If you are experiencing family law issues, contact Queens Family Lawyers for a FREE consultation and case evaluation. Our highly experienced family law attorneys will put you on the right track for a successful case. We take pride in delivering one-on-one attention to clients that few firms can match. We are always available to answer questions and explain your options, such as: child custody, child support, child visitation, violation of visitation orders, ACS cases, Restraining Orders, neglect cases, abuse cases, guardianship and all other family court cases. We prep you for hearings and trial and explaining what to do and what NOT to do during your case.
Our mission is to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible – in order to save you time and money. We will guide you through the way courts make custody decisions for your children, visitation issues, which parent will have final decision making authority for your children, the ability to settle your case without protracted litigation, and many other issues. The way your family law case proceeds from the start can have a profound effect on the outcome of your case. Make the right choice from the start to obtain the best chance of success.
We proudly serve clients in Astoria, Long Island City, Ditmars, Woodside, Flushing, Bayside, Rego Park, Jackson Heights, Corona, Jamaica, Elmhurst, Kew Gardens, Whitestone, College Point, Bay Terrace, Great Neck, Kings Point, Port Washington, and all areas of Queens.
In Queens NY, there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody concerns decision authority over your children. Physical custody or residential custody concerns the parent that the children will primarily be living with. This parent is referred to as the custodial parent
Custody determinations are based on the “best interest of the child.” In a custody dispute, the court will evaluate the child and the parents to determine who will best meet the needs of the child. Court will consider the age of the child, and other factors such as, which parent spends time doing homework with the child, the habits of each parent, allegations of abuse, the level of responsibility of each parent, etc. Often, the child will be appointed an attorney by the court. If the child tells his/her attorney that he/she would rather stay with a certain parent—the court will give great weight to the child’s request. Generally, courts will provide joint legal custody to parents, which gives both parents a say in how their children are raised.
Contact Queens Family Lawyers to learn more.
Child support is crucial to the care and upbringing of children. Queens courts provide for two types of child support: basic support and support for add-on expenses. (“add-ons”).
Courts in Queens calculate basic child support using the child support formula that is explained more fully below. Add-ons are additional payments for certain expenses.
Mandatory add-ons, include, health insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical or dental expenses, and day care expenses. In some cases, additional add-ons will be required, such as after school programs, tutoring, summer camp, and other extra-curricular activities. These are determined on a case by case basis upon considering the parties’ income to cover these expenses and the specific needs of the child.
The amount of basic child support is based on a mathematical formula that incorporates the combined income of the parents and the number of children. Child support will be paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. As noted above, if parents equally share physical custody 50/50, generally the less monied parent will receive child support payments from the monied parent (the parent who has lower income.) In addition, the non-custody parent will be required to pay a portion of the add-ons. This is known as the parent’s pro-rata share of add-ons. Add-on expenses can include items such as child care cost, summer camp, and afterschool programs.
During a divorce action the court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support upon receiving a child support application (motion for child support.) Once the divorce is finalized the non-custodial parent will continue to pay, unless there is a change of circumstances. If the parent’s income increases or decreases by at least 15%, an application for an upward or downward modification of child support can be made.
Contact Queens Family Lawyers to learn more about child support.
The formula that Queens courts use to calculate basic child support is as follows:
1. Determine both parent’s adjusted gross income by subtracting Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes (FICA taxes), and NYC local taxes/Yonkers taxes from gross income. Note, other federal and state taxes are not subtracted.
2. Add both parents adjusted gross income to obtain their combined income (up to the statutory income cap, which increases each year.)
3. Depending on the number of children, the combined income will be multiplied by 17% (for one child), 25% (for two children), 29% (for three children), 31% (for four children), 35% (for five or more children). This gives you the basic support amount.
4. Next it must be determined how much the non-custodial parent must pay, known as the pro-rata share. To determine the non-custodial parent’s pro-rata share, divide the noncustodial parent’s income by the combined income. This gives the pro-rata share.
5. Multiply the basic support amount by the pro-rata share to determine the amount of child support that must be paid.
6. Maintenance payments will affect the amount of child support paid. If the noncustodial parent is paying maintenance, the maintenance payments are subtracted from their income and added to the custodial parent’s income. This will reduce the custodial parents’ pro-rata share during the time maintenance is paid.
