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Divorce Mediation: An Alternative to Court

Couples who are willing to discuss how they will proceed with their divorce may consider mediation as an alternative to filing a lawsuit. Through mediation, the process may not only be significantly shorter than going through the courts, as it may also be a more cost effective option for both parties. Issues addressed in divorce mediation During the mediation process, the couple attempts to reach an amicable settlement on their concerns, such as division of assets, child support and custody, retirement, taxes and others. They work out the specifics of their divorce with the help of a mediator. Divorce mediation enables the...

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Why You Should Not Violate Your Judgment of Divorce

The 2nd Department issued a noteworthy decision in December of this past year which has straightened out the complexities involved with contempt applications.  Although the case law has always been very clear, there have been decisions issued which contradict each other, and confuse the issues of contempt. The 2nd Department has cleared up all of the confusion, and broke down the issue of Civil Contempt.  The Court also made it clear that civil contempt does not require a finding of willfulness, unlike Criminal Contempt, which requires a willful violation of the Court Order. The factors required to obtain a finding of civil...

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5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Divorce Attorney

1. Protect your rights. Many people believe that they can represent themselves instead of hiring an experienced attorney to save money. Representing yourself in any divorce or family law matter is simply not a wise decision because there are simply too many complexities involved. Although you may be saving yourself money in the short-term by not hiring a lawyer, the odds of losing money are immanent in the long-run. 2. Informed decisions. When hiring a divorce attorney you are hiring an attorney who hopefully specializes in this field. Your attorney will be able to...

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Parental Alienation – Act Before it’s too Late

In Rockland County, the Court modified the parties' divorce decree based upon the mothers actions in systematically sabotaging the children's relationship with their father.  The mother engaged in strategies and behaviors that were calculated to alienate the children from the father.  The Court modified the Order in regards to only two of the parties' three children.  The third child was so brainwashed that the Court believed that if they granted the Father custody, the child would run away or sabotage the siblings relationship with their father. It appears that Parental Alienation is an extremely dangerous technique that is taking its form against...

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Convicted Felon Denied Paternity Test

Suffolk County Family Court Judge David Freundlich declared that Ronnell Wilson, who is facing the death penalty for killing two police officers, is "civilly dead". Wilson conceived a child behind bars with a corrections officer and was seeking to establish paternity. His request was denied by Judge Freundlich. The Court ruled that "Those convicted of felonies in New York forfeit nearly all of their civil rights for as long as they are incarcerated, except for a provision in Subdivision 2 of §79 allowing them to challenge and defend themselves in matters relating to their conviction, sentence and...

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Always Get Legal Advice from a Divorce Attorney First

Justice Leonard Steinman of the Nassau Supreme Court in another noteworthy decision upholds a divorce agreement printed out from the internet as it was signed by both parties who were without the benefit of advice from a Divorce Attorney in Long Island.  There is no knowledge at this time if there were proper acknowledgments.  The wife waived maintenance and child support and they agreed to sell the home and split the proceeds.  They filed the agreement and then two years later the husband filed for divorce.  The wife argued that the agreement should be set aside as unconscionable and overreaching. ...

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Controversial Nassau County Long Island Divorce Decision

A Nassau County Matrimonial Judge has issued a long island divorce decision which brings more questions than it answers. The case involved a post judgment downward modification of child support and maintenance based off of the ex-husband's loss of employment. This application was granted and the ex-husband's child support was reduced and his maintenance arrears were vacated. His ex-wife then moved for breach of contract. The ex-husband moved for summary judgment and was denied. The Court ruled that he was still under an obligation based upon contract principles. The Court granted him a reduction in support under the Judgment of Divorce...

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Child Support and Social Security Disability for Children

Many payees of child support often wonder how a child's receipt of Social Security Disability affects their child support payments.  The simple answer is that it does not.  There is no reduction in a payee's child support order nor is there a waiver of any child support. Despite the fact that Social Security Disability may be used for the same expenses that child support is used for the New York Court of Appeals has ruled that the New York Child Support Standards Act does not provide for any reduction in child support based off of the child’s receipt of disability payments. In...

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Disorderly Conduct and the 2nd Departments recent decision of Cassie v. Cassie

In the criminal context disorderly conduct is only that conduct which occurs in a public place and extends to a "point where it becomes a potential or immediate public problem".  In the context of a Family Court Order of Protection it does not have to extend to a public problem and includes behavior "not in a public place".  However it gets very tricky because the Petitioner still has to prove that the offender committed the act with intent to cause or recklessly pose a risk of causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or harm.  The 2nd Dept. in Cassie v. Cassie reversed...

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How to Obtain an Order of Protection

If you are being abused obtaining an Order of Protection is not a difficult task as long as it is done correctly.  The first thing that you have to do is go to your local Family Court and fill out a Petition.  This is the most important step in the process because if you do not meet the necessary elements for such an Order than it will either not be granted or it may simply get dismissed at the initial Court appearance.  Often a temporary Order of Protection is granted but ultimately is dismissed at the initial Court appearance as the...

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