The LGBT Network is honoring David Mejias of the law firm Mejias Milgrim & Alvarado at the 2016 LGBT Network “Studio 54” Gala on Wednesday, May 4th for both his life-long commitment to LGBT equality and his tireless support of the LGBT Network. As a family law attorney and Nassau County Legislator, David has led efforts to keep the children in our community safe. In honor of his efforts, the proceeds from the 2016 LGBT Network Gala will directly support the Network’s “Safe Schools Initiative,” which seeks to create safer schools for LGBT youth across Long Island and Queens through anti-bullying and youth empowerment programs. This year’s “Studio 54” Gala will feature disco tunes, dancing, and lounge seating with a cocktail party format. The program will be just 20 minutes, so guests can mix, mingle, and hit the dance floor. Join the LGBT Network in honoring David Mejias as we “boogie down against bullying.”
Divorce and remarriage was once a major faux pas. Interestingly enough, today it is common to meet people who have been married two or three times, and our culture is completely comfortable with it. Having multiple marriages really doesn’t shock people anymore. But statistics show that these people who are marrying multiple times are more likely to end their current marriage, and remarry once again. According to an article in TIME Magazine, “Statistics show that more second marriages break up than first ones and more third marriages — about 75% — break up than second ones.” I guess once forever isn’t forever, it’s easy to say, “Never mind, I’m getting sick of you.”
Though the divorce rate has been decreasing from 50% in recent years, there still remains the issue of “serial marriers.” Serial marriers are people, who have been married and divorced over and over, never maintaining a long, healthy marriage. A great example of someone you might consider a “serial marrier” is Larry King. Marrying 8 people in just 45 years, Larry King has earned a spot in the divorce hall of fame. People would argue that 8 marriages is way too many in a lifetime, but really, how many marriages forces you over that line of acceptability?
It is completely plausible for someone to have married three times in their life due to unexpected circumstance. So when is it too much? According to psychologists, a serial marrier is someone who has been married 5 or more times. It is assumed that serial marriers have psychological issues that play into their multiple marriages. Do we cut people off at four weddings, and force them to get therapy if they try to walk down the aisle a fifth time?
Laws do not regulate morality, so legally nothing can be done to prevent someone from entering into too many marriages. But it is interesting to think about whether or not a regulation on how many marriage certificates can be issued to one person would be supported. I guess you can’t put a limit on “love.”
The President’s messaging was, by and large spot on, especially the need for both sides of the political aisle to review their rhetoric and ask whether their language aids in ensuring a better state of the union. The problem for the President is that he seems unable to inspire a nation. It is not sufficient to be bright, which he clearly is, or cogent, of which there is little doubt. But his inability to resonate with the vast number of Americans ensured that few beyond political wonks were watching his address. He has become background noise to the national debate, doing little more than seeking to assert his legacy in the closing months of his administration as opposed to an inspiring leader who galvanizes the average citizen. He could, ironically, take lessons from Winston Churchill, a man Obama views as a reactionary colonial apologist, as to how to make oratory work to advance his political agenda. Alas, that lesson is now moot for this State of the Union.
I wanted to thank the Long Island Business News for their continued support throughout the years. Last night I was awarded with the LIBN Leadership in Law Award for my commitment to the Long Island community, and in particular, the Hispanic youth community. My passion for enriching the lives of young Hispanics in Nassau and Suffolk County has been a passion of mine since I was young. The joy of encouraging their engagement and participation in their own education and future, through internships and scholarships has brought so much positivity and fulfillment to my own life. Thank you to Long Island Business News for this encouraging award; I look forward to doing you proud and continuing to build a legacy bright future for Long Island’s tomorrow!
From Long Island Business News
As a Long Island family law attorney and managing partner of Mejias, Milgrim and Alvarado, Dave Mejias has been serving as a community leader within the Long Island Hispanic community for more than two decades, working tirelessly for the voices of his county and his heritage. He has championed the Long Island Hispanic community fighting for education and career opportunities. Dave is chairman of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association Community Service Fund and has helped raise more than thirty thousand dollars in scholarship money. As a Nassau County Legislator, he has led the effort to keep children safe from sex offenders by sponsoring the Megan’s Notification Law in New York State and wrote the legislation implementing residency restrictions for sex offenders. Please join me in awarding Dave Mejias as a Long Island Business News Leadership in Law Awardee.
When children are involved, your relationship with your spouse does not end upon divorce. You may have continued contact with your spouse regarding decisions affecting your children, parenting time and other parental responsibilities.
Custody of minor children involves two main components: a) Legal Custody which refers to major decisions that affect the children’s health and well being and b) Physical Custody which refers to the children’s primary residence. The parent who does not have physical custody of the children shall be entitled to parenting time with the children (also known as “visitation” or “parental access”).
FACTORS IN DETERMINING CUSTODY
The Court considers what is in the best interest of the child when determining custody, in which several factors are considered:
- Who has been the primary caretaker of the child
- The ability and willingness of each parent to care for the children
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
- Quality of home environment
- Parental guidance that can be provided by each parent
- The relationship of the child with his parents, siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child
- The child’s adjustment to the home, school and community
- The respect each parent accords for the parental rights of the other parent
- The willingness and ability of each parent to cooperate
- The ability of each parent to provide for the child’s economic, emotional and intellectual needs
- The suitability of parenting plans submitted by each party
Joint Legal Custody:
With joint legal custody, the parties have equal rights of decision making that affect the child. Joint legal custody grants both parents the right to make major decisions regarding a child. These decisions include but are not limited to medical and dental treatment, education, child care and religious upbringing. Unlike many other states, there is no presumption in New York that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child. Today, joint legal custody agreements are more common.
Joint legal custody does not mean joint physical custody. It is common for parents to agree to joint legal custody with the child residing primarily with one parent.
If the parties cannot agree on a joint legal custodial arrangement, then a court will determine whether there will be joint legal custody or whether one parent will have final say in the different spheres of decision-making.
Joint Physical Custody:
With joint physical custody, each parent has equal time with the child. This type of arrangement is less common. However, there are situations where parents agree to a joint physical custodial arrangement, such as when parents intend to reside in the same school district and the parents have a good working relationship with one another.
Sole Physical Custody:
If the parents cannot agree on physical or legal custody, then a court will make a determination as to which parent should have sole physical and legal custody. A law guardian, who is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the child, will be retained by the parties. The law guardian’s role is to be an advocate for your child. In addition, if custody cannot be agreed upon by the parties, a court may also appoint a forensic psychologist or psychiatrist to help guide and assist the court in making a ruling on custody and parenting time.