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Obtaining a divorce involves making one’s way through the legal process.  The best way to navigate through the divorce process is to have the right divorce lawyer.

 

The Right Divorce Lawyer

Is your divorce simple or complicated?  Do you have children and custody issues related to the children?  Do you have significant assets or virtually no assets at all?  Your divorce attorney’s job is to provide you with legal representation geared to your personal situation.  So, before you start looking for a divorce lawyer analyze what the issues are involved in your case.

 

Be Goal Oriented

The goal in your divorce is to end your marriage.  Your divorce is not a process involving the punishment of your spouse for being a lousy human being.  Think with your head about divorce issues and not with your emotions.  Try to avoid making your divorce more litigious than necessary.

 

Seek to Obtain Your Goal

With a Minimum of Aggravation and Expense

The best way to minimize the cost of divorce litigation is to negotiate a settlement out of court.  Litigation involves the concept of hurry up and wait.  You have to appear in court by 9:30 in the morning.  When you get there you can find that your case is number 25 on the calendar and that the court is going to make you sit around and wait until they get to you.  Meanwhile you are paying your attorney between $350.00 and $500.00 an hour while they are sitting around waiting for the case to be called.  Meetings in attorneys’ offices to discuss amicable resolutions of divorce cases are far more efficient then litigating in a court room.

 

Meet with your Attorney

In the first meeting with your attorney you should focus on his or her experience.   Find out how long they have been practicing law, the number of cases they have been involved with, and the staff and other attorneys in the office that back them up.  An ideal attorney should have the legal know how and experience to resolve your case while working as an advocate to obtain your goals.  He or she should be able to communicate with you and opposing counsel and negotiate on your behalf.  It is a good idea for your attorney to know the Supreme Court and Family Court judges in your local area and how they look at and deal with various issues.

 

 

Communicate with Your Attorney

If you think your attorney is doing a good job during the handling of your case, let him or her know.  If they are doing bad job also let them know.  Divorce can be an emotional process as well as a process involving the distribution of assets, issues involving custody, child support and spousal maintenance.  It is important to choose the right attorney Elliot Schlisseland to maintain constant contact with him or her.

 

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. has been representing clients in divorce cases for more than four decades in the Metropolitan New York area.  He can be reached at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or 800-344-65431.

Petition for bankruptcyThe filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will usually eliminate all of a debtor’s credit card debt. In addition, it also eliminates other non-secured debts such as personal loans, debts to doctors, hospitals and other individuals and banks.

The Bankruptcy Case

The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires the submission of a Bankruptcy Petition, statements of financial affairs and schedules with the bankruptcy court. These documents deal with the debtor’s assets and liabilities. In addition, the debtor usually has to file proof of filing of income tax returns. Bank statements and other invoices belonging to the debtor also will need to be filed.

Credit Counselling Course

A debtor seeking to file bankruptcy must take a pre-filing credit counselling course. This can be done either by telephone or on the internet. Once the debtor filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy he or she will receive an automatic stay from the Federal Bankruptcy Court which stops all creditors from taking all legal action against the debtor. It can also stop wage garnishments and cause release of bank accounts that have been tied up.

The Creditors Meeting

If you file the Chapter 7 bankruptcy approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the filing you will have to attend a creditors meeting and give testimony before a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee. The trustee’s job is to analyze the debtor’s petition to determine whether the debtor has satisfied all the requirements with regard to filing the Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In most cases the Chapter 7 trustee finds there are no assets to be distributed to creditors.

Bankruptcy Exemptions

Under New York State Law there is a homestead exemption in certain areas of New York State protecting the client’s residence in the amount of $150,000.00 for each person owning and living in the residence. The individual filing the bankruptcy has the choice of either using the New York State bankruptcy exemptions or the federal exemptions. The federal exemption gives the homeowner a wild card exemption of $12,500.00 per debtor to be used to protecting any personal item or personal property belonging to the debtor.

Discharge

At the end of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the debtor receives a discharge. The means all of the debtor’s debts are forgiven and the debtor is entitled to a fresh start to rebuild his or credit again.

Elliot Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He has been involved with more than 1,000 bankruptcy cases. He can be reached at 800-344-6451 or e-mailed at: Elliot@sdnylaw.com for a free consultation.

