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Temporary Spousal Maintenance In New York

divorce attorneys on Long IslandIn October 2010, the State Legislature in New York enacted guidelines for calculating temporary spousal maintenance. The purpose of this new statute is to provide consistency in spousal maintenance awards by judges. The temporary maintenance law provides a formula by which the parties to a matrimonial lawsuit can determine what, if any, spousal maintenance is required to be paid on a temporary basis.

Temporary Maintenance Law Does Not Work

The temporary maintenance statute has not accomplished its goal. It has created more problems in divorce proceedings than it has resolved. The statutory formula replaced the prior system of determining temporary spousal maintenance which was based on the Court exercising its discretion after assessing the financial circumstances and the needs of the parties.

The intent of temporary spousal maintenance is to allow the non-moneyed spouse to maintain his or her standard of living that existed prior to the initiation of the divorce lawsuit. The legislature took action to draft a temporary maintenance statute because of the feeling that there was a lack of consistency and predictability by allowing Judges to determine each case on a case by case basis.

Bankrupting The Moneyed Spouse

In to in many cases the writer of this article has been involved with, the application of the temporary maintenance statute has financially ruined the moneyed spouse. This statute unfortunately over emphasizes the wages of the moneyed spouse. It does not take into consideration the financial needs of the parties and their actual living expenses. The formula does not take into consideration the payments for household expenses such as mortgage payments, electric payments, fuel oil, payments for internet service, telephone charges, maintenance of the property, child support and attorney’s fees during the course of litigation. The approach utilized by this statute does not accurately deal with the specific financial obligations and needs of the parties.

Rigid Formula Must Go!

The new maintenance statue needs to be revised. It is a rigid formula that denies the Court from having the necessary discretion to deal with the unique financial circumstances litigants are exposed to. In some situations spouses are receiving interim spousal maintenance awards in cases and at the conclusion, they receive no spousal maintenance. How can this be fair?maintenance and custody attorneys

What to do and What not to do If You’re Getting Divorced

Getting divorced is not fun. It can be one of the most stressful times in men and women’s lives. Even in amicable situations, men and women tend to find themselves being stressed out. Divorce involves an emotional break up as well as a financial break up. Issues involving custody and visitation of children can be gut wrenching. There are things that you should do and that you should avoid doing that may make your divorce less antagonistic and stressful.

Don’t Do The Following

Don’t decide to take a job in another state or move out of the country until all aspects of your divorce are resolved. Avoid violating temporary custody or temporary visitation arrangements. If you don’t comply with the temporary custody or visitation arrangements, you may not be able to obtain permanent custody. Do not hide your assets, or lend your assets to your friends. You’ll find this is counter productive and may lead to large legal fees to straighten out these issues.

Hire An Attorney

Only a fool would represent himself or herself in a divorce. The laws in the State of New York are complicated and the legal system is full of problems for the unweary.

Things To Do When You’re Divorced

Try to be reasonable! Take into consideration your spouses point of view. Cooperate with your lawyer and the court. Be prepared to make reasonable compromises.

You should provide child support to your children during the divorce process. Divorce is a process where adults break up a relationship. Children are the innocent victims in divorces. Try to avoid having your children pick sides as to who is right and who is wrong.

When you’re visiting with the children, let your spouse know where the children are. See to it that the children can maintain reasonable telephone communication with the other parent when they are in your company.

Create a list of your assets and property and disclose them all to the other side. If you seek to hide your assets or engage in financial deception, you can end up litigating your divorce again and again in the future.

Maintain an appropriate level of communication with your lawyer. Don’t be afraid to ask him or her questions. The lawyer works for you! His or her job is to help you. If you feel you do not understand the divorce process, have the attorney explain it to you.

Father’s Rights Lawyers

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates have been representing fathers in divorce and family court proceedings for more than 30 years. The firm deals with issues involving orders or protection, paternity, child abuse defense, CPS and ACS problems, child neglect issues, child support, child custody, visitation and spousal maintenance (alimony). The firm handles no fault divorces as well as fault divorces. Issues involving attorneys fees in divorces are expertly handled by the firm. In the appropriate situations, the firm obtains annulments for our clients.

