Best Long Island Divorce Lawyers
Legal issues don’t wait – they strike at a moments notice – that’s why our divorce attorneys are available 24/7 to help you. Regardless of when you call, one of our attorneys is available to help answer your legal issues, and offer a risk free consultation. Once you sign up with us, you have constant access to your assigned attorney for any legal issues you might have. We’re 100% dedicated to you – and your right to get legal help. Give us a call today, for a risk free consultation.
Top Long Island Divorce Lawyers
We care about one thing only – helping our clients, and getting them results. We have over 40 years of experience as as premier Long Island divorce law firm. We know how difficult divorce and family law cases can be, and are here to support you in every way. Clients consistently turn to us, when they, or a family member, need help – and need an attorney who gets it. We don’t focus on billable hours, we focus on client happiness. We understand the importance of preserving the family, and making sure whatever outcome we reach – is one that makes you and your family happy as well.
Our law firm understands your future is at risk. We get it. You need an experienced divorce lawyer in Long Island who understands matrimonial and family law. At the Spodek Law Group, we understand the situation you’re dealing with is difficult, and we try to create the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones. Our long island divorce lawyers help you resolve division of property issues, and child custody issues diligently, and with respect. We have the knowledge, and experience, to take a case to it’s conclusion if that’s what’s necessary. We represent clients in Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and all 5 boroughs of Long Island.
If you’re in the process of getting divorced, you’ll likely have the opportunity to participate in mediation. You might wonder if mediation is going to be helpful in your case. You might think that if your divorce is hostile or the other side is being stubborn, there’s no way that you’re going to reach any kind of settlement.
The truth is that the vast majority of divorce cases settle before trial. A large number of them settle during mediation proceedings. In fact, mediation can be a very helpful tool for resolving a divorce.
There are a number of reasons that mediation tends to be helpful in divorce cases. First, mediation gives the parties the chance to discuss many issues at once. Trying to resolve a case with phone calls back and forth over a long period of time doesn’t give the parties the opportunity to throw out a large number of ideas at once. When you work on a case during mediation, you can suggest a resolution, and the other side can respond right away. With this back and forth, you can often accomplish many weeks or months of work in one day or afternoon.
Mediation is also helpful because the parties have a chance to consider more creative solutions than they might receive in court. In mediation, the parties can be as creative as they want to about custody and parenting time provisions and division of assets. If you’re concerned about where a child attends day care or you’re really concerned about the children being able to attend your family’s annual reunion, these are things that you can discuss in mediation.
You’re not likely to take your case to trial and have a judge order that the children must attend your annual family reunion. When you go to court, you get a custody order, and the chips fall where they may. However, in mediation, you’re able to get creative.
Mediation is helpful because it lets you focus on what’s most important to you. You might not care about the family china, but you might be very concerned about keeping your jewelry. You may want the marital home and be less concerned about keeping the 401k account. Mediation allows you to prioritize. If your spouse has taken all the family gemstones, such as your paraiba tourmaline, you could ask for some of those.
At trial, the court makes an equitable division of the assets. The court must concern themselves with what’s fair. While they might consider what’s practical, they’re not concerned with your preferences. Mediation can be very helpful because you can work to keep the things that matter the most to you. Ultimately, this can leave you with greater satisfaction from your divorce case than you might receive if you take your case to trial.
When parties prepare for mediation, their attorneys can help them form realistic expectations. When the parties know the strengths and weaknesses of their case and what the court is likely to do if the case goes to trial, mediation can be helpful to resolve the case. You may be surprised to find that mediation can resolve even tough cases.
Will I have to go court during my divorce process
Many people today are concerned about the impact that a divorce will have on their time and availability, and quite frankly, most people would prefer staying out of court if possible. In contemplation of filing for divorce, a frequently asked question, is whether or not you will have to go to court during your divorce process.
