Fraud Found After a Divorce Agreement in New York

Fraud Found After a Divorce Agreement in New York

stressed emotional couple arguing fighting when checking financial papers together finding unexpected debt lack of money on bank account

While New York requires that both parties fully disclose assets and liabilities during a divorce, people do not always provide the courts with accurate information. Some people may even go so far as to forge documents or signatures. This kind of fraud can lead to an unfair judgment.

If you have discovered evidence of fraud after a divorce agreement, it is not too late for you to take action. New York courts do not tolerate divorce fraud, and a judgment based on fraud can be vacated. Fass & Greenberg can help you find evidence and pursue a more favorable result.

Finding Fraud in a Divorce Agreement

Financial fraud is one of the most common forms of divorce fraud. There are many ways that a person can hide or misrepresent their finances, such as:

  • Giving away assets
  • Engaging in excessive spending
  • Concealing assets from the courts
  • Undervaluing assets
  • Misrepresenting their income

This type of fraud is not always easy to spot. During divorce proceedings, you should watch out for warning signs of financial fraud, such as:

  • Restricting your access to bank accounts or financial statements
  • Pressuring you to sign documents that you have not had the chance to read
  • Frequent cash transactions
  • Selling assets to friends or family members
  • Costly habits like gambling and substance abuse
  • Constantly moving around money
  • Missing assets

You will need statements for all of your former spouse’s accounts to establish fraud. If they do not provide these statements willingly, or if you believe that some accounts are being hidden from you, your lawyer can request these documents from the court. Once you have the documents, your attorney can look for evidence of financial fraud.

While most fraud involves finances, other types of fraud can occur during a divorce. For example, one party might forge another party’s signature on legal documents or obtain a signature on false premises. If you suspect your signature was forged, you can request copies of your divorce papers from the County Clerk’s Office where the divorce was entered. 

What Can I Do When I Believe My Divorce Agreement May Have Been Based on Fraud?

A claim for a cause of action sounding in fraud must include the following elements: 

  1. a material misrepresentation of an existing fact, (2) made with knowledge of the
  2. falsity, (3) an intent to induce reliance thereon, (4) justifiable reliance upon the misrepresentation, and (5) damages. Orchid Construction Corp. v. Gonzalez, 89 AD3d 705, 707 (2d Dept. 2011).

  In making such a claim, you must allege any justifiable reliance on alleged

 misrepresentations by Defendant. In short, if you contend that the basis of the fraud is

that you relied, to your detriment, on Defendant’s purported failure to disclose certain

 “marital property at the time of your Settlement Agreement you must be able to prove that you were not aware of such purported assets at the time you entered into the Settlement Agreement. Your own knowledge and awareness of the existence of those very assets you claim Defendant failed to disclose defeats any fraud claim. NM IQ, LLC v. OmniSky Corp., 31 AD3d 315, 316 (1st Dept. 2006) (where plaintiff received independent analyst report of defendant’s need for capital, reliance upon defendant’s representation that it had sufficient capital was unreasonable), app. denied, 2006 NY App. Div. Lexis 12559 (1st Dept. 2006), app. denied, 8 NY3d 804 (2007); AIX Partners I, LLC v. AIX Energy, Inc., 2013 NY Slip Op. 32003U, (Sup. Ct., New York Co. 2013) (plaintiff’s actual knowledge of facts defeated claim for fraud in the inducement as a matter of law). 

Bald assertions, without more, also are insufficient for a fraud cause of action. You must also be able to provide facts or submit documentary evidence to support any contentions that Defendant forged your signature on documents and authorized bank transactions that required your signature. 

The claims must sufficiently detail the allegedly fraudulent conduct to permit a reasonable inference of the alleged conduct, as required by CPLR § 3016(b). Sargiss v. Magarolli, 12 NY3d 527, 530 (2009), and to meet the statutory requirement that a cause of action in fraud be pleaded with particularity. Greschler v. Greschler, 51 NY2d 368, 375 (1980); Rubin v. Rubin, 33 AD3d 983, 985-86 (2d Dept. 2006). 

Most recently, in Wong v. Wong, 11/9/2022 NYLJ 1668764201 (Sup. Ct. Kings Cnty, Shlomo Hagler, J.), the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion to rescind provisions of the parties’ Stipulation of Settlement and her application for summary judgment based upon fraud, in the inducement and breach f fiduciary duty claims.  Plaintiff claimed that Defendant failed to disclose assets he owned in Taiwan in his Statement of Net Worth.  Defendant moved to dismiss claiming he disclosed many of the assets and claimed Plaintiff agreed that the property in Taiwan was his separate property.  In dismissing the Wife’s argument, the Court stated, “A husband’s failure or refusal to disclose his financial circumstances when the agreement is executed is not sufficient to void an agreement fair on its face.”, and it is not considered fraud (citing Dayton v. Dayton, 175 A.D.2d 427, 428 93rd Dept., 1991). Further, the settlement agreement stated that each party’s separate property shall remain so “notwithstanding the discovery of assets that either party failed to disclose.  

