Archive for the ‘CONSULTATIONS & ADVICE’ Category

What Things To Bring To A Divorce Consultation?

Friday, October 20th, 2017

You’ve decided it’s time for a divorce; you drafted the papers; hopefully, your spouse has signed them, and it’s time to start looking for representation.

There are plenty of divorce attorneys in the NYC area, but to find the one that best fits your needs, both financially and in court, can be daunting. But you should have a thorough vetting process, which means you should be meeting with quite a few lawyers, and when you do go in for the initial consultation, there are a few things you need to prepare and should bring with you.

A list of possible questions regarding your divorce would be a good thing to have, not just to save time, but so that your prospective divorce lawyer knows what direction this divorce might take.

The questions should not only include things that might pertain to your divorce but also regarding their experience, how much money and time it will take.

If you have any other legal documents, like prenups, birth certificates (especially for children if there are any), or any separation agreements that might already be in place, you should bring them along as well. These will also help your attorney get an idea of what the divorce might be like.

Lastly, anything you have against your spouse (no not sentiments, but evidence), showing them misbehaving in a way that could shine a bad light on them in court would be smart to bring as well. Incriminating videos and photos, and nowadays, social media posts can really help build a nasty case against your spouse. However, these pieces of evidence will not make much of a difference if it is a no-fault divorce.

How To Find The Best Divorce Attorney In New York City?

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

The first step for most people who wants to file for a divorce is to retain a legal counsel. Some spouses would hire an attorney after they filed a divorce.

If you are getting divorced in New York City, you have many different ways on how to find a divorce attorney for your particular divorce case.

A very easy way is to check your local bar association’s website for a list of NYC divorce lawyers, at this address: https://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/nybarassociations.shtml.

Here is another list of few other websites you can look at to find the right attorney who can best represent you:

The Collaborative Family Law Center: https://www.nycourts.gov/ip/collablaw/index.shtml

CourtHelp’s Lawyer Locator:  https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/GoingToCourt/findlawyer.shtml

LawHelp.org: http://www.lawhelpny.org/

In some cases, a court-sponsored attorney can represent you, but may not be appropriate for more complex cases involving aspects such as domestic violence and child abuse.

In addition, you can utilize a volunteer attorney, he or she can provide a free but limited legal advice. They can be reached at volunteerattorneys@nycourts.gov.

Moreover, asking for referrals from friends or another attorney is another best way to finding a divorce lawyer.

You may also search on Google “divorce lawyers NYC”. You will see a good amount of results for you to review. Considering client reviews, the attorney’s years of experience and area of concentration are key aspects of find the right divorce attorney.

Researching your divorce attorney through these methods will help build confidence before making a phone call. When you do meet with an attorney, or following an initial consultation, you will have a much better sense of their approach, legal strategy, and personality, for example, to help you make the right decision.

What Takes Place During An Initial Consultation With A Divorce Attorney

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Stepping into the office of your divorce lawyer for the first time can be overwhelming since you are taking the first step in filing for a divorce. Depending on where you currently stand in the divorce process, you might need to have your attorney file the divorce papers with the court to start the process.

In general, the initial consultation involves the client asking a few general questions about the upcoming divorce. After answering, the attorney will ask a lot of questions regarding income, life at home, if there are kids involved, and yours and your spouse relationship and past. The goal here is for the attorney to get an understanding of the psychological and financial state the client is in and in order to make any referrals to a therapist, divorce coach, or accountant/financial planner if necessary.

Then, the relevant divorce-related issues will be discussed, as your attorney will want to take a pre-emptive approach to the major issues that may come up. Some examples of issues to consider are who wants the custody of children, if child support will be necessary, as well as an outline of the division of property and debts. The information will be reviewed by your attorney, and assist them in calculating what the proper amount of alimony would be (if needed), and how long it should be paid.

By the time the meeting is over, the client will be tasked with learning as much as they can about the couple’s finances, e.g. assets and ongoing expenses, regardless if one spouse was the designated person to look over the finances. The consultation is completely confidential, and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will not find out through the attorney that you met with them.

Your lawyer is your ally, and you should completely and totally confide in them with everything regarding your divorce. They are the professionals that understand what is needed to be done to achieve a favorable settlement, and moreover, are not emotionally engaged in the divorce, giving them the ability to really think more clearly, instead of reacting via the emotional response.