Mortgage

If you utilized a mortgage broker when you obtained your mortgage he or she was supposed to set up a realistic plan with regard to obtaining the funds to purchase your home. The plan was supposed to be related to your income and in theory was supposed to be related to your financial ability to make mortgage payments. However, in some situations mortgage brokers didn’t do this. Predatory lending involves financial institutions making loans to potential homeowners who have no real potential of making the mortgage payments. The financial institution and the mortgage broker engage in this practice for the purpose of making a quick profit or quick commission.

Signs of Predatory Lending

If your mortgage payment involves a high percentage of your average monthly income such as more than 50% of your monthly income, you may have been subject to predatory lending. If as part of your mortgage scheme your lender was supposed to refinance you at some point in time and it didn’t happen, you may have been subject to predatory lending. If you purchased your home and shortly thereafter found out that it had been valued at a price much lower than you originally paid for it, you also may have been subject to having a defective mortgage.

Foreclosure Defense Attorneys

Should you be facing foreclosure counter lawsuits involving your financial institution can be brought as a response to the foreclosure lawsuit. Predatory lending involves unethical lending practices and financial institutions can be held liable for these actions. If you have been victimized by a situation involving predatory lending we strongly recommend you contact an experienced foreclosure defense law firm to help you deal with this problem.

Elliot Schlissel

Elliot S. Schlissel is a partner in the law firm of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP a well known foreclosure defense firm that has been representing homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 3 decades. He can be reached for a free consultation at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or at 800-344-6431. The firm maintains offices in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties in the State of New York.

Ignoring a Foreclosure Action: This is usually a bad idea Some homeowners when facing foreclosure bury their heads in the sand. They find the issue of losing their home so depressing they simply wish to remove it from their minds and therefore they just ignore it. Eventually the homeowners will receive other documents from lawyers soliciting them to represent them in foreclosure or they will receive documents from the bank’s attorneys with regard to their moving ahead with the foreclosure process. The homeowner will receive a motion for summary judgment, and eventually they will receive notice their home is going to be sold. If this happens the homeowners should immediately contact an experienced foreclosure lawyer. However, if the homeowners don’t initially do this and somewhere in the process they wake up, it is generally not too late to stop the home from being sold in foreclosure.

Foreclosure Attorneys

Foreclosure attorneys can assist homeowners in raising defenses in the foreclosure lawsuit. These defenses involve the underwriting process involving the foreclosure, the standing of the financial institution to bring the lawsuit, issues involving predatory lending, violation of Truth in Lending Laws, the conduct of the financial institution who initiated the foreclosure and issues involving the mortgage itself. When these defenses are submitted they can potentially cause a foreclosure lawsuit to be eventually dismissed. They also delay the foreclosure lawsuit from moving forward and give the homeowner the leverage to negotiate a mortgage modification.

Homeowners Staying in their Homes

Elliot Schlissel When represented by an experienced foreclosure defense law firm the foreclosure litigation can end up being a long process. The specialized knowledge of a foreclosure defense lawyer can greatly increase the potential the homeowners will be able to continue to live in their homes.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure defense lawyer representing homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 3 decades. He offers free consultations and can be reached at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or 800-344-6431. The law firm maintains offices in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties.

Mortgage-and-Threatened-with-Foreclosure

Financial institutions generally do not move forward with foreclosure lawsuits until the homeowner is 3 months behind on their mortgage payments. So if you are only 1 or 2 months behind as long as you catch up and don’t fall the magic 3 months behind, generally speaking your financial institution will not put you into foreclosure. However, when you fall 3 months behind your financial institution can chose to reject all future mortgage payments and call in the entire balance of your mortgage. This is technically known as accelerating the mortgage. This means you no longer owe the monthly payments. You now owe the entire amount of your mortgage.

Options offered by Banks

Banks will initially send you a late notice. Thereafter they will send you letters involving potential options with regard to your mortgage. These options will include mortgage modifications, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, short sales and forbearance agreements. One of the mortgage modification options is the homeowner redoing the mortgage in a manner that the months you are behind are put at the end of your mortgage. Other options involve forgiving portions of your mortgage if you owe more than your home is worth. Another type of option is the bank redoing your mortgage and making it into a balloon mortgage. The balloon mortgage would reduce the amount of your monthly payments but have a large balloon payment down road.