How a Divorce Lawyer Nassau County Can Help

Establishing and providing fraud is not always easy, so working with an experienced family law attorney in Nassau County is best. 

It is not always easy to detect fraud during divorce proceedings, and it can be even harder to establish fraud once a divorce has been finalized. Thankfully, you still have options if you have found evidence of fraud after a divorce. Your lawyer can gather evidence, file a motion to vacate the order, and represent you in court. 

At Fass & Greenberg, we have handled many divorce cases and are familiar with the warning signs of fraud. It is not too late for you to take action and prove fraud. Call us at (516) 742-8111 to know more.

While a prenuptial agreement can help resolve issues about property division and support during a divorce, certain factors could cause some if not all provisions to be invalidated. If you believe you may need a prenuptial agreement before marriage, or your prenuptial agreement has been challenged, you will want to work with the experienced Garden City lawyers at Fass & Greenberg. We have decades of family law experience and can help you draft a proper agreement that will withstand scrutiny, or mount a strong defense to a challenge to an existing one. 

When Can a New York Prenuptial Agreement Be Challenged?

Duly executed prenuptial agreements are generally valid and enforceable given the strong public policy favoring individuals deciding their own interests through contractual arrangements. Herr v. Herr, 97 A.D.3d 961 (2012).  A prenuptial agreement is binding, but contracts can be invalidated if they do not meet legal requirements. In New York, a prenup is vulnerable to attack if:

  • It was not executed properly 
  • The parties did not have separate attorneys
  • One or both spouses failed to disclose debts and assets fully
  • The terms (specifically with respect to spousal support) are manifestly unfair

Even though a prenup can be challenged under certain circumstances, that does not necessarily mean the agreement will be invalidated.  While a mere unequal division of assets is insufficient to establish unconscionability, an agreement that might not have been unconscionable when entered into may become unconscionable at the time a final judgment may be entered. Taha v. Elzemity, 157 A.D.3d. 744 (2nd. Dept 2018). With the help of litigation attorneys Garden City, you can fight to ensure that your agreement is upheld.

What Are the Defenses?

To defend a contested prenup, you will need to demonstrate that the contract is valid under New York law. Potential defenses to a questioned prenup include:

Calling Witnesses

It is common for people to challenge prenups by claiming that they were under duress or mentally incapacitated at the time that the document was signed. If witnesses were present when the document was signed, these witnesses could potentially provide testimony that counters these challenges.

While courts are more likely to scrutinize a prenup in cases where both parties did not have independent representation, an agreement will not be invalidated solely because a spouse did not have a lawyer. If witnesses state that a spouse refused independent representation, the courts may be persuaded to ignore these challenges.

Providing Evidence That Supports the Prenup

A prenup must include full disclosure of assets and liabilities, and the information in the agreement must be accurate. However, when a person challenges a prenup based on fraud, the burden of proof lies with the challenger. The more evidence you can provide in support of your prenup, the more likely courts will uphold the agreement as valid.

When defending a prenup, an attorney will collect documents and other evidence that shows that demonstrate the prenup is accurate. Evidence is always the best defense against untrue accusations of fraud.

Avoiding Prenup Challenges

It is not always possible to defend a prenuptial agreement. For example, in Carter v. Fairchild-Carter, 187 A.D.3d 1360, (3rd Dept., 2020), it was established that the Husband knowingly and fraudulently induced the Wife to sign an agreement in which he intentionally misrepresented the fair market value of the marital residence so as to deny her a fair distribution upon divorce.  In addition, given the disparity of the parties’ wealth and the fact that the agreement was unilaterally drafted by the Husband’s attorney and executed less than 24 hours prior to the wedding supported the trial court’s determination that the Husband made a deliberate effort to conceal the nature of the agreement. If you want to ensure that your prenup is upheld, drafting a prenup with the guidance of an experienced prenup agreement lawyer in New York is best. An attorney can help you to create a contract that is fully compliant with New York laws.

If your prenuptial agreement has been contested, or if you want to ensure that your prenup is airtight, you will want to work with an experienced family law attorney in Garden City. While the laws surrounding prenups can be complex, Fass & Greenberg will fight to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Call us today at (516) 742-8111 to learn more.

Not disclosing financial information during a divorce can be very dangerous. If one party hides assets or fails to disclose important information, it can create an unfair situation. It can also lead to the loss of certain property rights. 

