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Buffalo New York Law Q & A

In this of section our website, we’ve answered hundreds of questions we’ve been asked over the years. So if you have a question, we might have the answer right here.

There are four ways to get an answer to your question.

One, type your question in the search box to the right and click “Search” – every page we have related to that question will then be shown.

Two, below and to the right, you’ll see a section called “Categories”. Just click the section related to your question and every page we have that is applicable to your question will be presented for your review.

Three, the links at the bottom of this page will take you to a web page that can answer many of the questions you might have.

And four, if we don’t have your answer here, or if you’d like to speak with us, feel free to call and arrange a free consultation – either on the phone or in-person.

We can be reached at 716-542-5444, or if the call is long distance, please call 1-800-729-4571.

If you have concerns about your child’s safety, you have an obligation to pursue relief.

First, if you believe your child is contemplating a suicide attempt right now, call 911.

Teenagers can spiral out of control very quickly, and a teen with suicidal ideation or mental illness may require hospitalization and medication to get back on track.

From a legal perspective, if you believe your former spouse is neglecting your teenager’s welfare, you should ask a judge to intervene on an emergency basis.

Seeking full custody of your child so you can better supervise them and provide them with more tools to help, like counseling or hospitalization, may be the best choice you can make for your child.

The attorneys at Friedman & Rochester work with families who are dealing with extremely difficult situations with their children, and work to find solutions that help everyone.

But when a child is in danger and a parent isn’t appropriately concerned, we present a forceful case for the other parent to make the important decisions that can make the difference.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 for a free, immediate consultation with an experienced Rochester child custody attorney.

Yes, if you and your spouse needed more time to think through your options and became legally separated a year ago, you already have the framework in place for a divorce settlement.

Converting a separation agreement to a divorce settlement is known as a conversion divorce, and while they’re not as common as they were before no-fault divorce was enacted, they are a valid approach to divorce for many couples in Rochester.

The process for a conversion divorce is similar to a traditional divorce, in that one spouse will file, and the other will be served with notice and has the option to contest the action.

And while you likely exchanged statements of net worth when you negotiated your settlement agreement, you’ll have to file an updated statement of net worth because of a one-year statutory limit on the previous statement.

When both parties agree that the terms of the separation agreement meet their needs, and that they are willing to end the marriage after a year of separation, conversion divorce may be a pretty simple legal matter.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help make sure that your filings are correct, complete, and that your divorce in Rochester is as painless as possible.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester divorce attorney.

Joint custody is awarded with the expectation that parents will be able to work constructively together in the best interests of the child.

If your spouse is failing to live up to the terms of your custody agreement and your relationship has eroded as a result, it may be time to explore a petition for a custody modification so you can have more control over the situation.

Child custody modification is an area where it is strongly advised that you work with an attorney.

These types of actions can be highly charged, with your ex making accusations that may simply come out of left field and have no basis in reality.

You’ll want an advocate who won’t get riled up and can continue to focus on the relevant points.

The calmer and more focused you seem to be, the more likely the judge is to take your claims seriously.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer help parents protect their kids from deadbeat ex’s and provide them with a safe, stable home life.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo child custody modification attorney.

No, you are not required to legally separate to divorce in Buffalo or anywhere else in New York.

Under reforms passed in 2010, one spouse can file unilaterally if they wish, under the Irretrievable Breakdown grounds, and start a divorce at any point in time, assuming residency requirements are met.

If your divorce is uncontested, meaning that you and your spouse agree to terms like division of property, child custody and support, and financial arrangements like spousal maintenance, filing under Irretrievable Breakdown (also known as no-fault) can be your fastest, most cost effective approach to ending your marriage.

If you and your spouse don’t agree on some elements and are looking at a contested divorce action, you can still file under Irretrievable Breakdown, with no requirement to legally separate.

Using this ground, rather than something like adultery, is much easier and less costly.