Issues involving grandparent’s rights, equitable distribution and relocation problems are dealt with on a regular basis by the firm.  One of the more difficult issues we have developed in expertise is that fathers face is parental alienation of the fathers by mothers that create parental alienation syndrome issues for their children. Call for a consultation regarding any of the aforementioned issues.

Six-year-old’s Video Testimony Rejected by Family Court Judge

father-150x1504Judge Richardson-Mendelsohn, a Family Court judge sitting in Queens County, New York, has refused a request to allow a six-year-old boy to testify via a closed circuit television hookup in a Family Court proceeding seeking an order of protection against his uncle.

Z. Shareef, the boy’s mother, had brought a proceeding in the Queens Family Court seeking the extension of an order of protection against her husband’s brother.  After bringing the application to the court, her attorney requested permission for the six-year-old boy to testify by a closed-circuit video hook-up.

Request for Video Hook-Up Denied

Family Court Judge Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelsohn denied the application to allow the six-year-old to testify by a video hook-up.  She stated in her decision that respondent Nhassen’s constitutional rights outweighed the need to protect the boy from psychological trauma.

The petition brought by the boy’s attorney indicated the boy is so afraid of his uncle that he’ll be petrified when he enters the court room and will be unable to testify in open court.  The judge rejected this argument, stating in her decision, “Although the petitioner contends that a her six-year-old son is scared of the respondent and therefore it will be traumatic for him to testify in [his] presence, no specific evidence supporting serious mental or emotional harm to the child has been presented.”  The lawsuit brought by Ms. Shareef, the boy’s mother, indicates, among other allegations, that the uncle has kicked her son and also hit him in violation of an order of protection.

Family Court Attorneys

The Fathers’ Rights Lawyers at The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been representing men regarding applications for orders of protection for more than three decades.  Our office aggressively presents the fathers’ positions in cases brought by Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and Child Protective Services (CPS) for child abuse.  We work with our clients to provide the best possible results in these proceedings.  We also represent fathers in custody disputes, child support matters, visitation cases, spousal support matters, as well as all aspects of divorce litigation.  If you are a father or a man faced with a difficult situation either in a divorce or Family Court proceeding, we are the law firm that can help you.  Feel free to call us 24/7 at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Long Island and NYC Divorce Lawyer on New York’s New No-fault Divorce Law

nofault2-120x150Hooray! New York has now joined the other 49 states in the United States concerning the grounds for divorce. On October 12, 2010, New York’s new no-fault divorce law went into effect. This is the first change in New York’s divorce law since the mid 1960’s. New York is now in conformity with the other 49 states in granting parties whose marriage has broken down a divorce without airing their personal problems in a court of law.

New Ground for Divorce

To obtain a divorce in New York, you now only need to allege that the marriage between the parties has been irretrievably broken down for a period in excess of six months. That’s it! That’s the entire ground for divorce. Parties in a divorce proceeding no longer need to allege adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment or living separate and apart for one year under a separation agreement. However, all of the aforementioned grounds for divorce still exist in the State of New York and nothing prevents individuals seeking a divorce based on these four other grounds.

New Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) Law

A statute accompanying the new no-fault divorce law deals with the issue of temporary maintenance (spousal support) while the divorce is pending in the courts in New York. This new statute creates a new formula and a list of factors for the court to follow in providing temporary spousal maintenance for the less financially secure spouse. The purpose of this new statute is to prevent the non-breadwinner spouse from going into a state of poverty during the pendency of a divorce proceeding.

The new statute creates a presumption that the less-monied spouse is entitled to receive both spousal maintenance and attorney fees during the course of the divorce proceeding. Under the law that previously existed, a party seeking to obtain attorney fees had to make an application to the court during the divorce process to obtain either temporary attorney fees or permanent attorney fees. The new law has considerably liberalized the rules concerning spouses receiving temporary spousal maintenance and attorney fees from the very beginning of the divorce process.

Speeding Up Cases

The purpose of the new no-fault divorce law, the new spousal maintenance law and the law regarding attorney fees is to simplify and speed up proceedings for divorce in the courts of the State of New York. During the 2009 calendar year, there were 13,212 contested divorce actions in the state of New York. Spouses no longer have to go through painful, long, expensive trials on the issue of who did what to whom in their divorce proceedings. They can now concentrate on the economic issues and the custody and visitation issues in divorce proceedings.

