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.

Common Divorce Issues and Concerns for High Net Couples In New York

The divorce rate in the United States is quite high, with almost 40% to 50% of married couples in the country ending up divorced. According to the American Psychological Association, the divorce rate for second or subsequent marriages is even higher.

A couple removing their rings during divorce proceedings

Couples going through a divorce often have to deal with complicated issues involving property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. Many divorces end up in prolonged legal disputes with either party refusing to compromise and agree to the terms.

While no two divorces are the same, the issues regarding finances become even more complicated in cases with couples that have a high net worth.

Here are some of the most common issues faced during a high net worth divorce:

Prior Agreements

One of the first things divorce lawyers ask high net worth couples before starting the divorce settlement is whether there is a pre-nuptial agreement. Prenups are quite common in marriages where two people with high net worth are marrying, or a person with a lot of money is marrying someone with very little.

However, prenups aren’t always valid. The first thing lawyers need to do is to review the prenup to ensure the agreement is legally binding. If the prenup is valid, it will be used as a guideline for all issues, including property division and alimony, that have been clearly delineated in the agreement.

Child Support

Children of high net worth couples often have different financial needs such as private school tuitions, nannies, and additional classes such as ballet or piano lessons. This might result in additional child support payments compared to a typical divorce settlement. Another concern for high net couples is college tuition. Couples going through divorce might have to contribute to a trust that has been created to fund their child’s college tuition regardless of their age.

A luxury home of an affluent couple filled with antiques

Property Division

There are several challenges when dividing property among high net worth couples. Generally, any property acquired during the marriage gets equally distributed between the couple. However, most couples with high net worth have assets and individual property that they brought with them to the marriage and cannot be subjected to community property laws. High net worth couples also own household items that are quite high in value, such as antiques, artwork, and jewelry, which complicated the division of property.

Get Legal Advice from Leading Divorce Attorneys In New York

Getting a divorce under New York State law can be complex and full of legal restrictions and regulations.  Our team of highly qualified and experienced divorce lawyers at Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. has been helping all kinds of couples get a divorce in New York. We have extensive experience dealing with child support, property division, pre-nuptial agreements, and tax consideration for a divorce.

Schedule a free phone consultation by calling us at 718-276-6656 and speak to our top Divorce Attorney Brooklyn and Divorce Attorney Queens!

Tips On Finding The Right Divorce Lawyer

Choosing the right divorce attorney could very well be the most important decision you make in your life—if the unfortunate circumstance of having to go through a divorce has befallen you. And if you’re not sure what to look for in a divorce attorney, you’re in the right place.

matrimonial lawyer

To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together this brief guide that provides you with detailed instructions on locating, vetting, and ultimately hiring a divorce attorney who’s right for your case. If you’re a resident of New York, you have hundreds of divorce and family law attorneys to choose from, and this guide will push you in the right direction for this critical choice.

Do Your Research.

In the digital age, it’s really not difficult to find the best divorce attorney in your locality. There’s a multitude of trusted review sites, such as Google and Yelp, which offer an avenue for a lawyer’s former clients to provide reviews about their experience.

Moreover, there are various websites that offer information about peer-reviewed lawyers, and numerous groups, such as the AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers) that offer a comprehensive accreditation process for divorce attorneys.

Interview More Than One Attorney

The majority of divorce attorneys and law firms offer free consultations, and the only price you have to pay for interviewing multiple lawyers and law firms is time. Would you buy a car without considering and test-driving a few other options? Since choosing a divorce lawyer for your New York case is a much more important decision, it’s essential to take the time to interview and evaluate as many options as you can.

Divorce attorneys vary in terms of the experience, success rate, pricing structures, and the approach they take to cases—so you can’t just go with anyone.

Watch out for false promises

With initial interviews, your primary goal should be getting to know the lawyer. Ask for examples of their experience. When they’re describing the process, ask them what you can expect from your case realistically.

Now, lawyers aren’t permitted by law to offer any guarantees. With that being said, an experienced New York Divorce Lawyer should be able to offer realistic projections based on the facts of your case.

 

Divorce cases can be extremely contentious, and having an experienced lawyer represent your interests and work out the details can help you get what’s rightfully yours. If you’re a resident of Brooklyn or Queens who’s in the process of getting a divorce, the highly experienced Divorce Attorney BrooklynDivorce Attorney Queens at Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. can assist you with the process. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

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!

Tips and Strategies for Surviving Divorce During the Pandemic

Surviving divorce can be a challenge under any circumstance. But with the current pandemic, the situation has become more difficult than ever. As people are forced to self-isolate and a mandatory social distancing regulation in place, lawyers have predicted a rise in divorces in the United States. The prolonged periods together without leaving the house unless for essential errands can either make or break a relationship.