In some jurisdictions, not disclosing all financial information can result in criminal penalties. Therefore, it is always best to consult with a divorce attorney in Garden City to ensure that all relevant information is properly disclosed.

To-Do List: Disclosing Assets and Liabilities in a Divorce

Before and during a divorce, you must assemble a complete inventory of all of your assets and liabilities.  Without this information, your attorney will be unbale to give you the proper advice and guide you through the process.  Disclosing your assets and liabilities, and exchanging this information with your spouse’s attorney is the most critical aspect of the divorce process.  Here are some reasons why:

  • It is important to have full financial disclosure in divorce because it provides both parties with a clear understanding of the financial situation.
  • It allows both parties to negotiate a fair and equitable division of property.
  • Disclosing all assets and liabilities helps to ensure that the property settlement is final and cannot be contested later.
  • It can help to prevent one party from hiding assets or failing to disclose important information.
  • Not disclosing assets in divorce can result in severe penalties, including the possibility of losing certain property rights.

Dividing Assets During a Divorce

Once full disclosure is made and exchanged by both parties, they can be divided equitably and fairly if the parties are so inclined.  Only when one party refuses to disclose or distribute a “marital asset” should the parties engage in litigation.  In many cases, the family home is one of the biggest assets to be divided. In most cases, where young children are involved, the parent assuming primary custody of the children will remain in the family home until the youngest child enters college at age 18.  In a short-term childless marriage, the family home will be purchase by one party from the other, or sold to a third party. Other assets may include cars, savings and investment accounts, retirement accounts, personal belongings, and business interests.  Retirement benefits are waived by the non-titled souse in exchange for other assets (i.e., house for pension), or divided upon retirement. The most difficult asset to distribute is the titled spouse’s interest in a business.  Forensic experts must be hired in order to determine the value of the business.  The non-titled spouse’s share of said business will be determined by the length of the marriage, whether there were children involved, and the extent of contributions to the business. In rare cases will the non-titled spouse’s interest be 50%. 

The division of assets is often one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce, which is why it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer in Garden City, NY, on your side.

Fass & Greenberg has experience handling all aspects of divorce, from asset and liability disclosure to property settlement negotiation. As Garden City divorce attorneys, we understand how emotionally and mentally draining the divorce process can be, which is why we are here to help our clients at every step. 

If you are going through a divorce, contact us today and let us help you with the divorce process, including properly disclosing your assets and liabilities and ensuring that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is 100% disclosing everything. 

Both parents lived in New York with their child.  When the relationship broke up, the custodial parent remained residing in New York, and the the non-custodial parent relocated to another state.  The non-custodial parent commences a proceeding in a New York Family Court because the custodial parent and the child reside there.  While the proceeding for modification of custody is pending in New York, the custodial parent relocates to another state as well.  The question is whether New York has lost continuing exclusive jurisdiction over this proceeding, because neither of the parents, nor the child, currently reside in New York. In addition, even if New York  were to determine that it lost continuing exclusive jurisdiction, does it continue to have jurisdiction under DRL §76(1)(b)(i-iii) and (d) (Initial Child Custody Jurisdiction).

Point I

Jurisdiction is Fixed as of the Date of the Commencement of the Modification Proceeding.

There is no doubt that the New York Court had exclusive continuing jurisdiction when the non-custodial parent filed their modification proceeding in New York because the custodial parent filed papers admitted residing in the State of New York at the time.

The custodial parent’s subsequent unilateral move after that date did not divest this Court of that exclusive jurisdiction, merely because the custodial parent elected to move with the child from New York.  Jurisdiction is fixed as of the date of the commencement of the modification proceeding, and the fact that a parent moves out of the State after the date of commencement does not defeat continuing exclusive jurisdictionJ.N. v. S.S.F. 70 Misc.3d 1075 (Fam. Ct., Nassau Co. 2020)(Singer, J) (the case is attached for the Court’s ready refeence)..

In the J.N. v. S.S.F case, supra, the Father attempted to divest the Court of jurisdiction over a violation petition brought against him by the out-of-State Mother (with whom the child resided).  In denying the Father’s motion to dismiss the Mother’s petition, and holding that :

“the Court finds that is has not been divested of its continuing and exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the mother’s February 2020 Violation Petition”. (Emphasis added)

The Court’s reasoned as follows:

“Likewise, the father relocating his residence from New York to N.J. did not divest this Court of jurisdiction over the mother’s February 2020 Violation Petition, as the relocation occurred in October of 2020, well after she filed her petition. (See, DRL §§ 76-a and 76-b; Matter of Guzman, 92 A.D.3d at 680, 938 N.Y.S.2d 195 [2d Dept. 2012]; Prof. Merril Sobie, Supplementary Practice Commentaries, McKinney’s Cons Laws of NY, Book 14, 2012 Electronic Update, DRL § 76-b (the petition filing date controls when determining whether there is jurisdiction under the UCCJEA); Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, 1997, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Comment to Section § 202 [“Jurisdiction attaches at the commencement of a proceeding. If State A had jurisdiction under this section at the time a modification proceeding was commenced there, it would not be lost by all parties moving out of the State prior to the conclusion of proceeding”]).