It is possible to avoid having to go to court during your divorce process, but that is based on the direction your case takes after you have filed your initial petition for divorce. Hiring a good long island divorce lawyer can help minimize the amount of time you have to spend in court. Some of the common directions that a case can take to avoid going to court is to proceed by filing a default divorce or to proceed uncontested. Here, we will examine areas of the divorce process, that will help you determine whether or not you will need to go to court for your divorce case.
Filing court documents
In order to initiate the divorce process you, your attorney, court courier, friend or family member must first file the summons and petition at the Family Law courthouse in order to start the divorce process. IF you have a Long Island divorce lawyer on your side, this can be done on your behalf by the Long Island divorce attorney. Depending on how the rest of your case goes, this may be the only time you step into a courthouse for your divorce case, or you may be able to avoid the courthouse all-together, if your jurisdiction allows e-filing.
A contested case involves parties that do not agree on various aspects of their divorce. A contested case often consists of conducting discovery, filing motions, and appearing at hearings or trials, much of which will require your personal appearance.
An uncontested case involves divorcing spouses that are able to reach agreements among themselves, through their attorneys or through mediation. Uncontested cases usually involve the informal process of providing relevant information and documents to the other spouse, rather than engaging in formal discovery demands, which negates the need to seek the courts involvement. Most cases that proceed uncontested are resolved by agreement, which means that the final divorce decree or judgement/marital settlement agreement is drafted by the parties or their attorney’s of record, signed by the parties and submitted to the judge for his or her signature and court filing. This process generally avoids the need to ever go to court during your divorce process.
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Todd Spodek has experience handling prenups, separation agreements, annulments, divorces (contested and uncontested), in addition to child support, custody cases, orders of protection, and more. We make every effort possible to handle cases before starting a lawsuit. If we find there’s no amicable resolution possible, we take your case to it’s conclusion. It’s critical that you call a knowledgeable nassau divorce lawyer before starting any family legal issue in New York. Your families future relies on your ability to get results, and the capability of your attorney. When you work with our firm, you can rest knowing you have some of the top Nassau county divorce attorneys on your side.
Getting married is considered a romantic way to commit to a partner, but it’s actually a legal agreement. You’re entering a contract with the person for a lifetime. In essence, you share everything. You may want some protection, however, if the marriage fails for any reason. A prenuptial agreement or prenup is a legal document that specifies who has the right to certain assets during a divorce. This is something a suffolk county divorce lawyer can help draft for you. If you’re wondering if you need a prenup, take a look at the reasons why it tends to be a good idea.
Protect Your Current Assets
You may be 20 or 30 years old when you get married for the first time. The planning and experience is exciting. Both partners have some assets, however, that they’re bringing into the marriage. Choose a prenup if you have any assets at this point. Stock options, savings accounts and inheritances might be up for grabs in the future if divorce occurs. If your spouse takes on debt, using a hard money loan, this can be an issue too. A prenup that protects your initial assets allows you to walk away from the marriage without losing those items.
Consider Future Achievements
Aside from defining custody and financial support in the prenup, almost any other topic can be visited. If you’re working on an invention or grand idea, be sure to add this subject to the prenup. A married person who strikes it big as an entrepreneur may not want to share those future assets with their partner if a divorce comes up. The prenup can specify that any achievements are the individual’s assets. The partner doesn’t have any claim to them. Consult with a New York divorce lawyer to be sure about the wording in this part of the document.
Defines Personal Property
Some couples get married late in life. They both have certain assets that were earned before the ceremony. These couples might live happily for several decades as married people. However, a divorce occurs after those many years. A prenup defines personal property over the years that may be forgotten. An argument about an item’s original owner can be quickly fixed with a scan of the prenup. As a result, the prenup makes divorce easier when it comes to dividing out the assets. Any items not defined under the prenup become community property between the partners. It’s important when drafting a prenup to hire a nassau county divorce lawyer who can walk you through all the factors/variables to consider.
