Spodek Law Group Divorce Attorneys
Work with a top rated group of divorce lawyers who are passionate about helping you get the assistance you need. We protect your rights, and protect you financially – while preserving your family and it’s integrity.
Legal issues don’t wait – they strike at a moments notice – that’s why our Long Island divorce attorneys are available 24/7 to help you. Regardless of when you call, one of our attorneys is available to help answer your legal issues, and offer a risk free consultation. Once you sign up with us, you have constant access to your assigned attorney for any legal issues you might have. We’re 100% dedicated to you – and your right to get legal help. Give us a call today, for a risk free consultation.
The Spodek Law Group cares about one thing only: our clients satisfaction and the results we get for them. With over 40 years of legal experience, the Spodek Law Groups knows how to win cases, and how to get families the outcome they need. Clients consistently refer us to their friends and family members – because of this. Our goal isn’t to increase our billable hours – our goal is to ensure your families happiness. We understand that protecting you, means more than just getting an agreement signed – it means protecting your rights, and protecting you financially. Our #1 goal is to help ensure your spouse doesn’t take advantage of you, or bully you – whether it be financially, or by using your kids against you. We structure fair custody agreements, and understand how to divide assets in a fair way.
Spodek Law Group Matrimonial Lawyers
We're trusted, well known, and one of the oldest law firms in New York. Here are some reasons why you should choose us, and why client's love us. Many of our clients refer us to their friends, and family members.
We Find Hidden Assets
We'll find the assets your spouse is hiding and get you a fair deal. We are aggressive and unyielding.
Caring and Professional
We are a service oriented law firm. We focus on providing realistic expectations, and tangible results for each and every client.
Flexible Payment Plans
We're one of the few law firms to offer flexible payment plans. We make it easy to hire our divorce attorneys.
Top Rated Attorney
Founding partner Todd Spodek is widely acclaimed as a reputable attorney, interviewed on major outlets and major lawyer ranking services.
We are here 24/7, and can meet you in person, or over the phone for a risk free consultation. Once you sign up, we are ALWAYS available to chat.
We're a results oriented firm. Ask us about your case, and we'll tell you what to expect and what you can expect based on our experience.
Small Firm Attention With Over 40 Years of Experience
PURSUING YOUR BEST INTERESTS
Our law firm understands your future is at risk. We get it. You need an experienced divorce lawyer in Long Island who understands matrimonial and family law. At the Spodek Law Group, we understand the situation you’re dealing with is difficult, and we try to create the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. We help you resolve division of property issues, and child custody issues diligently, and with respect. We have the knowledge, and experience, to take a case to it’s conclusion if that’s what’s necessary. Divorce Lawyers Long Island, like Todd Spodek, represent clients in Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and all 5 boroughs of Long Island.
How are high net worth divorce cases different?
High net worth divorce cases pose some unique challenges. With so much on the line, it’s common for the divorce process to be more complicated and challenging. All aspects of a divorce from custody to division of assets may be more involved and difficult when there are a large amount of assets in the case.
Finding hidden assets
The first question for dividing assets in high net worth cases is identifying the assets and determining whether they are marital. In high net worth cases, the parties often have a lot to gain by hiding assets. They might try to change the title of an asset in order to keep it from the reach of divorce court. They may try to downplay the value of a closely-held business. They might even give items of personal property away in the months leading up to the divorce.
Your divorce attorney can work to track these assets down. They can issue subpoenas and prepare interrogatory requests in order to identify and document the assets. If a party gets caught trying to hide money or property from the court, the consequences are often steep.
The traditional rules for child support don’t apply in high income cases. The court may continue to apply the standard percentages of a parent’s income in order to determine a child support amount. However, the court is also free to look at the high income of the parents and choose to set a different amount for a support award. The theory is that at some point, a child’s needs are met. While a child has a right to enjoy their share of a parent’s success, they don’t have a right to a flat percentage of a parent’s income that goes beyond their reasonable needs.
