The average person may not realize that the law is always changing, but the skilled attorneys at our firm make a practice of keeping up-to-date on new court cases and statutes. Our knowledgeable and court-tested legal team is ready to assist with all your family law needs, including but not limited to annulments and divorce, adoptions, domestic violence protection orders, spousal support, and issues involving child custody, visitation, support, neglect, abuse and juvenile delinquency.

Annulling a Marriage

An annulment may occur when a court determines that a marriage was invalid at its inception. In such a scenario, the marriage is voided or erased as if it never happened, although offspring of annulled marriages are legitimate and child custody and support laws still apply. Some of the more common reasons to seek an annulment include:

  • Bigamy
  • One or both spouses under the age of consent
  • Force or fraud induced the marriage
  • Undisclosed physical condition that materially affects the marriage
  • Incapacity of either party to consent to marriage
  • Prohibited marriage between certain family members

Filing for divorce, on the other hand, requires different, specific legal requirements. To begin, the party seeking a divorce must file a summons with notice and complaint for divorce in the county where at least one party resides. The other party is then formally served with the pleading via in-person delivery within 120 days of filing.

If the parties can agree to terms and do not require the intervention of a judge, they may sign a settlement agreement that will be presented to the court with the judgment for divorce. The divorce judgment thus orders division of assets and other terms of the parties’ settlement agreement.

Financial Support for Divorcing Parties

Spousal support is financial assistance that one party in a divorce pays the other to assist with living expenses. It is designed to help the lower wage-earning party maintain their household after divorce.

Spousal support payments during the divorce proceedings, which can take months or up to a year, are called “pendente lite,” or temporary, maintenance. This type of assistance lasts only until the establishment of a final judgment order, which may grant long-term support following the divorce.

Durational support may be granted after a divorce and ends when the parties agreement or divorce judgment stipulates, upon the death of either party, or if the recipient party cohabitates with another person or remarries. In some circumstances, maintenance may be non-durational, meaning not time limited, if the recipient is not expected to become self-supporting due to age or illness

Helping Children During Divorce

Child custody and visitation (often referred to as parenting time or custodial access) are paramount issues that must be decided during the divorce process. Both legal and physical custody must be assigned either jointly between the parents or solely to one parent. If primary physical custody is granted to one parent, the other parent would typically have a parenting schedule that enables them to spend time with their child.

Furthermore, parents have a legal obligation to financially support their offspring until the child is 21 years of age, unless they are “emancipated” by virtue of becoming self-supporting, getting married, or entering the military. A dedicated family lawyer in Rochester can help determine what amount you could expect to pay or receive each month in child support based on your family circumstances.

Other Potential Concerns


The procedure to adopt starts with an application by the prospective adopting parents and involves a petition to Family Court, home study, background check, and report from an approved agency if an agency is involved. Once prospective parents are approved by the court an adoption is finalized.

Protective Orders

Protective orders are meant to protect individuals who fear for their own safety or the safety of a child, often due to domestic violence. Also called restraining orders, these protections may be sought through the court and can order the perpetrator to stay away from and/or cease communicating with the victim, among other restrictions.

Call a Rochester Family Attorney for Help Today

Family law is a broad topic that includes many components. The law can be complex, and you may need a Rochester family lawyer from Tully Rinckey PLLC to help you understand how the law affects you.

A meeting with one of our knowledgeable attorneys can help guide you through whatever issues you might encounter. Call 8885294543 or email to set up an initial consultation and get started on your case.

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