Child Support in New York: How Is It Calculated?

Child Support in New York: How Is It Calculated?

Whenever children are involved, the court must render a child support award in a divorce or custody case to ensure that the children have the resources they need to support their well-being. In New York, child support is available for children who are unmarried, unemancipated and under 21 years old. Support is calculated pursuant to Domestic Relations Law Section 240 (1-b) and the Family Court Act Section 413 (1) using a formula that takes into account the income of both parents and the number of children being supported. The combined income is multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children: 17% for one child; 25% for two children; 29% for three children; 31% for four children; and no less than 35% for five or more children. Then, from that sum, the court allocates support between the parents based on the percentage that each parent’s income contributes to the total combined income.

The formula is not straightforward because, in accordance with Social Services Law § 111-i, the court is only required to apply the formula to a combined income of $154,000. When the combined parental income amount exceeds the current cap of $154,000, the law does not require the court to apply the formula to the entire amount of combined income. However, the court may choose to factor in a larger amount of the income and has the discretion to add additional support as it sees fit.

The Domestic Relations Law Section 240 (1-b) states, “the court shall determine the amount of child support for the amount of the combined parental income in excess of such dollar amount through consideration of the factors set forth in paragraph (f) of this subdivision and/or the child support percentage.” Therefore, when deciding whether to factor in additional need based on the excess income above the cap, the court may take the amount in excess of the income cap and apply the child support percentages (based on number of children) to determine what should be paid in support out of the excess. The court will also look at the following factors laid out in paragraph (f) to determine if additional support is appropriate, including:

  • The financial resources of the parents and of the child;
  • The physical and emotional health of the child and any special needs;
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage or household not been dissolved;
  • The tax consequences to the parties;
  • The non-monetary contributions that the parents will make toward the care and well-being of the child;
  • The educational needs of either parent;
  • A determination that the gross income of one parent is substantially less than the other parent’s gross income;
  • The needs of other children receiving child support from the non-custodial parent who are not subject to the instant action;
  • Provided that the child is not on public assistance (i) extraordinary expenses incurred by the non-custodial parent in exercising visitation, or (ii) expenses incurred by the non-custodial parent in extended visitation provided that the custodial parent’s expenses are substantially reduced as a result thereof; and
  • Any other factors the court determines are relevant.

When choosing to award support based on the excess income, the court must give an explanation for the basis for its calculation of child support. Cassano v. Cassano, 85 N.Y.2d 649 (1995). After looking at the factors laid out in the Domestic Relations Law and the lifestyle of the children, a court will determine how much income above the cap is necessary to factor in. An award of child support based on excess income “should be based on the child’s actual needs and the amount that is required for the child to live an appropriate lifestyle, rather than the wealth of one or both parties.” Doscher v. Doscher, 137 A.D.3d 962 (App. Div. 2nd Dept. 2016) (basing support upon income of $360,000, where total amount of combined income available was $600,000). In L.P. v. C.B., 48 Misc. 3d 1208(A) (Sup. Ct. 2015), the Court chose to award pendente lite (temporary) child support based on the full combined income of the parents, $299,533.45. The Court came out similarly in Matter of Hipp v. Ryan, 188 A.D.3d 1206 (App. Div. 2nd Dept. 2020), basing support upon the total combined income of $211,220.52. In Spinner v. Spinner, 188 A.D.3d 748 (App. Div. 2nd Dept. 2020), the Court found that the children “lived a middle-class lifestyle,” and subsequently chose to base the support on the combined parental income of $250,000, rather than $400,000.

However, in Matter of Murray v. Murray, 164 A.D.3d 1451 (App. Div. 2nd Dept. 2018), where the parties’ combined income was $371,697.08, the court declined to go above the income cap when calculating child support because the non-custodial parent was also responsible for the family health insurance, the children’s college expenses, the home equity loan on the former marital residence, and had two other dependents of his own. In Rosenstock v. Rosenstock, 53 Misc. 3d 1218(A) (Sup. Ct. 2016), the Court also declined to award child support based on excess income to the father because he was the custodial parent and had been earning income alone that exceeded the cap, so the children’s financial needs did not require additional support.

On the flip side, the court may also deviate from the typical child support formula if the basic child support obligation would place the non-custodial parent below the poverty level or below the self-support reserve. The current poverty income guideline amount for a single person is $12,760 and the current self-support reserve is $17,226. In the case where the non-custodial parent would find themselves under the poverty level, the child support obligation would be $25 per month, unless the court finds such obligation to be unjust or inappropriate. In the case where the non-custodial parent would be below the self-support reserve but above the poverty level, the support obligation would be $50 per month or the difference between the non-custodial parent’s income and the self-support reserve (whichever is greater).