Should you wish to be divorced, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you with this new simplified process. Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. Our phones are answered 24/7.

Lawyer To Be Jailed If He Doesn’t Pay Daughter’s Tuition

piggy-150x150John J.P. Krol graduated from Fordham Law School and was admitted to the bar in New York in 1982.  He is a practicing attorney.  Mr. Krol was married in 1982 and he has two sons and three daughters.  In 2008, a year after Mr. Krol started a divorce proceeding, his daughter (only identified in the proceeding as “MK”) began attending the University of Rhode Island. Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Bruno wanted Mr. Krol to pay 86% of his daughter’s college education.  Mr. Krol refused to obey the court’s order.  His wife brought an application to hold him in contempt for violating the order.  Mr. Krol eventually paid his daughter’s college tuition.  The following year, he again failed to pay the tuition.  Mrs. Krol again filed a contempt proceeding.  As a result, Mr. Krol again agreed to pay his daughter’s expenses rather than proceed with the hearing on the contempt charges.

The next semester he yet again failed to pay for his daughter’s college education. Ms. Krol brought a third application to hold her husband in contempt.  Mr. Krol argued that he was financially unable to pay the college expenses.  Mr. Krol felt he was being penalized in this case and should not have the burden of paying education expenses.

Judge Bruno, in his decision, stated that “due to the urgency of the instant application, this court finds that the defendant has exhausted other less dramatic remedies, especially having been down this path several times before.  The plaintiff does not dispute he has not paid the daughter’s college education expenses nor does he dispute other less drastic remedies should be taken”.  Judge Bruno sentenced Mr. Krol to serve six months jail time in the Nassau County correctional facility if he did not pay the tuition.  He also advised Mr. Krol that he would file a complaint with the Grievance Committee of the Bar Association with regard to his conduct.  This matter was later resolved by a stipulation entered into between the parties.


New York City and Long Island Divorce Lawyers

At The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, we have been representing our clients in divorce proceedings throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than three decades.  We litigate all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including but not limited to, custody proceedingsorders of protection, spousal support, child support and annulments.

Should you need a matrimonial or Family Law attorney, feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

No Fault Divorce Comes To New York

dealdivorce-150x129New York is now joining the other 49 states in the United States with regard to divorce laws. The New York State Assembly has passed a no fault divorce law. Now both the State Senate and the Assembly have passed the liberalized New York divorce law, and it is anticipated that Governor Patterson will sign the new no fault divorce law very soon.

The new no fault divorce law will provide a ground for divorce where one spouse can unilaterally end a marriage by swearing under oath that the marriage has been broken beyond repair for at least six months. This is a major change in the divorce laws of the State of New York. New York was the last hold out to the modernization of its divorce laws; New York is now in synch with the other 49 states.

Up until now to obtain a divorce in New York, one party had to prove a fault ground such as cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, constructive abandonment, or adultery. The only ground for a no fault divorce was living separate and apart pursuant to a written separation agreement for one year.

It should be noted that the new divorce law only deals with the issue of fault. It does not deal with issues concerning child custody, visitation or division of property (equitable distribution).

The new law will allow individuals in an unhappy marriages to get divorced more quickly than they could have in the past. Critics claim that the new divorce law will allow people to place less importance on marriage and therefore increase the divorce rate.

Some critics have raised issues concerning the new divorce law with regard to individuals abandoning critically ill spouses. In situations where a spouse may need to go into a nursing home, obtaining a divorce may free the individual from supporting the spouse and create a further burden on Medicaid or other publically funded programs to pay the expenses for the nursing home. There is also concern that more affluent spouses will use the new divorce law to quickly end marriages and leave the less affluent spouses destitute.

I believe the new New York No Fault Divorce Law is a good thing for the residents of the State of New York. It may help simplify some divorces and make the system more efficient and user friendly. Query: Should marriage now become contract that is subject to renewal every 5 years?

If you have any questions concerning New York Divorce, contact the divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo by email or at 1-800-344-6431.

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