top of page
bgImage

How To Avoid A Costly Divorce:  Impact Makers Radio Interview with Stewart Andrew Alexander

Listen in as Lauren speaks about how to avoid a costly Divorce. Sit back with a notebook and pen and learn more about the process.

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

5050 parenting final (305 x 203 px).png

The Case for 50/50 Timesharing When Parents Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Emma Johnson, Institute for Family Studies

June 12, 2024

In the wake of divorce, children often grapple with the emotional and logistical challenges of split households.

 

While traditional custody arrangements may prioritize one parent over the other, a growing body of research advocates for 50/50 timesharing. This approach grants both parents equal physical custody, ensuring children maintain strong bonds with each and benefit from a stable upbringing in two loving environments.

Read the full article which explores research suggesting that children of divorced parents benefit most from a 50/50 timeshare arrangement.

support 305x203.png

Helping a Family Member Move on After Marriage Separation or Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Life123.com

May 15, 2024

Facing a marital separation or divorce can be an emotionally wrenching experience, not just for the couple involved but also for their close family members. 

 

Witnessing a loved one grapple with the aftermath of a broken marriage can be difficult to navigate. Family members often find themselves thrust into a supportive role. It's a challenging situation which can be tricky.

If you're looking for ways to support a family member, this article offers guidance and resources specifically tailored to assist them through this difficult period, fostering healing and offering a roadmap towards a brighter future.

baby boomr divorce linked in.jpg

Divorce Skyrockets Among Baby Boomers

Linked article courtesy of Sharon Jayson, AARP.org

April 17, 2024

The most divorced generation is now the older generation. At these older ages, rates of divorce among women nearly quadrupled. The phenomenon of older couples divorcing used to be rare.

As the youngest of the boomer generation approach 60, and older boomers are closing in on 80, researchers say this gray divorce trend doesn’t show signs of slowing. But younger generations are likely to avoid similarly high rates of late-life divorces.

 The article discusses the surprising trend of rising divorce rates among people in their golden years. Sociologists believe this trend is unique to the boomer generation, and the article explores the reasons behind it.

divorce older couple.png

Life on the Other Side of Mature Divorce

Linked article courtesy of TheGuardian.com

March 13, 2024

If you're considering a divorce after 50, you're not alone. A growing number of couples are choosing to end their marriages later in life.

 

As people live longer and expectations for marriage evolve, some couples find themselves feeling unfulfilled or stuck in their relationships.

This article explores the reasons why couples divorce after 50, the challenges of dating after divorce, and the possibility of finding happiness and fulfillment in later life.

lfr blog romance LI.png

The Ultimate Guide to Valentine's Day Romance on Long Island

Linked article courtesy of DiscoverLongIsland.com

February 14, 2024

Love is in the air, and there's no better place to cherish it than on Long Island, where romance finds its perfect backdrop amidst the serene beaches, charming towns, centuries-old historic sites, and enchanting landscapes.

 

Whether you're looking for your next perfect date spot, an unrivaled setting to pop the question or a dreamy honeymoon escape, Long Island offers the perfect trip for every romantic occasion, in every season.

 

Read on to unveil the ultimate guide to celebrating love on Long Island.

Untitled design.png

For some, Divorce has a Positive Effect on their Work

Linked article courtesy of Annie Nova, CNBC.com

November 29,  2023

Divorce is often seen as a negative and life-altering event, but a new study suggests that it can actually have a positive impact on some people's work performance.

 

The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago, found that nearly 39% of people going through a divorce reported improvements in their work. The researchers suggest that this is because people in bad relationships are often stressed and distracted, and leaving those relationships can free them up to focus more on their careers.

 

However, the article also acknowledges that divorce can be a difficult and stressful experience, and it is important to seek support if you are going through one.

Read the full article for more findings of the study.

career family_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Career clashes, not cash: Nearly half of divorces cite differing professional paths as the deal-breaker

Linked article courtesy of Aditi Shrikant, CNBC.com

November 15,  2023

A surprising statistic has emerged: nearly half of divorced couples point to career choices as the primary cause of their split. From long hours spent chasing promotions to incompatible work-life balances, the professional world is playing a pivotal role in marital breakdown. 