Child support calculations can be tricky. There are many factors to take into consideration to ensure a fair outcome for all parties involved. If you are a parent involved in a custody dispute, it is important to hire a family law attorney to understand what child support obligations may arise. The attorneys at Fass & Greenberg have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process to ensure the best outcome for all.

Divorce is one of the hardest things that anyone can go through. It can generate a range of anxieties, fears, and frustrations that are not easy to deal with. You may be currently separated from your spouse, but are you ready to take the next step and file for divorce to make the dissolution of your marriage official? The divorce process may be further complicated if you live outside of the state of New York. If you have had to go abroad or out of state for work or for some other reason, it is still possible for you to terminate your marriage. The divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg are here to guide you through the process.

The New York Court of Appeals in Rosenstiel v. Rosenstiel held that New York will generally recognize a foreign divorce decree granted to a spouse living out-of-state as a matter of courtesy. Typically, the following requirements must be met in order for the foreign divorce to be recognized:

  1. Both spouses must receive adequate notice.
  2. At least one spouse must be physically present in the jurisdiction of the foreign court that is carrying out the divorce (typically, the spouse requesting divorce in the foreign country).
  3. The responding spouse must also have some type of appearance or acknowledgement to the authority of the foreign court. This third requirement can be satisfied by the responding spouse physically appearing in the foreign court or signing a written response showing agreement to this foreign divorce decision.

According to the Supreme Court of the United States in Williams v. North Carolina, states are required to give full faith and credit to divorce decrees obtained in other states, including ex parte decrees (where the court issuing the divorce only had jurisdiction over one spouse, and the other spouse never appeared in court). However, New York Courts are hesitant to give recognition to ex parte foreign divorce decrees obtained abroad. New York will not recognize ex parte foreign divorce decrees that violate public policy concerns. In Farag v. Farag, the Second Department refused to recognize an ex parte divorce attained by a spouse who was present but not domiciled in the foreign country where the other spouse did not appear and was not properly served with process.

New York follows the divisible divorce doctrine, and therefore a valid divorce obtained in a foreign jurisdiction dissolves the marriage but will not distribute property or decide any ancillary relief, such as support, child custody, or counsel fees. Either party may then bring an action to enforce the equitable distribution of property or support in New York. Recently, in Bernhardt v. Schneider, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York emphasized that “an ex parte foreign divorce decree cannot divest the nonappearing spouse of his or her rights” pursuant to New York marital property.

It is also possible to file for divorce within the New York State Court System if you live out of state or in a foreign country. You may want to file for divorce in New York if you have real property in the state or because of the way the state handles certain matters (for example, New York courts often grant more favorable child support awards). For this to be possible, at least one spouse must satisfy the residency requirement as laid out in the Domestic Relations Law Section 230. A spouse can satisfy the residency requirement in several ways:

  1. At least one spouse has been living in New York continuously for at least two years before the divorce case is started; or
  2. At least one spouse has been living in New York continuously for at least one year before the divorce case is started and (1) you got married in New York, or (2) you lived together in New York as a married couple, or (3) the grounds for your divorce happened in New York; or
  3. Both spouses are residents of New York on the day the divorce is started and the grounds for your divorce happened in New York.

Wherever you may be situated in the world, it is crucial that you hire a divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights and interests are protected. You must re-build your life wherever you are, and to allow you to move forward, you must ensure that your marriage has been properly dissolved. It is important to be sure that the divorce is in fact recognized by both U.S. authorities and the courts of your host country. At Fass & Greenberg, we have the necessary knowledge of divorce law to help guide you through the process. If you need to get a divorce from an overseas location, you should speak to the Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg.

There are other considerations in obtaining an out-of-state divorce which include how and when you apply for other relief in New York State (such as custody, maintenance, child support, and equitable distribution). We will cover this topic in a separate blog post.

Divorce is a hard thing to get through. It can be a confusing process and can bring up a lot of emotions. Traditionally, a spouse had to allege some fault on the part of the other spouse in order to file for a divorce. As of 2010, this has changed with the introduction of the no-fault ground for divorce in New York. A no-fault divorce gives a spouse the ability to file for divorce without having to show any fault on part of the other spouse. On the other hand, a fault-based divorce indicates a reason as to why one spouse is to blame for the breakdown of the marriage.

