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News about Divorce Law in New York State
Articles on New York Divorce Law
How Do I Get Certified Copies of My NY Divorce Papers?
April 22, 2017
Some might ask how do I get certified copies of my NY divorce papers? You can obtain these papers or any other Court Order of divorce judgment be going to the County Clerk Office in the county where the divorce occurred and was entered.
An opinion on Mediation by One of the many Top New York City Divorce Lawyers
April 22, 2017
Should I litigate my divorce or Mediate my New York Divorce case/
Mediating your divorce through mediation is a good alternative to trying your case in front of a Judge because spouses that can still remain civil have the opportunity to save a lot of money on New York City divorce lawyers. Here, a third party trained “mediator” helps you to reach a mutually acceptable agreement as to how to go about splitting up the assets which parties, how to ascertain who owes what and how much child support or spousal support, and such other issues as child custody and visitation. It is not safe to enter into mediation if one spouse is alleging domestic violence against the other spouse and it is not advisable, in my personal opinion, where one spouse knows more about the other spouse as the marital assets.
WHAT ARE GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE
April 22, 2017
What should I know before I see my divorce lawyer and what should I prepared to ask her or him?
The first thing that you should know is that in New York, when applying for a divorce, you are no longer required to claim that your spouse was somehow at fault in the divorce, or live separate and part for a year pursuant to a separation agreement. Absent egregious conduct, such as domestic abuse, which will be considered in any divorce case, no matter how it is filed, the Courts in my opinion would prefer not to hear about the affairs of your spouse, etc. any of those sort of complaints would only come to bear issues such as access and custody to the children, or marital waste. Rather the Court would prefer as a practical matter that you proceed by consenting to the grounds of the marriage as having been “irretrievably broken down for six months or more”.
That is not to say that there are no other grounds you can sue on if you are petitioning for a New York divorce. Curiously the DRL still allows you to file for adultery and cruel and inhumane treatment and on other more traditional grounds and it is your right to sue for divorce on those grounds if it bears upon the ultimate outcome of custody or marital waste in an extreme way.
Still grounds have little to no bearing on the ultimate distribution of assets or custody as the court will hear these details during this trial in anyh event, regardless of grounds, as one of several equitable considerations in deciding these issues so think twice before you waste your money litigating just grounds-when you have so many other issues to worry about.
Service of Process of your Divorce or Child Custody Case
April 11, 2017
How a Custody case or Divorce Case gets Served-not intended as legal advice for information purposed only
There are strict rules you must comply with once you file a complaint for divorce or custody.
In New York, you have 120 days to serve the divorce action.
After that the case could be dismissed.
Your papers must be served in person.
If you cannot find the Defendant and they are avoiding service by hiding, you then need to take extra steps.
First get an Affidavit from the process server that he attempted service multiple times,
Next sign an Affidavit that you mailed the paperwork to the Defendant by regular mail and took other steps to try to locate him
Next, prepare a proposed exparte order and bring it to a judge asking for permission to serve by publication.
If you convince the Judge that you did your due diligence the Court might give you an Order permitting you to publish the Summons in the newspaper.
If you get the Order of course get the Affidavit of Service from the News Paper.
Then you can ask for intervention by the court to move your case forward.
It is highly recommended that you do not try this yourself-rather hire an attorney to do it for you.
It is a complex procedure!
Law Offices of Lisa Beth Older
Plan for the Financial Aspects of your Divorce
April 10, 2017
Put together a good legal team that works with financial planners in your New York Divorce case. It will make all the difference in the world, especially if you are a high net worth litigant. A collaborative approach to divorce can make the martial assets go far when you are envisioning equitable distribution.
For instance, you must plan for the insurance needs for your children or spouse, especially if one or the other spouse lacks a job that provides for health insurance that covers the children. Additional insurance may be needed if there are obligations envisioned for child support, spousal support and life insurance requirements that are often found in a Separation Agreement or Stipulation of Settlement. In the event that you cannot afford a financial planner, at least consult with one. Below are a few tips to consider.
Before you get a divorce gather as many documents you can such as year-end statements from banks and stock accounts. Also gather credit card statements as the court will likely require you to exchange them in your divorce action. Also put those documents in a safety deposit box. The more you know about your family finances the more you will gain. You do not want to find yourself in a position of having to hunt them down after the divorce action is underway as it is expensive to subpoena them.
Also, be aware of your credit score. You can get a free credit report from karma.com, Know what you owe and know what your spouse owes as the court will likely split debts between the parties. You would be surprised what you can find on a credit card statement, such as items of marital waste such as gifts to girlfriends or excessive spending.
Be aware of possible safety deposit boxes as spouses often hid cash and jewelry in them when they face a divorce. You can ask your lawyer to put a freeze on them so your spouse does not have access to it.
Try to get a hold of as many tax returns as you possibly can. You can normally order them from the IRS or get them from the family accountant who prepared your tax returns jointly. You are entitled to them and the court will likely need them to make financial determinations on your divorce case.
I hope you found this article helpful!
What can happen in a Divorce in New York if you purchased a home during the marriage with your savings and then put the deed in your you and your spouse’s name?
March 31, 2017
I always advise my clients when they seek my help drafting a prenuptial agreement to keep their property separate. So, what happens if you have $100,000 in your account before you marry, but then get married and use that $100,000 to buy a home, putting your spouse’s name on the deed as a joint tenant?
Well, unless you can show the court that you never intended it to be a gift there is a chance the court will deem the property that you bought with your own money as marital property subject to distribution between both parties. In other words, a court could (or maybe not) rule that you gifted away the $100,000,00 if during divorce you cannot show the Court that the $100,000.00 can be traced back to your separate bank account. This has been recently illustrated in a case entitled IACONO v. IACONO (App Div, 2nd Dep’t) In that case the husband claimed he used his own money earned before the marriage to purchase the marital residence. The plaintiff claimed that his $105,000 from the sale of separate property was used to purchase the parties' marital home held jointly. The higher court held that the husband’s $105,000 was converted into marital property because the husband failed to establish with clear and convincing evidence the specific amount of money that he had before the marriage and did not show that he comingled his funds with his wife for convenience purposes only. The lesson to be learned in New York Divorce cases is to try to keep your savings and assets that you had before the marriage separate from that of your spouse.