A young couple fighting with each other at home

A good strategy for couples who have had it with each other would be to take some time away from their significant other and wait until the pandemic isn’t as serious anymore before making any big decisions.

However, if you have already begun the process of divorce and want to see it through without having to wait for the virus’s curve to flatten, here are some tips and strategies to help you survive this difficult and unprecedented situation:

Stay in Touch with Your Team

Once you have made the decision to get a divorce, you need to get in touch with your team of lawyers and mediators immediately. It is essential to stay in touch with them throughout the divorce proceedings and heed their expert advice that comes from years of experience dealing with divorce cases. Make sure they offer various channels to communicate that abide by the social distancing regulations such as video conferencing, phone calls, e-mail, etc.

Consider the Financial Ramifications

Most countries in the world have faced serious economic downfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic. The same is the case with the United States, with hundreds of people laid off from work and many businesses losing their investments and facing significant losses. Before going through with your divorce, consider pausing the process to have a clearer picture of your investments once the dust settles. Also, you can ask your divorce attorney to bring in a financial analyst as a part of your divorce team to help you understand the financial risks and realities if you decide to move forward.

A woman sitting alone on a bench watching a sunset

Take A Breather and De-Stress

Divorce is one of the most stressful things to go through in life. You feel a significant emotional toll of having to break up with your significant other, whom you thought you’d be spending the rest of your life. You also worry about how it will affect your child and how you’ll support them as a single parent moving forward. Now add the stress of a pandemic and uncertain future, and the situation can become overwhelming and start affecting your physical health.

It is essential that you take a breather and de-stress by signing up for yoga or exercise classes, book some online mediation and therapy sessions, or just take an at-home spa day to relax those tense muscles. Make sure you pay attention to your stress levels and do your best to keep them in check for your physical and mental well-being during the challenging divorce process amidst the pandemic.

Get Legal advice from trusted Divorce Attorneys in Brooklyn

Getting a divorce under New York State law is full of complex regulations and requirements and can get nasty if both parties don’t make an effort to be civil. Our team of highly qualified divorce lawyers at the law office of Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. can guide you through the difficult process and help protect your rights throughout the divorce proceedings. Our services are offered for residents of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island Queens, and the Bronx.

Schedule a free phone consultation by calling us at 718-276-6656 and benefit from expert legal advice from experienced divorce attorney Brooklyn!

 

 

How the Lockdown Affected Custody Battles

a little boy and a little girl

One of the more peculiar aftereffects of the coronavirus pandemic was the alarmingly increasing rates of divorce. Yep: more people got divorced during the pandemic than they did otherwise. In fact, it is even expected that divorce rates will rise even further after the pandemic is over. A divorce boom—as the BBC puts it—is in order.

Well, we can’t blame them. But there’s always bad news with the good. And here, the bad news is this: custody battles.

And those were seriously affected by the lockdown.

Difficulty Navigating Visitation Rights

Physical distancing was right off the charts once the world went into lockdown mode. Parents who were living with joint custody had to face the greatest complications. Emergency motions, travel restrictions, even unemployment—all became ab eventual roadblock.

Many couples who have been living separately had to face the ultimate question as lockdowns began: do we still allow our spouse to exercise their visitation rights? Of course, it’s a right—and it would be quite wrong to disallow that right, right?

Continuing Litigation

a sad woman

If visitation rights weren’t already an issue, some were dealing with litigations in process. Spouses can now file ex-parte motions, stopping their ex or separated spouses from visiting their children on the grounds of contagion fears.

Issues for Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers already have too much on their plate to deal with: they are dealing with COVID patients on the frontlines, are directly exposed to the virus, and have extended work hours.

Add drawn-out custody battles to the mix, and you have a series of unfortunate events on your hands. With healthcare workers facing custody battles, what makes it harder is the fact that their exes can easily file for ex-parte motions. The scales aren’t tipped in favor of healthcare workers, and that makes everything a lot worse than it already is.

Coronavirus or Control?

Many exes who have tried to take undue advantage of the whole situation have acted as if the reason behind their reluctance to go ahead was the coronavirus. But was it really? Is it about the coronavirus—or about control?

More often than not, it’s about the latter. In the pandemic, family lawyers have also witnessed a sharp rise in emergency custody motions. Most of these have emerged due to battles for control—because it’s often a fight for control, not for custody.

An Oklahoma-based worker lost custody rights to her children earlier in the pandemic due to the same reasons—coronavirus fears. Dr. Theresa Greene’s husband filed for an emergency custody motion when she began taking care of coronavirus patients. Eventually, she lost custody of her four-year-old daughter. She did appeal the motion—and that, of course, takes time and money, which not many can afford in these times.

