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May 2016 Archives

What Can I Do? Challenge Her?

Q: Hi. I have sole custody of my 2 children. Visitation has just been ordered a minimum of two days per month for bio father . Supervised pending law guardian speaking with oldest child and his wishes to see his father. My question is the questions this women asked my son. He is almost 12..very aware of situation. He was asked who owns our home, and was told his grandfather doesn't care for his father so if supervised in granted to not chosen him to go. I feel both questions are either irrelevant or out of line. What do I do as a parent without pissing off the guardian but letting my opinion be heard. She is an older women who I believe needs to retire lol
I should add. I have no criminal history, or use or ever abused drugs. I have been sole provider for my kids and provide then with a safe loving family environment. I just feel this women is wrong.. And maybe dislikes me which in my opinion shouldnt matter.
Help!!

How is maintenance (i.e., "alimony") awarded in a New York Divorce case?

Maintenance (other states use the term "alimony") is determined by a number of issues relating to a marriage. It may be temporary or permanent. Although it is not a given right to either spouse, the courts will generally order a certain amount of spousal support based on the following factors (this is a non-exhaustive list): duration of the marriage, income of both spouses, age of both spouses, health/special needs of either spouse, circumstances surrounding spousal support are unique to each couple, and therefore the court uses its discretion when determining maintenance orders. In most cases, attorneys' fees for matters surrounding maintenance are paid for by the spouse with the higher income. Indeed, in 2010, New York passed statutes making interim maintenance & counsel fees presumptively awarded on all cases involving a higher-earning spouse versus a lower-earning spouse. Additionally, as with child support orders, a maintenance order may be modified if the court can be shown there has been a substantial change of circumstances in the life of either party involved (though if there was a valid written agreement such as a "stipulation of settlement" or "separation agreement," the standard to modify may be "unanticipated change of circumstances").

How is maintenance (i.e., "alimony") awarded in a New York Divorce case?

Maintenance (other states use the term "alimony") is determined by a number of issues relating to a marriage. It may be temporary or permanent. Although it is not a given right to either spouse, the courts will generally order a certain amount of spousal support based on the following factors (this is a non-exhaustive list): duration of the marriage, income of both spouses, age of both spouses, health/special needs of either spouse, circumstances surrounding spousal support are unique to each couple, and therefore the court uses its discretion when determining maintenance orders. In most cases, attorneys' fees for matters surrounding maintenance are paid for by the spouse with the higher income. Indeed, in 2010, New York passed statutes making interim maintenance & counsel fees presumptively awarded on all cases involving a higher-earning spouse versus a lower-earning spouse. Additionally, as with child support orders, a maintenance order may be modified if the court can be shown there has been a substantial change of circumstances in the life of either party involved (though if there was a valid written agreement such as a "stipulation of settlement" or "separation agreement," the standard to modify may be "unanticipated change of circumstances").

How is maintenance (i.e., "alimony") awarded in a New York Divorce case?

Maintenance (other states use the term "alimony") is determined by a number of issues relating to a marriage. It may be temporary or permanent. Although it is not a given right to either spouse, the courts will generally order a certain amount of spousal support based on the following factors (this is a non-exhaustive list): duration of the marriage, income of both spouses, age of both spouses, health/special needs of either spouse, circumstances surrounding spousal support are unique to each couple, and therefore the court uses its discretion when determining maintenance orders. In most cases, attorneys' fees for matters surrounding maintenance are paid for by the spouse with the higher income. Indeed, in 2010, New York passed statutes making interim maintenance & counsel fees presumptively awarded on all cases involving a higher-earning spouse versus a lower-earning spouse. Additionally, as with child support orders, a maintenance order may be modified if the court can be shown there has been a substantial change of circumstances in the life of either party involved (though if there was a valid written agreement such as a "stipulation of settlement" or "separation agreement," the standard to modify may be "unanticipated change of circumstances").

How is Child Support determined in New York?

In New York, child support is determined by statutory guidelines. The non-custodial parent will pay 17% of his/her adjusted gross income for 1 child, 25% for 2 children, 29% for 3 children, 32% for 4 children and 35% for 5 or more children. There are very few exceptions to these statutory guildlines.

Contributing toward children's college expenses - start saving now!