Remember, even the most demanding careers should enrich, not deplete, your relationship. By prioritizing open communication, understanding, and support, couples can navigate the complexities of career ambitions and build a thriving relationship that endures beyond the boardroom.

Inside this article you'll discover the handful of other commonly cited factors that couples feel put a strain on their marriage.

prenup.png

What Can and Cannot Be Included in Prenuptial Agreements

Linked article courtesy of Jade Yeban, J.D., FindLaw.com

October 25,  2023

Planning the future with your significant other is an exciting and important step in your relationship. While envisioning your happily ever after, it's also crucial to address potential financial issues that may arise during or after your marriage.

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a "prenup," can be a valuable tool in navigating these matters. However, it's essential to understand the scope of what can and cannot be included in a prenup.

This article addresses the intricacies of prenuptial agreements, exploring the permissible and impermissible provisions that can be incorporated into this legally binding contract.

LFR 5 things to do after separation.png

5 Things Parents Should Do After Separating From a Partner

Linked article courtesy of Michelle Dempsey-Multack, MS, CDS, Parents.com

October 11,  2023

The decision to separate from a partner is often difficult and emotional, filled with uncertainty and a myriad of concerns. While the focus often falls on the couple themselves, the impact of separation on children can be profound. For parents, navigating this new reality requires personal resilience and a commitment to prioritizing the well-being of their children.

There are five essential steps in this article that parents can take to effectively manage the separation process and foster a supportive environment for their children. These strategies encompass understanding the legal implications of separation, fostering open communication with children, establishing clear boundaries, seeking support from loved ones, and prioritizing self-care.

Through these actionable steps, parents can empower themselves to navigate separation challenges while ensuring that their children feel loved, secure, and supported during this transformative time.

LFR money arguing.jpg

4 Ways to Stop Arguing About Money After Marriage

Linked article courtesy of Mikhal Weiner, Real Simple

September 27,  2023

Money, that indispensable tool that fuels our lives, can also be a source of significant friction in our relationships, particularly in the realm of marriage. Financial disagreements can quickly escalate into heated arguments, leaving both partners feeling frustrated, misunderstood, and resentful. These clashes can strain the bonds of marriage, casting a shadow over what should be a harmonious partnership.

But fret not, for there is a path to financial harmony and marital bliss. By adopting a few simple yet effective strategies, you can transform your money discussions from battlegrounds into collaborative dialogues, paving the way for a more peaceful and fulfilling union.

This article delves into four practical ways to silence the discordant symphony of financial disagreements and cultivate a harmonious financial landscape within your marriage. Let's embark on a journey towards a marriage where money is no longer a source of strife but a catalyst for shared goals and collective prosperity

Divorce Statistics in the United States: What You Need to Know

Linked article courtesy of The Hive Law

September 13,  2023

The divorce rate in the United States has been steadily declining over the past few decades, but it remains relatively high. In 2021, the divorce rate was estimated to be around 45%, meaning that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.

Many factors can contribute to divorce, including financial problems, lack of communication, and infidelity. However, the most common reason for divorce is simply growing apart. As people change and evolve, their values and goals may change as well. This can lead to conflict and resentment in a marriage, which can eventually lead to divorce.

While divorce can be a difficult and painful experience, it is important to remember that it is not a failure. Many people find happiness and fulfillment after divorce. If you are considering divorce, it is important to seek legal advice to protect your rights and interests.

This article takes a closer look at the divorce rate in the United States and covers additional related topics. It also provides resources for you if you're considering divorce or have already filed for divorce.

family of four_edited.jpg

Some Good News on the Family Front

Linked article courtesy of Kay S. Hymowitz, City-Journal.org

August 28,  2023

In recent years, there has been a great deal of focus on the decline of the family in America. But there is also some good news on the family front.

 

For example, the divorce rate has been declining for decades, and more and more young people are choosing to get married.

 

Additionally, more and more fathers are involved in their children's lives than ever before. These are all encouraging signs that the family is not in as much decline as some have feared.