Supports a Party in a Second Marriage
Certain partners meet and marry in their 50s or 60s. In many cases, the marriage is a second one for both. A prenup before the second ceremony is a good idea because it protects personal assets that might be earmarked for grown children or grandchildren. If divorce looms, each benefactor of those partners is protected from losing any inheritances in the future. Consider these prenups as family protection instead of an agreement between two people.
Working with a suffolk county divorce lawyer in order to draw up the prenup is the best-case scenario. These professionals know where you should be careful about some assets while leaving others as shared property. With a knowledgeable professional by your side, a prenup can be written up, signed and stored away for future use if necessary.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In New York State?
Deciding To divorce is a difficult, sometimes heart-wrenching choice made by married couples after one (or both) spouses engaged in actions that drove them apart. Though some couples might opt to separate for a variety of issues, a court of law will typically only grant a divorce on legal reasons or grounds if specific criteria are met. The following short piece examines the acceptable grounds for divorce as established by the New York State court system.
New York law requires that any would-be separating spouses filing for divorce must have resided in the state for a period ranging between one and two years and can prove any one of the following seven acceptable grounds:
One spouse may seek to divorce the other on this ground if the spouse in question, without provocation, exits the spousal home and fails to return for a duration lasting at least one year.
Should one spouse prove that the other engaged in sexual relations with another individual during the marriage, the ground of adultery has been met. However, adultery is not proven merely through suspicions, accusations or innuendo. A court will require that the accuser offer irrefutable evidence (such as DNA or catching the accused on tape) clearly illustrating that adultery has been committed.
If a spouse can prove (again through irrefutable evidence) that he or she has been physically or mentally abused and that remaining married to or continuing to live with the accused individual could potentially place them in danger, divorce can be sought.
Divorce After Legal Separation
To qualify for this ground, both spouses enter into a legal agreement granting each party a separation in which they will be required to live in different residences for a year. After the year expires, both spouses are legally free to divorce should they so desire.
Divorce After Separation Judgment
The State Supreme Court grants a married couple separation for one year in which each party is mandated to live in separate residences. At the end of the year, each party is at liberty to divorce should they choose.
Should one spouse be incarcerated for a period of at least three consecutive years after the couple married, the other is granted the legal right to seek a divorce. The non-incarcerated spouse may also use this ground for an additional five years following the jailed spouse’s release.
Under these circumstances, both spouses have recognized that remaining married is no longer feasible. Assuming each side has entered into agreement regarding how critical issues such as the division of assets, maintenance, child custody and child support have been amicably determined, a court may award what is referred to as a “no-fault” divorce to said parties.
Does divorce mediation work?
Many spouses look at divorce as a contentious issue. They immediately act like they are at war. Contrary to popular belief, divorce mediation can work. While many divorces in NY are contested; it’s possible to avoid legal fees with an uncontested divorce in New York. Mediation is a great way to avoid emotional and financial hurdles, that arise in divorce. Lawyers will tell you that it’s always a good idea – to keep a divorce drama free. If you engage in divorce mediation, you can get legally divorced – with a fraction of the cost. We highly recommend doing mediation, instead of going to war – since it’s emotionally and financially better. Our lawyers are trained to handle voluntary, and court-mandated, mediations. Our job as your advocate, is to help you take advantage of this chance to avoid litigation, and to work out your issues in a peaceful manner. We can help you engage in divorce mediation, before the the court orders mediation to begin – and before it becomes contentious. Our family lawyers help clients make the most of their mediation. We help clients get an out-of-court settlement to help avoid future litigation. We can do this before the situation escalates.
How are high networth divorces different?
Individuals who have a high net worth are often in a unique situation – which requires divorce lawyers with a lot of skills, knowledge, and deep understanding. High Net Worth individuals often have many personal and business assets, in order to financial portfolios, and other lifestyle choices and decisions which must be accounted for – when considering an amicable divorce. We give you our pledge – we get it, and we will look out for you on every single level, when handling your divorce. Our lawyers have handled numerous high net worth divorce cases. When looking for the best lawyers, you need to choose attorneys who have the training, and experience, to properly handle these cases. Our team lawyers has years of experience – not only in handling, but successfully resolving and litigating high net worth situations.