The provision for no fault divorce is premised on the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship between the husband and wife for a period of at least six months, a fact that one spouse must state under oath. This provision also requires that all economic issues are taken care of before any divorce is granted, including equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, and payment of fees. If you and your spouse are able to come to agreement on all of the relevant issues, a no-fault divorce can be a quicker and more efficient path to dissolving your marriage.

In addition to irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, or no-fault divorce, there are six other grounds for divorce outlined in Domestic Relations Law Section 170, including: (1) cruel and inhuman treatment, (2) abandonment, (3) imprisonment, (4) adultery, (5) living apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of at least one year, and (6) living separate and apart pursuant to a written agreement of separation for a period of at least one year. The first four grounds require a spouse to prove to the court the reason why the other spouse caused the breakdown of the marriage. Grounds (5) and (6) require proof of separation and a longer waiting period than no-fault divorce. If you find yourself in a situation where your spouse has filed for a fault divorce, the attorneys at Fass & Greenberg can help you understand your rights and the next steps to take.

If your spouse files for a fault divorce, it will put them in the position of receiving a much larger share of the assets or a larger alimony if they can demonstrate that your actions caused the dissolution of the marriage. You can protect yourself against this sort of judgment by hiring a divorce lawyer. Your spouse will have to offer proof of the alleged misconduct, and divorce law gives you the right to protect yourself by disproving the allegations. Because of what is at stake, New York law allows several defenses to fault divorce actions, including:

  • Connivance: this occurs when your spouse has baited or set you up to commit an improper act
  • Condonation: this is your defense when your spouse knew of the misbehavior, forgave it, and went on with the marriage
  • Recrimination: your spouse is guilty of the same conduct they have accused you of
  • Provocation: your spouse purposefully did something that left you little choice but to leave the marriage
  • Collusion: this is your defense when your spouse fabricated grounds for a divorce

If your spouse is seeking a fault divorce, then they are initiating a form of litigation. You have the right to build a legal defense against it. For your spouse to succeed, they must have proof of the allegations they have made against you, and your legal team is entitled to challenge any evidence they may bring forward. Being hit with a fault divorce petition can be infuriating. The worst thing you can do is allow your emotions to control your response. Doing so may lead to actions that you will later regret. The best option is to work with your attorney to refute every argument your spouse makes against you. If you have received a petition for divorce, then you should contact the Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg

Divorce is never a welcome process and finding a reputable divorce lawyer able to handle all the specific details of your case is paramount to getting through it with a minimum of frustration and confusion. Choosing an attorney with plenty of experience with divorce law Garden City NY  legal experts should be familiar with can be an easier process when the right questions are asked of any potential attorney. 

It helps to write down some questions after considering your case circumstance. A consultation appointment with a busy and successful divorce attorney seems to go by in a flash. To ensure that you get the answers that are most important to you, you should perform extensive online research and scrutinize client reviews before making initial contact. 

How Many Divorce Cases Have You Handled? 

It is important to get a feel for how much actual experience that a layer has before making that all important decision. Most successful lawyers will have evidence of their training and other pertinent background on their website and/or in plain view in the office area. Some attorneys specialize in many fields, but since divorce is such a highly specialized area, you should hire an attorney whose practice is exclusively dedicated to matrimonial/family divorce law.  Even within the field of matrimonial and family law, there are certain attorneys who concentrate on trial work, and others whose strengths lie in mediation and collaboration.  Ask to see the attorney’s credentials and evidence of advance training.  

Who In Your Office Will Be Handling My Case?

You should also question how the attorney’s law office is managed, and who are the attorneys who will be working on your case.  Is it a solo practice?  Will a paralegal be drafting paperwork at a lower hourly fee?  Will your case be delegated to less experienced attorneys?  If the case is to be delegated, will the senior partner be handling depositions and court appearances?  These are critical questions to ask the attorney.   Make sure that any representations made by the attorney regarding who will be handling their case are included in their retainer agreement.     

How Will You Keep Me Up-to-Date on My Pending Divorce Case? 

This question will help determine whether your attorney has a good record of keeping all of their clients up-to-date on the status of their court cases. Some attorneys only communicate by letter, in-person visits or via telephone. Others are better with utilizing modern communication methods like E-mail, text, conference calls or other ways. One of the biggest frustrations divorcing clients have is waiting long periods without any contact from their lawyer according to a few reliable Garden City divorce attorneys. 

