Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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child custody & support disputes Archives

Fighting a custody battle with a narcissist isn't easy

Child custody cases must focus on what's best for the children; however, this can be virtually impossible for you to make happen if you're walking away from a narcissist. The nature of narcissism means that the person can't think of others. Instead, everything they do is based on what they feel and how things will make them look.

Factors the court considers in child custody cases

For many parents, child custody decisions are handled through mediation or another collaborative method. This enables the two people who know the children the best to make decisions about how they will handle the various aspects of the arrangement. Unfortunately, not all parents can put their differences aside and determine how to set up the parenting plan. In those cases, they will turn to the court to decide what terms will govern the child custody situation.

Bird's nest parenting is a unique option for some parents

When parents are trying to make decisions for the children, they have to think about what's best for the kids. This is challenging in many cases, but it is even more complex if you're divorcing. One of the concerns that you'll have is determining what to do with the marital home. For some parents, a unique decision is the one that works for them – they allow the children to live in the home.

Understand child custody modifications

The parenting plan is the backbone of a child custody situation. While these plans work for the child when they're created, there's a chance that those needs might change. This means that the parenting plan must be modified. You'll need to work with your ex to come up with the terms of the new parenting plan.

Children have rights, even when their parents divorce

Children have specific rights as they grow up. These don't go away just because their parents are going through a divorce. As one of the adults in the relationship, you should review these rights so that you're able to ensure your children are getting what they need.

Parenting plans for young children have special considerations

Parents have children in the hopes of raising them as a team, but things don't always happen that way. When you and your child's other parent end the relationship while the kid is young, you might be facing some unique challenges.

Children can learn life skills during divorce

Children who have parents going through divorce will face a rough time, but this doesn't necessarily mean they will walk away from the situation in a poor position. Instead, children can learn a lot when they see their parents going through this situation.

Work toward a respectful co-parenting relationship

Divorcing when you have children means that you can't cut yourself off completely from your ex. Instead, you are still going to have to see them and communicate with them when you have things to discuss about the children. Going into the situation with the expectation that you will be agreeable co-parents can minimize your stress and boost your child's ability to cope with the situation.

Does reporting abuse hurt custody chances?

If you and/or your children experience domestic violence in New York, the most advisable course of action is to protect yourself and them by leaving the home. During the child custody hearing that will likely follow your escape, you may think that if you report the abuse to the court, you will receive custody of your children over your former partner. Unfortunately, the opposite may be true. The Washington Post reports the results of a recent study at George Washington University that found that reporting abusive behavior by a past partner may actually hurt your chances of obtaining custody. 

Paying for college after a divorce

The desire for one's children to go to college is a normal thing for many New York parents. When a couple gets divorced, the potential for a child to get a college education could be at risk unless the costs for this are addressed during the divorce negotiations. Whether a child is five or 15, parents should outline basic provisions and terms for how they will fund a higher education for their child when the time comes.

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