3 Tips to Conduct Yourself in Family Court

A wooden black gavel resting near some folders

When it comes to family law, the way you conduct yourself can make all the difference. Most of the time, your lawyer would tell you exactly what to say, do, or even wear to represent yourself well. Continue reading “3 Tips to Conduct Yourself in Family Court”

A Guide to the Divorce Process

 a wedding ring

Several reasons lead people to divorce, such as lack of commitment and cheating—all these warrants as the grounds for divorce.

Most people looking to get a divorce may understand the divorce process and what it entails. Here’s a guide to understanding the divorce process in New York:

The Requirements for Divorce

There are mainly two requirements to file for a divorce. Firstly, one needs to establish that residency is based in the city where divorce is being filed. The second requirement pertains to grounds for divorce. Grounds for divorce include adultery, separation, imprisonment, and abandonment. If you are filing for a contested divorce, which means that your spouse is objecting to it, the formal grounds will need to apply.

Whereas, if you’re seeking an uncontested divorce, meaning both parties are in agreement of it, simply stating that the marriage has irrevocably broken down is enough to justify a divorce.

Issue the Forms to Your Spouse

Once you have filed for divorce and the petition is accepted, you must now ensure that your spouse is informed about this. The next step after telling them is to serve them with the divorce papers.

It is a common misconception that if a spouse does not sign the papers, the divorce process will not go ahead. Their signature is not needed for you to go along with the process, and their agreement or disagreements will lay the grounds for an uncontested or contested divorce.

People signing documents

Child Custody in the Divorce Process

The case for child custody also begins with the divorce process. The court always prefers both the parents to be granted custody of the child.

However, if one parent wins the custody battle, the other can still meet the child during visitation hours.

The divorce process is not always a contentious legal battle but can be an apical agreement between two people. If you’re looking to hire a professional divorce lawyer Brooklyn or divorce lawyer Queens to assist you, you’ve come to the right place.

 

At Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., we are a reputable legal firm with over fifteen years of experience. Our expert team has assisted hundreds of clients in Queens, Brooklyn, and New York. We provide services in family law, probate law, real property law, and many more. Reach out to us to book an appointment and seek professional guidance in complex legal procedures.

Spousal Support Claims – Laws and Principles

Close-up of a gavel

A marriage is a legal union of two people who want to spend their lives together. There are certain rights and obligations of each spouse that have to be met. One of those rights is spousal support. The blog will discuss what spousal support is, its laws and principles, and how you can claim it.

What Is Spousal Support?

Spousal support is used interchangeably as spousal maintenance and alimony but there’s a difference. Spousal support is an amount paid by one spouse to another spouse during marriage and divorce proceedings, while spousal maintenance and alimony are paid after a divorce. According to Family Law, spousal support is a right and one should fight for it when marriage obligations aren’t being met. Our family lawyer can help you claim spousal support.

Laws And Principles Pertaining Spousal Support

The family court awards the spousal support since spouses have a legal duty to support each other financially. Furthermore, both spouses have to be alive to claim and receive spousal support. It has no term limit, and the spouse can receive the amount until the divorce or death of one of the spouses. Both the petitioner (the spouse claiming for spousal support) and the respondent (the spouse that supposedly ought to pay) can hire family lawyers.

Family lawyer’s desk with law books on it

How To Claim Spousal Support Or Maintenance

A spousal support case starts once the petitioner files a petition in the Family Court. The court then summons the respondent to be served. The judge or support magistrate decides the verdict after assessing the financial situation of each spouse. However, after a divorce, one can’t claim spousal support but can claim spousal maintenance during divorce proceedings.

 

Under the 2015 law regarding spousal maintenance, the amount is determined based upon each spouse’s income. You can use this calculator to determine your spousal maintenance amount. If you want to seek legal aid when claiming spousal support and maintenance, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney.

 

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., is a trusted law firm in New York City that focuses on estate planning and Family Law Services Brooklyn and Family Law Attorney Queens. Our divorce attorney can serve spouses seeking a divorce in Brooklyn, Bronx, Long Island, Manhattan and Queens and guide them through the divorce process. Contact us now and our divorce attorney will gladly be of assistance.

