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Friday, October 09, 2009

New York Child Support Calculator Now Available

The New York Divorce and Family Law™FamCalc Software Suite will be available after October 1, 2009. The programs, written by Jerry Cohen, Esq, of the New York Bar, in collaboration with Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc., were specifically designed to make make life easier for the New York Divorce and Family Law attorney. They require no more than basic knowledge of how to use a computer, and are so simple that they do not have menus or need help files. The New York Divorce and Family Law™Child Support Calculator, is now available. It automatically generates a helpful summary report, calculates the child support amount on combined parental income, both under and over $130,000, and drafts for you the language required to be included in agreements, stipulations, and findings of fact. Doing the child support calculations are "so easy a lawyer can do it". For information send an email to sales@nysdivorce.com, or submit a request at http://www.brandeslaw.com/Forms/feedback.htm

Retiurn of Parent from Military Authorizes Reconsideration of Custody Orders

Return of Parent from Military Automatically Considered 'Substantial Change in Circumstance For Seeking Reconsideration of Custody or Visitation Order.


Laws of 2009, Ch 473, effective November 15, 2009, amended the Domestic Relations Law, the Family Court Act and the Military Law to provide that the return of a parent from activation or deployment by the military will automatically be considered a 'substantial change in circumstance' for seeking reconsideration of a custody or visitation order. The amendment changes the law enacted last year which requires that all child custody orders issued when a parent is on active military duty be deemed temporary and subject to revision when the parent returns to civilian life.
Laws of 2009, Ch 473, § 1 amended Domestic Relations Law § 75-l ( entitled Military service by parent; effect on child custody
orders) to provide unless the parties have otherwise stipulated or agreed, if an order was issued under Domestic Relations Law § 75-l, the return of the parent from active military service, deployment or temporary assignment shall be considered a substantial
change in circumstances. Upon the request of either parent, the court shall determine on the basis of the child's best interests whether the custody judgment or order previously in effect should be modified.
Laws of 2009, Ch 473, § 2 amended Domestic Relations Law 240, subdivision 1 to add a new paragraph (a-2) to read as follows:
(a-2) Military service by parent; effect on child custody orders.
(1) During the period of time that a parent is activated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, such that the parent's ability to continue as a joint caretaker or the primary caretaker of a minor child is materially affected by such military service, any orders issued pursuant to this section, based on the fact that the parent is activated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, which would materially affect or change a previous judgment or order regarding custody of that parent's child or children as such judgment or order existed on the date the parent was activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service, shall be subject to review pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph. Any relevant provisions of the Service Member's Civil Relief Act shall apply to all proceedings governed by this section.
(2) During such period, the court may enter an order to modify custody if there is clear and convincing evidence that the modification is in the best interests of the child. An attorney for the child shall be appointed in all cases where a modification is sought during such military service. Such order shall be subject to review pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph. When entering an order pursuant to this section, the court shall consider and provide for, if feasible and if in the best interests of the child, contact between the military service member and his or her child, including, but not limited to, electronic communication by e-mail, webcam, telephone, or other available means. During the period of the parent's leave from military service, the court shall consider the best interests of the child when establishing a parenting schedule, including visiting and other contact. For such purposes, a "leave from military service" shall be a period of not more than three months.
(3) Unless the parties have otherwise stipulated or agreed, if an order is issued pursuant to this paragraph, the return of the parent from active military service, deployment or temporary assignment shall be considered a substantial change in circumstances. Upon the request of either parent, the court shall determine on the basis of the child's best interests whether the custody judgment or order previously in effect should be modified.
(4) This paragraph shall not apply to assignments to permanent duty stations or permanent changes of station.
Laws of 2009, Ch 473, § 3 amended Family Court Act § 651 to add a new subdivision (f) which reads exactly the same as Domestic Relations Law 240, subdivision 1 (a-2).

Additional Crimes that Constitute a Family Offense Added

Additional Crimes that Constitute a Family Offense Added

Laws of 2009, Ch 476, § 3 and 4, amended Criminal Procedure Law 530.11, and Family Court Act 812 (1) to add the crimes of sexual misconduct, forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the second degree as set forth in subdivision one of section 130.60 of the penal law to the crimes which constitute a "family offense". Family Court Act 821 (1) (a) was amended accordingly.

Judges Required to Make Additional Findings Where Domestic Violence Found

Judges Required to Make Additional Findings Where Domestic Violence Found


Laws of 2009, Ch 476, § 2 amended Domestic Relations Law § 240 (1)(a), effective December 15, 2009 to require judges to state on the record how their findings with regard to the effect of domestic violence factored into their custody determination. Where the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence that there is domestic violence the court has been required to consider the effect of domestic violence upon the best interests of the child, together with such other facts and circumstances as the court deems relevant in making a direction pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 240 (1)(a). The amendment requires the Court to state on the record how such findings, facts and circumstances factored into the direction for custody or visitation. If an allegation that a child is abused is supported by a preponderance of the evidence, then the court has been required to consider such evidence of abuse in determining the visitation arrangement that is in the best interest of the child, and the court may not place a child in the custody of a parent who presents a substantial risk of harm to that child. The amendment requires the court to state on the record how such findings were factored into the determination.
Attorney For Child Will be Required to Take Domestic Violence Training
Laws of 2009, Ch 476, § 1 amended Family Court Act 249-b to require the Chief Administrator of the Courts to provide for the development of training programs which include the dynamics of domestic violence and its effect on victims and on children, and the relationship between such dynamics and the issues considered by the court, including, but not limited to, custody, visitation and child support and requires that all attorneys for children, including new and veteran attorneys, receive initial and ongoing training as provided for in this section.