White Plains Family Law Attorney

Matters relating to family law are usually intricate and emotionally draining. Our White Plains, NY family law attorneys at Douglas Family Law Group help relieve the burden on our clients. We offer vigorous and strategic counsel during all stages of your family law case.

If you are currently undergoing divorce proceedings or require legal aid with any other aspect of family law from maintenance to child custody, you should reach out to us. Contact our White Plains lawyers at 914-615-9058 to arrange a consultation to learn more about your situation and possible legal options.

Table of Contents

Child Custody

In New York, child custody provisions are based on the best interest of the child. Courts generally favor agreements that enable every parent to take part in the nurturing of the child, though not equally at times.

How Is Child Custody Decided by New York Family Court?

The family courts in New York must take into account various factors when drafting, ratifying, or modifying the child custody contract to ascertain that the arrangement benefits the child. Before custody is awarded, the court will consider:

  • The child’s basic wants and needs
  • The relationship of the child with one or both parents
  • The financial situation of each spouse
  • The wishes of the parent(s) for custody
  • The ability of every parent to be in the day-to-day life of the child
  • The permanency of each parent’s residence.


How is child custody decided by NY Family Court | Douglas Family Law

Can We Draft a Child Custody Plan Without Involving the Court in New York?

Yes, you can. In New York, parents are given room to find a middle ground regarding custody without needing to go to court. Parents can plan a child custody guideline by themselves or with the aid of a White Plains family law attorney, but the court must assess it to ascertain that it serves the welfare of the child(ren).

What If Parents Can’t Agree on All Facets of Child Custody in New York?

There are scenarios whereby the parents are unable to find common ground on any aspect of custody. In such circumstances, it will be in the purview of the court to decide both physical and legal custody of the child(ren).

Traversing the child custody waters in New York can be confusing and exhausting, but the White Plains, NY child custody attorneys at Douglas Family Law Group can assist you to review all your options and figure out the best legal recourse for you.

Child Support

Child support is another major issue that must be addressed if you are legally separating from your spouse and have minor children. Child support statutes in New York aim to meet the material wants of the child(ren).

White Plains Child Support

What Is Child Support?

This is the money paid by one parent to the other and is intended to provide financial support to the child(ren). Child support payments are usually paid to the custodial parent, however, this depends on your unique circumstances.

How Is Child Support Determined in New York?

The family courts in New York use parameters set up by the state to decide the amount of child support to be received or paid.

First off, the court will review the combined net income of both spouses and then use the amount as a template to compute what percentage of the income should be assigned to supporting your child(ren), also referred to as the basic child support responsibility.

Once the court has computed the combined income of both spouses, it will then evaluate the amount that the parent paying the child support will contribute to that figure together with the basic child support responsibility to establish the amount they are expected to shell out.

White Plains Child Support calculation

What If My Financial Circumstances Change?

If you are the one paying child support and you experience a considerable change in your financial situation, the court can give you the leeway for a child support modification, which can alter the amount of child support you have to shell out.

Our expert team of White Plains, NY child support lawyers at Douglas Family Law Group can help navigate you through the entire process and ensure that you get a child support verdict that favors your situation and sufficiently caters to the welfare of your child. Reach out to us at 914-615-9058 to arrange an appointment and find out more about your legal rights and how we can help protect them.

Parenting Plans

This is an agreement drafted by two parents who are divorced or legally separated. It is a written contract between the separated parents that outlines their responsibilities and rights regarding the welfare of the child(ren). A parenting plan is also meant to prevent any likely future conflict.

How Do Parenting Time Guidelines Work in New York?

Parents in New York have legal precedence to pursue custody in addition to visitation rights with their child(ren). Child custody verdicts in New York are often gender-neutral, meaning that both mothers and fathers have supposed equal rights with regard to visitation and custody.

White Plains Family Law

Elements in Parenting Plans in New York?

Child custody statutes in New York mandate that these elements be incorporated in a parenting agreement:

  • A roster indicating the living arrangements of the child(ren)(physical custody).
  • A catalog outlining the particular needs of every child over the years.
  • A listing and report of decision-making permissions of parents (legal custody) as well as its constituents like healthcare, education, etc.
  • A description of the daily responsibilities of every parent together with realistic considerations of the daily lives of children.
  • A plan detailing parental actions and de-escalation steps directed at diminishing conflicts between the separated parents
  • Vocalization of certain remedies when one parent isn’t compliant with the parenting agreement.
  • A dispute resolution framework to follow if and when disputes arise over time.

Do I Need a Parenting Time Attorney, and How Can They Help?

If you and your partner have decided to separate or get a divorce and minor children are in the picture, you’ll want to enlist a family law attorney to guide you through your available options. The attorney will also give you ample representation you require to devise a parenting plan that works for you.

Parenting arrangements should ideally be structured to suit the exact needs, objectives, and situations of every family. At Douglas Family Law Group, our skilled team of White Plains divorce lawyers will assist you to draft a parenting plan that caters to the welfare of your child(ren). Contact us at 914-615-9058 to find out more.


Surrogacy is the process of carrying a pregnancy for intended parents who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy themselves. While surrogacy is legal in many states in the United States, New York was one of the last states to legalize it, only doing so in 2021. Prior to this, surrogacy agreements were deemed illegal and unenforceable in New York State.

The new law, known as the Child-Parent Security Act, allows for compensated surrogacy agreements and provides legal protections for intended parents and surrogates. The law requires that all parties involved in the surrogacy agreement have independent legal representation, and it establishes requirements for medical and mental health evaluations for surrogates. It also sets guidelines for how surrogacy contracts should be drafted and what they should cover.