 

This article explores some of the good news on the family front. It also discusses some of the challenges that families face today, and how to support them.

original.png

How Life Insurance Works During a Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Ashley Kilroy, Forbes.com

August 16,  2023

Life insurance can be a complex issue during a divorce, especially if there is a joint policy or if one spouse is the beneficiary of the other's policy. This article discusses the basics of life insurance in a divorce, including how to divide joint policies, remove beneficiaries, and protect yourself from insurance revenge.

Tips are also provided for working with a divorce attorney to ensure that your life insurance needs are met during and after your divorce.

 

Whether you're getting a divorce or are considering it, it is important to understand your life insurance options and how they may be affected by the divorce.

 

By reading this article, you will be better equipped to make informed decisions about your life insurance during this difficult time.

original (1).png

8 Types of Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Christy Bieber, J.D., Forbes Advisor

July 26,  2023

Divorce is a difficult and emotional process, but it is important to understand your options when it comes to the type of divorce/legal separation you want to pursue. There are many different types of divorce, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

 

Choosing the Right Type of Divorce/Legal Separation

The best type of divorce and/or separation for you, will depend upon your individual circumstances and preferences. If you and your spouse can agree on all of the terms of your settlement agreement, then an uncontested divorce may be the best option for you. If you cannot agree on some or all of the terms of your divorce, you may need to pursue a contested divorce with Court intervention.

 

If you are considering divorce, it is important to speak with an attorney to discuss your options and to obtain legal advice regarding the best type of divorce/separation for you.

 

This article discusses the 8 most common types of divorce, so you can make an informed decision about which one is the right method for you.

original (2).png

Political Differences, Divorce, and Custody Disputes: Tips to Help Your Kids

Linked article courtesy of DivorceMag.com

July 12,  2023

In today's divisive political climate, it's more important than ever for parents going through a divorce to put their children first. When parents have strong opposing views on political issues, it can be difficult to avoid letting those differences affect their children. This can lead to heated arguments, parental alienation, and even custody disputes.

 

If you're going through a divorce and you and your ex have different political views, it's important to remember that your children are not pawns in your political games. You'll want to ensure that your political differences do not damage your children's relationship with either of you.

 

This article offers a few tips to help you avoid letting your political differences affect your children.

original.jfif

New Statute Requires Training of Custody Evaluators

Linked article courtesy of Peter E. Bronstein, Eric A. Buckley and Meredith L. Strauss, New York Law Journal

June 28,  2023

A new statute in New York State requires that all custody evaluators appointed by the courts undergo mandatory training programs on domestic violence and child abuse. The training program is being provided by the Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV), a statewide organization that works to prevent and end domestic violence.

 

The new statute was passed in response to concerns that many custody evaluators lack the requisite training and expertise to identify and assess the impact of domestic violence on children. The training will provide evaluators with the knowledge and skills they need in order to make fair and impartial custody recommendations, to the court, in cases where domestic violence is a factor.

 

The training will cover a variety of topics, including; but not limited to:

  • The dynamics of domestic violence

  • The impact of domestic violence on children

  • The signs of child abuse

  • The legal standards for child custody

  • The role of a custody evaluator

The training will be delivered in a variety of formats, including online courses, in-person workshops, and webinars. CADV will also provide resources to help evaluators stay up-to-date on the latest research on domestic violence and child abuse.

 

The new training requirements are a significant step forward in ensuring that children in New York State are protected from the harmful effects of domestic violence. The training will help custody evaluators make more informed and impartial decisions about child custody, and it will help to ensure that children are placed in safe and nurturing environments. 

 

Read the article here for more information.

original (1).jfif

How to Tell the Kids About Your Divorce

Linked article courtesy of George Skuros, Divorcemag.com

June 14,  2023

Divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved, but it can be especially hard on children. 

 

When parents divorce, children may feel confused, angry, scared, and even guilty. It is important to be honest with your children about your divorce, but you should also be sensitive to their age and maturity level. And not drag them into being in the middle.