How can NY divorce lawyers help with asset division issues
New Yorker’s who have significant assets need legal representation, more than anyone else – when it comes to divorce. Due to the large number of assets, your financial future can be at risk. Your financial future depends on getting a fair allocation of your joint marital property. Asset division is something which can also impact future alimony payments. If you want to maintain your existing lifestyle, and your existing standard of living – then you need a lawyer who is ready to fight on your behalf. Spodek Law is that firm. We have the resources, and passion, to fight for you and win. We are NYC’s largest law firm. Clients trust us to take care of their financial future. If you are worried about losing a significant portion of your property – then you should contact us. We can help ensure you get a fair share of your wealth. We can also help ensure you won’t get stuck with significant debt that your spouse may have generated.
New York is an equitable distribution state. It means the courts divide all assets and obligations in a fair manner – but not necessarily equal manner. That means that the court will try to be fair. All assets aren’t 50/50 split. That means the court will look at all of your assets, like: assets from inheritance, businesses, car, cash assets, debt, house + real estate, 401(k), pensions, retirement savings, stocks, and bonds.
There are four steps in the process of dividing your assets.
Identification – In this stage, all spouses are required to disclose all available assets and debts. This is where some spouses try to hide assets. During this phase, we’ll uncover all of the hidden assets your spouse may have. We have experience finding assets, that a spouse may not disclose – and which most attorneys would not discover. We can identify exactly how, and where, a spouse is hiding your assets. We look out for unreported income, that our client has a right to know about.
Categorization – Once all of the assets, and debts, are revealed – the court will decide whether the property is separate or marital. There is a rule followed – which is that anything owned prior to the marriage is separate. Any wealth, or debt, which was accumulated during the marriage goes into a marital estate – which will be divided eventually. There are certain exceptions. Gifts, and inheritances, which are received during the marriage are considered separate property by the court. These gifts are considered separate – as long as they were intended for only one of the spouses, and the funds weren’t commingled during the marriage. In addition, many couples have prenuptials and postnuptial agreements – which make it possible for certain property to be designed as separate or marital. This is a crucial stage – because this is where courts often strip rights to certain property. You need an New York attorney to protect your interests during this stage.
Valuation – Once all of the assets are discovered and placed in the marital pool – the court must assign a monetary value to them. Certain assets, like stock options, real estate, and businesses, are difficult to assign a fixed dollar value. Based on the value of your assets, alimony payments will be determined. During this stage, we enlist the help of financial experts – who can assess the value of your holdings and determine the correct valuation of them.
Allocation – During this stage, the court will decide who gets what, and how much. Equal distribution doesn’t mean even split. So, during this stage – the courts will look at numerous factors – in order to determine a fair distribution. For example, a 401(k) is easy to divide. But the real issue is dividing assets like the house, or other businesses, which is non-liquid. If one spouse gets the house, then our attorneys will try to balance it – and give the other spouse something to balance it.
At the end of the day – your financial security depends on a fair distribution of assets. We recommend having an experienced team of New York divorce lawyers, like ourselves, to help.
Want to settle out of court? We can help with that
There’s a lot of advantages to settling your case out of court. We can help you save time, money, and emotional pain. If you settle out of court, sometimes it can help – sometimes it can hurt. It all depends on how hard you negotiate, and the attorney representing you. While settling out of court, can help you save money in the short term – it can hurt you in the long term. Settling out of court might mean you settle for less. At the Spodek Law Group, our New York divorce lawyers want you to get the results you deserve. You should never have buyers remorse from settling your case. We help you negotiate in a manner that protects your interests. We never compromise, and do everything possible to take your legal issues to court – and get results. Divorce can be a long process, but we don’t recommend settling your case prematurely.