The legalization of surrogacy in New York has been welcomed by many who see it as a way to help families struggling with infertility or other medical conditions that prevent them from carrying a pregnancy. However, some opponents of surrogacy argue that it commodifies the human body and can exploit vulnerable women.

Prenuptial Agreement

Marriage isn’t just an emotional connection, but it’s also financially and legally binding too. Regardless of how sure you are about the longevity of your marriage, nobody knows what will happen in the future. Having a prenuptial agreement can assist mitigate some of the anxiety affiliated with the possible dissolution of the marriage.

What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?

Better known as a prenup, a prenuptial agreement is a written contract by two partners looking to wed. It may encompass various aspects including how marital property will be divided in the event of a divorce and may even stipulate the maintenance to be paid by one partner in the event of a separation or divorce.

Prenup agreement White Plains, NY

What Are the Benefits of Having a Prenuptial Agreement?

Prenuptial agreements are beneficial to both parties as it stipulates their financial obligations during the marriage and after the separation. Some of the benefits of getting a prenup include:

  • It assists forming an estate plan
  • It assists in clearly outlining what is communal property and separate property
  • It assists structure a plan in the event the marriage doesn’t work
  • It helps mitigate future strife.

What Should Our Agreement Include?

Couples in New York are allowed to outline the following in their premarital agreement:

  • The choice of law overseeing the prenup
  • The next of kin to a death benefit arising from life insurance coverage
  • Spousal maintenance in case of separation or divorce
  • The nature of property in case of death, separation, divorce, etc.
  • The right to oversee, control, and transfer property
  • The right to contribute to a partner’s retirement strategy
  • The establishment of a will, trust, or other mechanisms to facilitate the specifications in the agreement
  • The responsibility and rights of every party to any property or assets owned by one or both parties
  • Any other issue, including their responsibilities and rights.

Note: No prerequisite of the premarital agreement may infringe on public policy or the law. What’s more, the agreement can in no way affect child support, and any specification for child custody must be subjected to judicial evaluation.

Why Should I Hire a Prenuptial Agreement Attorney?

When you have a prenuptial agreement attorney at your corner, it can go a long way in helping you understand the fine print of your contract. The attorney will examine the nitty-gritty of the contract to ensure they aren’t invalidated by a court.

Moreover, there are certain languages that you may be inclined to incorporate in the prenuptial agreement that is not allowed by the court. A seasoned prenuptial agreement attorney is versed with the terms that are prohibited and can assist you to avoid this pitfall.

If you are thinking about getting a prenuptial agreement in White Plains, NY, you’ll want to reach out to our skilled legal team of divorce attorneys at Douglas Family Law Group. Get in touch with us now at 914-615-9058 to arrange an appointment where we can go over your case and answer any questions you may have.

Post Judgment Modifications

Post-judgment modifications occur when there has been an adjustment in circumstances following a divorce, thus necessitating modification of spousal and child support orders, visitation orders, custody orders, etc. Post-judgment modifications are usually awarded when there has been a considerable change in the circumstances of the divorcing couple.

What Is a Post-Judgment Modifications Attorney?

A post-judgment modification attorney is an expert that can assist you to gather requisite financial documents detailing the reason the court should modify its orders. A post-judgment modification attorney can also assist with maintenance orders, child support orders, new parenting plans, relocation cases, etc.

Why Should I Hire a Divorce Modifications Attorney?

Modifying a divorce decree in New York can be very time-consuming. You may believe that a suggested modification request is warranted, however, it a judge will need to give the nod before it is enforceable.

A divorce modification attorney can assist you to understand if it is in your interest to file a modification appeal. An attorney will also stipulate what is needed to increase the chances of the court making a verdict in your favor.

If you believe that the circumstances have altered and warrant a medication in the fine print of the divorce order, you can request a post-judgment modification. The skilled legal team at Douglas Family Group in White Plains, NY can assist you through the post-judgment modification process.

Contact us now at 914-615-9058 to discuss your options.


Committed romantic partners who have been together for a long time in New York are choosing not to get married. Although there are no common law marriage statutes in New York, and cohabitating doesn’t initiate any financial rights or obligations, unmarried couples can choose to draft a cohabitation agreement.

What Is a Cohabitation Agreement and When Should I Draw One Up?

This is a contract between two romantically involved partners detailing their living arrangements.

It is basically a legal document that’s often between unmarried partners that have decided to move in together.

The contract is therefore recommended to any romantic partners that want to move in together. It highlights the terms and conditions of their residing in the same house and the financial responsibilities affiliated with anything that comes after that. Therefore, it serves to safeguard both parties’ interests.

What Happens Should We Decide to Marry?

If you eventually decide to marry, you can revise the terms of the cohabitation agreement so that it highlights your wants should the married come to an end or simply decide to terminate the agreement.

Cohabitation to marriage in White Plains

Do Cohabiting Couples Have the Same Rights as Married People?

Cohabitating couples in New York are generally not accorded the same rights as married individuals. Particularly, these partners may not have grounds to demand property obtained during the relationship. It is the situation since marital property laws are only applicable to married couples so it doesn’t matter how long the relationship was.

To make your cohabitation agreement process a breeze, reach out to Douglas Family Law Group in White Plains, NY now. We will watch out for your interests and guide you through the stress of drawing up a cohabitation agreement.

Consult with a White Plains Family Law Attorney!

Matters associated with family law are usually high-stake both financially and personally. If you are dealing with a separation, divorce, child support, or any family issue in New York, you’ll want a skilled law firm that is versed in all facets of family law claims.

The White Plains, NY family law lawyers at Douglas Family Law Group offer effective and efficient family law solutions that always benefit our clients. Our attorneys are sympathetic to the situation and will apply their expertise to protect your rights.

Contact us now at 914-615-9058 to arrange a no-cost consultation and case review!

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