Child Custody

Child Custody: Father’s Rights

A Huffington Post article highlights the often contentious nature of arguments over child custody. As the article states, when children are involved, a divorce is not the end of a couple’s relationship; they will be joined through their children for the rest of their lives. A well-developed child custody plan and a well-defined child support agreement can go a long way toward keeping things civil and keeping the children out of the middle of disagreements.

Traditionally, women have been awarded primary custody. Today, a father’s rights will be taken into account, even if it requires an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that it is so. What’s critical is the delicate balance between child custody and child support. Awarding custody to a parent who simply wants to support money can be a disaster for both the child and the parents. Similarly, a newly single parent, mothers in particular, must adjust to the fact that they will likely be returning to the working world and/or working more hours than ever before.

Intellectually, parents on the cusp of single-parenthood get it. They just often fail to fully appreciate the reality. Too often, whether out of spite or a belief that they are right, we see a parent fight joint custody. After winning, they are forced to allow their spouse more visitation or hire childcare! Raising children is hard. Divorce doesn’t make it any easier.

Custody law in most, if not all states do not favor either parent. Rather, it seeks to award custody based on what’s in the best interest of the child.

A best-interest determination can be based on a number of factors, including:

  • Which parent has been the main caregiver.
  • A parent’s parenting skills and ability to provide.
  • A parent’s mental and physical health.
  • Any domestic violence history.
  • Parental work schedules.
  • Family relationship dynamics.
  • Child’s wishes (depending on age).
  • A parent’s ability to cooperate with a former spouse.

A parent’s relationship with a child is a precious gift. An experienced divorce attorney must protect that relationship while seeking to assist both parent and child in making as smooth a transition as possible.

Divorce Law

Problem-Solving Negotiation and Mediation vs Adversarial Negotiation

Divorce is never easy, but there are ways to make the process a little more comfortable. The usual divorce is filed in court and can take years to resolve in an adversarial negotiation. Motions, pre-trial filings and depositions all take time and previously there was no way around it.

Now, there is a move in family law towards problem-solving negotiation or mediation. Many people are surprised to know that there is another way to settle issues within the family without going straight to a lawsuit. When both parties have the same end goal and there are no other major issues, a problem solving negotiation or mediation would be more beneficial for the family.

Family law is a very complex area of law. Sometimes there is no right or wrong in a relationship, there are just two very differing views on the same matter. There are so many laws governing divorce that a divorce or child custody proceeding could go on for years. Showing up for hearings that the other party can continue can unnecessarily eat up your time. There is a way to accomplish the same end in a much more efficient and holistic way. Spending years in court is not beneficial to any party involved and all parties can benefit from the process being much shorter and efficient.

When children are involved the situation is particularly sensitive. A problem-solving process would allow parents to keep the kids from being interrogated in a court proceeding. Both parties can agree that having the children involved in the actual process is not a healthy thing and both parties can agree to insulate the children so that they are less affected by the actual proceedings.

In addition, the negotiation or mediation is generally less stressful because the result is crafted with input from both parties. When both parties have input in the outcome and not just a judge, both parties are getting something that they want. Usually, both parties do not get everything they want, but they are able to come up with a solution that works.

Guest Post Contributed by
There is a way to minimize the damage of divorce and minimize the stress of the process. Splitting up is always emotional, but it doesn’t have to be done by traditional means. Negotiation can sometimes take less time because you get straight to the problem without paperwork drawing out the process. It is better for both parties to end to the relationship in an efficient and fair manner.

Family Law

Powers of Attorney and Living Wills Help Children Care for Aging Parents

By Rustin Duncan, Attorney at King Law Offices, PPLC

It’s a fact of life that all children dread occurring. Mom and Dad age and become sick or otherwise unable to care for themselves. Many times this means that decisions regarding care for the elderly fall on the children. emotionally draining task. However, there are legal options available to families to prepare for this season of life to make things more clear. A Power of Attorney and a Living Will are two invaluable documents that ensure the wishes of the elderly are carried out regarding their care, even when they can no longer make the decisions.