7. Courts can deviate from the support formula for a variety of reasons. Courts can instruct a well-off parent to pay greater amounts above the statutory income cap. Courts can also reduce the amount of payments due to sickness, disability, and/or poverty issues. If a parent is working below his or her earnings capacity, income may be “imputed” to the parent, based on their work history, education, and ability to earn. If a parent is receiving free-housing or other benefits, this may be imputed as income by the court. These issues should be explored by your divorce attorney and reported to the court when applicable, so that fair and just child support is paid.
Contact Queens Family Lawyers to learn more about calculating child support in your specific case.
What To Do When a Spouse Refuses to Work?
If your ex-partner is intentionally working below his or her earnings capacity, income may be “imputed” to your ex-partner. This will require your attorney to demonstrate to the Queens court that your ex-partner is voluntarily making less money to reduce child support payments.
Queens Family Lawyers develop a close working relationship with clients, in order to ensure that they receive a just and equitable outcome in their family law case.
In most cases in Queens, the non-custodial parent will be afforded generous visitation, unless improper conduct arises during visits, such as neglect, abuse, or other harmful actions.
Child visitation is an area that causes disputes in many cases in Queens. During visitation periods, some parents engage in activity called “alienation.” This concerns efforts by a parent to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child. This can include not allowing a child to talk to the other parent during visits, bad mouthing the other parent in front of the child, not allowing phone calls with other parent during visitation, monitoring phone calls, manipulating the child to dislike the other parent, and instructing the child to say harmful things to the other parent, such as, “I don’t love you.”
Queens Family Lawyers is well experienced to handle these situations expeditiously by filing petitions to stop the practice.
Alienation is taken extremely seriously by courts in Queens because it jeopardizes the parent-child relationship and can cause emotional harm to children. Repeat offenders are often severely punished, Queens courts may terminate the offending parents visitation rights or award custody to the non-offending parent.
Queens courts encourage liberal phone use between parents and children – including during visitation periods. In the event your children report monitoring of phone calls, turning off the phone, bad mouthing, or other improper conduct—inform your attorney so that action can be taken, including the filing of a motion to modify visitation and/or custody orders.
Contact Queens Family Lawyers to learn more about alienation.
The holidays should be a time of enjoyment with family. However, it can be a time when emotions run high and parents attempt to “weaponize” the children to antagonize their ex-spouse. Disputes can arise as to which parent spends Christmas with the children, New Year’s, and other special days. To avoid this, Queens Family Lawyers provide detailed visitation schedules in settlement agreements, to include specific holidays for visitation, drop off and pick up times, and other provisions that make crystal clear where the children are to be during the holidays.
Refusal to Abide By Court Orders
Unfortunately, there are parents that refuse to follow the rules and choose to violate visitation orders and settlement agreements. In these instances, we have several options to cure the misconduct of an offending parent in Queens, such as filing a habeas corpus writ to have the children immediately returned, as well as filing a Motion for Contempt of Court that may be punishable by fines and imprisonment.
There are instances where drastic measures must be imposed to get a parent to comply with custody and visitation orders – this may include fines and imprisonment. Some parents simply refuse to follow the rules and require putative measures be imposed before they choose to behave correctly. Queens Family Lawyers are well equipped to handle these situations – to quickly return your children to you so that your holiday plans are not ruined by a recalcitrant parent.
We understand the immense emotional and financial burden that litigation can cause. Accordingly, we do our best to amicably resolve disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the majority of our cases, we are able to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement agreement that can concern issues of child custody, visitation and other issues required to resolve the case.
Contact Queens Family Lawyers to learn how we can help you draft a Settlement Agreement in an effort to resolve your dispute.
Queens Family Lawyers has extensive experience negotiating and mediating a wide variety of disputes – in an effort to resolve your case without protracted litigation.
While drafting the settlement agreement we work with you to ensure that your requirements are met. Thereafter, we negotiate with opposing counsel in an effort to come to a resolution. Sometimes mediation sessions are required to get the parties to come to terms – so that a settlement agreement can be entered into.
Settlement agreements have the tremendous advantage of certainty. At trial you don’t know how the judge will rule. Often parties prefer to control their fate through negotiations.
Contact Queens Family Lawyers to learn how we can assist you with a Settlement Agreement, Negotiation & Mediation.