Facing Custody Complications Due to Coronavirus?

The Law Offices of Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. extends Family Law Services Queens, Brooklyn and other parts of  New York. If you are in the Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Long Island, and Bronx regions, you can reach out to us for legal counsel and help.

 

How Quickly Can I Get a Divorce in New York?

an engagement ring

When it comes to divorces, you can’t get one quick enough. Sadly, divorces aren’t just about a man and woman cutting it off. Several factors are involved: the court, your documents, and your legal counsel. It is no longer between two individuals—and that means it will take some time to sort it out.

However, it will take some time. The only conciliatory thing we can say here is this: you have dealt with the toxic marriage all these years. A few more weeks can’t hurt—can’t hurt too much, we mean.

Factors That Draw Out a Divorce

While nobody wants a divorce that’s long and drawn out for no reason, these factors can seriously affect how your proceedings work out:

  • Children. The involvement of children means you need to work out the custodial issues, and it often gets ugly.
  • Property and other money-related issues. Dividing up estates and sorting out properties can often complicate matters.
  • Court complications. Not showing up for hearings and non-compliance with court orders, among other complications, can cause undue delays in a divorce.

Uncontested Divorces

a sad couple

Uncontested divorces take less time than contested divorces to be resolved. At the most, it takes 3 months for an uncontested divorce to sort out. Of course, this still takes some legal weightlifting and perhaps even the involvement of a judge. With a professional divorce lawyer on your side, you can resolve it in record time and move on with your life.

Contested Divorces

Contested divorces are the real tough nut to crack. It takes anywhere between 9 months and one year for a contested divorce to resolve. It really depends on the factors involved. Sometimes, given the ease of factors, these cases can even be resolved in as little as three months. At other times, it is dependent on the county you’re in. Regardless, good legal counsel can help smooth out the process.

Mediation Helps

One of the best parts about working with a legal counsel is the assurance that mediation becomes a greater possibility. If you truly want to shorten the length of your divorce proceedings—that, too, by months—you need a mediator or a legal counsel behind you. In cases where both parties agree to a divorce and to sort out their assets, the period is usually shorter. Since New York is a no-fault divorce state, you can get divorced on any grounds—given that both parties agree.

Get in Touch with a Divorce Lawyer Today

Divorces might be legal matters, but they don’t always have to involve a judge. All you do need, however, is legal counsel. The Law Offices of Ledwidge & Associates, P.C.  provides legal counsel and services for family law and divorce cases. If you are looking for Divorce Attorney Queens, Brooklyn we can be reached here.

Why Should You Sign a Prenuptial Agreement?

Not only are millennials getting married later in life but are also getting prenuptial agreements before they do. From using it to strengthen their marriage to creating a safety net for themselves, they haven’t shied away from signing prenups. In fact, there has been a significant increase in the number of millennials opting for prenups in recent years.

gold wedding bands representing the sanctity of marriage

Getting married soon? Here’s why you should consider signing a prenup:

To Clarify Your Financial Rights

One of the most common reasons for couples getting prenups is to get clarification of their individual financial rights once they’re married. You can decide how you wish to spend your money and what your financial responsibilities will be after marriage.

For example, if you earn more than your partner and want your income to be utilized a certain way, you can mention this in the prenup. Similarly, you can also determine the ownership of your properties, stocks, investments, bonds, bank accounts, and other assets.

To Avoid Conflicts in Case of Divorce

Many people are averse to prenups because of how unromantic they seem, especially if you just got engaged or are planning your wedding in full swing.

Signing a prenup doesn’t mean you already know that you’ll get a divorce. However, there’s no denying the fact that even the most successful marriages can end at any given point for whatever reason. Isn’t it better to be prepared for such circumstances than suffer disputes and arguments if you are to get divorced later?

With a prenup, you’re compelled to discuss the difficult and uncomfortable topics you’d rather not think about just yet. It may not be the most pleasant experience, but it’s definitely a safe option and comes very handy if a couple chooses to get divorced.

couple discussing their prenuptial agreement terms with a family lawyer

To Pass on Property to Children from a Previous Marriage

If you have a child from a previous relationship, you can use the prenup to decide what shares of your properties and assets are to go to them after your demise. A prenup agreement is a solid way of outlining exactly what you wish to happen to your property and how you wish for it to be divided among your children.

This is important as otherwise the surviving spouse will have claims to most of your property. If you have specific ideas about your wealth and property distribution among your family, prenup is the way to go.

Ledwidge & Associates offer Family Law Services Queens and Brooklyn.  Call our team 347-395-4799 for further assistance on prenuptials.