How to Protect Your Business During a Divorce

How to Protect Your Business During a Divorce

protect business

Divorce forces parting spouses to address a significant number of important personal, financial and legal matters. When the owner of a company or organization divorces, their business interests might be impacted by the divorce.  The individual will not lose their business or face, but may be subject to a forensic evaluation, which may or may not ascribe an unrealistic value to a nontangible and sometimes non-transferable asset.  If not careful, said individual might lose a significant percentage of the marital estate.

Fass & Greenberg, Garden City divorce attorneys, invite New York business owners who might be considering separation read this blog highlighting important considerations such individuals should offer during this time, specific safeguards they can employ that could potentially protect their interests and how a divorce lawyer Garden City may be able to help them reach this goal.

Important Considerations

There are circumstances in which one’s business holdings could be divided in accordance with New York State divorce laws. New York mandates that a couple must work out some type of property division arrangement or have marital property split in accordance with a civil principle known as equitable distribution.

Marital assets are the entirety of the property the couple accumulated during their married life. If the business was started after the spouses wedded, both parties could be entitled to a certain percentage of the entity’s estimated value.

Moreover, someone who started and established a successful business prior to getting married is not necessarily in the clear. If the entity grew in value during the marriage’s duration, the non-owning spouse may be entitled to a percentage of those assets.

The discussion of how businesses are impacted by divorce can be complicated and somewhat confusing. Therefore, Long Island business owners are urged to consult with a family lawyer Garden City NY before making any pertinent decisions.

Safeguards Business Owners Can Employ

Fortunately, there are several actions business owners can take that might protect their company holdings from division during the divorce process, including:

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements

Pre and postnuptial agreements are court-accepted documents dictating specific contingencies regarding how a couple’s financial or legal affairs will be handled once they wed or possibly certain mandates dictating the major duties each spouse will bear responsibility for during their married life. As their monikers might indicate, prenuptial contracts are arranged prior to a couple marrying and postnuptial arrangements are established following their wedding.

Garden city lawyers firmly suggest business owners adopt pre or postnuptial agreements containing provisions keeping the business and associated assets apart from marital property. If this mandate is placed in writing and agreed to by the proprietor’s future or current spouse, the latter would be prohibited from collecting any amount of the entity’s assets in the event of a divorce.

Avoid Mixing Family and Business

Many people have heard this hackneyed phrase on numerous occasions. However, said advice rings true regarding protecting one’s business from the hazards of divorce. One simple bit of wisdom legal experts impart to business proprietors is to not employ their spouse in the organization and to never use marital funds for any business-related purposes. Such actions might be harsh but could save the owner a great deal of time, money, frustration and pain over the long haul.

Form A Trust or Corporation

Placing the business in question into a trust or incorporating said entity establishes it as a separate asset. However, owners must be careful not to invest any marital property into said trust or corporation.

Pay Spouse Off

Unless the business can be physically divided (if, for example, there are two stores and each spouse is awarded one), the non-titled spouse is given an “equitable share”, which means a “pay-out”.  Unlike other marital assets, such as a bank account, or a pension, such awards are almost never calculated on a 50/50 basis.  Unless the non-titled spouse made direct contributions to the business, their share is generally limited to 12-20% of the appraised value.

Contacting Us

Divorce law Garden City NY pertaining to dividing business assets cover significant ground and may be difficult to comprehend. Therefore, Long Island business owners contemplating this life-changing event are encouraged to contact Fass & Greenberg. We can help a client identify all pertinent issues, understand the law, establish their assets and might be able to help them maintain the businesses they worked hard to create and expand. For more information about us, please visit https://fglaw.net/.

restraining order

Unfortunately, the break down or emotional toll of certain close relationships leads to one party threatening or actually harming the other. Fortunately, In New York State, those victimized by such behavior might be able to obtain a legal safeguard against said subjects known as an order of protection. However, merely petitioning the Court for this legal instrument does not necessarily guarantee it will be awarded. 

Fass & Greenberg, LLP., divorce and family law attorneys in Garden City NY, invite concerned parties to read this brief discussion of protective orders and the steps individuals can take should their requests for such documents get denied.  

A protective order, which is sometimes also titled a restraining order, is a court order directing how one person may interact with another. In some cases, restraining orders prohibit all physical contact.  This is referred to as a “stay away” order, and can even prohibit any contact between persons, such as email, telephone, or texting.  However, under different circumstances, the restraint might only apply to certain places or conditions. 

