No-Fault Divorce Vs. Fault Divorce – Frequently Asked Questions

Concept illustration of a family splitting up after getting a divorce.

Like most states in the United States, New York’s law allows people to file for a no-fault divorce, where no party is required to provide a reason for leaving a marriage or is rendered at fault.

A no-fault divorce is based on the grounds that a marriage is simply not working out, is irretrievably broken, there are irreconcilable conflicts, or there’s no compatibility between the spouses.

Although no-fault divorces are prevalent in New York, some courts may require the filers to provide proof of why reconciliation is no longer an option. If one of the parties involved in the divorce claims that the reason for the breakup is marital misconduct, the court may consider that one party was at fault.

Our experienced and trusted divorce lawyer Brooklyn and divorce lawyer Queens, NY, use their learnings from past cases to guide couples who are considering divorce and provide sound and accurate legal advice.

In this blog, we’ve answered top concerns regarding no-fault and fault divorce to help you determine which option is the best for you.

On what grounds is fault determined? A married couple breaking up by filing a divorce.

A fault divorce in New York is granted when one of the spouses or both ask to file a fault divorce or based on the presence of one or more of the following grounds.

  • Cruel treatmentincluding emotional, physical, and verbal abuse
  • Imprisonmentfor a specified number of years
  • Desertion or abandonment (constructive or physical)for consecutive months or years
  • The physical inabilityof a spouse to perform sexual intercourse if it was disclosed after marriage.
  • The spouse was engaged in the act of adulterywhile in the marital bond.

Talk to a Reliable Divorce Lawyer in Queens or Brooklyn About Your Case

When a marriage is no longer reconcilable, divorce is the last and the best resort for the well-being of both partners, their children, and other family members.

If the decision is mutual, the settlement won’t be very costly. However, wronged or ill-treated spouses could still seek a fair settlement for all they’ve gone through by claiming a fault divorce.

Whether you’re considering a fault or no-fault divorce, our divorce lawyers in Queens and Brooklyn have unparalleled litigation skills to improve your chances of winning the case. To schedule a consultation for our family law services Brooklyn or family law services Queens, connect with our associates at 347-395-4799 today!

Prenuptial Agreements: Who Needs Them and How Do You Draft One?

persons shaking hands after drafting a clear and understandable prenuptial agreement.

Are you considering a premarital or a prenuptial agreement? In this post, we discuss everything you need to know about them.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenup or prenuptial agreement is a contract between two parties before they get into an official marital bond. This agreement lists all the properties and debts both parties own/owe and specifies both parties’ rights on each item after the marriage.

Who May Need a Prenuptial Agreement?

Many people assume that prenuptial agreements are only for people who own several properties, but this is a myth. While these contracts are more commonly used by the wealthy for asset security, couples from more modest backgrounds are also beginning to consider them to protect their rights. Here are some common reasons why people might want to write a prenup:

To pass on a property to children from previous marriages

If a marrying couple with children from a previous marriage wants to specify what happens to their property after they die, they may sign a prenuptial agreement.

This will pass on the specified properties to children from prior marriages to ensure their financial stability. Without a prenuptial agreement, the surviving partner can claim a significant portion of their spouse’s property after their demise, leaving a smaller portion for the children.

To spell out financial rights

Marrying couples with or without children can clarify their financial responsibilities and rights during the marriage.

To avoid conflicts during a divorce

Concept illustration of a family splitting up after getting a divorce.A marrying couple may want to write a prenuptial agreement to avoid conflicts and arguments if they ever have to go through a divorce. Specifying the rights on properties before marriage will keep the two parties from making wrong decisions related to asset division.

To protect the other party from debt

Prenuptial agreements are also signed when both parties want to protect themselves or their spouses from each other’s loans and debts.

With the increasing prevalence of remarriages and divorces and the rise of gender equality, courts are becoming friendlier toward prenuptial agreements. However, it’s still imperative to negotiate and draft a legally sound, understandable, and clear contract to ensure it’s considered valid in the court—and that’s where a family law attorney can help.

If you’re looking to hire a reliable and trusted family law attorney Brooklynfamily law attorney Queens, or other areas across NYC, reach out to our associates at Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. We will help you and your fiancé determine the clauses you should include in a prenup to suit your requirements.

We operate in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and the Bronx.

3 Key Reasons You Should Create an Estate Plans for Your Future

When we talk about estate planning, many people immediately associate it with the ultra-rich. However, contrary to popular belief, anyone can benefit from having an estate plan no matter what their net worth is. According to Forbes, only 42% of the adults in the United States currently have an estate plan such as a living trust or a will.

A note on paper with a fountain pen

While end-of-life planning can be depressing and seem morbid, it is essential to protect you, your assets, and your loved ones after you die. If you haven’t started drafting your estate planning documents yet, consider the following reasons why it is essential to talk to an estate law attorney as soon as possible to get the process started:

Avoid Complications

If a person dies without an estate plan, the matter of distribution of assets is passed on to the courts who handle everything from the distribution of the property, the dissolution of the business, and the guardianship of the children. The process is known as probate, and it can get seriously complicated and expensive. By preparing the documentation in advance, you can save your family and loved ones from numerous complications and legal issues after your death.