Reasonable Income

One of the key factors banks look at when underwriting a mortgage modification is for you to be able to show the financial institution you are working and you have a reasonable income which will support a mortgage modification. One of the ways of maximizing your opportunity to obtain a mortgage modification is to retain an experienced foreclosure law firm that deals with submissions to financial institutions for mortgage modifications.

90 Day Notice of Foreclosure

Prior to your financial institution serving you with legal papers in a foreclosure lawsuit they will give you a 90 day notice. The 90 day notice of foreclosure will state the amount of money you owe on your mortgage as arrears and will give you an opportunity to pay all of the arrears to avoid foreclosure. Sometime after the 90 day period, if you do not pay all the arrears on your mortgage you will be served with a summons and complaint in a foreclosure lawsuit.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

If you cannot immediately bring your mortgage up to date another alternative is to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This will stop the bank’s attorneys from suing you in a foreclosure lawsuit and give you 5 years to pay back the arrears owed related to the months you fell behind on your mortgage. While making those arrears payments to the bankruptcy trustee you will also have to make your monthly mortgage payments. Although bankruptcy may stop the house from going into foreclosure, it will usually cost you more on the monthly basis than you were previously paying for your mortgage payments.

Defending and Negotiating

Elliot Schlissel Experienced foreclosure attorneys usually both defend you from foreclosure lawsuits and simultaneously negotiate with the bank’s lawyers to help obtain homeowners mortgage modifications. The technique of fighting and negotiating at the same time it the best way to maximize the chances of the homeowners keeping their homes.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a partner in Schlissel DeCorpo LLP a law firm that defends foreclosure cases. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

In this video Elliot talks about New York’s new criminal record sealing law.

Parenting Plan

I’ve heard that good marriages are made in heaven and bad marriages are made on earth. Whether a marriage or a relationship is good or bad children should not be made to suffer when the relationship ends.

Children benefit from having relationships with both parents. However, there can be bumps in the road in working out details related to the parenting time each parent has with the children. The best way to deal with these issues is to have a detailed, well written reasonable parenting plan. The following are some issues that should be dealt with in a well written parenting plan:

Schedules

Parenting plans should include schedules for each parent. These schedules should deal with weekends and vacation periods including summer vacation, winter recess, Easter, Christmas vacation and Spring break. In addition, there should be a division of all school holidays. Both parents should have access to the children on their birthdays. The father should have the children on Father’s Day and the mother should have the children on Mother’s Day. The parenting plan should deal with who picks up the children and who drops the children off. If the parties are sharing their car seat, the parenting plan should deal with the car seat issue. If the parents do not get along and can’t pick the children up at their respective places of residence, a neutral location can be worked out as to where the children will be picked up and dropped off.

Parent/Child Communications

The parenting plan should deal with each parent’s ability to communicate with the children when the children are with the other parent. They should take into consideration the usage of cell phones, texting and e-mails.

At School, Athletic and Religious Functions

The parenting plan should deal with the religion of the children. It should designate with who will be responsible for religious education and the celebration of various religious functions involving the children. Children like to see their parents at their athletic events. Each parent should assist the other parent in being aware of significant functions such as school plays, school athletic functions and other school activities the children are involved in. It makes children happy to see their parents in the audience. The parents should also keep each other advised with regard to the children’s report cards, parent/teacher conferences and open school week issues. If the school maintains a website regarding the children’s activities both parents should be aware of this.

Decision Making

There are major decisions that affect children’s lives. These decisions deal with educational issues, social issues and health care issues. A specific framework in the parenting plan should be set up to deal with all of the potential problems with regard to these issues.

Elliot Schlissel

Conclusion

Whether good marriages are made in heaven and bad marriages are made on earth, when relationships break up the best way to avoid future problems is to have a parenting plan which deals with all the aforementioned issues involving the children.

Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney with 40 years of experience in dealing with divorce and family law issues. He has offices in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties, He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Representing Yourself in Family Court: Usually a Bad Idea!

Our law office has been representing men and women in the Family Courts in the Metropolitan New York area for 40 years. We have participated in scores of cases where our clients have initially tried to represent themselves. They usually retain our law office after they failed in their attempts to represent themselves in Family Court. They come to our law office to deal with their underlying problems in the Family Court proceedings they are faced with. Sometimes they have made their problems worse by trying to represent themselves.

