sih-logo-desktop
Call us today (516) 352-2100

Divorce Perspectives: A Proactive and Personalized Approach

Writings on Legal Matters

Divorce Perspectives: A Proactive and Personalized Approach

Divorce Perspectives: A Proactive and Personalized Approach By Joshua HechtIt’s a cliché, admittedly. But the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” rings particularly true when it comes to divorce. Even if an individual has the best of intentions, with emotions running high, one misstep, and what otherwise could have been a very simple matter, spirals out of control.

It is for this very reason that our firm views the initial consultation as an essential part of the process. We firmly believe that if we get to know our clients and what they hope to achieve, we can avoid many of the pitfalls that often hold parting spouses captive to litigation.

(more…)

7 Tips for a Successful Settlement Conference

Writings on Legal Matters

7 Tips for a Successful Settlement Conference

7 Tips for Successful Settlement Conference  By Josh Hecht, Sunshine, Isaacson & Hecht, LLP The settlement conference presents an important opportunity for you and your spouse to settle your differences, financial and otherwise, without the need to set foot in a courtroom.

The following are 7 tips for a successful settlement conference:

  1. Make sure you know your rights. (more…)

Counsel Fee Awards: Courts’ Vigilance in Leveling the Playing Field

Writings on Legal Matters

Counsel Fee Awards: Courts’ Vigilance in Leveling the Playing Field

Counsel Fee Awards: Courts' Vigilance in Leveling the Playing Field By Joshua B. Hecht of Sunshine, Isaacson & Hecht, LLPDivorce has many costs, not the least of which are the counsel fees incurred by the parties, a cost which often weighs heavily on the litigant’s mind. As such, clients often ask whether their spouse could be directed to contribute to their legal fees or, conversely, if it’s the spouse with the greater financial resources, whether they can be directed to pay their spouses legal fees. The answer is not always so cut and dry.

In New York, there is a rebuttable presumption that the wealthier or more monied spouse should pay the less monied spouse’s legal counsel fees to level the playing field and ensure that both spouses are on equal footing in terms of representation. (more…)

Divorcing Parents of Special Needs Children – Part 1: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Writings on Legal Matters

Divorcing Parents of Special Needs Children – Part 1: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Divorcing Parents of Special Needs Children - Part 1: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You by Joshua B. Hecht{4:15 minutes to read}

As divorce attorneys, sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know.

Our clients can sign the agreement, which has all of the traditional language. We may think we provided for each and every need of the child – their basic support, add-on activities, extra-curricular programs, perhaps a special school – but the question remains: What must we also consider when planning for a child with special needs? (more…)

The Grey Divorce Revolution? So Much For “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

Writings on Legal Matters

The Grey Divorce Revolution? So Much For “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

The Grey Divorce Revolution? So Much For "'Til Death Do Us Part" By Joshua B. Hecht{4:30 minutes to read}

The generation that transformed our social conscience and brought us the sexual revolution continues to rewrite the playbook when it comes to love, marriage and divorce in the golden years.

While divorce among older couples was almost unthinkable until fairly recently, baby boomers are increasingly divorcing in their golden years after decades-long marriages. It’s a paradigm shift from generations past. (more…)

If You Are Getting a Divorce, Change Your Will

Writings on Legal Matters

If You Are Getting a Divorce, Change Your Will

If You Are Getting a Divorce, Change Your Will By Joshua B. HechtWhen our firm handles a divorce, we reference the client’s Last Will and Testament in the Divorce Settlement Agreement.

During divorce, many people worry about how their property will be distributed between them and their spouse at the end of the divorce. However, few consider how their property will be distributed in the event of their death before the divorce is finalized. There are two questions that everyone going through a divorce should be considering, but rarely do:

  • “What happens if I die before my divorce is final?”
  • “How can I make sure that my share of the property goes to the people that I want it to go to, rather than my future ex-spouse?”

(more…)

The Ashley Madison Scandal: The Media Cares, But Do Judges?

Writings on Legal Matters

The Ashley Madison Scandal: The Media Cares, But Do Judges?

The Ashley Madison Scandal The Media Cares, But Do Judges By Jason A. Isaacson{3:05 minutes to read} When the news broke this past summer that AshleyMadison.com had been hacked, leaking the names and identifying information of approximately 37 million users, there were more than a few jittery spouses.

The scandal attracted wide media coverage and rampant speculation about the effect that the leak would have on marriages of the subscribers. However, for all of the media hype, while the revelation that one’s spouse has been cheating is reason enough to seek a divorce, a spouse’s infidelity has little, if any, bearing on the actual divorce process. (more…)

Getting Divorced? Think Before You Tweet

Writings on Legal Matters

Getting Divorced? Think Before You Tweet

Getting Divorced? Think Before You Tweet by Joshua B. Hecht{2:45 minutes to read} If you’re going through a divorce, it’s probably best to start with the presumption that anything you tweet, post, upload, chat about, or otherwise place in the universe of social media can and will be used against you by your spouse and their attorneys. So tread cautiously and be mindful of this problem that comes with getting divorced in the twenty-first century.