Not all cases settle. In the event your case does not settle, we will go to trial. At trial, our experienced Queens Family Lawyers will present witnesses and evidence to demonstrate to the court that our desired outcome should be granted. You will likely be called to testify at trial. In a case involving children, your children’s appointed lawyer will present evidence at trial on behalf of your children, such as the child’s requested living arrangement.
A trial date will be set if your case does not settle – it can take months for the court to schedule a trial date, depending on the court’s calendar.
Prior to trial significant preparation will need to be performed by your Queens Family Lawyer, such as gathering evidence to prove contested issues and compiling your list of witnesses that will be called to testify at trial. We will prepare you for all aspects of trial – to include answering questions, your testimony, and other issues that may come up at trial.
At trial, the court has the power to decide all issues, including, child custody and visitation, child support amounts, and all other aspects of your case.
Trial can be stressful, but sometimes it is unavoidable if your spouse makes unreasonable settlement demands. You should always be prepared to go to trial in the event settlement negotiations fall apart.
Queens Family Lawyers are experienced trial attorneys that help put the odds of success in your favor.
We strive to provide the highest level of legal service to our clients, and go above and beyond the call of duty. Queens Family Lawyers is a veteran owned business. One of the founding partners of the firm, Derrick Storms, Esq., is a former United States Marine, who served during the Iraq War.
Our commitment to clients is to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible price. We do our best to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Thank you for considering Queens Family Lawyers.
A child custody case can cost approximately $6,500, but can vary depending on the complexity of your case and the number of issues in dispute. Although we always try to negotiate a settlement, if the case progresses to trial, costs will increase. An experienced divorce attorney is essential in a highly contested divorce.
*Please keep in mind that these costs are all speculative and may vary, depending on the circumstances. In situations where your adversary makes unreasonable demands – additional court time & costs will incur.
Call Solomos & Storms, PLLC to discuss your case for a specific price quote.
Child custody is determined based on the “best interest of the child.” The court will look at the child’s age, needs, wishes to live with a certain parent, activities and other issues – and then determine which parent is best able to meet the child’s needs. Often, for school age children the court will consider which parent is best able to help the child with homework, preparing for test, a healthy routine, extra-curricular activities, as well as which parent will help the child overcome any disabilities or other issues. Contact Solomos & Storms, PLLC to learn more about how court’s make custody decisions in your particular case.
No, a family court trial in Queens is held in front of a judge. This is referred to as a bench trial, where the judge, not a jury, decides on the outcomes of various aspects of the family court case.
People often wonder who pays child support when you separate from your partner. A lot of people assume that the father automatically pays child support. This is not so. A mother may be required to pay child support, depending on certain circumstances, such as which parent has residential custody and the incomes of the parents. Child support is determined by a formula enacted by the New York Legislature that takes the parents’ incomes into account.
The NYS Legislature has enacted a formula which judges use as a guideline to calculate which parent pays how much child support. A Family Court Judge may also use their own discretion to decide the amount and which parent pays.
Some of the factors the court may use to determine who pays how much are which parent has custody of the child, which parent makes more money, and living expenses, to name a few. In the end, the court will decide the financial responsibilities of each parent when it comes to paying child support in Queens.
Queens Family Court is located at 151-20 Jamaica Ave, Queens, NY 11432.
Generally, yes. In Queens Family Court you typically have to attend every appearance. There may be times your lawyer can go to court without you. It is best if you attend as many court dates as possible to keep abreast of the goings on in your case, and to assist in it as well. No one knows your circumstances better than you do – you have lived through them. You Queens Family Court lawyer welcomes your insights and input into the case.
Queens Family Lawyers provides legal services for all areas of Queens, to include, Astoria, Ditmars, Long Island City, Flushing, Middle Village, Woodside, Rego Park, Elmhurst, Jamaica, Corona, Whitestone, Bay Side, and all other areas in Queens.
33-08 Broadway, Queens, NY 11106
you can be assured that:
You will receive one on one personal attention in your Queens Family Court Case.
We have over 40 years combined family law experience in Astoria, Queens. We are the locals that know the ropes!
You are extremely important to us, which is why your calls will always be returned as a priority.
We are well known and well respected amongst locals in Astoria. We’ve been here a long time, and we’ll be here for you!
We can help you settle your matter without going to court, if it’s appropriate, or go into battle on your behalf. We are trial tested.