of the ability to be logical. If the children are young, they deserve to be considered in every decision. Most often, the mother is given custody. However, things are changing in Staten Island as courts can consider joint or shared custody. Due to the back and forth struggles, divorce stretches into months and more.

Conclusion

On average, it takes 12 months for a divorce to be finalized in Staten Island. However, not all cases are the same as some can extend even to two years. If you want the best shot, hire an experienced divorce attorney in Staten Island by calling 718-815-4500 or filling the contact form.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 lockdown took a toll on the overall mental state of the global populace; even the most loving lovers split apart without cause. Businesses are closing up, with virtual learning and face mask becoming part of our intrinsic nature. With couples spending every inch of their time together, it is not surprising for a personal difference to cause a divorce.

According to New York Post, there has been a 34% surge in couples looking to dissolve their marriage. Most of these couples have kids, making the situation even complicating. If you’re considering divorce after spending months or almost a year on lockdown, perhaps you should consider a mediator before finally making up your mind.

Here are the benefits of mediation when divorcing during a pandemic.

1. It is safe

With the raging pandemic, there have been laws banning being around other people to halt the spread of the virus. Since divorce requires many parties to be present, it makes it unwise to tread such a route during a pandemic. However, mediation has gone from physical to online through video calls and Zoom meetings. Through this means, the risk of transmitting the virus is significantly reduced.

2. Less Stressful

Mediation is less stressful than regular divorce proceedings that demand frequent meetings, court appearances, and numerous confrontations. The idea behind mediation is for both parties to corporate in a friendly environment that is mutually beneficial to everyone. During your meditation session, you might be able to remove emotions from the process and see it from another perceptive.

3. Less Expensive

The pandemic has made many lost their jobs, coupled with the price of goods and services skyrocketing every hour. If there is some riffle in your marriage and you’re looking for a cheaper and more accessible means, mediation might be what you’re looking for. The reason is that a mediator is not a high-priced attorney but rather a professional appointed by the court. Even in a more complicated situation, the cost is always less expensive.

4. The best interest of the child

Divorce could be traumatizing to children, which is why the friendly approach to mediation seems like the best call. If you’re concerned with your child’s emotional well-being, then mediation is something that you should never overlook. Not only does a mediator try to make your marriage work again, but they also make the interest of your child their top priority.

5. Confidential

Unlike mediation, open court divorce offers exposure to the outside world. In the courtroom, there is little privacy, and those present often take notes. Not everyone prefers to expose their problems in public; hence mediation is best for couples going through some turbulence during a pandemic.

Conclusion

Opting for a mediation to help settle issues in your marriage is never a bad call. Through such a friendly interaction and introspection, both parties are more likely to sort out their problems and differences without a court for a divorce.

After a divorce, parents often want to maintain an equal and ongoing relationship with their child. Making this arrangement work requires you and your former spouse to make your homes and interactions positive. Sticking to three main points can help you make a 50/50 parenting schedule work.

Make Both Homes Your Child’s Home

No matter where you both live, you should each make your child feel comfortable and safe in your home. Your spouse’s home may be larger or smaller than yours, but that does not mean your child can’t have their own space.

Give your child an area where they can relax, study, and be creative, if possible. You can involve them in the process of choosing paint colors and bedding. If possible, allow them to infuse even more of their personality in that space with wall hangings, curtains, and pillows they chose. They should have items that make them feel like that space belongs to them.

Establish Consistent Rules

You and your ex-partner may parent your child differently. Where one parent is strict about doing homework right after school, another may allow the child some playtime first.

Communicate with your former spouse and your child about the rules in each parent’s house. If these rules differ, talk about how you each want to address that with your child. Make it clear that what works in one parent’s home may not be acceptable behavior in the other.

Communicate Effectively

Whether it’s about rules, schedules, or other activities, you must communicate clearly with your former spouse and your child. Establishing a plan early means fewer problems later, whether with pick-up and drop-off days at school or important appointments.

Older children can take more ownership of their schedules but may still need oversight from the parents. However, with young children especially, communication will help you establish a more comfortable new routine.

Do You Need Help with 50/50 Parenting?

If you want to know more about how 50/50 parenting can work for your family, the Staten Island divorce lawyers at Soren Law Group have the expertise you need. We’ve helped many families adjust to a new life after divorce. We can help yours, too. Call us at 718-815-4500 or contact us online for a consultation.

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