(PRWEB) February 8, 2005
I am a New York City divorce lawyer. I have been working in the field of family law since 1983, where I started out as a law clerk in a mid sized matrimonial and real estate law firm in Santa Monica California. Now I am a New York City attorney, having recently opened up a branch of my practice in New York City. I love what I do. I travel a lot helping other attorneys in other States as well. I have been practicing family law and criminal law exclusively since 1986, almost 20 years and I like to think I know what I am talking about.
I recently co-authored and published a DVD and VHS video on Divorce Law, which is available for purchase at my web page or through amazon.com. It is in the process of being distributed nationally. The DVD is called "Divorce Tactic by attorney Lisa Beth Older" and has a lot of valuable information about what you should know and expect before you go through a divorce.
Divorce can be easy or difficult, but a lot ddepends upon you! The more the parties can agree upon before they see their lawyers, the less expensive the procedure will be. If there are children and property involved the process tends to take a little longer because the Courts and litigants must decide how they are to divide up the property. We live in an "equitable distribution" state which means that the division of property is not necessarily equal but rather equitable. That means the Courts have vast discretion as to how to go about dividing the assets.
The nuances of the law make it near impossible for litigants to represent themselves where there are children and property. That is because the case law of the State of New York on divorce dictates certain results and limitations on the parties once there is a final Judgment.
For instance in order to modify a Divorce Judgment with respect to property division you would need to show fraud, duress, unconsionability that shocks the consciousness of the Court or manifest and blatant unfairness. This is a very difficult burden to meet, but I have seen Judges do this when one spouse is raked over the coals for no good reason, especially where one party to the divorce action is un represented by counsel.
Further if a separation agreement is not acknowledged in a proper manner similar to filing of a deed then you may be able to challenge the entire agreeement in a court of law. I encourage all persons looking into getting a divorce to secure the advise and counsel of an experienced New York City Divorce Lawyer.
There are many property rights people do not even think are subject to equitable distribution, which I would like to share with you. No person is perfect, and no attorney is perfect. That is why it is essential to inform yourself of your rights as best as possible and the New York lawyer you choose will be better equipped to explain the procedures and coasts involved to see if it is an avenue you may wish to explore in litigation. If you cannot afford to hire an expert witness to value the license of your spouse you may still use this information as bargaining leverage. For instance, if your husband earned a license during the marriage you are entitled to an equitable share in the value of the license. If your wife earned a college degree and as a result has enhanced her earning capacity that fact alone entitles you to a share in the enhanced earning capacity of your wife.
You may also be interested to learn that you have an interest in any pension accrued during the marriage or in any savings, stock or brokerage or checking accounts of your spouse, even if you did not formally or directly contribute to them. Another area of complete surprise seems to be that the parties do not always know that if the husband or wife owned a house before the marriage, and if capital improvements were spent in maintaining the house, you might be entitled to up to fifty (50%) percent of the appreciation in value attributable to that capital improvement. You may also be allowed to claim an interest in funds or equity in your spouseÂs corporation, even if the corporation is titled in partnerÂs names, as well. Again, experts will be needed to set the value of the corporate business or assets, and you will need to show an Âindirect contributionÂ such as being a homemaker, putting aside your own career to advance your husbandÂs or wifeÂs career, but usually that is not too difficult especially if you have children and you have been entertaining and taking care of the house as a homemaker. But if you can not afford an expert to testify to the value of the business or corporation that you can use this knowledge as leverage in negotiating a deal between your attorney and your husbandÂs New York State attorney.
The agreement you sign as to child support and child custody is another matter altogether. In that case, the Court allows the parties to modify their agreement from time to time upon a proper threshold showing of an unanticipated change in circumstances, increased needs, the needs of the children are not being met by the divorce judgment, or it would be in the best interests of the children to alter the terms of the separation agreement. If you do not plead your case properly from the beginning your petition may be subject to dismissal. That is why it is important to at least consult with a New York Divorce Lawyer before filing any paper in Court.
First see a NY divorce lawyer first. I wish you an expeditious and fair settlement of your divorce issues, and a swift end to any misery the divorce process may have caused you.
If you want to learn more about divorce law you may visit me at my website at http://www.lawofficesoflisabetholder.com or nycdivorcelawyer.net
or call me at
Lisa Beth Older, Esq.
Attorney at Law
212-786-0901 or at
P.O. Box 697
Woodstock, NY 112477
375 South End Ave.
New York, NY 10280