Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Is My Divorce High Net Worth?

Friday, August 16th, 2019

The term ‘High Net Worth Divorce’ is thrown around a lot, especially in the news, as we see NYC’s elite finding themselves in the midst of messy divorces. But a high net worth divorce doesn’t only correlate to the “1%”. Typically, “high net worth divorce” referred to a divorce that involved more than one million dollars ($1,000,000+) in liquid assets (an asset that is cash in hand, or an asset that can be readily converted to cash). 

If you are considered a High Net Worth person, matching the qualifications above, you will likely have what is considered a High Net Worth Divorce. The real differentiating factors are, obviously, in the monetary realms, such as the distribution of assets (remember that New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning spouses in a divorce are recognized as having an equal interest in all marital property), alimony, and child support payments. 

NYC divorce lawyer Paul Eric Rudder, Esq. has a successful history representing high net-worth individuals, as we understand that a high-net-worth divorce will come with unique obstacles, which are directly correlated to the knowledge, valuation, and ultimate distribution of these valuable assets. We know that our clients have worked hard to accumulate this substantial wealth, and therefore have so much more to lose. High-net-worth individuals require an attorney with experience winning these types of cases, to reduce the risk of losing their hard-earned fortune, and relieving the stress of the process, as we quickly identify and protect these main asset targets: 

  • Ownership stakes in businesses
  • Inheritances
  • Retirement funds
  • Trusts
  • Bank accounts

An important thing to keep in mind is that not everything is subject to division, as New York State does recognize the difference between separate property and marital property (see our article on The Difference Between Separate and Marital Property). High net worth when there are children involved plays a role in deciding the amount of child support that will be awarded, as well as alimony, so it is important to be properly represented to ensure that the calculation for these awards is proper and fair. 

How A Biological Father May Be Denied Parental Rights In New York

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

In the state of New York, the courts definition of “legal parent” is not always necessarily based on biology.

For instance, if the mother was married at the time the child was either born or conceived, then that husband is considered to be the legal father of the child. Note that he does not have to be the biological father, and likewise, an unwed, biological father is not considered the child’s legal parent unless the father has signed what is known as an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

For fathers that didn’t know of the pregnancy or the child, sometimes there can be major hurdles if attempting to adopt the child.

The biological father must start to establish a significant parental role in the child’s life, which can include paying for birth expenses or child support expenses. Like most other custody cases, the fitness of the father to parent will be something that the judge will take into consideration when determining the custody dispute.

Conversely, fathers who do not provide support during and after pregnancy, who don’t show the ability to even provide the support, or those who have developed drug and/or alcohol problems are more likely to be denied the right to battle for the child in the event that they are placed in the care of either the biological mother or adopting parents.

An unmarried father is sometimes limited in how often they have the chance to be a significant parental figure in the child’s life, so it is important to form a parental relationship with the child. Get legal recognition that you are the child’s father, and the right to have a say in parental decisions.

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