The person against whom the order is issued must obey the associated provisions. Should said subject fail to abide by the mandates set forth, they are in violation and could be subject to penalties, such as arrest leading to incarceration, or even loss of child custody.

The Application Process

The victimized individual must petition to a family court for such an order.  Such a remedy is also available in Supreme Court where there is a pending divorce action.  The standard for the granting of such relief is high.  The petitioner must clearly demonstrate the party they are seeking the order against committed some type of egregious action warranting the action. Verbal abuse is often not sufficient, unless there are threats of bodily harm.  This task necessitates that the applicant produces suitable evidence. This task is often made easier by retaining the services of an experienced family attorneys in Garden City NY. Contact Fass & Greenberg, LLP today for representation.

divorce

Every divorce case has the potential to be challenging and contentious. This is especially true of those cases involving complex financial issues. Taking certain actions will improve one’s chances for success.

Fass & Greenberg, LLP., Garden City NY divorce attorneys, invite prospective clients to read this short blog detailing five important steps those facing financially complicated divorce cases can take that will help favorable results.

Understand What The Dispute Is About

First and foremost, one must familiarize themselves with all the pertinent facts surrounding the case. Granted, financial documents can be voluminous and difficult to obtain, no less understand. However, failing to grasp the important elements of the issues at hand might prove costly. Individuals facing such circumstances are enthusiastically encouraged to consult with Garden City NY divorce attorneys, and or other licensed and experienced financial professional. 

Gather Appropriate Documentation

Clients in divorce cases need to provide their attorneys as much documentation as possible. Acceptable forms, include banking and investment statements, tax returns, cancelled checks, quicken records, billing statements, profit and loss statements, ledgers and any other document necessary to prove the value of an asset, the cash flow of an entity, or the income of the payor spouse is critical for the preparation of the financial aspect of the case. 

Determine If A Forensics Investigator Is Necessary

Should the divorce case in question involve business valuation, an income analysis, or perceived financial malfeasance, such as embezzling or hiding funds, the assistance of a forensics investigator will be needed. These highly skilled professionals possess a dearth of experience valuing different businesses, determining cash flow for income analysis, and identifying potential wrongdoings, like purposefully deleted accounts or tainted software. At Fass & Greenberg, LLP, we work closely with these professionals to cover all financial angles to obtain the best possible result for our clients.

Be Willing to Negotiate

Successful results in complex financial cases often hinges on each party’s willingness to keep the lines of communication open and their ability to put their emotions aside to negotiate effectively. Both parties must be made to understand and accept the fact that they neither of them can obtain everything they want in their divorce case. Other obstacles to a successful negotiation are stubbornness and a desire for vengeance. This kind of behavior will only cost money and unnecessary delays.

Consult with A Lawyer with Experience in Complex Financial Cases

Divorce litigation and mediation involving complex financial issues can prove daunting. Garden City divorce lawyers experienced with complex financial issues can help shepherd a client through the mountains of paperwork, identify the key issues, gather all the pertinent documentation and help clients negotiate when need be. 

Contacting Us

Long Island residents facing complicated financial issues in their divorce cases are urged to contact Fass & Greenberg, LLP. We can review their cases and help plan the most suitable next moves.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Within matrimonial cases lie many disputes that need to be resolved, such as child custody, child support, alimony, and division of assets.  When dealing with such important and personal matters, litigation is not always the best option for resolving disputes.  It is often time-consuming, rigid, and expensive.  It is therefore wise to look into other ways to come to a more efficient resolution.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers ways of resolving disputes outside of the traditional courtroom, including collaborative divorce, mediation, and arbitration. Collaborative divorce is a process in which both parties and their respective lawyers commit to resolving their issues fairly and equitably, in a cooperative rather than adversarial style. Parties pledge that they will not resort to the court system. The process is speedy, protects the privacy of the parties, and seeks to find the best solution for all through creative problem solving. However, this process requires willingness to collaborate from all parties involved.  One drawback to collaborative law is that a party needs to agree to discharge their attorney if the process fails and litigation ensues.  This can be difficult if the party is happy with their representative, and expensive if they have to hire a litigator to reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

Mediation also requires willingness to communicate and compromise from all parties. In mediation, parties must work together with the guidance of a mediator who supervises the negotiations but does not order a result. The mediation process is completely confidential and can result in flexible and customized solutions.   Most mediators will recommend that each party hire an attorney to review the mediated agreement to ensure that their best interests are being met. When parties avail themselves of this option, in some cases, the individual lawyers thwart the mediation and the case proceeds to litigation.  Parties need to remember that the individual attorney work for them and not the other way around.  If the spirit of cooperation exists, they will reach a consensus.  