Why Divorces Can Get Messy

Going through a divorce can be rough, and most couples would like nothing better than ending things amicably and for the process to be smooth and stress-free. However, with so many factors, such as determining the custody of children, child support, alimony, and distribution of alimony, to consider, divorce cases often involve little agreement and a lot of fighting.

child holding wooden figures of a mom, dad, and child

In this blog post, we’ll discuss three of the most common reasons divorces get messy and provide tips on how you can navigate through them.

The Case Involves Infidelity

If a person has been unfaithful in the marriage, it’s natural for their spouse to feel betrayed and hurt. This could cause the wronged spouse to do anything in their means to make divorce proceedings as difficult as possible for the person who hurt them. For instance, they may deliberately make divorce proceedings more expensive or difficult by arguing and contesting every item that’s brought on to the discussion table.

In some cases, the wronged spouse even turns the children against the unfaithful parent or argues that they’re not fit to receive custody of the children.

One Spouse Wants To Keep The Marriage Intact

In some divorce cases, both parties are looking to end the relationship. However, in some cases, only one spouse is seeking a divorce. The one who wants to save the marriage may feel devastated, humiliated, betrayed, and/or hurt. They might attempt to persuade their spouse to get counseling, be uncooperative, or try to make the process as drawn-out as possible.

One Parent Is Seeking Full Custody

Divorce cases involving children are usually complicated, and it’s easy for tempers to flare on both sides. The spouse who was the children’s primary caregiver may have reservations that their soon-to-be-ex won’t care for the kids on their own if they’re awarded joint physical custody. The spouse who wasn’t the primary caregiver may be afraid that they won’t be able to have a meaningful, healthy relationship with children. Matters are complicated even further if one of the parents is moving away from the immediate area.

A leading family law attorney Brooklyn and Family Law Attorney Queens, NY, Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. has nearly 15 years of experience handling child custody, domestic violence, and divorce matters in the courtroom. If you’re seeking a lawyer for a New York family law matter, get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

Major Child Custody Conundrums a Lawyer Can Help You With

Anyone who’s gone through a divorce (or any divorce lawyer) will tell you that managing child custody is one of the hardest parts of the process. In fact, the issues that come up with child custody can continue for years.

The key to resolving them as quickly as possible is to hire a family law attorney that has years of experience and knows their way around the matter like the back of their hand. Let’s take a look at some scenarios they can be useful in.A family attorney listening to her client discussing the issue.

False or Inaccurate CPS Reports

If CPS reports are being used as evidence against denying you custody of your child which are inaccurate or falsified, a lawyer can help you address it. There are many reasons for why CPS may have interacted with a parent without there being cause for concern about neglect or bad parenting.

In that case, your lawyer can help you prepare testimony around the CPS report or get CPS to declare the report unfounded. Once declared unfounded, the caseworker cannot be called to court for testimony and the report cannot be used as evidence in a trial.

Getting Custody of Nieces and Nephews

If you’re in a situation where the child you want to get custody of is your niece, nephew or even your grandchild, a lawyer is your go-to person. Usual circumstances in such cases are usually where the current guardians of the child are abusive or are neglecting their child.

Although New York courts usually prefer keeping a child in their home, a case with extraordinary circumstances could go in your favour. Abandonment, unfitness to parent, consistent neglect and abuse are all grounds for this. However, a family law attorney can assess your case and tell you how to proceed.

Dealing with a Biased Law Guardian

In the state of New York, a law guardian for your child is assigned to the case. The law guardian is supposed to put the child’s interests ahead of all other factors and appear in court to present their recommendation for custody.

However, law guardians are human and can be biased. If you have witnessed misconduct and bias towards the other party in the custody case from a law guardian and can prove it, a family law services attorney can help you make the case for changing the guardian. However, this is often difficult to do.

A lawyer working with his laptop and phone.

Traveling and Passport Troubles

When divorced parents or guardians share custody, traveling can become a bit of a sore spot, especially for relocation. Even sole custody doesn’t allow you to relocate from the state you’re in with your child. A lawyer can help file a petition or mediate between you and the other guardian and their lawyer to come to an agreement on this.

However, if the issue at hand is a simple trip but the other guardian is refusing to co-operate with passport procedures the situation is different. You can get your lawyer to ask for a waiver of parental rights on this issue so the problem goes away.

In all these cases, our family law services Brooklyn, family law services Queen and divorce attorney in Brooklyn and Divorce attorney Queens can help you out. Contact us today for help from a licensed and experienced family attorney in New York.

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!

 

 

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.