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Do you have issues with a child support order, child custody or visitation rights in Buffalo, New York?


The Law Firm of  Riordan & Scalione is a family law  firm serving Buffalo and Western New York. For several years they have been representing clients in all types of family law cases.


Child Support Order - Buffalo, NY


Once child support is set, payments may be paid directly to the custodial parent or to the Support Collections Unit ("SCU"). SCU will then send the money to the custodial parent. Payments may be directly withdrawn from a salary in some cases.


If a person does not pay child support, a "violation petition" may be filed. The petition may ask the court to take action against that party. A hearing is then held to decide whether the respondent is indeed in violation. The support magistrate may enforce the order by ordering the SCU to take the payments directly from the respondent's paycheck, by ordering the respondent to pay a lump sum to reduce the amount of money owed to the custodial parent, or by taking other steps to collect the money owed, such as suspending the respondents driver's, professional, and business licenses. Additionally, a jail sentence of up to six months may be imposed.


If there is a change in circumstances – such as job loss, increased or decreased salary – both parties may petition to modify the order. The party seeking a change in the order must file a modification petition containing a statement explaining the change in circumstances. The court then holds a hearing to consider changing the order.


It is very important to have a family law attorney in Buffalo New York file to change the child support order if you lose all or part of your income. In New York state, arrears cannot be changed prior to the filing of the petition. That means that if you wait several months to file to change the order after you've lost your job, you will still be responsible for the ordered child support, even if you will have no way to pay. The courts will not be able to help you by relieving your responsibility for arrears prior to the filing of the petition, no matter the circumstances.


Child Custody - Buffalo, NY


Custody of a child can be generalized as having two components.  Those are legal custody and physical custody.  Legal custody refers to the power to make decisions on behalf of the child.  Such decisions may include (but are not limited to) decisions regarding the child's religious upbringing, medical needs and education.  Physical custody is simply a determination regarding with which parent the child will reside the majority of the time.


Where parents are litigating or otherwise attempting to resolve the issue of custody of a child, joint custody is often raised as a possible solution.  On its face, the term joint custody seems like a fair solution to many parents.  Many believe that if parents have joint custody of a child both parents will have equal parenting rights.  This is rarely the case.  In my experience, regardless of how close the time the child spends in the care of one parent or the other comes to being evenly balanced, one parent will have more parenting time than the other.  That parent will be considered by law to have physical custody of the child.  That parent will also be entitled to receive child support.  


Where parents share joint legal custody of a child, they must make joint decisions on behalf of the child regarding issues such as those mentioned above.  An obvious problem can and often does arise where two parents share joint legal custody of a child.  That is, when a decision must be made on the child's behalf and the parents don't agree.  For example, one parent may wish the child to attend public school and the other may wish the child to attend a private school.  Given the potential for such a stalemate, one parent will typically be designated as having "final decision making authority".  So, where an agreement cannot be reached, the parent with such authority has the final say.  Generally, the parent who has physical custody of the child will also be the parent to whom final decision making authority is entrusted.


It is of critical importance that parents seek the counsel of a family law attorney to fully understand the components of custody and the ramifications thereof before litigating or agreeing to any custody arrangement.  


Child Visitation Rights - Buffalo, NY


In most divorce proceedings, one parent is given custody (custodial) while the other parent is given visitation rights (non-custodial. During the final divorce agreement, a visitation schedule is usually prepared.

Normally a divorce would not keep a parent from never seeing their child. In fact, today there are many options available in planning a visitation arrangement that works for both the parents and the child. The non-custodial parent is usually guaranteed visitation rights unless the courts have ruled otherwise.


By allowing child visitation rights, the courts are granting the parents an opportunity to continue developing a healthy relationship with their children.  Should a change be needed involving the visitation schedule, it can be accomplished using a court order. A major change in circumstances is an example of a change to the schedule.


Should the two parents fail to reach an agreement on how they should share the time with their children, then the courts may be forced to decide on a visitation schedule. If the courts determine a schedule, they will be the ones who determine the times and places allowed for the visitation. Should the courts intervene, they could also decide to grant sole custody to one parent and block visitation to the other parent. This could occur if the court determines the child would be seriously endangered visiting with the non-custodial parent. It is always in your best interest to be represented by a family law attorney.


However, most courts prefer child development using access to both parents so the courts rarely prohibit visitation. But, the court may impose certain restrictions on child visitations such as requiring the visitation to be supervised by a third-party, or even require that it occur at a particular time and location.


Whether its a support order, child custody or visitation rights case in Buffalo, The Law Firm of Riordan & Scalione is here to help you. A breakup of a family can be a complex situation; therefore, it requires an experienced family law attorney in Buffalo, NY to help you through the difficulties of your situation.  We will make sure that you and your children get what you deserve.  But we also understand that a family matter involving your child can be highly emotional and stressful even under the best possible circumstances.  We understand that family law matters can be a very stressful time for your family.  That's why we guarantee that our office will not only provide excellent legal counsel, but also compassion.  We will listen.  We want to hear your story.   

 

We also know that your children are the most important people to you in this world.  We can help you with custody and visitation.  We can also help you to understand how child support works in New York State.

 

Family law matters comes in all shapes and sizes.  The relationship between the parting spouses varies widely. Many times, we can negotiate a highly favorable agreement for our clients without ever setting foot inside a courtroom.  But if court intervention becomes necessary to achieve the very best result for you, we will be there with you even through a trial if that is what it takes.  Moreover, if you would prefer to explore mediation, we can guide you through that process as well.  Going through a family breakup is a very trying time and the Law Firm of Riordan & Scalione is here to help you.


Why choose the law firm of  Riordan & Scalione over those big law firms that are advertising constantly and spend tens of thousands of dollars on TV? Most times at the larger law firms, your case will be passed off to a junior partner or even sometimes outsourced. You deserve better!  When you hire Mr. Riordan or Mr. Scalione as your real estate attorney, they will be there to fight for you.





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