top of page
The Decision to Divorce
In New York

Deciding whether or not to divorce or legally separate is one of the most difficult decisions for spouses to make, Once you decide to go forward, you will need to commence an action in New York Supreme Court.


It is important to know that you can still negotiate a settlement without the court’s involvement even after an action has been commenced.  The court does not get involved in your divorce unless someone requests that a Supreme Court judge be assigned to your case.  This request to assign a judge is referred to as a Request For Judicial Intervention.  (RJI)


Call us for a free divorce and child custody consultation: 631-777-3900

Child Custody

A child custody award is determined by a judge after trial or by an agreement of the parties.  The court’s decision to award custody is governed by “the best interests of the child.”  The child’s preference, depending on the child’s age, is but one factor in deciding best interests.  There are many possible custodial arrangements between parents.  The following are some important distinctions that can be useful during negotiations and divorce and custody trials.


Joint Custody:  is a custody arrangement to which parties can agree, usually prior to trial.  Joint custody can also be ordered by the court in the right circumstances.  True joint custody involves equal decision making by the parents.  Custody can be as creative as the parties are willing to agree.


The right to make decisions about the child’s life further defines child custody.  The right to make decisions dictates who will decide issues regarding to health and education decisions, issues of religion and welfare of the child.  The parents’ right to have final say on those important issues must be specifically stated and addressed in a custody agreement or court order.


Joint decision making exists where each parent has equal say in the decision making process on those affecting the child.  If the parents cannot reach an agreement, a third party is designated as the “tie breaker,” whether it is the child’s doctor, therapist, teacher or judge.


Joint decision making giving one parent final say allows both parents to discuss their different positions but allows one parent to have final say if the parents cannot reach an agreement.  This arrangement removes the third party decision maker from the process.  This wording applies where the parties cannot agree on a specific issue of Health, Education and Welfare.  An agreement or court order must specifically include the language regarding which parent has final say over which important, life altering event concerning the child.  Examples of specific issues that may require final say include choice of health care professional, type of medical treatment, therapy, religious instruction and observance, decisions involving education, choice of schools, tutors etc.


Sole custody to a specific parent.  Major decisions are decided by the parent awarded sole custody.  Day to day decisions are as a practical matter are made by the parent having visitation/parenting time with the child at at the time the day to day issues arise.


Residential custody is the official residence of the child.  In almost every case, child support is paid to the parent having residential custody.

Shared or joint residential custody implies equal parenting time.  This is true shared custody.


Let the skilled Matrimonial and Family Law Attorneys of the The Guttman Law Group LLP 631-777-3900 assist you with issues of custody and decision making.

New York Parents Duty to Support Children - Child Support - CSSA

New York Domestic Relations Law and the New York Family Court Act require parents to support their children with few exceptions until they attain the age of 21.  The following chart will assist divorcing parents in estimating the basic child support obligation:


The Child Support percentage in New York to determine the basic child support obligation is as follows



Number of Children                            Percentage


One Child                                            17%

Two Children                                       25%

Three Children                                    29%

Four Children                                      31%

Five or more children                          35%


We are here to answer your child support questions.  Call the expert Matrimonial and Family Law attorneys at the Guttman Law Group LLP

at 631-777-3900




We offer a free consultation to all new and prospective clients. 

Call 631-777-3900 to arrange a meeting.  We can also be reached via or online contact form.  We serve clients in Long Island and Queens and have since 1990.

Move Forward With A Parenting Or Support Plan

We offer a free consultation to all new and prospective clients.  Call 631-777-3900 to arrange a meeting.  We can also be reached via or online contact form.  We serve clients in Long Island and Queens and have since 1990.

bottom of page