Archive for March, 2017

How To Serve Divorce Papers In New York?

Monday, March 27th, 2017

So you have finally decided that you are getting a divorce. You have come to terms with the idea of it and understands that it can be a long and arduous process. The initial paperwork that you will fill out is called a divorce petition. Also commonly known as divorce summons, it details exactly what is being requested (divorce, custody, alimony, etc.), as well as any necessary information about the marriage that is relevant to the divorce itself.

To file this paperwork, you must go to your county’s court, as that court has jurisdiction, or right to rule, over the matter. Once this is completed, these papers will be served to your spouse. What this means is that your spouse will be notified that you have filed for a divorce, and it has been filed with the county court, therefore initiating the divorce process.

The law says that your spouse should be notified in a reasonable amount of time, as to prepare themselves for the proceedings by retaining counsel, and with the adequate knowledge of what is being asked for. Therefore, upon being served, your spouse will learn how much you are asking for (if that is the case), or any other conditions you are asserting, as well as the first trial date.

The case will not begin until the court knows for certain that the spouse receiving the divorce petition received it and has been made aware of the divorce. Most of the time, an attorney will take care of this aspect of the case. However, if you are not serving your spouse via your divorce lawyer, here are other ways on how to serve divorce papers and obtain a proof of service.

4 Acceptable Ways To Serve Divorce Papers On Your Spouse

  1. Have someone, unrelated to you, and over the age of 18 to personally deliver it to your spouse. Upon being served, your spouse will also sign and date the Acceptance of the Service paper, so that the court can verify its reception.
  2. A petition can also be mailed, and attached to it will be an acknowledgment form that, once again, your spouse must date and sign, AND return. This method of service can be tricky, as mail is not always predictable. These issues can arise with first class mail; so another method is certified mail. When you serve papers this way, your spouse is required to sign a piece of paper that is directly attached to the envelope that your spouse receives and mails back to you, as proof of service.
  3. You can actually hire a process server to serve your divorce petition well. Their job, in a very basic sense, is to serve the divorce summons, have it filled out by the receiving spouse, and file it with the court. You can also hire your local Sheriff to do it as well.
  4. If all of these methods ultimately fail, the court will eventually allow service via publication. Newspaper ads where your spouse resides and the like are accepted methods, so long as you have a copy of the newspaper ad itself, and a statement for how long it was in the papers for. This is your substitute for a proof of service.

If you need help on how to serve divorce papers or how to respond to a divorce summons, contact Paul E. Rudder, Esq. for a consultation at (212) 826-9900 or email at

Why You Should Retain & Trust A Divorce Attorney?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

The divorce process can be, and often is, an emotionally draining one, not to mention how stressful and tiresome it is. Because of this, spouses are regularly urged to retain a lawyer to represent them in a divorce.

It isn’t that the lawyer now makes divorce less stressful, or less time-consuming; the lawyer is not emotionally and psychologically impacted like you are.

When representing yourself, your actions and decisions, through no fault of your own, will be influenced by your mental state, which in all likelihood isn’t the best one.

You can trust that your attorney will represent you not only with a clear mind but with your best intentions as their primary concern.

A divorce lawyer can act on your behalf with a rational and detached mental process, plus, they are more familiar with the law and can work the case to benefit you.

Divorce isn’t just about ending the marriage; there are other elements like the division of assets and estate, child custody and payments.

There is a reason that one needs to go through law school and pass the B.A.R. exam to practice law. There are a lot of laws to learn and rules that must be abided by, and your lawyer knows better than you on both subjects, if you don’t have a law degree yourself that is.

If you trust your attorney and reveal details about your spouse, the marriage, and any assets, your attorney now has the information to best represent you.

The less information you give them, and the less they have to work with, the harder it will be for them to present your case in a way that you can win. All information you share is confidential, and files are eventually shredded and properly disposed of.

If you’re thinking of getting divorced in New York, you should consult an experienced and top-rated divorce attorney. Contact Paul Rudder, Esq. for consultations at (212) 826-9900 or email at

How Does Child Visitation Works If The Other Parent Lives In A Different State?

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Just because you and your former spouse no longer live in the same state, much less the same house, it doesn’t nullify the non-custodial parent’s right to see their child, if they so choose. Of course, if moving out of state was done out of concern for the well-being of both child and parent, and the court declared an order of protection, then yes, this would be a preventative measure for denying the non-custodial parent any access to the child. However, when this is not the case, an out of state visitation schedule must be created.

Drawing up a visitation schedule when the parents live in different states is by no means an easy thing to figure out. It is a trial-and-error ordeal, and the schedule must be tested to ensure that it works for all involved. Because of the distance, “perfect schedules” are few and far between.

