Child Custody

This subset of law also often overlaps with facets of divorce law. Child custody refers to the legal obligation and right a parent or guardian has to care for, make decisions for, supervise, educate and control a minor child for whom he/she is responsible. The issue of child custody may arise in any of the following situations: when a married couple with a minor child of the marriage seeks a divorce; when two unmarried parents of a minor child cannot come to an agreement about custody outside of court; when a parent or legal guardian is found to be unfit or dangerous for the child’s well-being by a court or state agency; and when either or both parents are absent or deceased. Custody is not limited to the child’s parent, but can also be awarded to other family members, to a foster parent or group home, or to other organizations or institutions.

We provide compassionate legal advice and counsel with regard to child custody matters, understanding that child custody is often one of the most difficult issues to resolve.

Child Support

This is a subset of family law and as in Child Custody law, overlaps with divorce law. Child support is court-ordered payment by one parent to the custodial parent of a minor child after divorce or separation as a contribution to the costs of raising the child. This is a provision to ensure that the child should receive equal support from both parents which it would have received if there was no divorce. Usually, the amount of child support is based on the income of both parents, the number of children, the expenses of the custodial parent, and any special needs of the child. Most states have child support guidelines that establish the ordinary support required to raise and care for the child. It may also include health plan coverage, school tuition or other expenses, and may be reduced during periods of extended visitation such as summer vacations.

We help clients determine child support payments at the time of divorce, and also help clients modify or enforce child support arrangements after a divorce has been finalized. With substantial divorce and family law experience, we are able to explain how child support in New York is calculated, and effectively assert the rights of custodial and non-custodial parents.

Mediation

Divorce mediation is a voluntary process where divorcing couples work together with a trained mediator to negotiate and resolve their differences in a non-adversarial forum. In mediation, no one decides who is right and who is wrong, or who wins and who loses. The mediator merely facilitates communication and helps you to evaluate your options.

For many divorcing couples, mediation has become a viable alternative to the financial costs and emotional toll of traditional adversarial legal representation. Sensibly used, mediation provides the opportunity to find fair and realistic solutions to the economic and practical issues facing the family and also helps to heal the psychological rift. Mediation is based on the premise that the people getting divorced are in the best position to make decisions that will have long-term personal and financial consequences on their lives.

At Lettera Mosiello, we can represent you individually as your outside attorney to the mediation process, or we can provide you and your spouse with a neutral, impartial mediator while you both retain other counsel to represent you individually.

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement, commonly abbreviated to prenup or prenupt, is a contract entered into prior to marriage, civil union or any other agreement prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. They may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery, further conditions of guardianship may be included as well.

If you want to head off financial problems before you get married, a prenuptial agreement is a good place to start. LMA can guide you through the decisions that need to be made.