 

There are many resources available to help you and your kids through this difficult time. Divorce is a major life change for everyone involved, but it is important to remember that you are not alone.

 

Here are some helpful tips for talking to your children about your divorce.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

Changes Sought in Bill to Protect Children during Custody Battles

Linked article courtesy of Kate Lisa, Spectrum News 1 New York

May 24,  2023

Kyra's Law, a bill that would require courts to prioritize the safety of children during custody proceedings, is being tweaked by lawmakers in talks with court officials. The bill was named after Kyra Franchetti, a 2-year-old girl who was killed by her father in 2016 after her mother lost custody of her in a bitter divorce.


The changes being sought to Kyra's Law include requiring judges to receive specific training on domestic violence, child abuse, and child sex abuse, and mandating that courts hold early evidentiary hearings when there are allegations of abuse or domestic violence. 


Kyra's Law has strong bipartisan backing, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle focusing on action to prevent child abuse and related homicides. Officials within the state court system say the bill needs some work before it advances in the Legislature this session.


Read more about the changes being sought to Kyra's Law and how you can help protect children during custody battles.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Elizabeth Renter, NerdWallet.com

May 10,  2023

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and draining experience. Besides emotional turmoil, there are many practical matters that you need to address. Such as dividing assets and debts, and determining child support and alimony.


One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a divorce is to get your finances in order. This means gathering your financial documents, tracking your spending, and creating a budget.


You also need to be aware of your rights and options, and consult with an attorney if necessary. 


By taking time to prepare your finances for divorce, you can make the process run smoother. Doing this will also help protect your financial interests.


Here are 7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

New York’s High Court Tried to Protect Parents’ Rights. Lower Courts are Ignoring It.

Linked article courtesy of Sam Mellins, NYSFocus.com

April 26, 2023

In 2016, New York's highest Court, ruled that parents must be allowed to present evidence in their defense, before losing custody of their child(ren). But in the years since, some lower Courts have ignored that ruling, restricting parents' rights to see their kids, without giving them the opportunity to present evidence in their own defense.


This is a serious problem, because it means that parents are being deprived of their right to due process. It also means that children are being taken away from their parents without good cause.


This article looks into several cases in regards to the 2016 ruling, the impact that this ruling is having on parents and children, and the problem of lower Courts, often ignoring it.


We hope that by sharing this article, it will help raise awareness of this important issue and encourage lower Courts to comply with the 2016 ruling

calculator and financial spreadsheet

SupportPay Announces Free Employee Benefit to Help Working Parents Struggling with Life After Divorce or Separation Following "Divorce Quarter"

Linked article courtesy of Finance.yahoo.com

April 12, 2023

SupportPay, a leading provider of child support and alimony management software, announced that it will be offering a free employee benefit to help working parents struggling with life after divorce or separation. The benefit, which will be available to all SupportPay employees, will provide access to a team of experts who can help with everything from managing finances to co-parenting.


The announcement comes after a recent study by the Pew Research Center found that the number of divorces in the United States has increased by 50% since 1990. The study also found that the number of children living with single parents has increased by 20% in the same time period.


In addition to obtaining a team of experts who can help with everything from managing finances to co-parenting, the team will also provide support groups and other resources to help employees cope with the emotional challenges of divorce.


Read more about this unique benefit.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

16 Signs It Might Be Time to Get a Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Sara Stillman Berger from OprahDaily.com

March 22, 2023

The decision to get a divorce is an important one, and should not be taken lightly. Make an assessment of the pros and cons carefully and understand the potential ramifications of your decision. Talk to trusted friends and advisors, as well as a professional who is experienced in divorce and family law.


If divorce is necessary, make sure you understand the financial, legal, and emotional costs associated with it. Remember that divorce is rarely easy. But with proper preparation and an understanding of the issues, you may be better able to handle the situation.


While there's no universal answer, divorcing may be an appropriate solution for couples when there is a lack of mutual respect, trust, or communication.


Additionally, there may be evidence of physical or emotional abuse, infidelity, or financial strain that can make a marriage untenable. Of course, if either partner has made a lifestyle change or is exhibiting extremely conflicting values, then divorce might be the best route to take.