War story from a past potential client
A guy came in to see me saying the mother of his child was suing him for 50% of college expenses. He said he was already paying basic support & simply didn't have any money left. I reviewed his settlement agreement - it clearly said he was to pay for college. Bottom line: he was screwed! Lesson learned: save for college when they're young!

What to do if Mother of Your Child Threatens Support - but You're Already Supporting Another Child

Get a Written Agreement
The very first thing you should do - if you do NOT already have a child support order for that 1st child - is to have a written agreement drawn between you & the mother of that 1st child. The agreement should be drafted by a capable child support lawyer, as there's particular language which should go in there so it's valid.

All income counts for Child Support

Overtime counts, too!
Many non-custodial parents think that child support is just calculated on his/her base salary. Think again! All income counts, so this will include overtime or income from a 2d job. As such, if the custodial parent threatens to sue for child support, you may wish to consider cutting back on overtime, or giving up that 2d job - or else you may be stuck with having to keep earning that income whether you like it or not.

Why not go with a "Document Service Company" to process my Divorce?

Especially in New York City, there are many "document service companies" which have offices, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, promising to do "uncontested divorces" for cheap prices. Unfortunately, many people go with such places because they simply cannot afford the higher fees attorneys much charge (given our many more years of schooling & experience).

TRYING A SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME CASE: PRE-TRIAL AND TRIAL STRATEGY

A. Client Interview 1. How long has the child been in his/her care? 2. Was anyone else caring for the child in the previous 3 months? 3. What symptoms did the child have? [if the child is not lethargic, you should be very suspicious as to claim that child is suffering from SBS, which usually entails moderate/severe neurological trauma] 4. Names of all facilities which treated child in last 3 months, as well as names of all doctors & other medical professionals who examined/treated child

Preparing for a Divorce before it's filed

Be proactive & divide some assets before even retaining the lawyers
If you need money to pay for your attorney, pay large bills, etc., you're best advised to secure those funds before the divorce is even filed. Once the case is filed, as stated, you may be restrained from accessing certain funds without consent of your spouse. As such, if there's a house which needs to be sold, go ahead & sell it (with, of course, the consent of your spouse) before the case is even filed. If there is a dispute as to credits owed to 1 party, or debts which need to be paid, then evenly split the undisputed funds & place the remainder in the escrow account of 1 of the attorneys.

How do I get divorced from a gay marriage?

NY now recognizes gay marriages. That said, at least 50% of all marriages end in divorce. While it may be that gay marriages will statistically turn out different than heterosexual marriages, it remains to be seen. Nevertheless, one can bet a significant minority of gay marriages will end.

Why not do a "Cheap Divorce"?

I've seen many signs & Ads posted throughout the Bronx, Yonkers, New Rochelle & Mount Vernon advertising to do divorces for "$299" or "$399." Many such ads strongly imply you're hiring an attorney or that they're just as good as attorneys - guess again.

What's the Difference between Marital property & Separate Property?

Often a share of significant assets can turn on the precise definition of what constitutes "marital property" versus "separate property." In a nutshell, a non-title-holding spouse gets a share of marital property, but does not share in separate property (though there are many exceptions to this).

How much will it cost and how long would it take to get uncontested Divorce

Q: Separated from wife, marital home was in Long Island...Home was a short sale in 2014. I have been living in OC, NY. Want to file for an uncontested Divorce have 3 children with wife and the youngest is 20 will be 21 in August. No reason to contest what hidden cost should I expect.

How do I get divorced from a gay marriage?

NY now recognizes gay marriages. That said, at least 50% of all marriages end in divorce. While it may be that gay marriages will statistically turn out different than heterosexual marriages, it remains to be seen. Nevertheless, one can bet a significant minority of gay marriages will end.

What's the Difference between Marital property & Separate Property?

Often a share of significant assets can turn on the precise definition of what constitutes "marital property" versus "separate property." In a nutshell, a non-title-holding spouse gets a share of marital property, but does not share in separate property (though there are many exceptions to this).

I just received a judgement of divorce signed by a Special Referee. Can I appeal it to correct the accounting mistakes?

Q:  I had a financial trial with a special referee hear and determine. The judgment of divorce has many accounting mistakes regarding equitable distribution of assets. The judge double counted many things. Can I appeal it to correct the typos or is there a quickest way? The judge doesn't want to hear about it.