Consider the following two scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: Harry husband, who happens to be going through a divorce, lavishes expensive gifts upon, Sally, his significant other. Sally takes to social media, tweeting just how generous Harry happens to be. Somehow, Harry’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Wendy, gets ahold of these tweets, and forwards them to her attorneys to be used as evidence in their hotly contested divorce proceeding. Wendy’s and her attorneys’ intent is to demonstrate how Harry wasted marital funds on someone other than her and their children.

(more…)

Your Business Could Be in the Middle of Your Partner’s Messy Divorce

Writings on Legal Matters

Your Business Could Be in the Middle of Your Partner’s Messy Divorce

Your Business Could Be in the Middle of Your Partner’s Messy Divorce by Joshua B. Hecht{5 minutes to read} If your business partner is going through a divorce, their spouse may be entitled to compensation for direct or indirect contributions to the business.

The divorcing spouse has the right to argue that their direct and indirect contributions to the business attributed to its growth and success, if they can prove it. However, before even getting to the point where a judge determines whether the spouse made such contributions, the spouse will want to find out how much the business is worth—so that he or she knows what is at stake and whether it is worth fighting for. (more…)

“You’ve Been Served”: What to Do If You’re Served Divorce Papers

Writings on Legal Matters

“You’ve Been Served”: What to Do If You’re Served Divorce Papers

Being served with divorce papers can be upsetting and stressful, or may just be a welcome and practical step towards ending a relationship. However you feel about being served divorce papers, there are certain things you must now do to move the process forward. This article talks you through each step.

  1. Read the papers carefully

Reading your divorce papers may seem like a no-brainer. However, it is essential that you take time and care when doing so to ensure that you fully understand the wealth of information they contain. Signing divorce papers without thoroughly reading them first could mean you end up agreeing to something that you actually object to.

Among other things, divorce papers should contain information such as where the action has been filed, the deadline by which the spouse must respond, and whether the spouse who filed the paperwork is acting alone or with the help of an attorney. The grounds for divorce, as well as information on important matters such as child support and custody and division of property, may also be laid out in these documents.

  1. Provide your response

The required response time is typically 20 days from when you were served with the papers, so you should check your divorce papers to make sure you know the deadline and ensure you provide your response before then. If you do not provide a response within the deadline, it is possible that your spouse could be granted everything they have requested in the papers, as not responding suggests that you are amenable to these requests.  Providing a response may be difficult without an attorney who can prepare the document, called an Answer, properly. This brings us to the next important step:

  1. Hire an attorney

The next thing you should do is hire an attorney. An attorney will help guide you through the process and can assist with drafting and delivering the response to your spouse. An attorney will help you go through the papers and respond to each numbered statement, providing as much information and reasoning as possible.

Legal counsel can ensure that you understand all your rights and options and that your rights are protected, particularly if the case becomes contested at a later date. If your divorce papers indicate that your spouse has employed the services of an attorney, it is even more imperative that you retain your own counsel so that both parties’ rights and interests are protected and fought for on even ground.

  1. Gather paperwork and documents

Documents such as pay-stubs, income tax returns, and recent bank statements are useful to have on hand. Other helpful documents include financial paperwork such as credit card statements, mortgage agreements, and statements from retirement and/or brokerage accounts. These documents will help an attorney ascertain where the income comes from and how assets will be divided.

  1. Protect your assets

Some individuals need to be careful about protecting their assets. If you are concerned that your spouse may try to take money from you, your attorney can and should issue an Automatic Restraining Order, to prevent either party from making unusual transactions, withdrawals, or take other steps that may harm you financially.

  1. Next steps

From here your attorney has two choices – to try and resolve the financials and custody issues amicably, or to ask that a Judge be appointed to the case to help you and your spouse.  If proceeding amicably and outside of the court, your attorney can set up a settlement conference with your spouse and his or her attorney. If you wish to go to Court, then your attorney will schedule a Preliminary Conference with the Court, during which you will meet the Judge selected for your case, who will make recommendations for settlement and oversee the process if a resolution cannot be reached.  Further, the Judge has the power at this point to direct that certain bills must be paid while the case is pending, how income should be shared between you and yourself, and who should pay the attorneys.

If you are looking for an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected, call Sunshine Isaacson & Hecht, LLP at (516) 352-2100 for a confidential consultation, or e-mail us at jisaacson@sihllp.com

Need help today? Get in touch for a free case evaluation.

Facing a legal challenge and have a question? Contact us today and receive a free case evaluation from one of our experienced attorneys.

Free Consultation