Should you consider divorce? These 16 signs could give you insight to making a decision.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

The Rise of Divorce Registries

Linked article courtesy of Kathryn Jezer-Morton from TheCut.com

March 8, 2023

Starting over with a divorce registry is an excellent way for the community of family and friends to come together and assist a loved one who is starting over after a divorce. It can provide items and services to help a person transition into their new home and their new life. This could include everything from kitchenware to financial literacy classes.


It can also act as a much-needed support system for a person beginning the long process of moving on after the end of a marriage. The registry is meant to be a source of connection for someone starting over, to help them find the strength and courage to rebuild their life, and their new home.


Find out how a divorce registry can help make a fresh start a little easier.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

A Guide to Different Types of Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Amanda Vining from Glam.com

February 22, 2023

Divorce is an unfortunate, yet common part of life for many couples. Even though it can be difficult to go through, divorcing couples should know that there is a range of options available to them to help make the process easier and more efficient.


Though all divorces involve the same legal procedures, there are various routes to take depending on the situation.


For example, arbitration or mediation can sometimes be used to come to an agreement outside of court. Another form is collaborative divorce, which is informal and comes with the added benefit of no long drawn out court cases.


Ultimately, it is important that divorcing couples are aware of the alternatives and understand that different types of divorce will suit different situations.


Here's a guide to four common types of divorce.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

NYC Valentine's Day Events to Cozy Up To

Linked article courtesy of Sarah Belle Lin from AMNY.com

February 8, 2023

Valentine's Day 2023 is sure to be a memorable one for couples and galentines alike! There are plenty of fun events around New York City to experience and cozy up to. From unique restaurants to romantic overnight stays and even dances and theater, there is something for every couple to enjoy.


Couples have the option to experience the city at night, unwind at day spas, or take a stroll through one of New York's famed parks. On the other hand, valentines can show their love and appreciation with movie dates, spa packages, and art classes.


Whether it's enjoying a Broadway show, indulging in delicious desserts, or attending a wine tasting, the possibilities are truly endless!


Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day!


Here are some great events to choose from.

calculator and financial spreadsheet

8 Tips for a Financially Fair Divorce Settlement for Your Clients

Linked article courtesy of FamilyLawyerMagazine.com

January 25, 2023

For many clients, a divorce is a difficult and emotional process. Lawyers need to be able to provide helpful tips for a financially fair settlement.


First and foremost, clients should document any financial transactions between the two parties, in detail. Clear communication is key to understanding the financial hurdles divorce can bring.


Additionally, clients should make sure their expenses are up to date and that distribution of their marital assets is a priority during the action. Once all terms between the parties are negotiated and agreed upon, it is important to confirm the settlement agreement accurately reflects this. And to discuss said terms with their attorney to ensure that they are legally binding.


Lawyers should offer their clients this helpful advice to make certain their divorce settlement is fair and beneficial to both parties.


Here are 8 Tips for a Financially Fair Divorce Settlement for Your Clients

father cradling infant son

7 Ways an Attorney Can Help You During a Divorce

Linked article courtesy of HarlemWorldMagazine.com

January 11, 2023

Divorce is a difficult and stressful process and having a good attorney by your side can make all the difference. If you are considering a divorce, or are already going through one, an attorney can be a valuable source of not only knowledge, but also support, throughout the entire divorce process.


A qualified attorney can help guide you through the legal aspects of the divorce action, including filing paperwork, negotiating your settlement, and ensuring that child custody, child support, and other financial obligations are addressed. An attorney can also provide support with preparation for all Court appearances, and can ensure that all of your rights and interests are being properly represented, and more importantly, protected, throughout the process. An experienced divorce attorney can provide the expertise, skills, and knowledge to support you in navigating through what can be a complex and emotionally draining process.


With the help of an experienced divorce attorney, one who is not only knowledgeable, but also compassionate, you can more-easily navigate the divorce process and emerge from it with a favorable outcome.


