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Divorce Litigation Guide Part 5: Children and Litigation Issues in Child Custody and Divorce Cases

Child Custody and Divorce CasesDivorces are never easy, but they’re extra tough when you need to consider the best interests of your children too. When figuring out how to take the next step in your life with a divorce attorney, it is essential to consider the complexities that can arise when parenting time, visitation rights, and custody issues come into play. This article summarizes some of the issues that Darren Shapiro has written about involving child and divorce litigation over the years.

In most circumstances, children are unwitting parties in the divorce process. Many clients attempt to keep their children out of the litigation experience as much as possible. However, arguments that happen in court can often spill out into other parts of your life.

Child Custody Issues and Litigation

In many cases, children will resist the idea that their parents are splitting up. Some children take the side of one parent over another, which can make it harder for you to proceed with your divorce experience. Mr. Darren M. Shapiro often recommends looking into family counseling and therapy to help with this process.

Having a therapy option for your child might be particularly important if the judge in a litigation proceeding wants to consider the wishes of a child when discussing visitation and parenting rights. If a child is mature enough to deliver an opinion on child custody agreements, then they may need help from a therapist to articulate their thoughts. It’s worth noting, of course, that the courts will always base the decisions on the child’s best interests. This will involve considering all of the information available.

Once the court issues a decision about child custody and visitation rights, children will be required to adhere to that agreement. If the court determines that a non-custodial spouse should have parenting time, for instance, then child will need to follow that. If the court-imposed guidelines aren’t followed, then the courts may need to consider various actions, including ordering therapeutic visitation, and make-up time. In extreme cases, child support might be suspended or terminated.

In most cases, the visitation options imposed by the courts of Long Island and New York will be an order directed for both parents to follow. This means that if a child doesn’t comply with the order, then legal consequences may occur. It is only in very rare circumstances that the courts will decide that the child doesn’t need to comply with a custody order.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, the courts may have said that children didn’t need to comply with orders when they considered that a visitation from a parent would put that child at risk of contamination or infection. Routine cases regarding parenting time, custody, and child support were not deemed “essential” in the pandemic when the courts were initially closed. However, visitation and child custody issues are sometimes seen as an emergency if the child’s safety is at risk.

Claiming Dependents in Divorce Cases

It’s not just parenting and visitation time issues that come in in divorce cases that include children. Sometimes, when parents are involved in a divorce, they also need to determine what the guidelines are going to be for things like tax liabilities. The option to say that a child is a dependent on a tax form may affect the tax requirements of a party.

Mr. Shapiro is not a tax attorney or a professional with extensive tax knowledge. However, he can share some insights into the fundamentals of tax law that many divorce attorneys are aware of. For instance, it’s only possible for one person to claim a child on their tax return. However, in some cases, a custodial parent will wave their right to these benefits. If there are multiple children involved in a marriage, then the parties might decide to agree on how they’re going to share the credits that are available to them. Certain cases may require the courts to make this decision during a litigation process.

In situations where the parent with custody over the child agrees that the non-custodial party can claim the child as a dependent, they can provide the right tax forms to authorize this. In circumstances where there are no written declarations that dictate which parents should claim for the children, and issues aren’t raise during a divorce decree, tie-breaker rules are available. These rules determine which parent should claim for a child.

In most circumstances, the IRS will look at the length of time a child has spent living with each parent when deciding who should be able to claim for the year. In the case where a child might have lived with both individuals for an equal period of time, the parties might wish to decide whether they can come to a decision about the highest adjusted income that’s available between the two parties. The person with the highest income might want to claim the dependent to reduce expenses.

If you have concerns or questions about child visitation, custody, and parenting times, then it’s important to make sure that you can get guidance from the right lawyer or attorney. Mr. Darren M. Shapiro offers litigation or mediation sessions to people in search of solutions for divorce, child custody and parenting time cases. You can check out his blogs on this website or reach out for specialist support on your specific case.

Contact Mr. Shapiro’s office through the online contact form today to arrange your initial consultation session. Up to the first 30 minutes is free. You can also reach out over the phone.

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