Guzman v Guzman, supra, was a Second Department case, in which the out-of-State mother had commenced a modification proceeding in Family Court, Queens County, seeking to modify the custody and visitation provisions of a 2008 Florida judgment of divorce, which awarded the Father primary residential custody of the child.  Both the Father and child resided in New York, when the Mother’s proceeding was commenced in New York of a Florida.  Before a determination was made by the New York court, the Father move himself and the child to Florida, and moved to dismiss the Mother’s pending proceeding on the ground that New York had lost jurisdiction.  The Family Court, Queens County granted the Father’s motion, and the Appellate Division reversed.

In its reversal of the lower court, the Second Department stated:

 “At the time the mother commenced this modification proceeding in November 2009 (see Matter of Andrews v. Catanzano, 44 A.D.3d 1109, 844 N.Y.S.2d 147; Matter of Rey v. Spinetta, 8 A.D.3d 393, 777 N.Y.S.2d 746), the Family Court, Queens County, had jurisdiction over it pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 76–b, based on the fact that the parties and the subject child lived in New York, and none of them had resided in Florida for over a year (cf. Matter of Saunders v. Hamilton, 75 A.D.3d 1172, 904 N.Y.S.2d 856; Matter of Calvo v. Herring, 51 A.D.3d 916, 858 N.Y.S.2d 731). Further, the subject child was enrolled in school in New York, her sister had resided in New York with the mother since 2007, the father had commenced a proceeding in New York to modify the custody provisions of the Florida judgment of divorce with respect to the sister, and the Family Court, Queens County, had obtained a forensic study of the parties for use in that proceeding. Therefore, the parties and the subject child had significant connections with this State, and it appears that “substantial evidence [was] available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships” (Domestic Relations Law § 76[1][b] [ii] ). Accordingly, New York had jurisdiction to modify the custody and visitation provisions of the parties’ Florida judgment of divorce with respect to the subject child. (Emphasis added).

See also, Matter of Andrews v. Catanzano, 44 A.D.3d 1109, 844 N.Y.S.2d 147 (3d Dept. 2007) (UCCJEA proceeding is commenced upon the filing of the first pleading, not the date of service (Domestic Relations Law § 75–a [5]); New York Family Court proceeding had priority over the subsequent proceeding commenced by the father in North Carolina.)

Point II

The Loss of Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction Does Not Divest This Court of Jurisdiction Altogether

Even if the New York Court were to determine that it had lost continuing exclusive jurisdiction, it could still exercise jurisdiction under DRL §76(1)(b) or (d).  Matter of Rey v. Spinetta,8 A.D.3d 393, 777 N.Y.S.2d 746 (2d Dept. 2004)(the Family Court had jurisdiction to hear the mother’s petition for modification pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 76–a(2), since it would have had jurisdiction for an initial child custody determination under Domestic Relations Law § 76(1)(d)).

The Commentary to DRL §75-b clearly sets forth the “road map” for the court, when it determines that it does not have continuing exclusive jurisdiction under that section.  That Commentary provides:

“If the state which issued the initial decree does not possess exclusive, continuing jurisdiction, or, alternatively, declines jurisdiction to modify based on a statutorily enumerated ground, the analysis shifts back to Section 76, i.e. the “new” court may take jurisdiction only if a Section 76 basis is established. That is the inevitable Section 76-b result. … Section 76 provides the sheet music for initial jurisdiction, and is heavily weighted toward home state jurisdiction (see the Commentary following Section 76). In other words, in the absence of exclusive, continuing jurisdiction the home state of the child on the date a modification action is filed becomes paramount (or the state which was the home state within the preceding six-month period). That state and only that state may exercise modification jurisdiction, unless the relevant home state court declines pursuant to Section 76-b’s provision regarding forum non convene. In the absence of both a) exclusive, continuing jurisdiction, and b) home state jurisdiction, the Court must turn to one of alternative Section 76 bases, such as the absence of any other state’s jurisdiction. And under Section 76-a(c) a court which has made an initial custody determination, but has lost exclusive, continuing jurisdiction, is placed in the same boat as every other state. It can assume jurisdiction only if the Section 76 criteria are satisfied.”