Read 7 ways an attorney can help you when going through a divorce.

father cradling infant son

Planning a Family Vacation after Divorce

Linked article courtesy of Despina Mavridou of GabrielleHartley.com

December 28, 2022

After a divorce, navigating the complications of matrimonial law, such as child custody arrangements, can be stressful.


Planning a vacation away from home doesn't have to be as arduous. With some thoughtful preparation and an understanding of the issues at hand, it is possible to enjoy a stress-free vacation experience post-divorce.


Ensuring that all the necessary documentation is in place for the child custody agreement is the most important task. After that, the parent can focus on the lesser, but still important tasks such as booking flights, securing hotel reservations, and even finding fun activities for the days out of the house.


Doing the research ahead of time, leaving ample flexibility in the timetable, and keeping an open mind will help the whole family make the most of a post-divorce vacation.


Here are 7 ways to prepare for a family vacation after divorce.

father cradling infant son

What Happens to Pets if a Couple Decides to Divorce?

Linked article courtesy of HelloPrenup.com

December 14, 2022

Often times, parties don’t realize how important it is to include a family pet in a Prenuptial Agreement. Doing this will spell-out what should happen to the family pet should the couple divorce. The agreement should address who will be the primary caretaker, and who will be responsible for the pet, as a legal guardian.


Both parties should agree beforehand on this arrangement. This will ensure the pet is not placed in an unfavorable position. It would be helpful for the parties to also agree regarding how to handle any pet remains, and whose care they should remain in.


Some other ideas are to reach an agreement on who will be responsible for the pet's care if the pet remains with one partner. Account for any specific medical needs the pet has or medical bills, should they arise. Or if the pet is on a specific diet. You should document this information in the Prenuptial Agreement as well. It can prevent confusion or miscommunication down the road. 


The agreement should also include a directive in the event of sudden illness, death, and/or regarding other unexpected events. One of the best ways to avoid situations like this, is for couples to include clauses about pet custody in their Prenuptial Agreements. 


It's important to bear in mind that while Prenup Agreements are legally binding, the Courts may still deem your four-legged family member to be viewed as “personal property.” Thus, making what was once a multi-page pet custody agreement, unenforceable in the eyes of a Court. 


Read more about Pets and Prenups.

father cradling infant son

Will IVF Become Illegal?  

Linked article courtesy of FindLaw.com, by Richard Dahl.

November 23, 2022

As more and more couples are choosing to have children later in life, the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) has become increasingly common. It's a process that many partners rely on to conceive a child.


Recently, there has been a lot of talk about making in vitro fertilization illegal. There is a new bill being proposed in the Senate that could make in vitro fertilization illegal. Proponents of the bill say that "it is needed to protect unborn children", while opponents argue that "it would interfere with a woman's right to choose". Some people believe that it's morally wrong, while others think that the government should not be paying for it.


No matter what your opinion is, it's an important topic to discuss. It's a question on the minds of many parents-to-be: will in vitro fertilization be illegal in the future? Some experts say that it's only a matter of time before lawmakers clamp down on the procedure.

So what would this mean for families who rely on IVF to conceive? And is it really even possible to outlaw a medical procedure like IVF?


Read this article about the fertility industry's future.

father cradling infant son

A Father’s Yearslong Struggle to Regain Custody of His Son  

Linked article courtesy of NYmag.com, by Petra Bartosiewicz.

November 9, 2022

Custody cases are often difficult, both for parents and for children. When one parent is considered “unfit”, it can have adverse effects on the other. As was the case for Kenneth Watkins. A new father, excited to start-off parenthood on the right foot, he suddenly and surprisingly found himself in a struggle with ACS, New York City’s child-welfare agency, brought on by the fraught history of the newborn's mother.


What ensued over the next 2 years, were unjust assumptions and baseless circumstances due to a flawed social services system. Appearances in family court, door knocks from social services, supervised visits at his child's foster parents' home, and a battery of undergoing psychological evaluations, were events that Kenneth had to endure for the chance to get his little boy back in his arms again. 


It can be an agonizing process for a father trying to obtain custody rights of his young child after years of being denied access.