There’s a number of ways to reaching a settlement in an uncontested divorce. Some couples try to negotiate a settlement before either party files for divorce. Others will finalize during the mediation process. Other spouses try to settle the case during trial. The process can vary depending on what’s going on in your case.
If your spouse is cooperating, and you’re able to retain a level of civility, it might be easier to reach a settlement out of court. Some spouses have difficulty controlling their emotions. Some will purposefully drag out the court proceedings. They do this for a number of reasons, one of them could be to try to increase the cost of the divorce in order to hurt the other spouse.
Another reason for possible disagreements is agreements about child custody. This is one of the most common reasons for divorces to drag on. If you, and your spouse, can agree on child custody, it’s probably going to be easier to settle out of court. The quicker you and your spouse can agree on issues pertaining to children, the easier it is to settle.
Another reason for disagreement is existing marital agreements. If you have a prenup, or postnup, then it may end up settling the issues you have. In some cases though, your spouse/or you, may decide to challenge the nuptial agreement. This is not common, but if you feel like the agreement was done in bad faith – it may be possible to challenge the agreement and dissolve it. In situations like this, it is important to make sure you have legal representation. If you don’t have an attorney, it’ll be very difficult to challenge the prenup/postnup. If you have a competent NY divorce attorney on your side, it’s easier to challenge the agreement.
It’s possible to settle a divorce before it goes to court, but it’s important to realize this isn’t typical. Spouses have differences, and this can create friction when trying to negotiate settlements. We recommend even if you do reach a settlement, – to run it by your divorce lawyer.
Alimony can be a sticking point in divorces, we can help
Alimony can be ordered by a judge. If a spouse is facing hardships without financial support, then spousal support may be considered by the judge. If you need spousal support, we encourage you to bring this to our attention as soon as possible. The deciding factor for spousal support in New York State is whether or not the the spouse in question will be able to maintain himself/herself after the divorce. In other words, the law makes it clear a husband, or wife, shouldn’t be forced to live at a level below what they’re used to during the marriage.
We can help with 401(k)’s in divorces as well
If you and your spouse have retirement savings, this is very important and a huge part of your financial security. Divorce can throw a huge wrench into your plans. As a result, it’s good if you speak to our attorneys have your pension plans, 401(k)’s, and other retirement benefits. We will fight tooth and nail to ensure you keep as much of your retirement savings as possible. Under the New York Domestic Relations Law, it’s law that the defendant spouse is entitled to a share of the retirement plan proceeds. In case you were married after a 401k/retirement fund was made, the dependent spouse can’t claim an interest in the funds. One of the things we can advise you on, is tax planning when it comes to your 401k. Cashing out early can expose you to tax liabilities. We can help you negotiate a settlement which allows you to gain ownership in the funds without having to pay immediate taxes.
We can help you resolve child custody issues after the divorce happens
This is a very important question. Custody is usually divided into two components, physical and legal. Physical means where the children live. Legal refers to who makes important decisions for the children. Both of these custodies can be either joint, or sole. In NY, there are laws which calculate child support payments. The amount is based on each parent’s income. If there’s a judge presiding over your divorce, then the judge has ultimate authority on child support. The judge has the option to deviate from the guidelines.
Will I have to go to court during the divorce process?
In general there’s a 1-6 month waiting period before the divorce petition is filed, and served on your spouse, before its final. The divorce takes effect immediately after the judge makes a final ruling. If a divorce is uncontested, and a marital settlement agreement is filed, then you might not need to go court at all. In this case, all legal documents will be filed with the court, and the judgement is going to be sent to you automatically. There are exceptions where the court might request a formal/informal hearing. At informal hearings, the judge might ask you questions about facts mentioned in the papers you filed. Disputes like division of assets, child custody, etc, do not require court invention, and don’t require you to go to court. Normally, these issues can be resolved through arbitration, meditation, etc. Having a competent attorney can help you negotiate the equal division of property/assets, and all the necessary documents. Having an experienced divorce attorney in NYC can help you be aware of the details of your case, and set realistic goals before you file for litigation.
