Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What are the most common mistakes fathers make in New York child custody cases?

Child custody battles are stressful and heart wrenching. All you want is what is best for your children, but that is not always what is on your spouse’s mind.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Attorney’s Fees and Your New York Divorce

Who pays the attorney’s fees in a divorce?

Cost may be one of your first concerns if you are considering filing for divorce.  A contested divorce can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the complexities of the case and number of court appearances.  Hourly rates for attorneys will vary, but can be quite costly.  Generally, each spouse is responsible for their own legal fees and court costs in a divorce.  However, to help spouses offset these costs, New York and several other states allow for the higher-earning spouse to cover the costs of the spouse that earns less.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Judge rejects divorce papers served through Facebook

Is it ever acceptable to serve divorce papers through social media in New York?

Going through the divorce process is difficult, especially if your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not cooperating or his or her location is unknown. If it were only as easy as changing your relationship status on Facebook…

A New York woman actually tried to notify her husband that she filed for divorce via Facebook, but the judge was not having it. According to court documents, Manal H. Qaza attempted to serve her husband with notice of divorce through Facebook because she did not know her husband’s whereabouts and believed him to be living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Qaza filed for

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Before saying 'I do,' more millennials say ‘prenup'

According to CNBC, prenups are trending among the millennial population. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has reported that 62% of matrimonial attorneys are seeing an increase in the number of millennial prenuptial agreements during the past three years.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyers

What are some digital best-practices when going through a divorce?

For most couples seeking to end their marriage, divorce is unpleasant at best, and at worst, all-out war. Imagine being a public figure going through a divorce. There is simply no privacy.  This is certainly the case for former congressman Anthony D. Weiner and his soon-to-be ex-wife Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

OCA Reports Backlog of Divorce Cases

What is being done to expedite divorce cases in New York?

It is widely known that most states allow No Default divorces in which neither spouse needs to prove the other spouse did something wrong. Before the no fault law was approved in New York in 2010, a couple needed to prove grounds for a divorce such as adultery, domestic violence or cruelty. Of course, these are still valid reasons for divorce, but now either party only must show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least 6 months.

In short, this streamlined process makes it easier for a couple to end a marriage, and more couples are splitting up, which is reportedly causing a backlog of cases in the New York courts. According to statistics compiled by the state Office of Court Administration, there were about 4,500 pending contested divorce cases in New York City last year, a 10 percent rise since 2011.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Primer on Enforcing Child Support Orders

What can I do if my ex-spouse fails to make child support payments?

In a divorce involving minor children, child support issues can become contentious, particularly when a parent fails to make court ordered payments. In this situation, it is crucial to have a matrimonial attorney by your side who can take legal action in Family Court to enforce the child support order.

How is Child Support Determined?

The courts in New York consider a number of factors when making child support determination such as the child's standing of living while the parents were married, the income of the parent with primary custody of the child, and whether one parent is paying alimony to the other. The court also looks at each parent's income as well and the health, medical and educational expenses of the child. Child support payments are typically made on a monthly basis in an amount stated in the child support order.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Study Finds Most Divorces Happen After the Holidays

When do most divorces occur?

A recent study suggests that certain times of the year are harder on a marriage.  Researchers from the University of Washington evaluated divorce petitions filed in Washington state between the years 2001 and 2015.

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

New York State Court of Appeals Rules to Expand the Definition of Parenthood

Who can seek custody of a child in New York?

New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, recently issued a monumental ruling that expands the definition of parenthood.  Under the new law, caretakers that are not related either biologically or through adoption to a child will still have standing to seek custody and visitation rights.  The ruling will have a significant impact for parents, especially same-sex couples, and brings New York into line with mainstream beliefs in the United States that parents need not be related to their children by blood, adoption, or marriage.

The case that brought about this important law change involved a same-sex couple that announced their engagement in 2007, though same-sex marriage was not permitted at the time in New York.  One of the partners later became pregnant with their child through artificial insemination.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Broken Engagement – Who Gets The Ring?

You and your partner are happily engaged and have spent months tirelessly planning a beautiful and elegant wedding.  The invitations have been sent out to all of your friends and family and the honeymoon is finalized.  To your shock, your partner tells you that the relationship is over and cancels the wedding.  Who gets the diamond ring? 

Every jurisdiction has certain elements that it uses to determine which party is legally entitled to the ring.  Sometimes, the court’s decision will turn on the issue of whether the engagement ring was a “gift.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Things You Should Consider Before Asking for a Prenup

Should I ask my fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement?

Millennials have been dubbed a “prenup generation.”  Prenuptial agreements are more popular than ever, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).  Their survey of 1,600 divorce attorneys revealed an overall increase in prenups during the last three years, with most clients electing to sign a prenuptial agreement in order to protect their separate property.  Many millennials watched their parents or grandparents get divorced and want to save themselves from the cost, time, and heartache of arguing over assets.  Before you ask your future spouse for a prenup, consider the following:

Prenuptial Agreements Are About More than Divorce

Asking your fiancé for a prenup is not an easy topic to broach, but handling the matter delicately can lead to a thoughtful conversation that may benefit your relationship in the long term.

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