Despite encountering many roadblocks along the way, he never gave up hope that he would be able to reunite with his young son. With unwavering determination, commitment, and love for his son, he was finally able to win back custody and begin to create a life with his son that he could never have imagined.


This is the story of one father's struggle to regain custody of his son.

Long Island Mom Seeks Bi-Partisan Support to Make Child Safety Bills Top Legislative Priority  

Linked article courtesy of NYSenate.gov. Originally published in CBS News. 

October 19, 2022

The New York family court system can be more than a little daunting for divorcing parents. Especially in bitter child custody situations. All too often, custody battles result in children being turned into pawns by their parents.   


Reforms are desperately needed, and one Long Island mom is leading the charge. Jacqueline Franchetti's abusive husband murdered their 2-year old daughter Kyra, during a court-sanctioned visit.


Jacqueline's mission is to protect children at risk of domestic violence. She's seeking bi-partisan support to make Kyra's Law and other child safety bills top legislative priority.


Read more here.

Stop a Client in Denial from Derailing their Case - Helpful Tips

Linked article courtesy of Elisa Reiter and Daniel Pollack, FamilyLawyerMagazine.com. 

September 28, 2022

When facing divorce or custody issues, law clients may be in denial about the gravity and reality that their case presents.


They may have convinced themselves that the dilemma underlying the case is not real. This type of thinking can lead to a person to derailing their own case.


By facing facts and taking charge of the situation, they can set themselves up for success.


This article provides 10 strategies to help coax clients in denial back to reality.

Controversy Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine Continues - this time it's in the Family Courtroom.

Linked article courtesy of Jennifer Andrus, NYSBA.org. 

September 14, 2022

Another dimension is added to child custody family court cases as new developments arise about the COVID-19 vaccine, testing, masking, and suggested protocols, including school procedures.


Divorcing parents may have opposing positions on whether or not they want their children to receive the vaccine or recommended boosters.  Even parents who previously got along developed different approaches to caring for the children during the pandemic.


The article below, discusses the disputes, practical considerations and guideline changes.

Parent-child vaccination issues.

Divorce Can Be Devastating. But It's Not The End.

Linked article courtesy of Crystal Raypole, Healthline.com. 

August 24, 2022

Ending a marriage is very difficult. You're grieving the loss of a relationship, at which point you may feel as if you can't go on. It’s important to know that it is okay to feel overwhelmed, scared, and uncertain about your future, during this time.


However, divorce can also be an opportunity for growth. With time, effort and self-care, you can emerge stronger than before, with the opportunity to rebuild this next chapter in your life, into something even better than what you had before!


The article below, provides 12 Tips on to How to Learn to Start Anew Post-Divorce.

Life after divorce.

Now That Spousal Support Is Not Taxable Nor Deductible on Federal Tax Returns, Should the New York State Maintenance Guidelines Be Modified?

Linked article courtesy of Susan M. Moss, Carl Wu and Maryanne Koussa, New York Law Journal. 

August 10, 2022

Divorce can undoubtedly be a difficult process, both emotionally and financially. One of the biggest financial concerns for any spouse going through a divorce, is the issue of spousal support, which in New York State is referred to as “spousal maintenance.”

Many divorcing couples, however, are unaware of the fact that spousal support is no longer permitted as a tax deductible to the payor-spouse, on their Tax Returns, due to new Federal law(s) in place.


This may come as a surprise to some, especially since spousal support payments are counted as income and are factored into child support determinations. However, the IRS has deemed spousal support payments to be no longer a tax deductible, and the question now is then whether New York State’s Domestic Relation Law(s) will also be amended in response to this modification in Federal law.


To date, New York State has not revised its formula to account for this change. Should the New York State Spousal Maintenance Guidelines be amended? That is simply a question up for major debate at this time.


This article will examine what, if anything, should be done regarding this change.

Transgender Surgeries - Should Divorcing Parents Be Legally Responsible to Financially Contribute?

