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Court Asks for Assessment of Father’s Income When Appointing Counsel

A father’s ability to pay all or part of his legal costs in a custody dispute over his two children is being challenged by a New York Supreme Court Judge. New York State recognizes the constitutional and statutory rights, held by the father, that justify the appointment of counsel during a custody dispute. However, New York State’s requirement does not require the appointment of private counsel. The Family Court Act of New York provides that a public attorney must be assigned to a litigant in any matter where they are unable to obtain an attorney.

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New York Same-Sex Spouses Divorce: Child Custody Considerations

According to a study published in 2013 by Dr. Nanette Gartrell and Dr. Jack Drescher, there are 690,000 same-sex couples living in the U.S. and 19 percent are raising children under the age of 18. In June 2015, the Supreme Court gave its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, sanctioning homosexual couples the constitutional right to marry. Since then, more than 123,000 same-sex marriages have taken place, according to Gallup. However, with all relationships, whether same-sex or heterosexual, not all of them last forever. Some same-sex spouses may find themselves facing the challenges of divorce, especially in breakups that involve children, who may not have a biological connection to one or both of their parents.

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What Are Your Legal Options When a Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?

It has been recently publicized that the impending divorce of celebrities Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey is reportedly on hold due to Mr. Cannon’s refusal to sign divorce papers. The TV personality filed for divorce from his wife in 2014, but, since then, has not signed the papers that would end the marriage. Ms. Carey is reportedly frustrated with the situation which may stall her plans to be wed to current fiancé James Pecker this summer. There are many reasons as to why a spouse would refuse to sign divorce papers to end a marriage, including hesitation to end the marriage, lack of interest in partaking in the divorce process, or to make his or her spouse upset. However, in either regard, whether the divorce papers are signed or not, an individual cannot legally prevent his or her spouse from obtaining a divorce.

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New York Criminal Juvenile Delinquency Law

In New York, when an individual is between 7 and 16 years old, and commits an act that would be considered a crime if perpetrated by an adult, then juvenile delinquency law comes into play. The young individual must be found to require supervision, treatment, or detention. Once that is determined, the individual is termed a “juvenile delinquent” (JD), and family court has jurisdiction to hear the case.

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What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Whether to enter into a prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial agreement, is an important decision for two individuals who are getting married. A prenuptial agreement is a contract which dictates how marital assets will be divided, and can even set out alimony amounts and issues regarding children. If two individuals choose to enter into an agreement, it is important to understand the requirements and possible challenges.

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Marital Privileges During a Criminal Trial

When a witness takes the stand in a criminal trial, generally they are required to testify. There are certain confidential relationships under state and federal law which prevent a witness from being compelled to testify. These include the well-known attorney-client and doctor-patient privileges. Privileges are granted by law and are not Constitutional rights like the 5th Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.

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Amendments Change how Division of Assets and Post-Divorce Maintenance are Calculated

The amendments to Domestic Relations Law §236 are now applicable law since the New York Legislature and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed them last year. Improving spousal maintenance guidelines has been an ongoing discussion since 2010, culminating in the new changes. The amendments mark a compromise between lawmakers, advocates, and various family law rules committees.

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Repercussions of Adultery in Criminal and Family Law

Many would be surprised to know that, in New York State, adultery is a crime. In addition, adultery is also one of the four grounds for divorce. So, if you or someone you know is thinking about adultery, know that there are criminal law and family law implications.

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Child Custody Disputes

Although actress Kelly Rutherford’s battle with her ex for custody of their children is widely publicized, custody disputes occur every day to parents who aren’t celebrities. In that case, Rutherford has been attempting to gain sole custody after her ex had permanently moved to Europe. The custody battle has been on-going since 2009, even before the birth of their second child.

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Proposed Change to Law Would Allow for Personal Information from Matrimonial Actions to be Redacted in Civil Cases

In matrimonial actions, some of your most personal information is brought to light in the courtroom. This information may be used subsequently in proceedings brought in civil court. A recently proposed amendment to a New York law would allow for greater protections of confidential information of any documents, testimony, or evidence derived from a matrimonial action if it were to be used in a Supreme or County Court action.

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