Divorce Information from Divorce Attorney, Alexandra R. Lavinsky

Fighting for Child Custody can be a very traumatic for the entire family, including the children. As much as parents try to avoid including the children in their divorce, inevitably it so frequently happens. Parents may remain frustrated and upset by the outcome of litigation which can impact their visitation with the minor children. Often children feel the emotional stress of their parents and stop communicating their fears and concerns because they want to appease their parent's disdain for the other parent. I try to remind my clients that they chose this parent for their child(ren) and should take responsibility in that regard and that the Judges are not the personality police, and are not there to reprimand the parents, per se. Hearings when a Judge actually opines about their opinion of parenting disputes are few and far between, because they do not have time for an in -depth commentary and analysis of every case, and often feel that is not their appropriate role, unless forced to make a decision. Family law litigation often leaves litigants feeling unheard and unassisted.
Right of First Refusal: This occurs when a parent has the right, in the absence of the other parent, to take care of a child during the other party's custodial time. The Courts are very hesitant to grant this relief, especially in matters involving contested custody because of the communication required to accomplish this alternative. Parents who choose not to be together and who turn their cases over to the Courts have to realize that the Courts generally allow parents to raise their children as they see fit in their respective homes, and even if the other parent disagrees. The best alternative is to negotiate custody prior to things getting so contentious that there is no communication, leaving the Court to have to make parenting decisions for a child the Judge never met.
Prenuptial Agreements cannot include provisions for child custody and/or child support because the Court retains jurisdiction over these issues and the best interests of a minor child. The more interesting issue is the inclusion of provisions pertaining to unfertilized versus fertilized eggs. Often times if the parties have already participated in obtaining fertility intervention, they may have executed a contract that handles issues of ownership and therefore prior to either drafting a further agreement or litigation a prenuptial/postnuptial with such provisions, a determination is necessary as to if any other agreement exists as it pertains to the eggs and their retrieval.