What Are The Common Mistakes That Someone Should Be Aware Of When Negotiating Or Signing The Settlement Agreement In Their New York Divorce Case Without An Experienced Family Law Attorney?
First and foremost, it’s in your best interest to avoid negotiating or signing a divorce agreement without the help of an experienced divorce lawyer. A lot of people think they can get a typical divorce settlement online, but it’s important to be very wary of these websites.
If you have the resources to hire a good divorce attorney, it’s a wise move. A skilled attorney can help you create a solid agreement upfront, preventing the need for lawyers to revisit your case due to unresolved issues in the future. It’s an investment that can save you from ongoing legal disputes.
Another concern is when someone with sufficient financial resources opts for a budget divorce attorney. I’m currently handling a case where the wife earns between $200,000 to $300,000 annually, and, without any disrespect to the opposing counsel, it’s obvious that she chose a cheap divorce attorney.
Now, when I say “obviously” it’s because the attorney in question drafted a parenting agreement to resolve custody and visitation issues that was clearly subpar. It appeared they had used a form from the court’s website which is typically intended for indigent individuals.
In this situation, it’s clear the person could have easily afforded a good divorce attorney to draft a high-quality agreement, but instead, they ended up with a subpar one. Of course, it’s possible the party might not even be fully aware of how inadequate the agreement is and how poorly their attorney performed.
However, this underscores the importance of researching an attorney beforehand by asking critical questions like: What percentage of your cases involve divorce? How long have you been practicing divorce law? Simply claiming to be a divorce attorney isn’t sufficient, and due diligence in selecting the right legal representation is essential.
For this reason, you should consider inquiring about an attorney’s background and experience, including any recent career changes or transitions. It’s totally fine to ask questions about the percentage of divorce cases they handle compared to other practice areas, the duration of their experience in divorce law, and their current caseload is a wise approach.
Finally, keep this in mind: If an attorney’s caseload is excessively high (100 cases+), it can impact their ability to give proper attention to drafting agreements or closely supervise paralegals who might assist in your case.
How Does The Enforcement Of A Stipulation Of Settlement Agreement Work In New York If One Party Fails To Adhere To Terms Or Obligations?
Unless there’s an urgent situation, the party claiming a violation should send a default notice letter. This letter can be straightforward and sent via email or through the communication method specified in the agreement, such as Our Family Wizard. In the letter, you should bring attention to the alleged violation, request a resolution of the issue, and inform them that if they don’t comply, your next step may involve possibly filing a violation case.
Why is it important to say that your next move could possibly involve going to court? Consider this hypothetical: On one occasion, your child’s father is late for pick up. Your agreement says he’s supposed to pick up the child at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, but he’s not there & eventually shows up at 11 a.m.
While this is a technical violation of the agreement, the party alleging the violation would be a fool to run into court and ask for the father to be held in contempt of court. In this situation, the Judge would probably just tell the father to show up on time from now on and dismiss the case. The result? You just wasted time going to court for nothing.
With scenarios like these, you really want a pattern of lateness and “minor violations.” If you’re not sure whether something is minor or major, in terms of a violation of the agreement, the best move is to consult with a good divorce attorney who can help you get clarity.
What Role Do Attorneys Play In The Negotiation And Drafting Of A Stipulation Of Settlement Agreement In New York Divorce Cases?
Divorce attorneys play a pivotal role in negotiating and drafting settlement agreements in New York. To start, the attorney will first exchange net worth statements for each party. Then, it will be on the attorneys to kick off the negotiation process.
In most cases, this will take place via an exchange of letters, emails, or even phone. This step allows both sides to find out whether there is any basic agreement on the terms of the settlement. In other cases, the parties may set up a four-way conference, including the two parties and their two attorneys. In these conferences, the attorneys take a relatively active role.
An additional role of an attorney comes into play in the form of providing guidance. Should negotiations fall apart, the case will go in front of a judge. As such, your attorney will be a key resource from whom you can get insight into the law and what you would be likely to see happen in court should the negotiation process stall. For more information on Negotiating a Divorce Settlement Agreement, an initial consultation is your next best step.