Does Your Office Act as Mediation Attorneys if Needed? 

Some divorce cases are less stressful or complex, and these cases may be better routed to Garden City mediation attorneys rather than litigating the case in an actual brick-and-mortar courtroom. An attorney can help set this up and guide the parties through this process. The benefits are that this divorce method is usually faster and less expensive. This scenario works best if the divorcing parties remain on good terms with each other. 

Are There Ways to Make This Divorce Process Less Costly? 

Be aware that here can be hidden costs or court delays that could add up expenses. Asking a lawyer about ways to make the divorce process less costly helps the attorney understand what your financial situation is. Reputable attorneys spell out all charges and expenses with an estimate during the first consultation appointment or soon thereafter. 

What Do I Tell My Spouse About Our Legal Conversations? 

A dedicated family lawyer Garden City NY business community holds in high esteem cautions that the private legal conversations with your attorney should be kept private unless your lawyer gives the go ahead. It is unwise to give details on your expected legal strategies. Keep those legal details just between you and your lawyer to ward off the chances of being railroaded down-the-road. 

Do You Have Time to Take on My Case Right Now? 

Some larger law firms are exceptionally busy. Getting your case before the court can be delayed if the attorney’s court schedule is too crowded. Learn more by contacting Fass & Greenberg LLP, at https://fglaw.net.

Divorce has become a common occurrence in the U.S. and other parts of the world. But sometimes a divorce process can be stressful and time-consuming.

If you receive a notification about a preliminary conference, then you know that your spouse has initiating the process of having your divorce case go through the court system.  One of the factors that determine the duration of a divorce case is the Divorce Law Garden City NY firm you have hired.

A look at the divorce process

The divorce process officially begins after one spouse files a Summons in an Action for Divorce and serves it properly to the other spouse. The deadline for the defendant spouse to appear is twenty (20) days.  

After being served with the Summons, if a spouse doesn’t respond within the required time period, he or she risks facing a default judgment, wherein the initiating spouse could possibly obtain a “wish list” of requested relief. 

Whereas some couples decide to negotiate and reach an agreement without having to go to court, other face what appear to be insurmountable obstacles at the time, and feel they have no choice but to seek judicial relief.

What is a preliminary conference?

A preliminary conference refers to a meeting between the divorce attorneys for both sides of the divorce case and a judge assigned to the case.  Since COVID-19 19 protocols have been put into effect in the Court systems, all preliminary conferences have been held virtually.  In Nassau County, in particular, the conferences are held via Microsoft Teams.

How should you prepare for a preliminary conference?

It is difficult to prepare for a preliminary conference, because it often occurs at the onset of litigation, when information is not readily available about your spouse’s finances.   However, you will need to work with your attorney to complete a Unified Form which your spouse must also complete prior to the preliminary conference.  The Unified Form will require basic background information for both parties, and time limits for disclosure of assets.  You should also meet with your Garden City divorce lawyer and provide him or her with enough financial information to complete your Statement of Net Worth prior to the preliminary conference.   In this way you and your attorney can anticipate and respond to your spouse’s request for information and or judicial relief, and can have a better idea of your requests will be.

What should you expect at a preliminary conference?

The purpose of the preliminary conference is to identify issues, the need for outside experts, such as appraisers and or forensic evaluations, provide for interim relief, if necessary, and establish discovery deadlines.  During a preliminary conference, the attorneys for both spouses have a chance to present and resolve any pending issues in the case. The court will review the form prepared and signed by the parties and their attorneys, and give an additional date for the parties to complete their discovery. By the time the preliminary conference comes to an end, you will definitely have an idea as to how long the entire process will take.

Who is allowed to attend the preliminary conference?

All of you will be required to attend the preliminary conference.   It is always best to meet with your Garden City divorce attorney beforehand to prepare and make sure that you are on the same page during the conference.  

Working with your lawyer

A divorce process can be stressful and protracted if there is no proper planning and preparation. It is always good to hire an experienced divorce lawyer from Fass & Greenberg to make the process smooth and seamless.

Divorce is painful and it can be costly. If your marriage is at an end, divorce is the only way for you and your spouse to move forward. It is best to get through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible, and there are options for doing so.

