COMPASSIONATE SOLUTIONS BASED ON EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES.
Family law matters that affect children can be some of the most stressful for families. Not all couples going through a breakup with children are married, but experience many of the same issues as divorcing couples. At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we aim to reduce this stress by taking effective and compassionate action for families throughout the Hudson Valley.
Our Poughkeepsie law firm handles a wide range of child-related family issues, including the ones listed below:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Step-parent adoption
We also represent clients in matters related to establishing, modifying and enforcing child custody, visitation and child support orders.
A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN
Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner takes a holistic approach to solving the legal challenges that affect children. This means that, when we take a case, we look at the entire picture to highlight potential sources of conflict and options for solutions. Our diverse backgrounds and extensive legal experience help us to do this.
We then develop a strategy for success. This strategy is based on years of experience in New York State courtrooms, including knowledge of the ways children are often affected by our states’ laws and courtroom procedures.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION
Although we do not offer free consultations, our consultations are exceptionally thorough. They help parents to understand — not just the law on family law in New York State — but the way that the law specifically applies in the situation at hand.
Once your situation is clarified, we take the time to develop options tailored to your specific family law needs. Each situation is unique, and our clients often find they have new options with the help of the experienced attorneys at Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner.
CUSTODY AND GUARDIANSHIPS
Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner are strong advocates while providing caring and compassionate legal representation for families facing legal issues related to child custody and guardianship. We have the knowledge and experience to help families obtain the best possible results in these areas.
When parents face a family law conflict, like a divorce, the effects of legal action on their children are often some of their greatest concerns. At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we understand. Our team of experienced attorneys works hard to protect the best interests of children in child custody matters — advocating strongly for parents in matters like visitation and relocation of a parent.
Our attorneys also protect children and family relationships by offering highly-qualified legal representation in the area of guardianships. We understand that families often face unique challenges, and that parents are sometimes unable to care for their children. Our attorneys take action to put guardianships in place and to protect parents’ rights to be with their children.
The lawyers at the Poughkeepsie law firm of Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner assist clients in a wide range of child support matters. We handle child support issues related to divorce. We also represent unmarried parents facing matters of child support in family court, as well those seeking modification or enforcement of an existing child support order.
HOW MUCH CHILD SUPPORT IN MY SITUATION?
New York State uses a set of guidelines (the Child Support Standards Act) to determine the amount of child support to be paid. While it is possible to use the guidelines yourself, working with a lawyer can reduce complications and protect your best interests. Particularly, if you or your spouse earns a high income, the guidelines may affect you differently. It is important to work with an experienced advocate who can do more than just do the arithmetic.
ENFORCEMENT AND COLLECTION OF CHILD SUPPORT
New York State offers child support collection services, but parents may also benefit from working with an experienced attorney to explore other collection options. At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we can work with you to create solutions that may not otherwise be available through state agencies. For example, many people do not know that it is possible to collect delinquent child support payments from a parent’s pension. You do have options and we can help.
Each marriage is different, but when the assets and income that formerly supported one household must be divided to support two, financial difficulties can arise. To ease the transition, a judge may award spousal maintenance (commonly called alimony) to be paid by one spouse to the other.
At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we have more than 90 combined years of experience in family law, and we have helped thousands of people resolve issues of spousal maintenance. Whether you are seeking alimony or are obligated to pay, we will work hard to ensure that you are treated fairly. Our goal is to help you achieve financial stability following divorce.
UNDERSTANDING ALIMONY IN NEW YORK STATE
In New York, there are two types of alimony (also referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance) that may be awarded in a divorce case.
Temporary maintenance: This type of alimony is paid while the divorce process is ongoing. The amount awarded is determined according to guidelines established in 2010. The guidelines are flexible, making it critical to work with an attorney who understands the law and can use it to make sure you do not overpay or to make sure that you receive the alimony to which you are entitled.
Permanent maintenance: This type of alimony is ordered as part of the final divorce judgment. Although it is called “permanent alimony,” the payments end if certain events take place, including remarriage of the receiving spouse. We also have statutory guidelines in place for determining post divorce or permanent alimony/maintenance.
Further, when determining permanent alimony, a judge may consider many factors, including:
- Each spouse’s age
- Each spouse’s education
- Income history and potential employment opportunities
- Length of marriage
GUIDING YOU THROUGH ENFORCEMENT AND MODIFICATION OF AN ORDER
As time passes and your needs change, an existing court order may no longer serve your best interests. Or, as time passes, an order that was once followed may be ignored. In either circumstance, it is best to seek a lawyer’s help with enforcement and modification proceedings.
At the Poughkeepsie law firm of Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we are dedicated to guiding clients through this process as effectively and smoothly as possible.
CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION
Orders of child custody and visitation are often some of the easiest to modify because courts recognize that family needs change as children grow. At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we can assist you through the process to make sure that everything goes smoothly in the interests of your children. Regardless of your situation, we can help. We also represent families with parents relocating within or outside of New York State. The law involving relocating presents significant challenges and requires particular expertise and experience which we have.
New York State will help parents enforce child support, but enforcement is often more effective with guidance from an experienced attorney. At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we often help our clients explore options that may not otherwise be available to them. We also represent parents accused of not paying child support.
Our experienced attorneys also represent parents in proceedings for modification of child support. We take a holistic approach to this work, and conduct a full analysis of the potential benefits, or sometimes drawbacks, of seeking a modification of child support.
In certain circumstances, alimony may be subject to enforcement or modification, but the work usually requires an experienced attorney.