Arbitration is the most formal of the types of ADR, with an independent arbitrator, chosen by the parties to oversee the process.   The parties work with individual counsel to present witnesses, documents, and arguments. The arbitrator serves as a quasi-judicial figure, applies the law to the facts and renders a decision. Arbitrations are still less formal than litigation, allowing for flexibility in scheduling and a speedier result.

Of the three, mediation tends to be the most common in matrimonial disputes.

Typically, ADR is done in-person. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, any norms that we have become accustomed to have been challenged. With courts shutting down and limiting their functions, attorneys have had to figure out the best ways to move their cases along. Even as the courts reopen, safety and distancing requirements are still in place, case backlogs exist, and matters must be prioritized. ADR is as appealing as ever during these uncertain times, as it eliminates the litigation process and provides more flexibility. Thankfully, technology has come in handy for many as platforms like Zoom, WebEx Meetings, and Skype have changed the game. Virtual conferencing and appearances have been utilized in legal proceedings before, such as when a client cannot attend a hearing. This is not a new phenomenon but perhaps may be becoming the new normal.

Virtual ADR is conducted through programs that are easily accessible – via phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, making these processes readily available for attorneys and clients looking to move their cases forward. The portability of many of these devices also allows for spouses, even those confined to the same home, to physically separate – perhaps to an office or even to their car – to engage in these virtual proceedings in a private manner. Also, many programs have data encryption to provide secure and private environments to mediate and resolve disputes. These programs allow participants to engage in group settings and also private break-out sessions where individual parties can discuss privately with their own attorneys or with the attending mediator or arbitrator. Documents can also be shared electronically and even signed electronically should an agreement be reached. The ability to meet virtually, discuss the case, exchange relevant documents, and even sign agreements has allowed divorce attorneys to advance their client’s cases even during a pandemic.

Technology is ever-changing and constantly advancing the way we operate. Attorneys, judges, mediators, clients, and the like have realized the freedom and flexibility technology can offer when it comes to ADR. Matrimonial disputes involve many aspects of a couple’s private matters, and mediation offers a more private way to work through those disputes. The ability to conduct these mediations remotely has allowed for attorneys and clients to advance their interests and resolve disputes so that they may continue on with their lives, despite the ongoing pandemic. Following the success of many virtual mediations in matrimonial disputes, it is likely that this platform will continue even beyond the isolation of the pandemic.

In the firm of Fass & Greenberg, LLP., both partners, Florence M. Fass & Elena L. Greenberg, in addition to being trained litigators, are trained in mediation and collaborative law.   We are equipped to assist potential clients resolve their differences outside of the courtroom, whether in person, or virtually, depending upon the needs or the circumstances. 

full custody

In a divorce case where children under the age of 17 are involved, the issue of child custody must either be agreed upon by the parties, or decided upon by the court. There are two components of child custody, i.e., legal custody and physical custody.  Legal custody gives a parent the right to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. Custody can be shared by both parents, as with a joint custody award, or given to one party, as with a sole custody award.  In New York the general trend is for both parents to share decision making, which results in joint custody.  However, in certain cases, where a parent has a substance abuse problem, suffers mental illness, or where the parties are too acrimonious to share in decision making, sole custody will be awarded to one spouse. What happens when your spouse is awarded full/sole custody? If you find yourself in this situation, be sure to contact the Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg to understand your rights.

A legal custodial parent has the right to determine a child’s upbringing, such as in matters related to education, medical issues, and religion. In joint legal custody arrangements, the parties must both agree on major decisions. In the event that the parties cannot reach an agreement, they can go to court or defer to a professional in the field for guidance in reaching a decision. Often, parties will be required to go to a mediation before going to court. But when your spouse will not agree to joint custody, you may be wondering how the decision-making plays out. When your spouse is awarded sole legal custody, you, as the noncustodial parent, will not have equal decision-making authority. However, a noncustodial parent does have a right to be consulted on all major decisions and, in almost every case, would be granted access to information regarding the child’s education, medical history, and activities. This allows you to remain actively involved in what is going on in your child’s life. A noncustodial parent also has the right to challenge decisions made by the custodial parent, should you believe the decision goes against the best interests of the child. Understanding these rights owed to you as a parent is crucial to be able to properly advocate for yourself in custody disputes.