In high income cases, it’s up to the parents to make arguments to the court about why a certain child support amount is the most appropriate. You might do this by working with your attorney to present and gather evidence of the children’s expenses. This might include special needs expenses, reasonable extracurricular costs and even costs for private school attendance. The court can consider the lifestyle of the parents when it makes its decision.
Division of the assets and alimony
When the court divides property in a divorce, it’s their job to do what’s equitable. In high net worth cases, a party may need alimony. They may need time to reenter the workforce, or they may not be able to return to work at all. In that case, it’s important to work with your attorney in order to build the case for alimony. Alimony can be temporary while the divorce is pending, it might continue for a short time after the divorce, and in some cases, alimony is permanent.
The court needs to have the right evidence before it in order to make the right decisions in a high net worth divorce case. It’s up to each party to present this evidence. That means carefully taking the time to methodically prepare the case.
Contact a Nassau County Divorce Lawyer Today
Long Island divorce attorney Todd Spodek has experience handling prenups, separation agreements, annulments, divorces (contested and uncontested), in addition to child support, custody cases, orders of protection, and more. We make every effort possible to handle cases before starting a lawsuit. If we find there’s no amicable resolution possible, we take your case to it’s conclusion. It’s critical that you call a knowledgable Nassau County Divorce lawyer before starting any family legal issue in New York. Your families future relies on your ability to get results, and the capability of your attorney. When you work with our firm, you can rest knowing you have some of the top nassau county divorce attorneys on your side.
Do you have to pay alimony in a divorce case?
The question on whether you or your partner is supposed to pay alimony in a divorce case can best be answered by first trying to understand what exactly is alimony.
What is Alimony?
Alimony can best be understood by looking at the concept of “the living standard of the marriage”. This concept is what is used in divorce cases to determine if a party in the divorce case deserves to be paid alimony and also sets how much should be paid. So, put simply, if you earn more than your spouse, the judge might order that you pay an amount to your partner which will sufficiently ensure that your spouse continues to enjoy the same living standard he or she was living before the divorce happened.
Is the standard of living the same for all cases?
Definitely not. The standard of living of the marriage for one couple cannot be compared with that of another couple. For one, the standard of living might mean living in big homes, taking lavish vacations and driving expensive cars while for another it might mean driving an average car, living in a modest home and going for holidays once in a long while.
Who between the husband and wife pays alimony?
In the U.S. alimony is gender-neutral, meaning that if the wife earns more than the husband and they decide to divorce, the judge might order the wife to pay alimony to the husband. In the event that you and your spouse earn equal income, then none of you will be ordered to pay alimony to the other.
Different types of Alimony
There are two main types of alimony payments that can be ordered by a judge. These include:
• Permanent alimony- This type of alimony is intended to continue indefinitely. A judge may set the end date for this alimony to be some time in the future after some major change in the circumstances of the spouse receiving this type of alimony. Permanent alimony can be awarded to a spouse who has spent many years as a full-time parent.
• Term alimony- This type of alimony is awarded in short marriages or in a marriage where the judge believes that the spouse will be able to be self-reliant after some time and be able to sustain the standard of living of the marriage.
Factors that judges put into consideration when determining whether alimony is necessary
i. The age of the parties
ii. The duration of the marriage
iii. The earning capacities, vocational skills, educational skills and employability of the spouses.
iv. The emotional and physical health of the spouse seeking alimony.
v. The abilities of the spouses to pay.
vi. The duration in which the party seeking alimony has been away from the job market.
vii. The standard of living of the marriage before the divorce.
Before a judge orders a spouse to pay alimony to another, he or she must satisfy himself or herself that the conditions set in law for alimony payment are met.
Clients Love Our Nassau County Divorce Lawyers
Very diligent, organized associates; got my case dismissed. Hard working divorce attorneys who can put up with your anxiousness. Definitely A law group that lays out all possible options and best alternative routes. Recommended for sure..
ROBIN, ACCIDENT CLIENT
I am so happy to have made the right choice half a year ago when I was looking for legal representation. The experience with Spodek was gratifying since my first phone call. Unlike the hasty answerers of other law firms, Alex was patient and encouraging, and I could literally feel the warmth and attentiveness even on the phone..