Even if the New York Court determines it does not have continuing exclusive jurisdiction, it will still maintain jurisdiction over the matter under DRL §76.

DRL §76-a(2) (Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction) specifically provides:

“A court of this state which has made a child custody determination and does not have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under section seventy -six [76] of this title”

Section 76(1)(b) (Initial child custody jurisdiction) provides that a court of this State will have jurisdiction, if:

“(b) a court of another state does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (a) of this subsection …, and

(i) the child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and 

(ii) substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training and personal relationships”

All of those factors are present under this set of facts.  No other state has jurisdiction of the modification proceeding, because the home state of the child remains New York.  Moreover, there is clearly substantial evidence in New York  regarding the child’s care and training, particularly its schooling, medical records and the personal relationships the child would have  developed over the past years of its life in New York State. The child would only have spent a short time in the new State. 

Section 76(1)(d) further provides that a court of this State will have jurisdiction, if:

“( c) no court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in paragraph (a), (b) or ( c) of this subdivision.”

As stated above, as long as New York  State remains the home state of the child, no other State would have jurisdiction over any custody matter involving (except emergency jurisdiction under DRL §76-c (Temporary emergency jurisdiction).

divorce family law

New York is one of many states that is known as a “no-fault” divorce state. It is a place where you should get Garden City lawyers to work with you to figure out the particulars of the divorce process that you are working through. Doing so can help you figure out how to best proceed with your case as it moves through the system.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

One of the first things that your divorce lawyer Garden City will let you know is that New York is a no-fault divorce state. What this means for you and your family lawyer Garden City NY is that you do not have to prove a reason why you are divorcing your partner outside of the fact that the two of you have differences that you are unable to resolve at this time. In other words, it is not necessary for your Garden City divorce attorneys to go out of their way to prove that you had committed adultery or some other violation of your marriage in order to get the divorce.

The fact that divorce law Garden City NY is written this way makes it easier for couples that are not getting along well to go their separate ways. Honestly, this is a great thing for society in the sense that couples that have no business staying together are finally able to call it quits without having to come up with a reason to do so. However, keep in mind that the court will not grant a no-fault divorce to either party unless and until all of the other financial issues have been resolved, either by written agreement, or court order. 

How Does a No-Fault Divorce Work in New York?

Various issues will be determined by the court during the course of this process. The court will first identify the assets, arrange for certain of the assets, such as real estate, pension, and businesses, to be valued by experts.  Once they are valued, the court will determine how certain assets will be distributed. 

Why You Need a Lawyer

If you have been wondering what to do following word that you may be going through the divorce process soon, please get in touch with us and allow us to explain the next steps in the process. We firmly believe that we can explain it in ways that will make sense and will bring you some inner calm about the whole situation. We want to be your Family lawyer Garden City NY.

There are many reasons why you need to contact a lawyer if you are going through the divorce process. At Fass & Greenberg, the process of getting started on a divorce is something that we look at very closely. We want to make sure our clients understand the work that we do for them, and the necessity for thorough preparation. We aim to provide the highest quality work for every client that retains us.  Our aim for our clients is that they walk away from the transaction quickly and happily. When a quick resolution is not possible, we work very hard with our clients to minimize the conflict and focus on making sure they walk away with what is most important to them, whether it is their house, their pension, or their business, if possible.  We help them understand that everything is a trade off and although nobody can have it all, they can negotiate for what they value most. When there are children involved, we do our best to guide our clients into taking all steps that are in the children’s best interests. 

If you have been wondering what after finding out that you may be going through the divorce process in the near future, please get in touch with us and allow us to explain the next steps in the process. We firmly believe that we can explain it in ways that will make sense and will bring you some inner calm about the whole situation. We want to be your Family lawyer in Garden City NY.

word asset tangible and intangible

Those who are going through a divorce must ask themselves what they can do to work on the distribution of tangible and intangible assets they have accumulated during their marriage.  Garden City divorce attorneys can go over these details in greater depth with you, but the important thing to remember is that both types of assets must be distributed to the couple in a way that is fair to them. Figuring out precisely how to fairly distribute them is often difficult. 

Equitable Distribution

In the event the parties cannot reach a settlement among themselves, they rely upon the court to assist. The role of a court is to determine an equitable distribution of the couple’s assets. Your divorce lawyer in Garden City will do everything that he or she can to try to win a fair distribution for you, but they lose control over the distribution once it is in the hands of the court. This is the way that Divorce law Garden City NY works, and people simply have to accept the fact that if they are unsuccessful after many rounds of negotiation, a disinterested third party will determine their fate. 

