KNOWLEDGEABLE & EXPERIENCED
We offer the strength and experience of a large law firm, coupled with the efficiency and individualized attention of a small one. We carefully listen to our client’s goals and work to achieve the most effective, efficient and expeditious resolution for our clients.
SKILLED. SOPHISTICATED. RELIABLE.
We represent high-asset and high-income clients undergoing divorces, or those which involve complex financial or valuation issues. In 2010, New York became the last state in the country to enact no-fault divorce. As a result, grounds for divorce are rarely contested, allowing our attorneys to focus on more pressing issues, such as child custody, property distribution, and support.
New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that during a divorce, marital property (or that which was acquired during the parties’ marriage, with some exceptions) is divided equitably, but not necessarily equally. Marital property includes, but is not limited to, financial accounts (e.g., cash, checking/savings, retirement, pensions and securities accounts); real estate; personal property (e.g., vehicles, furniture, jewelry, artwork); and businesses/professional practices. The division of marital property is based upon a consideration of numerous factors, primarily what each party contributed to the marriage, whether financially or otherwise. We have extensive experience in navigating these financial issues, and in constructing favorable, individualized solutions for our clients.
Custody & Parenting Plans
In a divorce that involves children under the age of 18, one of the most important issues to be decided, and perhaps one of the most emotional, is where and with whom the children will reside (known as physical custody), and who will have responsibility for making critical decisions regarding their education, medical treatment and general welfare (known as legal custody). In disputed custody cases, these decisions are made by applying the “best interests of the child” standard and by consideration of various additional factors. We wholeheartedly believe that, through negotiation, parents are often able to resolve custody issues, as they know their children better than anyone. However, if negotiation fails, we have considerable experience handling a wide array of custody issues, including litigation.
In New York, there are two types of support considered during a divorce: maintenance (commonly known as “alimony” or “spousal support”) and child support, when there are children under the age of 21. We have considerable experience handling various support issues, not only during the initial divorce litigation but in post-divorce proceedings, as well.
In New York, maintenance may be awarded to a party who is unable to be self-supporting, with the intent that he/she becomes financially independent after the divorce. There are two types of maintenance that may be awarded in New York: temporary, which allows a spouse to receive support while the divorce case is pending, and post-divorce, which provides a spouse with support for a period of time after the Judgment of Divorce has been entered. Recently, New York revised its entire maintenance statute and made the amount of both temporary and post-divorce maintenance formulaic, although numerous discretionary factors are also considered in crafting a support award. The amount and duration of maintenance are dependent on the parties’ incomes, along with the length of the parties’ marriage.
In New York, parents are legally responsible for the financial support of their children until the age of 21 years old. However, many times, by agreement, child support continues through the completion of college. There are two types of child support: basic and add-ons. Basic child support is intended to cover basic expenses, such as food, clothing, and shelter, and is determined, primarily, based on the parents’ combined income(s) and how many children they have to support. The calculation of child support is formulaic, although it can be adjusted upward or downward, depending on various factors.
In addition to basic child support, parents are also responsible to pay for their children’s health insurance, unreimbursed medical expenses, and child care costs. The parents may also be ordered to cover educational expenses, extracurricular/summer camp costs. These “add-on” expenses are generally divided between the parents proportionally, according to their respective incomes.
We negotiate and draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to ensure the safeguarding our client’s premarital assets in the unfortunate event of death or divorce. We also represent clients who are challenging the validity of a prenuptial or marital agreement. Although the idea of executing a prenuptial agreement before your wedding is not particularly romantic, it is important because it settles matters concerning the division of marital assets in advance, and therefore avoids potential arguments and litigation down the road.