Is money from a husband's lawsuit marital or community property in a divorce?

Q:  In 2012, I was single. My employer's medical board forced me to retire from my job due to a permanent injury while working. There is a pending lawsuit due to an unsafe work environment that will settle this year. I got married 4 months ago and things do not seem to be going well. She is threatening divorce and relocation. She has no idea about the lawsuit. So, is MY settlement still a marital asset if we get divorced after it is awarded to me? Before we get divorced? How would she know about the settlement in either scenario?

Had A Contempt Hearing Today Family Court, Ex Petioned To Modify. Judge Gave Her A Gentle Admonishment For Some Of Her

Q: violations, and we modified the order together w attorney for the child and judge. In open court though, ex constantly interrupted and cut me off while I was speaking, and even trashed me about child support which I've paid! Attorney for the child reminded her that this isn't support court. My question is do you think the judge may have noticed my ex's behavior?

Does it matter if the Attorney is a General Practitioner or concentrates in Family Law?

First let's define the terms. A general practitioner is an attorney who does several different area of law. For example, s/he does 20% Family Law, 30% property, 20% criminal, 25% civil litigation & 5% landlord/tenant. An attorney who concentrates in an area of law will do that area of law roughly 2/3 of the time (or more).

Does my ex husband have the right to refuse to drop off my daughter with a babysitter during my court appointed time?

Q: I have residential custody of our ten year old daughter. I live in the city and he lives over an hour away by train. He has dinner with my daughter one night a week. I have a work dinner so I've asked him to drop her off at my friend's house until I pick her up. He refused and says he'll only drop her off with me at my apt and that otherwise he's taking her home with him. Yet he has his new wife watch her all the time. If I travel for work I'm supposed to try to give him the time, and he does get it. But this is only for an hour and I'll be losing my overnight and breakfast time with her. Should I take him back to court? He just likes to be in control of me. He knows the woman I'm leaving her with is perfectly fine.

How do I sue Bronx Family Court?

Q: I was recently diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome by Family Court. The children's father is a long time crack dealer who mentally, physically, and emotionally abused me for 15 years at the end of which I was sent to the psych ward and forced to leave the home. The father admitted to homeschooling the children for only three hours a day on the computer and says he supported our family of four for 11 years in 8 residents strictly through an unverified $64,000 received in lump sum. I have a stack of evidence that nobody would look at. The only evidence that was accepted was the father's testimony. He was awarded full custody and I get no visitation because they say I need help for my Tourette's Syndrome which I do not have. I am currently seeking psychiatric help for trauma.

Drawing up a DRO

Q: I've been divorced since 2011. March of this year, I settled in court for maitnenance payments. which was an order in court decree. My attorney has not drawn up the paperwork yet, and the only reson I know is beacause after calling him numberous times and he not responding to me Ieft me no choice but to call the court clerk, and they are waiting on him to prepare the DRO so they can commense and send docs to the NYS Retirement plan. Is there any legal way I can speak with someone in the courts about this situation. Lost for words. Desperately need help in this matter. Thank you.

How do I find a family attorney that is will to take my case, and receive payment after child support case is over ?

Q: I would like to establish paternity, and my ex partner has a lawyer handling all the communication between us, it looks like I have to get an attorney too, in this case I should not talk directly to his attorney. Could it be possible, I can have him cover my attorney fees? and all cost associated with the child support case.

I am seeking custody of two boys 2 and 4.also filing for divorce, my wife is a drug addict alcoholic, she was prostituting at

Q: the house.She put an add up in craigslist to party with her with cocaine. in exchange for sex I caught her and she left the house willingly,I went to court Judge said she cant leave state.. because she was living in conn. the judge said she needs supervised visitation. one hr a week .Tomorrow is Mothers day, she wants to pick up the boys with her dad and take them out for the day.once before she tried to take them from me.shall I trust her to ytake the boys for the day? it is Mothers day?how do I also get her punished for child endangerment and child abuse? I have all the proof on her.

Limits on a NY Family Court judge's authority to make a determination on the allocation of a attorney for the child.

Q: where one party has not made any financial disclosures but where the record shows evidence that they are the moneys former spouse yet is charged with just 10% of the cost and the other party has shown an inability to pay ANY fees. The AFC has filed 3 OSCs against party with the 90% obligation and the court has order the party paid or be arrested immediately.