ANNA, DIVORCE CLIENT
I couldn't have asked for a better law group to handle my issue. I was informed by several lawyers that my case would be extremely difficult and may not be able to be resolved Spodek law group not only found a way to resolve my issue but it happened fairly quickly and without added stress..
JACK, ROBBERY CLIENT
Todd Spodek - Founding Partner, Award Winning Divorce Lawyer
Todd Spodek is a second generation divorce lawyer. At the Spodek Law Group, he’s the managing partner and is dedicated to helping families. His goal is to help every single client, and he treats them like family members. He leverages the law to help clients get the outcome they need for them, and their family. If you’re facing an issue, speak to Todd Spodek or one of the attorneys at our firm. He’s respected by judges, attorneys, and clients alike.
View All practive areas
Payment PlansWe offer payment plans, unlike other law firms, in order to make it so you can afford our services.
Of ExperienceWe have over 40 years of experience handling divorce cases successfully. Trust us.
Seen on TV
Celebrity Divorce LawyerTodd Spodek is regularly interviewed by the media, and seen on TV. He's a celebrity attorney because of his experience.
We Treat Each Client Like Family
Frequently Asked Questions
Divorce is never an easy time, especially for couples that have been married for such a long time. Once the divorce proceedings start and you are sure that there is no turning back for you and your partner, the next phase would be for the two of you to decide who gets what from your marriage. When it comes to splitting your marital assets, the 401(k) is regarded to be one of the most complicated assets that a divorcing couple has to split. Lucky for parties divorcing, the law has set the legal process that must be followed when spitting a 401(k) in a divorce.
The Legal Process of Splitting a 401(k)
In law, the splitting of a 401(k) follows three key steps:
i. The divorce decree obtained from the court must order the splitting of the 401(k)
ii. Your attorney must then draw up the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), a legal document instructing the administrator of your 401(k) to split it in strict compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Both the administrator of the 401(k) and the family court judge must approve and sign the QDRO before it takes effect.
iii. Once the QDRO takes effect, your spouse will be assigned a new status as an “alternate payee”, meaning that he or she can also receive payment from the 401 (k).
What follows next?
Distribution is what follows next. The alternate payee can collect the portion of the 401(k) in any three options. The alternate payee must detail the method he or she intends to receive the portion due to him or her in the QDRO. As an alternate payee, you can choose any of the following three options:
i. You can roll over your benefits to your own retirement plan or,
ii. Leave your share in the current plan and receive payment when the other party retires or,
iii. Receive the money in cash.
When can the alternate payee take his or her portion of the 401(k)?
According to the regulations set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), if you are the alternate payee, you can only take your 401(k) in cash at the time when your plan administrator approves the duly filled QDRO. If you delay and choose to withdraw the money beyond this legally permitted window, you will be subjected to a 10% penalty for early withdrawal. After the withdrawal, the IRS will treat the lump sum received as part of your regular income and it will be subjected to normal income taxation.
Point of caution:
Delays in preparing and filing the QDRO can complicate the whole process. If you are the one receiving the benefits, you should urge your attorney to prepare and file the QDRO at the soonest opportunity possible. Again, you need to remember that the timing for the QDRO is very critical. Unnecessary delays should be avoided as far as possible. Once you have filed the QDRO with the plan administrator ask your attorney to follow it up to ensure that it does not take too long to be approved and implemented.
Many people today are concerned about the impact that a divorce will have on their time and availability, and quite frankly, most people would prefer staying out of court if possible. In contemplation of filing for divorce, a frequently asked question, is whether or not you will have to go to court during your divorce process.
It is possible to avoid having to go to court during your divorce process, but that is based on the direction your case takes after you have filed your initial petition for divorce. Some of the common directions that a case can take to avoid going to court is to proceed by filing a default divorce or to proceed uncontested. Here, we will examine areas of the divorce process, that will help you determine whether or not you will need to go to court for your divorce case.
Filing court documents
In order to initiate the divorce process you, your attorney, court courier, friend or family member must first file the summons and petition at the Family Law courthouse in order to start the divorce process. Depending on how the rest of your case goes, this may be the only time you step into a courthouse for your divorce case, or you may be able to avoid the courthouse all-together, if your jurisdiction allows e-filing.