Mediation is a speedy and less expensive way to come to a divorce settlement. This is a good option for two individuals who are amicable in their general relations and have both decided that divorce is the best path forward. You will avoid litigation and months of haggling over money and property.  Mediation may seem attractive to a spouse looking for a less costly alternative to litigation, but it will not be effective if one or both spouses are unable to remain civil during the sessions.  There are some lay people, i.e., social worker, psychologists, and or paralegals who conduct mediations, but it is preferable to hire a divorce lawyer Garden City. This is the only way to ensure that divorce law Garden City NY is followed.

The presence of children will usually influence the duration of the divorce process. The courts lean toward shared joint custody regarding decision-making.  Only in the most extraordinary circumstances will judges grant one parent single custody. Unless your spouse is a danger to your children, the courts will usually grant physical residence to one parent, with extremely liberal access to the other.  Going against the court’s recommendations will lengthen the time it takes to finalize the divorce.  The two of you should put great effort into  working out a parenting schedule. Otherwise, it will be put into the hands of a judge.

Having substantial assets can also lengthen a divorce proceeding. If you are going through a high net worth divorce, you will need to account for all the money, property, and investments in the marital estate. It may take a while to track all these down, especially if your spouse is trying to hide them.   Once you are able to identify all of the marital assets, some may need to be valued.  Choosing the right accounting firm to value a business, or real estate appraiser to value property is critical, expensive, and time consuming.

On average, an uncontested divorce usually takes 3 months. A contested divorce can last any time from 9 months to several years.   If your divorce is complicated by child custody issues or substantial assets, things can drag on even longer. To get the best outcome in the most efficient and cost effective manner, you should contact the Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg.

In the past, New York divorce law required that a litigant establish a reason (“grounds”) for seeking a divorce. Adultery, domestic violence, abandonment, imprisonment for three or more years, and living apart for one year as a part of a separation agreement were the only grounds for divorce.  This prevented a litigant from obtaining a divorce if the only reason was that the parties just did not get along.  As a result, people were forced to perjure themselves, or agree to an unfair financial settlement if they wanted a divorce. In October 2010, New York enacted no-fault divorce.   Now, you only need to state that a marriage has been irretrievably broken for six months or more to establish grounds.

What You Need to Know About Getting a No-Fault Divorce 

You need to consult with a divorce lawyer Garden City if you are interested in getting a non-fault divorce. Even though you don’t have to cite a specific reason for getting a divorce, you still need to reach an agreement on finances in order for the court to grant the divorce.   This protects    the “non-tilted” spouse from being financially abandoned.

There are also residency requirements that have to be met. You and your spouse must have lived in the state of New York for at least one year prior to filing for divorce.

Benefits of Getting a No-Fault Divorce 

No-fault divorce can prevent you and your spouse from needing to have a long drawn out court battle. No one will have to argue about who is to blame for the breakdown of the marriage. This will be easier for everyone.

It is important to note that there are some downsides. No-fault divorces are often filed by one person who is not happy in their marriage.  The person contesting the divorce has no leverage if they want the marriage to continue.   However, they are protected financially because the court will not grant the divorce absent a property settlement

Why You Need Fass & Greenberg 

Even if you are seeking a no-fault divorce, it can still take a toll on you. Garden City divorce attorneys can help you get through a divorce. They will give you the legal guidance that you need to get through this process.

If you have already spoken to a divorce lawyer in Garden City, then you may be wondering how and when you need to break the news to your children. Studies have shown that most parents only spend 10 minutes talking to their children about divorce. You need to spend more time than that.   Here is a list of things that you should tell your children.

Tell Them at the Right Time 

You don’t want to wait several weeks to tell your children about the divorce. However, you also don’t want to break the news too soon. Telling the children too early or too soon can cause them unnecessary stress.  It is best to tell your children two or three weeks before everything is set to happen. This will give them enough time to emotionally prepare.

Have a Plan 

You should formulate a plan before you tell your children. The kind of details that you reveal about your case will depend on your children’s ages and maturity levels. You should tell your children the basics, such as who will be living with them in the home and how their day-to-day life is going to change.  

Reassure your children that they are loved, and everything is going to be alright. You should also encourage your children to express their feelings.

Choose Your Words Wisely 

Most important, you should make sure that the children know that this is not their fault. You should also let them know that they still have a family. Additionally, you will need to let your children know that the divorce was not an impulsive decision. It is always a good idea to consult a therapist who concentrates in family matters on these issues.  Your Garden City divorce attorneys, along with a family therapist, can work together to help you determine what you should say.

Call Fass & Greenberg 

Divorce law in New York State can be quite complicated. Issues like child support and child custody can make divorces even more complicated. That is why you need a divorce attorney to help you understand and work towards resolution.  