What is the Basis for an Order of Protection in New York

Many people are unaware that domestic violence is NOT limited to disputes among married persons. Domestic violence can also occur between family members or intimate partners. In New York, the allegations may include (this is a non-exhaustive list): Assault, Harassment, Stalking & Disorderly Conduct. New York law was recently amended to allow for restraining orders or orders of protection to anyone who is involved in an intimate relationship (generally termed "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" relationships).

TRYING A SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME CASE: PRE-TRIAL AND TRIAL STRATEGY

A. Client Interview 1. How long has the child been in his/her care? 2. Was anyone else caring for the child in the previous 3 months? 3. What symptoms did the child have? [if the child is not lethargic, you should be very suspicious as to claim that child is suffering from SBS, which usually entails moderate/severe neurological trauma] 4. Names of all facilities which treated child in last 3 months, as well as names of all doctors & other medical professionals who examined/treated child

Why not go with a "Document Service Company" to process my Divorce?

Especially in New York City, there are many "document service companies" which have offices, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, promising to do "uncontested divorces" for cheap prices. Unfortunately, many people go with such places because they simply cannot afford the higher fees attorneys much charge (given our many more years of schooling & experience).

Preparing for a Divorce before it's filed

Be proactive & divide some assets before even retaining the lawyers
If you need money to pay for your attorney, pay large bills, etc., you're best advised to secure those funds before the divorce is even filed. Once the case is filed, as stated, you may be restrained from accessing certain funds without consent of your spouse. As such, if there's a house which needs to be sold, go ahead & sell it (with, of course, the consent of your spouse) before the case is even filed. If there is a dispute as to credits owed to 1 party, or debts which need to be paid, then evenly split the undisputed funds & place the remainder in the escrow account of 1 of the attorneys.

How do I get divorced from a gay marriage?

NY now recognizes gay marriages. That said, at least 50% of all marriages end in divorce. While it may be that gay marriages will statistically turn out different than heterosexual marriages, it remains to be seen. Nevertheless, one can bet a significant minority of gay marriages will end.

Why not do a "Cheap Divorce"?

I've seen many signs & Ads posted throughout the Bronx, Yonkers, New Rochelle & Mount Vernon advertising to do divorces for "$299" or "$399." Many such ads strongly imply you're hiring an attorney or that they're just as good as attorneys - guess again.

What's the Difference between Marital property & Separate Property?

Often a share of significant assets can turn on the precise definition of what constitutes "marital property" versus "separate property." In a nutshell, a non-title-holding spouse gets a share of marital property, but does not share in separate property (though there are many exceptions to this).

Separation Agreements and Prenuptials must be properly executed and notarized

As reiterated in a recent New York Court of Appeals decision (Galetta v. Galetta), separation agreements and pre-nuptial agreements must be properly executed (in the same manner a deed is executed) and must be notarized. The failure to do both of these items will almost always result in the agreement being invalidated.

Basics of Juvenile Delinquency

A youth under the age of 16 can be arrested and charged with crimes which would otherwise constitute misdemeanors or felonies in the State of New York. Such crimes are prosecuted in Family Court.

What factors are considered for Child Custody?

The overall standard is the "best interests of the child." Within that standard, the court considers "the totality of the circumstances." That said , there are a number of other specific factors that the court considers when awarding custody when dealing with two biological parents.

Basics of Juvenile Delinquency

A youth under the age of 16 can be arrested and charged with crimes which would otherwise constitute misdemeanors or felonies in the State of New York. Such crimes are prosecuted in Family Court.

Can my order to pay for child care be stopped if my son does not attend a daycare anymore?

Q: 2007 my court order was established for $60/week for child support and $40/week for child day care. My son, however has not been to a day care in nearly 4-5 years. Instead he attends an after school program which is either free or covered by medicaid, I don't have the exact date as to when he was last at a daycare.

What Are His Options? Should He Petition To Be Able To Take Her On The Vacation? How Quickly Can Things Like This Be Decided?