In 2009, in the case of Fuentes v. Board of Education of the City of New York, the New York Court of Appeals answered a question regarding the status of a noncustodial parent’s decision-making authority. The Court responded that the noncustodial parent does not automatically retain decision-making authority, for education in that case, but acknowledged that a noncustodial parent can retain decision-making authority if the custody order or divorce decree expressly permits joint decision-making authority for certain decisions. If you are a noncustodial parent who feels strongly about being involved in certain decisions pertaining to your child’s upbringing, an attorney can help you advocate to have that decision-making authority written into the divorce decree or custody order.

A lack of legal custody does not mean that you will not be able to spend time with your children. Both parties must also come to a decision regarding physical custody of any children involved. The non-residential parent is often awarded visitation rights, typically consisting of alternate weekends and one midweek dinner visit, since courts generally support a child having a relationship with both parents. The court can award visitation on a supervised or unsupervised basis. Should a custodial parent attempt to interfere with the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights, visitation can be enforced through a petition to the court. In the event that you, as the noncustodial parent, believe a custody or visitation award is unjust, you have a right to challenge the determination. An attorney can help you file a petition to alter the custody or visitation arrangement.

Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a parent is important when going into any divorce or custody dispute. The attorneys at Fass & Greenberg are experienced, compassionate, and competent when it comes to handling family law matters. If you have concerns regarding custody or visitation, reach out to the Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg to ensure that your parental rights are protected.

marital assets

The law has become an even more interesting landscape since the rise of COVID-19 and the myriad of issues that it has brought to the forefront. The disease has spread throughout the country and the world, and it has turned a lot of traditions and customs upside down. One thing that Garden City family lawyers see right now is a difficulty in valuing assets during this time.

The valuation of marital assets is a key component of ensuring equitable distribution of assets and an ultimately fair resolution of the case. In New York, Courts may choose to value assets any time from when the divorce action is commenced until the trial begins. Courts typically value active assets, such as businesses, which tend to increase in value, on the date the divorce action is commenced. Passive assets, the value of which fluctuates with the market, are typically valued on the date the trial begins. However, Courts have discretion when it comes to the date of valuation depending on various circumstances and factors relevant to each case.

COVID-19 has changed the legal landscape and introduced more obstacles when it comes to valuation as assets, incomes, and property values have fallen. Earnings, revenues, and sales have become extremely volatile as some workers and businesses have been deemed essential and others have not. Changing regulations regarding when and how businesses can open, who may go into work, and other various factors affect the values of different assets.

Fass & Greenberg has been working on better methods for valuing assets in the current climate that we find ourselves in. It is troubling that so many valuables are now difficult to assign a value to due to the declining economy and high rates of unemployment. At the same time, Fass & Greenberg knows that the unemployment rate is so high because we have asked people to stay home and closed restaurants and other public venues in many areas. Those jobs are gradually starting to come back as businesses are beginning to slowly reopen. As circumstances improve and the community opens up again, things will improve but the scars and losses of the pandemic will remain.

Assets such as cars, boats, motorcycles, jewelry, and the like have all become more difficult to assess as Garden City family lawyers try to figure out what kind of public demand there is for these items. If the public is not pushing to own such things, then the value just isn’t there. However, it is not clear that the public won’t want some of these valuables down the line as things normalize. Supply and demand prove more difficult to predict in these uncertain times.

While much of society has been put on pause during this pandemic, we know that personal family law issues have persisted. Going through a divorce or other situation in which valuables must be divided up among different parties is as critical as ever right now. Law firms are needed to help with the valuing of these items and to help make sure you end up on the right end of the deal when all is said and done. Do not put your financial future at risk. Take the time to hire competent experienced legal counsel to protect yourself and to help you achieve your desired outcome.

divorce during pandemic

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused the majority of people to change their routines and lives to some degree. Quarantine orders, working from home, home schooling children, and the general panic surrounding the virus has led to people having to spend many hours confined with their spouses. This can be a big change for people who are used to spending the majority of their day away from home. For some, this new togetherness can lead to resolution, and for others, it can be the final straw. This new lack of freedom, accompanied by aggravating factors like fear, emotional stress, and financial hardship can put additional stress on an already strained relationship or cause even a seemingly content marriage to seem intolerable.

