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New York child custody, Manhattan child custody, Brooklyn child custody Lawyer
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Divorce Lawyer. New York child custody, Manhattan child custody, Brooklyn child custody Lawyer.
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Divorce Lawyer. New York child custody, Manhattan child custody, Brooklyn child custody Lawyer.

Recent Cases Affecting New York Divorce Law

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How can I afford a divorce when my husband or wife is wealthier than me?
April 3, 2014

DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAW 237 ALLOWS FOR A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION THAT THE LESS MONIED SPOUSE SHOULD ASK THE COURT FOR COUNSEL FEES AND COUNSEL FEES SHOULD BE GRANTED UNLESS JUT CASE IS FOUND AGAINST IT.

Lisa Beth Older, Esq. a high profile New York divorce lawyer, offers information to nonmonied or lesser-monied spouses undergoing a divorce case in court in New York,

Counsel fees and expenses.

This new amended Domestic Relations Law in New York is important to know about and utilize if you are a spouse who is afraid to go to court and ask for relief for spousal support and child support and distribution of property rightfully theirs because they feel there is an uneven parity and uneven playing field because their spouse can out -spend them in court.

This amendment occurred in 2010 and provides the court with expanded discretion to award counsel fees to the less monied spouse.

Support during a New York divorce. 

The amendment to DRL also provides for temporary spousal support as the case ensues.

Custody Lawyer

Also as to custody claims in a New York Divorce, New York Divorce Attorney Lisa Beth Older says that you are entitled to a lawyer even if you cannot afford one, but this is only as to that aspect of the divorce case in New York where you are seeking custody or defending against a custody claim from your spouse.

Below cited is the new law on counsel fees:

"DRL 270

(a) In any action or proceeding  brought (1) to annul a marriage or to declare  the  nullity  of  a  void  marriage,  or  (2)  for  a  separation,  or (3) for a divorce, or (4) to  declare the validity or  nullity  of  a  judgment  of  divorce  rendered  against  a  spouse who was the defendant in any action outside the State  of New York and did not appear therein where  such  spouse  asserts  the  nullity   of  such  foreign  judgment,  (5)  to  obtain  maintenance  or  distribution of property following a foreign judgment of divorce, or (6)  to enjoin the prosecution in any other jurisdiction of an action  for  a  divorce,  the  court  may  direct  either spouse or, where an action for  annulment is maintained after the death of  a  spouse,  may  direct  the  person  or  persons maintaining the action, to pay counsel fees and fees  and expenses of experts directly to the attorney of the other spouse  to  enable  the  other  party to carry on or defend the action or proceeding  as, in the court's discretion, justice requires, having  regard  to  the  circumstances of the case and of the respective parties.  There shall be rebuttable presumption that counsel fees shall be awarded to the less  monied spouse. In exercising the court's  discretion,  the  court  shall  seek  to assure that each party shall be adequately represented and that  where fees and expenses are to be awarded, they shall be  awarded  on  a  timely  basis,  pendente  lite,  so as to enable adequate representation  from the commencement of the proceeding.  Applications for the award  of  fees  and  expenses  may  be  made  at  any time or times prior to final  judgment. Both parties to the action or proceeding and their  respective  attorneys,  shall  file  an  affidavit  with  the  court  detailing  the  financial agreement between the party and the attorney.  Such  affidavit  shall  include  the  amount  of any retainer, the amounts paid and still  owing there under, the hourly amount charged by the attorney, the amounts  paid,  or  to  be  paid,  any  experts,  and   any   additional   costs,  disbursements or expenses. Any applications for fees and expenses may be maintained by the attorney for either spouse in his own name in the same proceeding.  Payment  of  any  retainer  fees  to  the  attorney for the  petitioning party shall not preclude any awards of fees and expenses  to  an applicant which would otherwise be allowed under this section.


(b)  Upon  any  application  to  enforce,  annul or modify an order or  judgment for alimony, maintenance, distributive award,  distribution  of  marital  property or for custody, visitation, or maintenance of a child,  made as in section two hundred thirty-six or section two  hundred  forty  of  this  article  provided,  or  upon any application by writ of habeas  corpus or by petition  and  order  to  show  cause  concerning  custody,  visitation  or  maintenance of a child, the court may direct a spouse or  parent to pay counsel fees and fees and expenses of experts directly  to  the  attorney of the other spouse or parent to enable the other party to  carry on or defend the application or proceeding by the other spouse  or  parent as, in the court's discretion, justice requires, having regard to  the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that counsel fees shall be awarded to the less monied spouse. In exercising  the  court's  discretion,  the  court  shall seek to assure that each party shall be adequately represented and  that where fees and expenses are to be awarded, they shall be awarded on  a  timely  basis, pendente lite, so as to enable adequate representation  from the commencement of the proceeding. Applications for the  award  of  fees  and  expenses  may  be  made  at  any time or times prior to final  judgment. Both parties to the action or proceeding and their  respective  attorneys,  shall  file  an  affidavit  with  the  court  detailing  the  financial agreement, between the party and the attorney. Such  affidavit  shall  include  the  amount  of any retainer, the amounts paid and still  owing there under, the hourly amount charged by the attorney, the amounts  paid,  or  to  be  paid,  any  experts,  and   any   additional   costs,  disbursements or expenses. Any applications for fees and expenses may be maintained by the attorney for either spouse in counsel's own name in the same proceeding.  Payment of any retainer fees to the attorney for the petitioning party shall not preclude any awards of fees and expenses to an applicant which would otherwise be allowed under this section.


(c) In any action or proceeding for failure to obey any  lawful  order  compelling  payment of support or maintenance, or distributive award the court shall, upon  a  finding  that  such  failure  was  willful,  order respondent  to  pay  counsel  fees  to  the  attorney  representing  the  petitioner.

(d) The term "expenses" as used in subdivisions (a) and  (b)  of  this section  shall  include,  but  shall not be limited to, accountant fees, appraisal fees, actuarial fees, investigative fees and  other  fees  and expenses that the court may determine to be necessary to enable a spouse to  carry  on  or  defend an action or proceeding under this section. In determining the appropriateness and necessity of fees, the  court shall consider:

1. The nature of the marital property involved;

2.  The  difficulties  involved, if any, in identifying and evaluating the marital property;

3. The services rendered and an estimate of the time involved; and

4. The applicant's financial status."