Every person who goes into Family Court whether it is on a paternity proceeding, a relocation case, a child support matter, ACS or CPS case, a custody case, a visitation case or any other type of proceeding in the Family Court should be represented by competent experienced Family Court attorney.

I’m Smart Enough to Represent Myself!

An individual has every right to represent themselves in the courts in New York State. The issue is can they do a good job in representing themselves. If you plan on going into Family Court or Elliot Schlisseldivorce court and represent yourself ask yourself the following questions: How do I question myself when placed on the witness stand? How do I establish a foundation for introducing evidence into the record in court? What happens when in the middle of the hearing or trial, I realize I don’t know what I’m doing?

The best way to deal with any legal issue you are facing in Family Court is to hire an experienced Family Court attorney to provide you with their expertise and legal representation. Our office offers free consultations to our client. We are available for telephone consultation 7 days a week. We can be reached at our offices in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2808 and 631-319-8262. We can also be e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.
516-561-6645, 718-350-2808 and 631-319-8262. We can also be e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Spouse’s Rights in Estates in New York

The laws in New York protect spouses in estate cases. New York has a very specific law to protect a spouse’s inheritance rights. The law in New York allows a spouse to have what is called an “elective share”. The elective share in the spouse’s estate is the greater of $50,000.00 or one-third (1/3rd) of the estate. This elective share takes into consideration assets such as joint bank accounts and other assets that are known as “testamentary substitutes.” A spouse who has not received their fair share of inherited assets from their spouse’s estate must take legal action to make a claim for their elective share in the estate proceeding.

Statute of Limitations for Seeking an Elective Share

A spouse’s right to claim the inheritance she is entitled to under his or her elective share must be initiated within six (6) months after an executor or an administrator has been appointed by the Surrogate’s Court but not later than two (2) years after the decedent’s death to deal with all of the issues involved in the estate.

Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements

A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement can place restrictions on a spouse’s rights to obtain an elective share. Sometimes when there is a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreementElliot Schlissel a spouse presumes he or she is not entitled to their elective share. If there is a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement it should be evaluated carefully by an estate’s lawyer. There may be a ground to take legal action to set the pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement aside. If the agreement is set aside a spouse would still be entitled to their elective share.

Protecting Your Rights

Spouses as well as other beneficiaries to estates should make sure their rights are protected. Should it become necessary to take legal action to protect your rights, to see to it you receive the appropriate distribution in the Estate or to challenge some aspects of an estate proceeding, it is important that you retain a law firm with extensive experience in estate matters to represent you.

The law office of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP has more than 30 years of experience litigating a variety of estate issues. Our law firm administrates estates, protects beneficiaries, deals with issues of spousal rights of election and all other issues involving estate matters. Our firm has an extensive history of successfully recovering assets for our clients. Contact us to learn why we are the estate attorneys that can help you at 800-344-6431 or e-mail us at Elliot@sdny.com.

Parenting Plans & Co-ParentingParenting plans are often set up during the course of settlement agreements to deal with decision making, visitation and custody issues for children of the marriage. Parenting plans can help provide stability, minimize potential conflicts between the parents and create a consistent framework for parents to develop loving relationships with their children. Couples who utilize parenting plans and cooperate with each other regarding the terms of the parenting plan can usually avoid problems with the other parent when dealing with issues involving their children.

Co-Parenting

Co-parenting involves parents working together after their relationship has ended regarding issues involving their children. There are many keys to co-parenting. The parents should promote the children’s best interests and maintain consistency in their policy decisions. They should consult with each other regarding significant child rearing issues and be flexible with each other if their decisions don’t work out well.

Parenting Time

Elliot SchlisselParents should work out reasonable parenting time schedules and be flexible in modifying and changing these schedules to meet with the parents and their children’s needs. It is especially important that the parents cooperate with each other and support their children’s relationship with the other parent. The key to co-parenting is to maintain the children’s best interests as the priority and put the children’s needs above the parents’ needs.

The law office of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP for more than 4 decades has been representing parents in divorces, custody disputes, visitation and relocation proceedings. Our offices in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties offer free consultations to prospective clients. We can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mail Elliot Schlissel, Esq. at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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