In order for the custodial parent to move both themselves and the children involved, both spouses must consent to the move. Once that is secured, the parent who is initiating the move must present their case to the court. It must be both compelling and made clear that the move is a necessary one, as the court will always hold the best interests of the child above all else; ipso facto, if you want the court to grant permission to move, plus the visitation schedule, they have to feel that the move is in the best interest of the child. A good example is if the mover is taking a new job out of the state, and that job offers more money. That money goes towards providing for the children, so they would most likely grant the move.

Once the court has granted permission, creating the visitation schedule begins. Frequent visits are uncommon in these situations, as the distance can often make it inconvenient to set it up. A good idea is to work around the child’s life and their calendar, for instance using the child’s school breaks, e.g. summer and winter, to not disrupt their lives and for a less invasive visit.

Of course, technology is a great tool in these situations. Video chat, emails, and phone calls are useful and efficient ways of bridging the gap and making the separated family members feel a little closer to each other which ultimately is better for the child than a completely broken family with little to no communication with one of the parents.

5 Factors New York Court Considers For Allowing Relocation After Divorce

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Your economic situation after divorce may lead to the decision that relocation is the best option for growth and recovery. If you have recently gone through your divorce, there are laws in place that may prevent you from moving out of New York State. So what are the factors New York Court considers to allow relocation after divorce?

One spouse relocating their residence after a divorce is quite common, but because of the fact that it permanently alters a child’s relationship to each parent, not to mention with local friends and the community, the courts will often review and deliberate to see to it that the child’s best interests are considered and are preserved in the relocation.

And so, I have compiled a basic rundown of how judges tend to decide whether to allow a custodial parent to move with their child or children. Each case carries with it its own circumstances and facts, but the fact remains the child’s best interests are the courts main concern.

5 Factors The Court Will Consider For Allowing Relocation After Divorce

Here is a list of common factors courts will consider:

  1. The reasons for seeking or trying to oppose the move.
  2. The dynamic and individual relationship and connection between the child involved and the parents.
  3. If there is a history, ongoing or otherwise, of a negative relationship between the parent and child.
  4. How the move will affect the child’s other relationships or if the move would prove to be beneficial for the child in multiple aspects of their life.
  5. Does the move have the capability to completely ruin the relationship between child and noncustodial parent? It should be noted however that the custodial parents reasoning for leaving and the potential harm that could happen if the relocation plea is denied.

How Debts Are Divided In A Divorce?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

What people are most concerned about the divorce process is how assets will be divided after calculating its net worth. However, many seem to forget that debts are also accrued during the marriage as well, and are also factored into the assets’ net worth. One cannot get an accurate idea of their wealth without considering the debt as well. Referencing bank and other financial statements are the best way to get a close-to-accurate estimation.

A judge will divide both the spouse’s assets and debts in the divorce judgment. In this judgment, it will be made clear which party will be paying for certain portions of the bills and debt, while the property and other assets will be simultaneously divided.

The goal of the court is to divide all of these evenly and equally, with different circumstances potentially influencing this. For instance, if a spouse was to receive more property than the other, it is entirely feasible that they will also be assigned more of the debt, but this is not always the case.

State laws impact how debts and assets are divided, and so these laws must be taken into consideration as well. Some states do consider separate property when dividing, as each party might have an independent interest in the estates that the other party is entitled to. These are usually assets or debts that are brought into the marriage.

Some states have community property rules, wherein everything in the marriage is owned equally, although a prenuptial agreement is considered in any and all settlements.

Ideally, you want to avoid debt altogether, and divorce proceedings don’t get any easier when there are massive amounts of debt involved. It becomes very complicated to start your new life when you are still connected to your old one via hovering debts. Try to clear the debt before or during the divorce, as it is one less thing to worry about during your divorce.

If Both Parents Have Joint Custody Of The Child, Who Pays For Child Support?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Many spouses think that if there is joint custody of a child, meaning both parents have physical and legal custody, that they should not have to pay child support, or rather, child support should not be ordered by the court. In fact, this is often a reason spouses will push for shared custody, thinking that it will alleviate them from having to potentially pay child support. This thinking is flawed because of the fact that joint legal custody doesn’t tend to impact child support; only physical custody affects this.

Moreover, joint physical custody does not negate the possibility or the obligation of paying child support. Even if the two parents evenly split the custody time, sooner or later one spouse will inevitably owe some child support. This is because of the fact that the two parents earn significant different amounts, and also spend different amounts of time with the child or children.

So if the custody is shared equally, why there is still a child support obligation? Because child support payment isn’t solely based on how much time each parent spends with the child; that is only one small part of the equation. When courts award child support payments, they are also considering the income of each parent. So, it usually turns out to be that the parent with the higher income will owe child support.

It can sometimes be forgotten that the true and only purpose for child support is to ensure that the child has the proper funds and will be taken care of adequately, and who the child stays with the majority of the time is irrelevant to this.