Q: My boyfriend has supervised visitation with his daughter(the courts did this just to get the mother to stop with her complaints) His mother is the supervisor. He is filing for regular unsupervised visitation, and later when he has his own place within the next 1-2 years, filing for custody. The maternal grandmother has custody of his daughter. We are planning a vacation to DisneyWorld with my family for the end of August. He has asked the custodian if we would be able to take her on this trip. She will not agree until she finds out if it is ok from the mother(who does not have custody, and has supervised visitation herself). We are approaching the vacation quickly and the mother will not return his phone calls.

My ex husband agreed to pay for college, equivalent to a NYS College. What does that mean? He is trying to pay only tuition.

Q: My ex has only paid for basic tuition and some fees. He is very wealthy, What is generally included in the cost? The wording is very basic. I was under the impression that it included all the direct and indirect costs of a college education as would be at a SUNY school, as they give a number that is a total cost A college education. Nothing itemized. Also if my son is about to graduate and is past 21 who would go after him, me or my son?

Should I State Child Support Until 21, But That We Agree To Credit Me With Any Funds I Contribute Toward College Expenses?

Q: The situation is as follows: NY residents. Husband and I have settled custody for 50/50 arrangement. I make 10% more, and so he is requesting child support. We have agreed to my paying support until the children go to college (age 18). After that, the idea is that we will both pay college at 50/50 (he doesn't want to show assets which far exceed mine). In looking at the agreement, his lawyer did write child support until 18, but then put a large section about emancipation. He also wrote 50/50 for college, but didn't specify that my child support contribution was intended to go towards college expenses. I do not have a lawyer, but a friend of mine who has gone through this says we must specify, or else my ex could come back when the kids are 18 and ask for support, regardless of our agreement that resources be directed toward college expenses. I don't want to sign it this way if that is true. Thank you.

What Can I Do?

Q: My son's father has had overnight visitation for over a year, however, it was only recently he decided to enforce it because he got mad at me. He moved into an apartment with a roommate a few weeks ago and is refusing to tell me about his roommate. I am concerned for my sons safety because his father is not a good judge of character. I want a background check done on his roommate for my sons safety before my sons sleeps there.

Same As Above

Q: I had a CPS fair hearing almost three weeks ago and still have not received a decision. How long does it take to receive an answer?

What Can I Do Ti Get Permission To Take My Son Out If The Coutry For A Month With Out Gis Approval.

Q: The father of my kids was never really involved in there life. he picks them up maybe every other week or other two weeks. he never call during the week. after he picks drop them off i barely hear fron him. he started paying child support after four years. i even asked him if it was important for a child to have a father figure he said no. when the kids go over is all fun times for them. i want to take them out of the country back to my hometown in dominican republic for 1 month during vacation time from school. he says no. but he doesnt help me with child care. i have no one else to watch them. his mother is alway covering for him .she does help me sometime but i feel she brain watches them . because they always want to go back with her. i want full custody of my children but he has a really good job. he is a exectuve chef has a degree. on paper he looks good career wise. i dont know if they give it to me.

I Want To Know If A Judge Grants Custody Of A Child To A Parent,and The Other Parent Doesnt Abide How To Seek Justice?

Q: I have been in a 5 year custody court case. I have done nothing to my Daughter. I asked the Paternal Grandmother to help me, and take care of my Daughther temporary. The Paternal Grandmother decided that she wanted to keep my daughter permanently. In January of 2015 the judge from the Idv Court granted me custody of my Daughther but the police did not act on the order because there was no place or other specific details listed on it. The other parent then Appealed the judges decison and I was informed by the Family Court that my daughter was not suppose to stay in the care of the other parent while the appeal was pending. So from the time that the order was issued until the appeal was received my daughther was in care of the other parent. I' am not getting any justice in the Court. I' am in need of getting my Daughter back into my custody.

Judge Gave My Soon To Be Ex A Sweet Escape From Sanctions And Attorney Fee When She Had Hidden Her Salary Account.what Can I Do?

Q: I am facing a tough situation. It seems its better to be pro se in a divorce case rather than hire a lawyer. My soon to be ex wife is pro se and I have a not so good lawyer who sometimes makes remarks which sound like he is siding with the other side. Its just crazy.
The soon to be ex did not supply - hid a bank account in which all her salary was going and my lawyer filed a motion for sanctions and attorney fees. The judge did not do anything though she was caught in the wrong and let her go without any penalty - no attorney fee no sanctions only telling her from next time please give full discovery. Is this fair? What can I do?

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