The forced one-on-one time combined with anxiety over health concerns, disrupted schedules and uncertainty have experts predicting that divorce rates will rise over the next year. In the past, this has been the trend following major stressful events. In the wake of epidemics, people have shown a tendency to make life-changing decisions, such as choosing to get married, changing jobs, or retiring from their careers, having children, or getting divorced. Many times, people will contemplate their life goals and realize how short life really seems. People tend to want to make changes that will ensure their happiness when a major upheaval or traumatic event threatens their routine. In the past, following natural disasters, the rate of domestic violence and divorce has risen. In a marriage that already has long-standing tensions or resentments, separation is no longer possible during the pandemic and relationships can quickly reach a breaking point.

In addition to the relationship stress the pandemic may have caused, it also presents other obstacles, such as limited court functioning. Up until recently, the courts in New York were only hearing emergency cases. Limited court functions pose potential barriers for both those people already dealing with divorce and those considering it. Court closures created problems for those trying to file the documents to initiate a divorce. This created issues with related actions, such as setting the date for valuing a couple’s joint assets, which often happens on the date the divorce commences. These potential obstacles heighten stress and anxiety for those already dealing with tense and emotional times. Courts have begun reopening on a gradual basis, and new actions are being commenced. However, there is a lot of uncertainty that comes along with that. Although we can now establish valuation dates as of the date a new action is commenced, how do we value a business which may no longer be functioning in a year when the divorce action is ready for trial?

Choosing the right professionals to help guide you through this process is extremely important, especially during these uncertain times. Our Garden City NY divorce attorneys can help navigate this unfamiliar territory are. Fass & Greenberg has the experience and knowledge to assist with decisions and can offer advice to make this process as easy and stress-free as possible. Their ability to effectively represent their clients during litigation and mediation while maintaining their professionalism and integrity is part of what sets this firm ahead of the others. Fass & Greenberg is the confident choice of Garden City NY divorce attorneys to contact for assistance with the divorce process.

paternity issue

Finding out that your partner is going to have a child should be a good thing. For some, though, it brings the kind of doubts and fears that can only come from wondering if the child is really theirs. Paternity means being a child’s legal father. In New York, marriage to a child’s mother at the time of the child’s birth automatically establishes paternity. However, there are other ways to establish paternity if that is not the case, such as signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity form with the child’s mother or filing a petition through the court system. If you’re in a situation that might end up involving paternity issues, the family lawyers Garden City NY at Fass & Greenberg absolutely recommend involving an attorney as soon as possible to obtain the best outcome.

It’s understandable that many men put off working with lawyers when paternity issues start to arise. There’s always a tendency to want to handle things on your own, especially when something as deeply personal as the paternity of a child is at stake and private relationships are involved. The truth, though, is that you need to be careful to begin protecting both your assets and your potential relationship with the child as soon as possible. Establishing paternity is important for determining parental responsibilities, such as child support payments, but it is also necessary for determining a father’s parental rights, such as custody, visitation, decision making, and being a part of the child’s life. Paternity gives rights to the child as well, enabling them to receive things like benefits and health insurance through the father. Any man that has fathered a child has a right to be in that child’s life, and establishing paternity allows you to ensure the care and protection of your children.

If you have reason to believe a paternity determination is false, an attorney can help you understand your options. You can typically challenge it by filing a complaint with the court, and the court may then order a blood or DNA test to determine if there is a biological relation between the alleged father and the child. Blood tests can be helpful to determine if there is a possibility of fatherhood based on blood types, while DNA tests are the most accurate way of establishing paternity using DNA patterns. However, there are some instances in which you may be prohibited from challenging paternity. Under the New York Family Court Act, paternity by estoppel can prohibit both parents from claiming that the person previously recognized as the father is not actually the father. Estoppel arises when someone has held himself out as the father of a child, and it forbids any further inquiry into who the child’s father is. This doctrine of estoppel seeks to protect the child’s interest by safeguarding their relationship with the person previously determined to be the father.

It is a good idea to start speaking to an attorney as soon as you suspect that an issue of paternity is going to come up. The goal is to protect yourself and your potential relationship with the child – whether you think the child is biologically yours or not is immaterial. The next step is to move for a paternity test as soon as you can, and you may need to start court proceedings to ensure that you are assigned the proper relationship with the child. A lawyer will always be able to help you decide what to do next once you know that you need to have a paternity test done.

Fass & Greenberg are family lawyers Garden City dedicated to providing compassionate legal representation to families facing legal challenges. An attorney at our firm can help you understand your options when it comes to paternity issues. Simply contacting an attorney does not mean that you are going to make any major life changes – it just means that you want to be prepared for what comes next. If you are dealing with a paternity issue or you think that one might come into play soon, make sure to contact the attorneys at Fass & Greenberg to get the help you need.

domestic violence during quarantine

In response to the current pandemic, New York State has been “on PAUSE” since March 22nd and has implemented stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and self-isolation techniques to help combat the spread of COVID-19. However, these tactics have had unanticipated consequences as the incidence of domestic abuse has increased. In New York State, domestic violence reports were up a staggering 30% in April this year compared to last year.