While many parents lack a living will, sometimes called a health care power of attorney it’s the most basic and important step they can take. A living will allows someone to grant another the right to make decisions regarding their medical treatment and/or set out detailed instructions regarding how they want their care to be carried out. A living will also allows one to determine if they want to be put on a ventilator, feeding tube, etc. when they are unable to make decisions on their own. The living will allows a person to let their health care agent make that decision or state if they want all live saving care or no live saving care at all.

This document can be invaluable for the kids because it can take those tough decisions off of them and understand they are simply carrying out their parents’ wishes regarding their care.

Another important, simple and effective way to ease the pain and stress of an aging parent is with a Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney is a document a person executes that gives another person, usually the kids, specific legal powers to act on their behalf regarding money and property. The Durable Power of Attorney stays in effect even when the parent no longer has legal capacity to execute such documents.

A Durable Power of Attorney allows the child to act for the parent in many legal and financial activities. Examples include but are not limited to transferring money, filing tax returns, selling assets, accessing information on behalf of the parent, and access to the parent’s bank account to pay bills for the parent.

If the parent has not assigned these legal powers to anyone before becoming incompetent, the child or caregiver must petition the court for Guardianship to be able to make these decisions or act on behalf of the parent. While the court process is there it is expensive and can take time not to mention adding another burden to an already stressful and emotionally draining experience.

It is very important to have legal safeguards in place before a parent becomes ill or can no longer make decisions for themselves. Parents and children should talk about the wishes of the parents and have a Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney executed to make sure things are clear. This can ease the minds of both parents and children and can allow families to more compassionately and effectively care for aging relatives.

Divorce Law

The Importance of an Attorney in High Net-Worth Divorces

Marriage can be a rewarding experience for many adults. While a marriage may be founded on love, it can often break apart for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a divorce may be based around financial matters. If a high net-worth individual is getting a divorce, it’s essential to have access to a divorce attorney. The following guide provides simple simple tips and tricks on how to navigate the world of divorce as a high net-worth individual.

When an individual decides to get married, he or she takes a sacred vow that is supposed to last a lifetime. Under ideal conditions, both partners in a relationship will be getting married for the same reasons. However, people may not always get married for the same reasons.

For example, there’s a reason that doctors and other professionals have no problem finding a potential spouse. In many cases, these individuals are considered to be excellent providers. If a relationship is founded on money, it is usually destined for failure.

If possible, it’s a good idea to get a prenuptial agreement before marriage. With a prenuptial agreement, a couple decides on how assets will be split in the event of a divorce. However, it can be challenging to maintain love when money is concerned. If a high net-worth individual wants to get a prenuptial agreement, the other spouse may not want to get married. In addition, these agreements can break the bond of love.

If an individual doesn’t a get a prenuptial agreement, half of his or her earnings after marriage may go to a spouse in the event of a divorce. While assets one obtains before a marriage are usually safe, any assets obtained after a marriage are usually up for grabs. However, it’s important to understand how this can impact one’s assets from before a marriage.

For example, imagine that a high net-worth individual owns a very expensive home. This individual then decides to get married. After 10 years, the marriage starts to fall apart. During this time, the value of the house has appreciated in value 20 percent. The low net-worth spouse is entitled to half of the value that the house has appreciated.

This concept also applies to other types of assets. This can include stocks, bonds, options, valuables, artwork, paintings, intellectual property and much more. Intellectual property can be a very tricky issue. For example, imagine that an individual is an upcoming music artist. At the time of one’s marriage, the artist still hasn’t been able to break out. However, he or she is able to experience success after a marriage.

The low net-worth spouse in this example would be entitled to half of all revenue streams that come from intellectual property created after the marriage started. If an artist becomes very famous, his or her spouse will own half that name. In some cases, courts may award that name to a low income spouse.

In addition, children can complicate the divorce process in several different ways. If a low net-worth spouse receives custody of children, he or she will be entitled to child support payments every month. However, there is no fixed price for child support. For example, a shelf stocker at a supermarket may pay only $150 a week in child support payments. However, an investment banker may pay thousands of dollars every week in child support payments. Since child support payments are often based on an individual’s income, it’s essential to have access to a professional lawyer or attorney.


Albert Myburgh has been serving the 5 boroughs in family law matters for 25 years. He strives to solve legal matters in an efficient, amicable, and successful manner.