What Kind of Factors are Considered?

There are a number of factors to discuss with your family lawyer Garden City NY before you ever get into the courtroom. You will want to make sure you stand the very best chance possible of coming out with a winning outcome. This means, you need the court to consider:

  • Loss of health insurance benefits due to divorce
  • Length of the marriage
  • Age of each spouse
  • Tax consequences for all parties involved
  • Any wasted assets

These, and many other factors, are the critical factors considered by the court.  It seems that there are many things that you will want the court to pay attention to when you are going through a divorce, and you should be prepared to provide support for your position. 

Distribution of Marital Property

At the onset of your case, you need to identify all of the tangible and intangible assets which will have to be distributed.  Examples of tangible assets are houses, cars, bank accounts, and retirement benefits.  Intangible assets are a spouse’s interest in a business, stock options, partnership interests, and present value of a defined benefit plan. These assets often require the services of expert appraisers to determine their value.  There comes a time when Garden City lawyers will explain which assets need to be professionally valued and will recommend various experts depending upon the nature of the asset. The services of Garden City lawyers are particularly useful in this part of the fight because they can help make sure you get your fair share of the assets that are to be divided. You don’t want to leave it up entirely to a court that may not have your best interests at heart. Instead, you need to turn to the help that you can get from Fass & Greenberg for the assistance that you require.

You don’t want to leave the valuation and distribution of assets to chance. Instead, you need to speak with a qualified attorney who knows what they are doing and who is willing to go the extra mile to help you get the help that you need to come out of this situation with the assets that are most important to you. 

It is definitely the case that many people are going to suffer emotional damage when they go through a divorce, but it may be possible for a better outcome to come out of all of this when they speak with the right kind of attorneys who know the ropes and can help you come out on top.


Divorces are often heated and difficult to navigate. Both parties are sometimes highly charged emotionally and even the simplest issues can become powder kegs very quickly. It is important to hire Garden City divorce attorneys as soon as you realize that you might have a situation that is headed towards divorce.  Our law firm will be able to step in and assist you through this potentially devastating process.  

Divorce Law Garden City NY is Complicated

The average layperson can easily be overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into preparing a divorce case. It is not easy for anyone to understand everything that goes into a divorce, not the least of which are those who are actively trying to work through one. If you have found yourself in a position where you might need to go through a divorce, make sure you look for a divorce lawyer in Garden City right away. 

The courts are designed to stand in the middle between battling couples and help figure out how to resolve the disputes that they may have. The court will do its best to work things out in a manner that is fair to both sides, but someone almost always ends up feeling like they got the short end of the stick in these situations. Try as they might, judges are not always able to do as much to resolve a situation as they might have hoped. 

Before it Gets to Court

One thing to keep in mind is the fact that not every case necessarily needs to end up in court. A New York mediation attorney may be necessary before you end up all the way inside of a courtroom. In fact,  mediation is always a great place to start, because the court strongly encourages the parties and their attorneys to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations before taking up any of its time. 

Courtrooms are designed to be used by those who are simply unable to resolve their disputes in any other way. This may seem to be the case for some couples, but most are able to work things out in some respect before they get to court. 

Court is Not Ideal for Anyone

You might think that you would like to have your day in court against someone who you are no longer in love with, but you probably don’t actually want to attempt this. The problem with going to divorce court is that it is expensive, lengthy, and rarely leaves anyone feeling happy with the outcome. Many people go with the assumption that they will somehow overcome the odds and end up with a better outcome than the many other people who have gone to court seeking the same thing. Of course, this is unrealistic and does not actually play out that way. 

Here at Fass & Greenberg, we will tell you that using a meditation lawyer NY is a better way to go. It can protect you from the worst outcome of having to go and spend a lengthy amount of time in a courtroom somewhere. No one truly wants to do that, and that is why you need to take action now to try to get your divorce resolved before it spirals into something more serious. No one has time to deal with the pettiness of grievances that come up in the midst of court hearings.

Protect your time, your money, and your sanity by using a lawyer that can help you resolve whatever you need to resolve in your divorce case as soon as possible. You will be thankful that you took this route when it is all said and done. There is no better feeling than getting something like this put behind you once and for all. 


Filing for a divorce is never easy, despite the reasons that led to the split. In addition, it can be time-consuming and costly, especially if both parties have hired attorneys. Considering a mediation attorney in New York is a very encouraging way of resolving conflicts.

Divorce mediation is a good alternative to litigation. Couples work with a neutral mediator to solve issues without involving the court. The role of the mediator is to help both parties reach an agreement. And even though divorce mediation is not free, it is much more affordable than going to court. That does not mean you cannot hire an attorney in New York. A lawyer still plays a significant role, such as explaining the rules and procedures to be followed in mediation. With that said, is mediation right for all divorce cases? Not really. Take a look at situations where mediation may not be a good idea.