What if my divorce isn’t amicable
We understand some divorces may be amicable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on your guard. Many divorce lawyers apply a cookie cutter approach to uncontested divorces, and overlook the small details – which can harm your future. Generally in an uncontested divorce, both parties are in agreement, and there’s a degree of civility to the proceedings. In simple terms, it means the spouses reached an agreement without a court/judge having to resolve the issues at hand. These divorces usually proceed faster through the courts, and are less expensive. It lets spouses move on with their lives. Unfortunately, even uncontested divorces can be difficult. No divorce is final until things like assets, debt, spousal support, alimony, etc are discussed and handled. Some divorces are tougher than others due to liquor related domestic violence issues. In the event you and your spouse don’t agree, you’ll need an attorney to intervene and apply the law where necessary. In some cases it might be necessary to go to court. Our family law attorneys are competent, and proficient, in handling all types of divorce cases. We have many trial lawyers who work for us, and are aggressive in protecting your rights. No case is too hard. If the opposing party isn’t willing to be fair, we’re unafraid of taking a tough stance, and threatening litigation if necessary.
In some cases, if there is a prenup signed, it can make an uncontested divorce can go even smoother. Prenuptial agreements are tools that help immensely. The agreement is a contract which can help negotiate between you and your spouse in order to prevent litigation, and financial exposure. When you hire our matrimonial lawyers, we can help you navigate the prenup agreement —- or if necessary, challenge it. When you have a prenup agreement in place, the agreement forecasts what will happen financially, and personally, in the event there is a divorce or legal separation. Often, having one of these can save you 10’s of thousands of dollars. Our attorneys have significant experience drafting these agreements, and protecting our clients through them. We pride ourselves on having the know-how on drafting “ironclad,” prenup agreements. We always follow the latest trends in the law. We update our methodologies in order to ensure that prenups/postnups are enforceable and will be upheld by the courts. Prenups, and marital agreements, aren’t a one size fits all type of process. They have to be customized to the needs of each party. We help you understand how the prenup can help you – and where it falls short.
What is our philosophy
Regardless of the difficult of your case, our team can handle it. We’ve handled some of the most complex divorce, family law, asset distribution, cases in New York. Whether it be a case involving child custody, alimony, support, or even a spouse hiding assets – we can help. Our extremely knowledgable team will handle every single aspect of your case. We leave NOTHING to chance, and thoroughly protect your rights. If you need an extremely well versed matrimonial law firm, hire Spodek Law group.
When you are potentially going to trial – you want a matrimonial lawyer in NYC who knows judges, court staff, and opposing counsels. The familiarity makes it easier to get things done, and means you’re working with a trustworthy law firm. Both of our founding partners, are former prosecutors, and bring their years of experience to every single case. We understand how to speak to judges, and opposing counsel – and how to squash their attempts to dismiss your rights. Our trained NYC lawyers know the matrimonial/family courts of New York – and are well known, and trusted, for their strong advocacy for our clients.
When you hire a matrimonial law firm, you want to know that you’re hiring the best. You want someone who can get to the finish line – with plenty to spare! Our divorce and family team consists of highly trained lawyers, in addition to paralegals, assistants, and an entire support staff to ensure your case gets the attention it deserves. Unlike solo attorneys – we have an entire team ready to help your case – and give it the attention you deserve. It’s how we ensure each client gets the best results possible.
All divorce and family law matters aren’t the same. There are many ways to approach a case, and handle it. Having an experienced matrimonial attorney on your side, can be the key to success. When we take on a new case, we strategize all the possible ways we can get our clients what they need. Our attorneys work with you, to ensure that our suggested approach fits your needs, and the needs of your family.