July 27, 2022

In our ever-changing society, transgender children are becoming more and more common. During a child’s lifetime, there comes a point in time when they will need and/or want to make a decision whether to undergo certain elective medical procedures to either partially or completely transition themselves physically, into the sex they feel connected with. Apart from the utter importance of making this initial decision(s), is the financial component involved in signing up for these costly procedures. Specifically, undergoing one or multiple transgender procedures can cost a person thousands upon thousands of dollars, which health insurance likely will not/does not cover as these procedures fall under the “elective procedure” category.


Under New York Domestic Relations Law(s), both parents are responsible for their pro-rata financial share of any and all uncovered and/or unreimbursed medical expenses incurred by their child/children until the age of 21. The statute requires parents use in-network medical providers, unless under emergency circumstances.


However, the New York laws do not provide for either parent’s financial obligation towards a child’s elective surgery/medical procedure for any purposes, whatsoever. Indeed, while a child and/or adult-child may wish to undergo certain elective surgical procedures for a variety of reasons, the particular area of transgender elective procedures, is uncharted territory to date under New York’s Domestic Relation Law(s). In some ways, such a procedure or series of procedures may be deemed necessary in regards to a child’s mental health. As such, the question then becomes whether or not a parent may be permitted to deny their child and/or adult-child, the financial support necessary towards

such a life-changing and vital medical procedure, especially when such procedure(s) are not covered under the child’s current health insurance plan.


This question becomes even more murky, when one or both parents do not agree with their child’s decision to become transgender. In those instances, it is arguably even more unlikely that a parent or both parents, will voluntarily financially contribute to their child’s elective procedure(s), and/or feel that the law should obligate them to be financially responsible to any extent of a procedure they disapprove of.


Moreover, without further guidance on this specific issue under the law, parents are forced to battle both inside and outside of Court regarding whether or not one or both parents will voluntarily agree to be financially responsible for this add-on expense.


For more on this subject, read the following linked article, Child Custody’s Gender Gauntlet, courtesy of Abigail Shrier, City-Journal.org.

Family Court Reform Bill: Experts in Child Custody Cases Must Be Licensed

Linked article courtesy of Chris Bragg, TimesUnion.com.

July 13, 2022

Bill passes both houses of Legislature and awaits the governor's action.


By a unanimous vote, the state Senate passed the bill raising standards to be a "forensic evaluator" providing paid expertise in Family Court cases.


The bill would require forensic evaluators to be licensed New York psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers — a mandate that had not uniformly existed across the state.


The bill is the first among a package seeking to increase child safety in Family Court that has passed both the Senate and the Assembly.

New York is one step closer to passing the Donor-Conceived Person Protection Act

Linked article courtesy of Ellen Trachman, AboveTheLaw.com.

June 22, 2022

This groundbreaking bill will provide immense protections for those conceived through donor conception.


Many recipients are surprised to learn that most sperm banks do not verify the information provided by donors, but take them at their word. 


As with any new proposals, there are pros and cons from both recipients and reproductive tissue banks.


If passed, it would add into state law a duty for reproductive tissue banks to collect and verify medical, educational, and criminal background information for all donors.

New York Law Extends a Parent's Child Support Obligation to Age 26 for Adult-Children with Special Needs

June 8, 2022

As of October, 2021, New York State has joined 40 other states in extending a parent’s obligation to pay child support past the age of 21 years old for adult-children with special needs.

Indeed, New York now marks the 41st State that has joined in this legislation, taking into account the considerable ongoing expenses that a parent/parents incur as a result of an adult-child’s special needs.


New York State has modified its child support law(s) pertaining to adult-children with special needs.


Prior to this new enactment, a parent was only obligated to pay child support up until the age of 21 years old, despite circumstances such as adult-children with special needs.


This lack of extension for special circumstances such as this, typically left one parent as the sole financial provider for any and all expenses incurred as a result of their child’s special needs after the age of 21.


New York's Child Support Modification for Children with Special Needs.


This new law permits a custodial parent to petition the Family Court for an extension of child support for children with developmental disabilities. See Domestic Relations Law Section 240(d); Family Court Act Section 413(b).

A custodial parent and/or caregiver of a developmentally disabled child and whom the child is principally dependent on, including, but not limited to, residing with, may seek this said extension from the Court.