Most people like to think of the home as a safe haven, a place where you can escape from the dangers of the outside world. For victims of domestic violence, this is not the case. Stay-at-home orders leave them trapped in their own home with the very danger they seek to escape. Furthermore, factors such as financial strain, fear of the virus, and lack of resources resulting from the pandemic can make matters even worse.

If you or someone you know are dealing with domestic abuse in quarantine, there are resources out there to support you and our Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg can help.  

Here are some strategies for maintaining safety during quarantine:

Seek help from local and national resources that can offer emotional support, safety strategies, and guidance for your situation, such as:

  • The Safe Center L.I. (516-542-0404)
  • L.I. Against Domestic Violence (631-666-8833)
  • New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline via call (1-800-942-6906), text (844-997-2121), or online chat (opdv.ny.gov)
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline via phone (1-800-799-7233) or online chat (thehotline.org)
  • Love Is Respect via phone (1-866-331-9474) or online chat (loveisrespect.org)
  • Safe Horizon via phone (1-800-621-4673) or online chat (safehorizon.org/safechat)

Seek shelter with family members or friends who are in good health. If it is not possible to leave your home, keep weapons locked away and out of reach of an abuser. Restricting their access to potential weapons minimizes the risk of harm when tensions rise. Try to maintain a safe distance from your abuser while in the home and step outside when danger arises if possible. Always call 911 in the event of immediate or life-threatening danger.

File for a protective order or restraining order through the court system or a police station if the courts are limited in operation. New York’s family court systems are only hearing emergency and essential cases at this time, but as the state continues to gradually open up, there will be greater opportunities for legal intervention. A family law attorney can help you file for an emergency order of protection.

NYS has mobilized a task force to address the large increase in incidences of domestic violence during the pandemic, with the hope of finding innovative solutions for those in need. The Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg are here to assist your needs as well and can walk you through the steps necessary to seek shelter, file an emergency order of protection, or take action against your abuser. If you find yourself needing help during these trying times, contact Fass & Greenberg today.

lost job during covid 19

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the American economy. Job losses have skyrocketed to 10 million in the last two weeks. If you have been furloughed or laid off as a result of the widespread public safety measures that have been enacted, then you are not alone. You may now be struggling to pay many of your bills, including your payments for child support.

The first thing you should know is that courts have made it very clear that all child custody and support arrangements are still in effect, and that they will not tolerate violations of these orders. You should therefore follow your existing child support obligations if possible.  Under normal circumstances, you could seek a child support modification order if you could not afford to comply with an existing support order. However, due to the pandemic, the Courts are currently operating on a very limited basis. Their situation remains fluid, but for now their immediate attention is mainly directed to emergency situations.   

How to Get a Child Support Modification Order

To get the advice you need, you should first contact Garden City divorce attorneys. They will help you navigate through this crisis. To modify your child support obligation, you must demonstrate changed circumstances that are substantial and continuing. If you have lost your job because of COVID-19, you may or may not meet this standard of proof. The fact that the economy continues to crater and that very few businesses are hiring right now can only strengthen your case.  However, there is a lack of clarity about how long this crisis will last and when people will be able to go back to work.  Although your application may not be heard at this time, by making the application, you will have preserved your right to retroactivity, if and when the application is granted. 

As always, you should also reach out to your former spouse or partner to reach a negotiated agreement. Before applying to the Court, given the suddenness of this crisis and its prospective length, the person who is the primary carer for your child may accept a reduction in the amount of money they receive or may be willing to do without for a time. That is not likely.  If your former spouse does agree, you should get such an agreement in writing and notarized with the requisite formality in order for it to be legally binding.

The Garden City divorce attorneys of Fass & Greenberg can help you obtain a child support modification order. You should call Fass & Greenberg today for a consultation.

Contact Us For More Information

Talk to an Attorney

Fass & Greenberg, LLP © 2020 All Rights Reserved
Lawyers for Divorce, Separation, Child Custody, Support, Property | Attorneys Primarily Serving Nassau & Suffolk Counties, Long Island, New York
Tel: (516) 742-8111 • Fax: (516)742-8999
Terms & Conditions | Sitemap | Law Firm Website Design by lfs-logo