Archive for February, 2018

Does Domestic Violence Affect Spousal Support?

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

It would seem logical that if during the marriage, a spouse was the victim of domestic violence, then during the divorce trial, and more specifically, when hashing out support payments, that would be a mitigating factor. And to some extent, the court usually takes into consideration the devastating effect that domestic violence can have on a person, not just emotionally and psychologically, but also in their every-day lives. For instance, the court recognizes that domestic violence can greatly affect a spouse’s ability to get a job and have a career because of the toll that domestic violence can have. The actions that a spouse commits on another can often negatively affect the other’s earning capability. Because the repercussions of spousal abuse and misconduct can have such an impact, don’t hesitate to bring it up to your attorney or in court, not only because of how it may impact spousal support, but also because it is something that should be addressed and not be brushed under the table.

While that is as far as most courts will consider domestic violence as a factor in spousal maintenance, it does have an impact on child support as well. In Family Court, a common form of relief is an Order of Protection. Not only does it help settle child custody battles, it also can include child support. While some courts initially grant a temporary order of protection, a more permanent one can be granted from one to three years.  Sometimes this order can include that the abuser pays the medical expenses for treatment that arise from the incident, as well as housing costs, and, as mentioned earlier, temporary child custody and an award of child support.

Paul E. Rudder, Esq. is a single practitioner and has been practicing family law for over three decades. Attorney Rudder started his career as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. If you need legal assistance or want to get divorced, call 212-826-9900.

How Do Social Security Disability Benefits Affect Child Support In New York?

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

If your ex-spouse is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, it is usually because they can no longer work due to their disability. The benefits are supposed to compensate for the pay that would have been made by your ex, had they not lost the ability to work.

The children of these disabled workers are entitled to something called SSD Dependency benefits, which are used to help take care of the child’s needs. If you are unable to work, and therefore make income, you are not the only one that suffers, so the Dependency benefits are there for the children.

However, being disabled does not excuse you from paying court-ordered child support, and the court is very certain on making sure that the children do not suffer because one of their parents is on disability. The court will usually allow the payer to use their Dependency benefit payments as part, or all, of their monthly payments. In other words, you can use some of your disability benefits to cover child support, and then fill in the remaining gap of what you owe with the Dependency benefit payments.

Note that if your spouse receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will not be able to get any support payments from that. If your ex is collecting and owes support, the court or a Social Security officer can cut into those benefits, in order to put pressure on your ex spouse to make the appropriate payments.

How Do You Get A Divorce When You Cannot Locate Your Spouse?

Monday, February 5th, 2018

When one spouse decides they can no longer be with their partner, and that they need a divorce, they are not always guaranteed that their spouse is on the same page. In fact, many partners who are not in favor of getting a divorce make it very complicated for their spouse to do so. In the event where the couple decides to separate, but stay legally married, one of the spouses sometimes can move to another city, state, or country, and this is often accompanied with a cease in communication.

But what happens if you lose track of your ex’s location, and then, when the time comes where you want to officially end the marriage (to either remarry someone else, or to just get it over with), you need to serve them the divorce papers? What can you do?

The legal system offers alternative ways of achieving the same goal as having your divorce attorney serve your spouse, which ultimately is to inform them of the divorce in a fair amount of time prior to the court date so they can prepare.

One form of this is through an Order of Notice by Publication, which is precisely what it sounds like. Using your spouses last known address, you will publicize, in that surrounding area’s local newspaper, your intent to divorce your spouse. Think of it like any other advertisement you see in the newspaper, only you aren’t selling anything, but rather making the public aware of the divorce, with the premise being this is the widest net you could cast in order to informally notify your spouse.

The court recognizes this because it is the most significant action a spouse who is seeking a divorce can take without knowing the location of their husband/wife. This legal publication will be in the paper for about 3 weeks, and on top of that there will be a predetermined, additional amount of time to allow your spouse to prepare, if they did end up seeing your “ad”.

If they still don’t respond to that notice, then you may go on in finalizing your divorce, as the court will find that you did all that you could reasonably be asked to do to notify them. You will need to prove that you put this legal notice in the paper, in the form of a copy of the publicized notice and also an affidavit of marshal service, confirming the publication was in the paper.

If you need help from an experienced NYC divorce attorney, contact Paul E Rudder, Esq. today! Call 212-826-9900 to set up an appointment.