Domestic Relations or Family Law deals with issues involving families and youth. At Cobert, Haber & Haber we assist our clients in the following areas:
New York Courts are empowered to decide issues of divorce, property division, support and custody. When parties cannot agree on these issues, then a court, after hearing evidence of facts specific to the case, will decide these issues based upon statutes (laws) and case law. Whether a person is negotiating a settlement or presenting a case to the court, he or she needs a knowledgeable and experienced family lawyer to get the benefit of all the law has to offer.
Divorce may be sought on fault grounds or based on no-fault. A recent provision for suing for divorce under the new No Fault statute has now made has been filing for divorce much easier in New York State. Careful thought and consideration should be given before deciding which course to take. Going through a divorce is emotionally and financially difficult. In most cases removing some of the animosity from the equation may be beneficial. In other cases, however, some facts may support the need to pursue a fault based divorce.
Future financial security is a primary concern for everyone going through a divorce. Will a person be obligated to pay support? Will he or she receive enough support to make ends meet? Does he or she need to go back to school to”re-tool”, get a job or seek a better paying job? In New York, marriage is deemed to be an economic partnership and spouses have economic obligations to each other. Spousal support is not awarded to punish a "guilty" spouse. Whether or not spousal support is a realistic expectation, including how much and for how long, must be considered in the context of many factors such as a spouse's need and the ability of a spouse to pay. One very important factor is the lifestyle the family and the spouse has gotten used to prior to the commencement of the divorce action.
The laws controlling the division of property are complex and constantly changing. Before agreeing to a property settlement or before asking the court to divide property, it is very important to determine how and when the property was acquired and maintained. This is because some property may be separate property and not subject to division by the court. A knowledgeable and skillful lawyer can help steer a client through the maze of the laws and cases which may affect property division.
Another major aspect of getting divorce, and in fact, probably THE major aspect, is who is going to get custody of the children. It is crucial to be mindful that when divorces become highly litigated it is the children who suffer first. A knowledgeable, skillful and sensitive lawyer has an obligation to help the client navigate this very sensitive area.
The best time to avoid potential future matrimonial disputes is to enter into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before the marriage ever takes place. All financial aspects of a future marriage can be “pre-nupped” in accordance with the parties’ agreement except for child support and child custody.
Our attorneys have had years of extensive experience working in the Family Courts of all the downstate counties. Family Courts have rules and procedures of their own and an experienced attorneys can help you navigate them. Certain types of cases in Family Court overlap with the criminal justice system, specifically when a juvenile is charged as a juvenile delinquent or when one party alleges a family offense against another party. We have had many years of experience both defending clients who have been charged with family offenses as well as representing the party who is alleging they have been offended against.
Family Court is also where parties go to decide custody matters, usually choosing Family Court if they were never married or if they already are divorced and need a court to help them with a new matter involving the custody of their children, or a visitation problem; that is called a “post-judgment” matter.
A PINS case is when a juvenile has a petition filed against them alleging they are a Person In Need of Supervision. Very often the petition is filed by the school district alleging they are truant, but many petitions are filed by frustrated parents who feel they need help getting their child to behave. Our attorneys have represented both children as well as parents and sensitively understand the matter from both sides.
Not all matrimonials have to be litigated in the courts. When the parties are determined to settle their matters amicably, the best solution is to use the services of a qualified matrimonial mediator. Our attorneys have both the educational credits and the experience to help you resolve your matrimonial actions amicably.
Whether a divorce case is resolved quickly and efficiently or drags on for years may well depend upon the attitude of the parties and attorneys involved. Seeking co- parenting solutions to custody and visitation disputes may positively affect a child for the rest of his or her life. Seeking alternatives to litigation, such as mediation and negotiation, may mean the difference between getting divorced and surviving a divorce. Our family practitioners at Cobert, Haber & Haber are capable of addressing all these various issues.