A contested case involves parties that do not agree on various aspects of their divorce. A contested case often consists of conducting discovery, filing motions, and appearing at hearings or trials, much of which will require your personal appearance.
An uncontested case involves divorcing spouses that are able to reach agreements among themselves, through their attorneys or through mediation. Uncontested cases usually involve the informal process of providing relevant information and documents to the other spouse, rather than engaging in formal discovery demands, which negates the need to seek the courts involvement. Most cases that proceed uncontested are resolved by agreement, which means that the final divorce decree or judgement/marital settlement agreement is drafted by the parties or their attorney’s of record, signed by the parties and submitted to the judge for his or her signature and court filing. This process generally avoids the need to ever go to court during your divorce process.
A default divorce can be initiated if the other spouse has been given legal notice of the divorce proceedings and has chosen to ignore or not respond to the divorce petition. In this situation, a party can file the default and associated paperwork, and if granted you will not have to go to court during your divorce process.
In conclusion, it is possible for you to avoid court appearances during your divorce process, but that is determined in large part to the direction that your case takes after you file for divorce.
There are many ways custody can be decided in a divorce. Generally speaking, both parents have an equal right to custody. It’s important that both parents understand what custody is, precisely, before deciding who gets custody.
Physical and Legal
There are two kinds of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is residential custody, or where the children live. Legal is the power to make major decisions regarding the children, such as healthcare, religion, or education.
Physical and legal custody can be ordered differently. For example, the mother can have sole physical custody, which means the children live with her, while the mother and father have joint legal custody, which means they must agree on all the major decisions. These orders can be in any combination, including one parent having sole physical and sole legal custody.
Once you understand the way custody can be ordered, let’s look at how it can be decided.
Parents can decide
If the divorcing couple is able to agree on things, they may be able to discuss and come to an agreement regarding child custody. If they can, in most cases, a judge will incorporate their agreement into the final divorce decree. This is typically the easiest, and fastest, way to resolve custody.
If the parents are not able to agree, they can choose (or some states may order them) to go to mediation. In mediation, a neutral third party will help them try to find a compromise. The mediator will not usually make recommendations, but will help the couple consider the factors that affect custody to see if they can come to an agreement. If they can, this agreement will then be presented to the judge, and be incorporated into the divorce decree.
Guardian ad Litem
In particularly contentious cases, or in which both parents are very determined to have custody, a Guardian ad Litem can be appointed for the child(ren). A Guardian ad Litem is usually an attorney, and they represent the child. They’ll look at things like the home environment, the relationships the child has with each parent, parental incomes, the willingness of each parent to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent, and other factors to determine the best option for the child. This recommendation is then presented to the court, where the parents can disagree with it, but a judge will make a final decision.
The Judge Decides
When all else fails, or after a Guardian ad Litem has made a recommendation, a judge looks at “the best interests of the children” to decide where the children should live. He’ll look at parental incomes, who the primary caretaker was, and many other factors to decide, and his decision will be put in the divorce decree.
Unless the parents are able to agree on custody, most will find it helpful to hire a lawyer to help navigate the process and ensure that their interests are fully represented and heard by the court.
Divorce is the process of legal termination of a marriage between spouses. Most jurisdictions in the world have assimilated divorce proceedings into their respective legal systems. Although different jurisdictions have structural differences in their divorce laws, most of them provide that legal separations have to be conducted by the mandated entities. Divorce proceedings can exert a lot of physical, emotional and financial pressure on spouses. This is due to their stressful nature involving division of matrimonial property, payment of spousal support and child custody battles.
Divorces are more strenuous than other types of cases. However, some divorce proceedings tend to be harder than others. An example of a divorce case that is more difficult than a regular divorce is where children were born out of the marriage. Multiple factors are put into consideration by courts before deciding on children’s custody. Some of the elements considered by courts in relation to child custody include the child’s preference, the child’s relationship with both parents, the physical and psychological well-being of the spouses, and the ability of each spouse to provide a stable and loving environment for the children. In practice, child custody cases can last for months before a settlement is reached. Cases involving the right to child access by a spouse can also be severely prolonged in courts.