One Spouse Does Not Want a Divorce

You cannot expect a partner that has refused to admit the marriage is over to negotiate in good faith. If your partner disagrees with your decision to divorce, negotiations will not work. A New York Mediation Attorney will strongly advise you to consider commencing an action for divorce, and let an experienced litigator advocate for you.

You Are Afraid of Your Spouse or Currently Experiencing Domestic Violence

If you are in such a situation, it is wise to consult with a lawyer. Trying to leave an abusive spouse is likely to make situations worse. You might also need a temporary restraining order, and this is not something that a mediator can help you with. Because of this, even if you want to try out mediation New York, it will not work.

A History of Domestic Violence in Marriage

Mediation means couples will be spending hours together in one room trying to work through marital issues. But if there is a history of violence in such a marriage, it is highly likely that one or both spouses will not communicate freely and cooperate. If the abuse happened a long time ago, but you want to give mediation a chance, first consult with a NY Mediation Attorney. A lawyer can walk you through how to defend yourself with confidence and ensure you can freely say what you want to without fear.

There Is an Imbalance of Power

If one spouse has always held more power in marriage in terms of finance or any other issues, mediation may not be ideal for you. Mediation requires both parties to work together on an even playing ground. But when one spouse takes charge of the conversation, bullies the other or withholds important information, there will be an imbalance of power. If you still want to proceed in such a situation, at the very least, hire a meditation lawyer NY. This is a person that will not only give you legal advice but also review the written agreement before signing and ensure you are getting a fair settlement.

Why Hire an Attorney?

Even if mediation is right for you, you should still hire Garden City mediation attorneys. Here is how they can help:

  • Prepare you for the mediation session
  • Help you with choosing a mediator unless it is the court choosing one for you
  • Explain how mediation works
  • Advise you when deciding on potential settlements
  • Review the final settlement and confirm that all details are in order
  • Prepare divorce papers after reaching a settlement

Are you thinking of a mediated divorce? Reach out to Fass & Greenberg, LLP. Our team of attorneys are experienced mediators that work toward a fair settlement for both parties. Give us a call today, and we will help you find a solution outside the courtroom.

man giving alimony to his ex-wife at home

Alimony is a type of support that a court may order one spouse or former spouse to pay to the other spouse or former spouse. The purpose of alimony is to help the economically disadvantaged spouse maintain his or her standard of living after a divorce.

Alimony may be ordered for a set period, or it may be ordered as permanent support, which is extremely rare in the State of New York. The factors that a court will consider are statutory calculations which are based upon both of the spouse’s respective incomes.  The length of the alimony award is based upon statutory guidelines, based upon the length of the parties’ marriage.

Some ways Garden City lawyers can help to maximize the amount of alimony you can receive include:

1. Make sure that you can prove that your spouse can pay alimony. This may include providing financial records or other documentation.

There are a few reasons why providing financial records or other documentation to prove your spouse can pay alimony may be important. First, if there is any disagreement about the amount of alimony that should be paid, this documentation can help to show what your spouse is capable of paying. Second, if you are asking for an increase in alimony payments, having financial records or other documentation to show your spouse’s current income and assets can help make your case. Finally, if you are ever faced with enforcement action against your spouse for failing to make alimony payments, having this documentation on hand can be very useful.

2. Showing that you need alimony and that your spouse’s income is significantly higher than your own.

Perhaps the most important factor in deciding if you are entitled to alimony is the difference in your incomes. If your spouse earns significantly more money than you do, the court will likely order them to pay alimony. This is because the court wants to ensure that both spouses can maintain a similar standard of living after the divorce. Additionally, if you have been out of the workforce for a significant period of time, or if you have young children, the court may also consider these factors when determining if you are entitled to alimony.

The burden of proving your spouse’s income can be significant if he or she is not a w-2 employee.  Determining the income of a self- employed spouse with significant cash receipts can be costly and sometimes impossible if there are not accurate records maintained by the business.  In those cases, a forensic accountant can be employed to perform a lifestyle analysis, which may better indicate the true source of income of said spouse.

In addition, where a spouse is intentionally not living up to his or her potential or abilities, income can be “imputed” to that spouse in order to better determine the appropriate level of alimony.

3. Family Lawyer Garden City NY can request a longer term of alimony payments, if possible.

There are several reasons why requesting a longer term of alimony payments may be important. For example, it can provide financial stability during a time of transition, help with the costs of raising children or allow a person to pursue education or training. Additionally, a longer term of alimony payments may be necessary to maintain the standard of living that was established during the marriage.

