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

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been ordered to pay child support in the state of New York, there are a few different factors that are involved. The court will often protect the parent who does not have custody of the child and order at least a minimal amount of support that is to be paid each month by who is considered the absent parent. It’s important to keep in mind that even though the term absent parent is used, it does not mean that the parent is not involved in the child’s life. It simply means that the parent is not the one who lives in the home with the child.

The Child Support Standards Act is one of the components used to calculate the amount that the absent parent is to pay. There is a basic obligation that is achieved by multiplying combined parental income by the child support income percentage. There are different percentages that the court will go by, such as the income for one child or a percentage of the income for two children. There is a higher percentage calculated for each additional child that the parent has to support.

The judge will combine the incomes of both parents after taxes have been taken out. The judge will then look at how many children the parents share. Most of the time, other children who are not shared by the parents will also be taken into consideration as they have to be supported as well, which takes off a slight percentage of the income amount. Once the correct income amount is calculated, a percentage of the income is ordered that the absent parent pay each year based on the number of children in the relationship. A fraction of the percentage amount is the final payment support order based on how much the absent parent makes each year compared to how much the custodial parent makes.

If you are facing issues when it comes to child support, we encourage you to speak to one of our Long Island divorce attorneys who can help you.

Are you going through a divorce in New York and are wondering how your property will be distributed? Typically, in situations like this it’s a good idea to speak to a Long Island divorce lawyer who can help.

New York laws follow an equitable distribution of property during a divorce. While equitable means fair and just, it does not mean equal. Your marital property will be distributed based on a number of factors.

New York law will take into factor what each spouse contributed to the marital property over the years of the marriage as well as what each spouse will need to move forward with their life.

The judge will be the one to decide how the property will be divided. He will do so by weighing various factors set out in New York law. These factors include the income of both spouses – at the time they married and at the time when they file for divorce; whether alimony has been awarded, how long the marriage lasted for, the age and well being of each spouse, if either spouse disposed of property wrongfully in contemplation of divorce without providing to the other spouse; if the property was acquired by a spouse via descent, devise, or gift; and any other factor that the judge may consider necessary in order for the separation to be equitable in the eyes of the court.

Separate property is not subject to equitable division. Separate property is any property that was acquired before the marriage, or any property acquired during the marriage via gift, descent, or devise. Settlements or compensation from personal injury lawsuits given to either spouse will also be considered separate property. If you voluntarily signed a prenuptial agreement with full disclosure, then this agreement will govern the property covered in the agreement. Therefore, the property subject to the prenuptial agreement will be considered separate property and not subject to equitable division. Any other property will be considered marital property and be subject to equitable division – including property obtained during the period of separation.

In addition, future proceeds may be subject to equitable division by New York law. For example, if a spouse was working on a book during the time of the marriage and the other spouse provided for that spouse so they could continue to work on the book, the proceeds of that book if it were to be published after divorce, could be subject to equitable division.

During the past two decades states have made a transition in the method of handling family law cases in the local court systems by establishing designated court branches that deal solely with issues regarding families. Families experiencing legal difficulties often go through a range of emotions when the law is actually applied to a family situation, and having court personnel who are trained in mitigating family problems has proven very effective. Domestic violence claims are also consistent with many family disputes, and they can be addressed in family court in some instances, although criminal charges are typically processed through regular criminal court. Judges in family court are specifically trained on legal issues pertaining to overall family law applications, which are civil law matters. Criminal court can be an altogether different issue that could become material to a family law case under certain circumstances.

Divorce Mediation

One of the primary functions of family courts has become divorce proceedings. All formal hearings and requests regarding the dissolution of a marriage are presented in family court, including scheduling of divorce mediation meetings to allow divorcing couples to produce an agreement regarding distribution of assets and debts. The days of court appointed child custody are gradually ending unless the court must intervene for the welfare of minor children. The current parenting plan trend in divorces in normally much more amiable as opposed to a hard ruling from the judge that neither party wants. There is a multitude of legal and social professionals working within the family court structure that allows for a much better result when families wish to separate on friendly terms.

Other Legal Determinations for Family Court 

Divorces are not the only legal disputes that are submitted to family court. Others situations can include:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Child Visitation

Legal cases processed in family court can also include adoptions and name changes, along with certain juvenile matters. Juvenile criminal matters are often handled in family court so the judge can clear the court room as a form of protecting the minor that is central to the hearing. There are certain aspects of privacy and juvenile exemption from legal applications that make handling these legal problems in a more secure format a better option. This option is actually used in multiple scenarios when sensitive information is being discussed in open court, and family court works sell in this adjudication aspect.

When a married couple decides to divorce, there are numerous legal and financial matters that must be resolved. Among these issues might be the subject of spousal support, which is often referred to as alimony in the legal community. Typically, every state establishes laws governing whether alimony will be granted to one of the divorcing spouses, as well as how these specific monetary amounts are calculated. In some cases, if you suspect a spouse is hiding income – it makes sense to speak to a Long Island divorce lawyer who can guide you through this complicated process.

What Is The Purpose Of Spousal Support (Alimony)?
Alimony may be awarded to a divorcing spouse as a means of financial sustenance. During the marriage, one spouse might have enjoyed a significantly greater income than his or her spouse. Spousal support is the legal means of attempting to ensure the spouse who earned a great deal less than the other does not suffer any undue financial hardships as a result of the impending separation.

How Is Alimony Determined In New York?
Alimony, which the New York State Courts call “Maintenance,” is determined after considering several different financial and personal factors.

Financial Factors
From a monetary standpoint, a court may render a maintenance decision after examining both spouses salaries, the potential future wage earnings for the receiving spouse, does/will the receiving spouse have the ability to pursue the educational or vocational opportunities to earn higher wages or if the receiving spouse either gave up or put a potentially lucrative career on hold to care for home and family.

Personal Factors
The New York Courts might also consider personal factors such as the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s health and age, if either spouse will bear the burden of care for dependent children and elderly or ill relatives and the potential tax ramifications a maintenance rendering will have on either spouse.

How Is Maintenance Awarded?
In some instances, maintenance can be paid in one lump sum. However, in most cases, the legal mandate is remitted through monthly payments from mandated spouse to receiving spouse.

How Long Do Maintenance Payments Last?
Occasionally, the Court may only require maintenance to be paid out for a specific period of time. Usually, these circumstances arise if the Court has determined that the receiving spouse will one day attain a level of self-sufficiency. At other times, maintenance payments are mandated over a more indefinite period. That said, more permanent maintenance arrangements may need to be revisited should the receiving spouse remarry or if his or her financial circumstances drastically change for any number of reasons.

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.