An uncontested divorce is still possible with kids involved.
Child custody, visitation and support in uncontested divorces
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended to show general principles, and should not be relied upon for decision making without consultation with an experienced Divorce Lawyer or Family Law attorney as to your particular situation. Contact via email does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Because child support in New York is quite complex, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced divorce and family law attorney.
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Even though a couple has children they can still obtain a fast, uncontested divorce. Spouses will need to decide and be in complete agreement about custody, visitation and child support. While the attorney will need to prepare additional paperwork, a stipulation of settlement will be the only additional paper you will have to deal with.
Custody and visitation will generally not be an issue if spouses get along well enough for an uncontested divorce. A typical stipulation includes a provision that one spouse (usually the wife) will have custody of the child or children and the other spouse (typically the husband) will get “liberal visitation away from the marital residence” or similar wording.
Some cases require a very complex schedule of visitations that includes how weekends, holidays, school breaks, midweek visits, telephone access, etc. will be handled. This is unusual in an uncontested divorce however.
The noncustodial parent may want to consider adding a “radius clause” that states that the parties agree that the custodial parent cannot relocate with the child or children more than a specified number of miles away without either a court order or written consent of the noncustodial parent. Given today’s economy, America continues to be a mobile society and people are more likely to move for job opportunities than in years past.
Child Custody and Visitation Issues in an Uncontested Divorce
Registry Checks in Connection with Custody and Visitation
New York Courts are required to check certain database registries before they can enter any order involving custody or visitation of minor children. This requirement is enforced even in uncontested divorces. These registries include:
•Sex abuse registries •Orders of protection •Child neglect and abuse registries
If spouses have common names it is possible that there will be a “hit” arising from the record of someone with the same name. In this case the Court has to investigate further. Some courts will require the party (parties) appear in Court to prove they are not the subject of the “hit”, Other courts will often accept a written and sworn affidavit.
If one or both spouses are the subject of a bona fide “hit” then the court will have to be persuaded that the agreement for custody and visitation is both safe and in the best interests of the children. In the case of a “hit’ the case is technically no longer an uncontested divorce and there will likely be some delay in the divorce going through, at least one court appearance, and additional costs incurred. Unfortunately, all New York State courts are required to follow this new law.
Uncontested Divorce and Child Support
New York courts utilize a formula to determine the amount of child support. Parties are largely free to deviate from the formula and to determine the amount of support that satisfies both parties with some limitations. The courts will usually not approve a divorce where there is an order for zero child support. If the parties decide to deviate from the formula guidelines they are required to show complete and accurate calculations of the proposed support as well as a reasonable explanation for deviating from the standard formula. Courts are less likely to question payments for child support that exceed the guideline amounts than they are to question payments of a lesser amount.