Using other grounds means that you have to put together a case, much like in a criminal prosecution, that proves wrongdoing on your spouse’s part.

These are difficult to prove, emotionally taxing to compile, and expensive to gather evidence for.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you have the most straightforward divorce possible in Buffalo.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo divorce attorney.

Your spouse shouldn’t be able to make you pay HOA fees for a house you let go of in your divorce settlement in Buffalo, but depending on the particulars of your negotiations, there may be reasons for you to agree to pay them for a period of time.

On the other hand, if your case is before a judge and your spouse is insisting that you cover HOA costs, you could end up footing the bill for years.

It’s always best to negotiate as much of your settlement as possible, and avoid a courtroom.

Judges will always work to find the fairest possible settlement, but what that means can seem very different from your perspective as compared to the judge’s.

The experienced Buffalo divorce attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you avoid being stuck with your spouse’s HOA fees in your divorce.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo divorce lawyer.

Yes, when custody is split 50/50 in a Rochester divorce, the parent who earns more will be considered the non-custodial parent for the purposes of child support payments.

Many parents balk at this legal device, but the State of New York believes that every child is entitled to financial support until they can support themselves, so the state employs parental income as a solution to the question of who pays child support when custody is shared evenly.

It is possible for the parents to contractually waive child support, or develop an alternate support plan that can meet with approval from the court.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you develop a child support framework that provides for your child’s needs and ensures a fair balance between the parents.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester divorce and child custody attorney.

The issue of grandparents’ rights to visit after a divorce is a complicated one, because while grandparents have no independent right to visitation, your former spouse has wide latitude within the scope of the custody agreement you’ve signed.

If the agreement doesn’t specify the exclusion of your former spouse’s parents, or otherwise address the issue of third parties joining for visitation, your legal options may be limited.

Consider having a conversation with your former spouse about your concerns.

Be careful though, because if you get into the habit of letting the grandparents visit and then try to change the terms, the grandparents may have grounds to argue that you’ve allowed visitation in the past and should continue to do so.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you pursue your legal avenues and advise you as to the best course of action to protect your future options.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 and speak to an experienced Buffalo child custody attorney for free.

Either parent can petition Family Court for a modification of child custody in Buffalo, and when the parents agree that there is a need, and agree on the details of the modification, the petition should move smoothly through the court.

There’s no particular advantage to be had in one parent filing as opposed to the other, though in any case there may be particular reasons to file in a given way.

Your attorney can advise you further, and in particular, can make sure that the terms you are considering are appropriate and beneficial to you and your child.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer have been helping parents develop workable child custody agreements in Buffalo for decades, and can help you modify your agreement in a way that protects you and your child.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo child custody modification attorney.

When your ex-spouse wants you to take physical custody of one of your children, you should seek two modifications in Family Court in Buffalo.

First, you’ll want a court order that overrides the existing custody agreement and reflects your changed status with your son.

Second, you should request a modification to child support to reflect that you are the primary provider for one of your two children.

Only a judge can modify your child support payment, and you need to have a modification in hand before you change the amount you pay.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can give you reliable guidance and present your petitions to take custody of your son and modify your support payments properly, so you won’t have any delays or unexpected surprises as you iron out the details of your new custody arrangement.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 to speak to an experienced Buffalo child custody and support attorney for free.

Yes, a contested divorce can become an uncontested divorce at any point – and vice versa – if you and your spouse can reach a negotiated agreement on whatever issues are outstanding.

At the Preliminary Conference, the two sides will go through a checklist of items relevant to your divorce to see what elements you agree on and which you are at odds over.

This will give you a clearer picture of your situation and help you and your spouse identify which areas can be productive for negotiations.

Because of the cost of litigated divorces, there’s strong incentive for both of you to avoid taking the matter to court.

Some divorces are decided by a judge, but for most couples, finding a mutually agreeable resolution is both possible and preferable.

Call the attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation with an experienced Rochester divorce lawyer.