Going through a divorce is a painful and difficult process. It can cause a great deal of stress, and at times you may feel overwhelmed by the ordeal. However, it is important to keep your head straight and to look after your financial and personal interests.  Hiring a New York Garden City divorce lawyer can assist you in the process.  

New York is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court will not simply divide marital property 50/50.  The law aims to distribute property between spouses in a way that is fair and reasonable in accordance with the particular facts of each case.   Judges consider many factors before making their decision.   Among the more significant factors the court will look at are the length of the marriage, the age and health of the parties, the present and or future earning capacity of the parties, the presence of children, the direct and or indirect contributions of a spouse to the acquisition of property, tax consequences, and the wasteful dissipation of assets by a spouse.

It is always preferable to exercise your option of negotiating a settlement on your own.  Sitting  down with your respective lawyers and deciding how your assets are to be divided, if possible, is usually less costly and always less risky than asking  a judge to decide for you.  Going to court is the last resort, and only encouraged when your spouse is unreasonable.

Before making a decision, the judge will need to know what property was acquired after the marriage and what you each brought to the marriage. The assets you owned before you were married are not subject to division, provided they retain their separate character during the marriage and are not comingled. The only exceptions are assets that increased in value since the marriage due to the contributions of either spouse.  For example, if your ex owned a company before you married and you made considerable contributions to its growth and expansion, then you can claim an interest in the business. The best way to ensure that you get your fair share of the marriage assets is to hire a divorce lawyer Garden City. Speaking to Garden City divorce attorneys at Fass & Greenberg will help you preserve your interests and protect your rights.

getting a life insurance

After a divorce has been finalized and assets have been distributed, most divorcees tend to think that that is the end of property disputes. Later on, when one of the divorcees passes on, life insurance disputes are likely to crop up. If you have been battling with the question of whether you can receive life insurance benefits from your former spouse, it is important that you seek further clarification on Divorce Law Garden City NY from experienced Garden City divorce attorneys.

Various considerations need to be made before a decision on who receives life insurance is arrived at. Factors like the state of issuance of the policy, type of policy, state of residence of the former spouses, and the divorce decree contents form part of the primary considerations when determining whether you can receive the sought benefits from your former space. Working with our divorce lawyer garden city, can help you gain insights into the state laws applicable in New York.

How does the type of insurance policy affect who receives the life insurance benefits?

Different life insurance policies have laws that control how benefits are disbursed and who receives the benefits. Therefore, even with a decree directing that a specific person receives insurance benefits, the laws controlling the insurance policies might override the decree. For example, where the policy is held is a Service members’ Group Life Insurance, which is governed by federal law, the person who receives the insurance benefits will be per the named beneficiaries in the policy and not the beneficiaries named in the decree. Therefore if your former spouse names you as their beneficiary in the said policy, you will be entitled to their life insurance benefits.

However, the case is different when it comes to ERISA policies because if the contents of the decree reflect a qualified domestic relations order as per the ERISA guidelines, then the beneficiaries in the decree override those named in the policy. The complexities of laws governing various policies can be challenging if you choose to pursue compensation without legal help. Our Family Lawyer Garden City NY from the law office of Fass & Greenberg can help you understand the various laws and subsequently offer guidance on how to pursue your case.

What happens where the deceased remarried?

States like New York have enacted laws that automatically strike out a former spouse’s name as a beneficiary from the life insurance policy upon a divorce. Life insurance policies remain some of the neglected assets during a divorce; hence, most people fail to update them upon divorce. Therefore, such laws that revoke a former spouse from the policy help reduce conflicts, especially where the deceased remarried after a divorce. Insurance companies often make a payout to a secondary beneficiary if there is one named in the policy. In the absence of one, the insurance company will pay the benefits per table of precedence on next of kin.

Can I still claim my beneficiary rights in New York despite State laws disqualifying them?

The answer to this question is ‘it depends.’ Therefore, there are exceptions to the state laws allowing a former spouse to pursue a compensation claim still. Our Garden City Lawyers have an extensive understanding of the exceptions to state laws, and they can help you lodge a successful claim. If the deceased held a life insurance policy governed by federal laws, you could lodge a successful claim because federal laws on policies override divorce decrees. Also, where there is an agreement between you and your former spouse directing that your name be maintained in the life insurance policy, with the guidance of our Garden city divorce lawyers, you can lodge a successful compensation claim.

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