4. Agree to a lump sum payment instead of periodic payments, if this is an option.

When negotiating the terms of alimony, it is important to consider whether to agree to a lump-sum payment or periodic payments. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, and the best choice depends on the individual circumstances of the divorcing couple.

5. Separation attorneys Garden City NY can negotiate terms that are favorable to you and that meet your unique needs and circumstances.

Fass & Greenberg practices Divorce Law Garden City NY and can help you with your alimony support case. Their team of Garden City divorce attorneys understands the unique circumstances of each case and can help you negotiate terms that are favorable to you and support your unique needs and circumstances.

If you are about to go through a divorce, one of the aspects a divorce lawyer Garden City will educate you on and help you with is alimony. In New York, alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance or maintenance. This is the payment to one spouse after another after a divorce. It is also only obtainable when there is an income disparity between divorcing spouses. Here is how it works in New York.

The Spouse Earning More Money Is the One Paying the Maintenance

It is important to note that the higher-earning spouse will be the one paying the alimony.

New York has 2 Types of Maintenance

There are two (2) types of maintenance, namely:

  • Pendente lite maintenance
  • Post-divorce maintenance

All these are calculated on the same formula, with the difference being the time the payments are made. Pendente lite maintenance is paid once the divorce has been filed. It is also called temporary maintenance. Once the divorce is finalized, the higher-earning spouse starts paying post-divorce maintenance. In all these types of maintenance, consult with Garden City divorce attorneys whether you are the higher-earning spouse or the lower-earning spouse. The lawyer will ensure you are either getting or sending the right amount.

In Accordance With New York Laws, Maintenance Is Calculated in A Two-Step Formula

All New York courts have to adhere to the stated guidelines on calculating maintenance unless the results are inappropriate or unjust based on factors such as health, age, and standard of living. And while it may look easy, a lot of couples often fight over this. For instance, if the wife has a business, is she being honest about what she is doing? Or is she working to her full potential? Since such matters often lead to arguments, couples are encouraged to work with Garden City lawyers. Because they have experience, they can advise you on the best way to handle such situations.

When Children Are Involved

There are two formulas used to calculate maintenance. One applies to couples with children and the other one to couples without. Also, note that if couples have children who are supporting themselves or emancipated, the maintenance formula used here will be the same as for couples without kids.

Formula Based on Parties’ Net Incomes

To determine maintenance, start by calculating your and your spouse’s income. This is your most recent income, whether from your business or employment. New York laws permit one to subtract certain things from the gross income, such as local taxes, social security, and Medicare. Whatever is left is what is used to calculate maintenance.

The Formula Only Considers Income Up To $203,000.00

The court will not include combined additional income after $203,000.00 unless there are special considerations such as health, age, difference in earnings, and standard of living.  For high income earners, i.e., income above $250,000.00, the court will frequently calculate the amount of support above the cap, but rarely will it consider a cap above $350,000.00.

How To Calculate Alimony

Take a situation where the higher-earning spouse earns $250,000.00, and the lower-earning spouse earns $50,000.00 and there is one child involved.

Take 20% of the spouse earning more, (up to a cap of $203,000), which is $40,600.00, and subtract 25% of the spouse earning less, which is $11,543.75, and you are left with $29,056.25 then hold on to that.

The second part is where you take 40% of the combined income, which is 40% of $249,175.00 and you get $99,670.00. Now subtract the income of the lower-earning spouse, and you get $53,495.00.

The first step was $29,056.25 and the second was $53,495.00. You take the lowest number between the two, divide it by 12 months, and there you have monthly spousal support.

If the cap on the payor’s income was increased to $250,000.00, the amount of maintenance would increase to $35,870.53.

If there were no children involved, the 20% figure used above would increase to 30% of the payor’s income, and the amount of support up to the cap would be $51,665.00.  If the court were to increase the cap to $250,000, the amount of maintenance would increase to $61,886.42 per year.

While this may be a calculation you can do on your own, Divorce Law Garden City NY is never that straightforward. There will be arguments, and spouses are not always honest about their income.

How An Attorney Can Help

You should hire separation attorneys Garden City NY, whether you are the higher-earning spouse or the lower-earning spouse. Matters of spousal maintenance always led to arguments and deceit. Lawyers ensure that you are paying or receiving the right amount. In addition, they walk you through any special considerations that may help you receive more maintenance than what your spouse is offering.

If you are looking for a Family Lawyer Garden City NY, get in touch with Fass & Greenberg, LLP. We are a NY family law firm that can help with issues with alimony. Call us today and let us walk you through the process to ensure a better outcome.

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