A parent walking with their child on a beach

Keep Your Children from Ending Up in Child Protective Services

It might be unpleasant to think about your death, but it is essential to take some time and consider what would happen to your children if you suddenly died. Where will they end up? Who will take care of them?

If you don’t have an estate plan that clearly mentions a guardian that you have chosen, your children will end up with Child Protective Services, while the courts decide the best candidate to be their legal guardians. The process can take a long time, and your kids could end up with someone who would be your last choice for a guardian. Staying with protective services for a long time can also have a negative emotional impact on your child during a very vulnerable time in their life.

Avoid Disputes

Not everyone cares about what happens to their wealth and assets after they have passed. However, not leaving an estate plan can result in huge disputes between family members regarding who gets what. This can create strong feelings of ill will between relatives and even break up families. By planning your estate documents, you save your family from making difficult decisions and eliminate the risk of any disputes by making the decision for them.

Get Legal Advice from Leading Estate Lawyers In New York

One of the best ways to avoid complications with your estate after your death is to hire an experienced estate lawyer to draw up the correct documents for you.

Ledwidge & Associates P.C. offers the services of leading estate law attorney Queens, estate law attorney Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and the Bronx. We can help you protect your assets from exorbitant inheritance tax and ensure that your loved ones will be well taken care of through living wills and detailed estate planning documents.

Schedule a free case evaluation by calling us at 718-276-6656 and let us help you plan for your future!

Common Social Media Blunders to Avoid During Divorce Proceedings

Social media has been one of the most popular technological breakthroughs of the 21st century. Since 2004, it has grown steadily in popularity and number of users both. Social media platforms have now become a major source of information and news and provide a unique way to interact with people such as friends, family, customers, and more.

A smartphone screen with icons for popular social media platforms

According to statistics, there are over 3.5 billion social media users around the world. A huge percentage of the population in the United States is active on various social media platforms. However, not everyone uses social media as it has been intended, and many people end up making mistakes that cost them their jobs, reputation, and friends.

People going through divorces also make huge errors in judgment while using social media, and their blunders allow their ex to gather evidence that is used to manipulate the courts and get the better end of the deal.

Here are some of the most common social media errors made by people while getting a divorce:

Divulging Private Information

According to social media statistics, the average person spends up to 3 hours on various social media platforms every day. That is a long time, and it can be quite easy to slip up and start talking about the divorce and how the proceedings are going and what strategies you are using to make sure you get a good deal. However, this information can be used by the other party in court. Even if you are sharing information on private groups among trusted friends, there are plenty of ways your ex can get their hands on the conversations and comments. You should take a cue from celebrities and only make bland statements that offer no specific information.

Defamation law book and gavel on a table.

Talking About the Divorce or Disparaging Your Ex

During the divorce, emotions run quite high, and it can be tempting to blow off some steam by disparaging your ex on social media. That is a huge mistake and can be used in court to show your character and build a negative image of you as a toxic person. The information can also be used to file a defamation suit against you. Whatever you have gone through recently, no matter how badly your ex treated, it is best to refrain from commenting about it on social media.

Showing Off or Trying to Prove You’ve Moved On

Many people going through the divorce make bold statements on social media to prove that they have moved on, and they are in a better position than their ex. They make announcements of their good fortune, particularly if they have met someone new or just got a better job.

While its natural to want to share your happiness, statements like these can influence certain issues during the divorce, such as division of assets and child support.

They can also lead to claims of infidelity if you post that you are in a relationship, especially if the divorce hasn’t been finalized yet. It is usually best to err on the side of caution and avoid posting about your personal life on social media until the end of the divorce process.

Get Expert Legal advice from Leading Divorce Attorneys in New York

Don’t get lost in the complex legal labyrinth of divorce laws in New York! The law office of Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., offers the services of leading Divorce Attorney Brooklyn,Divorce Attorney Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Long Island. They can help you protect your rights and provide both contested and uncontested divorce representation.

Schedule a free phone consultation today by calling us at 718-276-6656 and discuss your case with experienced divorce attorneys in New York!

Billionaire’s cancer diagnosis leads to estate planning questions

The reason for having an estate plan in place is to make sure that your wishes are accurately conveyed after your death. For many people, this is a bit of a guessing game: We don’t know how much time we have left. We have to make the arrangements well in advance so that when the time comes, there is no debate about our will or what our intentions might have been.

Sometimes, however — for better or worse — we get an idea of how much time we have left. Most of us would probably choose to go about our business in a private way, but sometimes, people have a public outlet that lets them notify the rest of us about what’s happening in their lives and with their health.

One such person is Richard Mellon Scaife. Observant readers might recognize his middle name; the Mellon family amassed a huge fortune in banking and industry. Scaife himself owns the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, a daily newspaper in that city. The 81-year-old recently wrote a column in that paper revealing that he had been diagnosed with a form of cancer that is not treatable.

Scaife, whose fortune is estimated to be nearly $1.5 billion, undoubtedly has well-developed plans in place. Not everyone does, however, which can lead to battles over family members when it comes down to the distribution of assets. People who are experiencing difficulty in this area often consult with experienced attorneys, who can help guide them through what can be a difficult process.

Source:  Forbes, ” Richard Scaife, Newspaper Billionaire and Andrew Mellon Heir, Has Untreatable Cancer ,” Abram Brown, May 18, 2014