Divorce cases where the spouses disagree on the division of property are also very difficult to conduct. In simpler divorce scenarios, spouses are bound by the prenuptial agreements they may have signed before their marriage. Prenuptial agreements are legally binding documents that are ratified by both spouses and contain guidelines relating to the division of property upon divorce. Cases where divorcing parties agree on an approach to be used in the division of assets and liabilities, are simpler and occupy less time in litigation. Similarly, cases, where the divorcing parties fail to agree on a method of asset distribution, are typically more difficult. Where the spouses contest distribution of property, courts are legally obligated to intervene and divide the property as they deem fit. This process of asset distribution may take even years before courts make a decision.
Another example of divorce cases that are more challenging than regular divorce cases are legal separations between high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). High-networth individuals are members of society whose financial valuables exceed an average sum of US$ 1 million. HNWI divorce cases entail a high degree of financial complexities: from unpaid taxes to offshore funds stashed away in tax havens. Divorce cases among such individuals are characterized by division of high-value assets and liabilities and payment of exorbitant legal fees. Owing to the high-value of assets and liabilities involved, HNWI divorce cases can outlast regular divorce cases in court. Divorce cases of this nature may also require courts to distribute indivisible assets between the parties. In some HNWI divorces, courts have to conduct investigations where a spouse may be suspected of hiding their assets.
In most jurisdictions, divorce proceedings lead to the division of property between the spouses. This narrative is not any different in New York State. The process of asset division often results in spouses spiraling into heated exchanges. Such divorces are commonly known as contested divorces. In contested divorces, spouses fail to agree on the division of property between themselves, thereby occasioning the court’s intervention. On the other hand, some divorcing spouses agree on the division of property between themselves — such divorces are known as uncontested divorces. Uncontested divorces are often conducted speedily and tend to be cost-effective for both parties. An example of an uncontested divorce is where the spouses had signed a prenuptial agreementbeforehand. Prenuptial agreements are legally enforceable documents, ratified by both spouses that outline how asset division between them will be conducted, should their marriage fail.
Division of assets in New York State is based on the doctrine of equitable distribution of property. Equitable distribution denotes division based on what the court deems as fair, as opposed to equal sharing. Spouses seeking divorce in New York should seek representation from lawyers, in order to contest any unfair apportionment of an asset or liability in the proceedings. Courts put into consideration a spouse’s contribution (both financial and non-financial) to the acquisition of an asset before dividing it. Therefore, a spouse claiming a non-financial contribution to the procurement of an asset would receive a portion of the asset’s value upon divorce. Where some of the matrimonial property is indivisible, the court may compensate a spouse with another asset(s) of similar value.
Another reason why it is important for divorcing spouses in NY to seek legal representation is, to gain an understanding of the difference between matrimonial property and separate property. According to New York State law, matrimonial property connotes any assets accumulated by both spouses during the subsistence of their marriage. Matrimonial property includes but is not limited to: real and personal property, business income, stocks and insurance benefits. However, not all property acquired during a marriage is categorized as matrimonial property. If a prenuptial agreement expressly characterized property acquired during the marriage as separate property, the property is deemed so. An inheritance received by either spouse is also not categorized as matrimonial property. In contrast, separate property is any property held in possession by the spouses before their marriage. Separate property is not subject to division between spouses in a court of law, in the event of divorce.
It is also advisable for divorcing spouses in NY to seek legal counsel to understand all the factors considered by courts before the division of an asset. Factors such as length of the marriage, future needs and amount of income are put into consideration. Income is also reviewed by courts before any decisions in respect to spousal maintenance are made. Legal representation from NY’s divorce lawyers ensures that the rights and interests of the spouse(s) are protected and upheld throughout the proceedings.
Getting married is considered a romantic way to commit to a partner, but it’s actually a legal agreement. You’re entering a contract with the person for a lifetime. In essence, you share everything. You may want some protection, however, if the marriage fails for any reason. A prenuptial agreement or prenup is a legal document that specifies who has the right to certain assets during a divorce. If you’re wondering if you need a prenup, take a look at the reasons why it tends to be a good idea.