How Can I Change My Divorce Lawyer During The Process?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Changing your representation mid-divorce isn’t as uncommon as some think, especially in a divorce case. There is a multitude of reasons for why you feel the need to change attorneys and an even greater number of factors that have lead you to this breaking point.

Some of the more common reasons for switching are that a spouse rushed into choosing a lawyer, and have come to realize that this partnership will no longer work and that it is time to change your divorce lawyer. Or, maybe you just don’t like how your attorney is handling your case; whatever it might be, know that you have the right to have whomever you want to represent you. While it is your right, don’t exercise it at the expense of your case.

First, you must find and retain a new lawyer. Note that this is prior to terminating your relationship with your current attorney. This is because you shouldn’t be without legal representation at any time while in the divorce process. So, sign a new contract with your new attorney, and bring them up to speed with the case so far, and any upcoming court dates they need to know about.

Then, you must end your contract with your current divorce lawyer. This can be done either in writing or in person, but a good rule of thumb is that even if done in person, you should still have a letter of termination. This letter should clearly indicate the date on which you want to terminate, and should also include the name and contact information of your newly retained attorney. Most importantly, don’t forget to include that you want all relevant information the attorney has pertaining to your case sent to your new attorney and include a specific due date.

From there, it’s a matter of paying off any remaining outstanding bills, having the rest of your client file moved to your current attorney, and have your new attorney file with the court that they are now your new legal representation.

Ex-Spouse Inherited a House from Her Parents But I’m On Deed. What Am I Entitled To?

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Inheritance can be tricky and often a sensitive subject. People often feel entitled to what has been left behind to them by their parents, but the law in New York often causes a different outcome. Because married couples sometimes find it easier to have a lot of their assets shared, otherwise known as a marital assets, deciding who is entitled to these assets when a divorce takes place becomes much more complex than just looking at who inherited the asset.

With regard to assets such as estates, a home left to a spouse in the will of their parent, for instance an inheritance, is typically considered separate property which by definition is not subject to distribution in a divorce. However, the key here is that this property must be kept separate, as once this property becomes shared, i.e. if the non-inheriting spouse’s name is added to the will and becomes marital property, it is now subject to distribution.

If the non-inheriting spouse’s name is not on the deed, nor are they mentioned in the deceased parent’s will, it becomes much harder for that spouse to prove that they have a vested interest in the property, therefore making it unlikely that the court will find that they have some, if any, entitlement to the house.

However, one thing the court does take into effect is the duration of the marriage. If the marriage lasted 20 years, most of which the non-inheriting spouse was aware that they would inherit said property in the future, they may be able to stake a claim that they do in fact have an interest in the house.

How Your Spouse Can Spy On You

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

It’s very common for an angry, scorned spouse to begin spying on their soon-to-be ex. In fact, plenty of couples that haven’t even begun speaking to attorneys about a separation already spy on each other. And if you find out that your spouse is in fact spying on you, you should be alarmed, and be open to the idea of talking to an attorney about the situation.

There are a few ways your spouse might be spying on you, and a few reasons why. For instance, your spouse may follow you around and spy on you, to see if you go to a bar to go drinking, or if you are buying and taking drugs (in any manner), and even stalk if your spouse thinks you are seeing someone whom they particularly don’t like or trust, like a friend or an ex.

If they notice that money is mysteriously missing or running low, they might think that you are spending the money irresponsibly, and perhaps not even on the family. Spouses will often check bank statements and credit reports of their spouse, if they aren’t already in a joint account with you.

It is important to note that a lot of people are just naturally suspicious, maybe even a little paranoid, especially if they have dealt with trust issues in past relationships. Some people are insecure, and their spying may be indicative of seeking reassurance. Others still are controlling but just because they may have been spying, it doesn’t mean the relationship is over. However, it is certainly something that should be dealt with immediately, before it turns into something worse.

CONSULTATIONS & ADVICE

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

The initial consultation between attorney and client is an important interaction in determining the direction of a matrimonial case. It is during this consultation that Mr. Rudder discerns the particulars of the case, the history of the client’s marital relationship, and the client’s expectations and needs. Mr. Rudder, with his invaluable experience with the courts and judicial process, clearly explains the divorce laws of New York State to the client, outlines the rights, duties and obligations of the parties, both economic and parental when appropriate. In light of information provided to him potential for reconciliation (pre-commencement) may also be addressed.