Protect Your Current Assets
You may be 20 or 30 years old when you get married for the first time. The planning and experience is exciting. Both partners have some assets, however, that they’re bringing into the marriage. Choose a prenup if you have any assets at this point. Stock options, savings accounts and inheritances might be up for grabs in the future if divorce occurs. A prenup that protects your initial assets allows you to walk away from the marriage without losing those items.
Consider Future Achievements
Aside from defining custody and financial support in the prenup, almost any other topic can be visited. If you’re working on an invention or grand idea, be sure to add this subject to the prenup. A married person who strikes it big as an entrepreneur may not want to share those future assets with their partner if a divorce comes up. The prenup can specify that any achievements are the individual’s assets. The partner doesn’t have any claim to them. Consult with a lawyer to be sure about the wording in this part of the document.
Defines Personal Property
Some couples get married late in life. They both have certain assets that were earned before the ceremony. These couples might live happily for several decades as married people. However, a divorce occurs after those many years. A prenup defines personal property over the years that may be forgotten. An argument about an item’s original owner can be quickly fixed with a scan of the prenup. As a result, the prenup makes divorce easier when it comes to dividing out the assets. Any items not defined under the prenup become community property between the partners.
Supports a Party in a Second Marriage
Certain partners meet and marry in their 50s or 60s. In many cases, the marriage is a second one for both. A prenup before the second ceremony is a good idea because it protects personal assets that might be earmarked for grown children or grandchildren. If divorce looms, each benefactor of those partners is protected from losing any inheritances in the future. Consider these prenups as family protection instead of an agreement between two people.
Working with a legal professional in order to draw up the prenup is the best-case scenario. These professionals know where you should be careful about some assets while leaving others as shared property. With a knowledgeable professional by your side, a prenup can be written up, signed and stored away for future use if necessary.
If you’re in the process of getting divorced, you’ll likely have the opportunity to participate in mediation. You might wonder if mediation is going to be helpful in your case. You might think that if your divorce is hostile or the other side is being stubborn, there’s no way that you’re going to reach any kind of settlement.
The truth is that the vast majority of divorce cases settle before trial. A large number of them settle during mediation proceedings. In fact, mediation can be a very helpful tool for resolving a divorce.
There are a number of reasons that mediation tends to be helpful in divorce cases. First, mediation gives the parties the chance to discuss many issues at once. Trying to resolve a case with phone calls back and forth over a long period of time doesn’t give the parties the opportunity to throw out a large number of ideas at once. When you work on a case during mediation, you can suggest a resolution, and the other side can respond right away. With this back and forth, you can often accomplish many weeks or months of work in one day or afternoon.
Mediation is also helpful because the parties have a chance to consider more creative solutions than they might receive in court. In mediation, the parties can be as creative as they want to about custody and parenting time provisions and division of assets. If you’re concerned about where a child attends day care or you’re really concerned about the children being able to attend your family’s annual reunion, these are things that you can discuss in mediation.
You’re not likely to take your case to trial and have a judge order that the children must attend your annual family reunion. When you go to court, you get a custody order, and the chips fall where they may. However, in mediation, you’re able to get creative.
Mediation is helpful because it lets you focus on what’s most important to you. You might not care about the family china, but you might be very concerned about keeping your jewelry. You may want the marital home and be less concerned about keeping the 401k account. Mediation allows you to prioritize.
At trial, the court makes an equitable division of the assets. The court must concern themselves with what’s fair. While they might consider what’s practical, they’re not concerned with your preferences. Mediation can be very helpful because you can work to keep the things that matter the most to you. Ultimately, this can leave you with greater satisfaction from your divorce case than you might receive if you take your case to trial.
When parties prepare for mediation, their attorneys can help them form realistic expectations. When the parties know the strengths and weaknesses of their case and what the court is likely to do if the case goes to trial, mediation can be helpful to resolve the case. You may be surprised to find that mediation can resolve even tough cases.