Nassau Divorce Lawyer
Frequently Asked Questions
Does marital fault have any impact on a divorce?
Marital fault does not typically have any impact on a divorce financially speaking, however it may affect a parent's chances of obtaining legal or physical custody of their child. In situations where one parent harshly criticizes the other parent in front of the child and causes emotional and/or physical harm to the child as a result, the courts may consider that parent to be unfit and could possibly deny them custody. If a parent is not able to communicate with the other parent about issues pertaining to the child's health, education, or religion in an amicable fashion, they may surrender their right to make joint legal decisions concerning the child.
My spouse controlled all of our finances during the marriage. Is there anything I can do to protect myself during the divorce?
If you suspect that your spouse has or will conceal, hide, or partake in any act of deviance concerning your joint finances, your financial institution may advise you to freeze any joint account(s) or require signatures from each of you before withdrawals or changes can be made to the account. You may also want to terminate joint credit card accounts or reduce the line of credit available if you suspect that your spouse may be deceitful in this area.
Initially, try to gather as much financial information as you can on your own, and bring the material to your attorney's office. Presently, commencing a divorce action in New York automatically acts to impose a limited restraint under a recent amendment to New York law. A formal request for a restraining order may be necessary as well.
Your Nassau divorce lawyer will want to review all of your joint finances during your consultation, including your assets and liabilities in order to protect your best interests. Bank statements, tax returns, investment statements, life insurance policies, and credit card statements should all be gathered by you to present to your attorney so they can take the proper actions on your behalf. By being proactive in this area, you may in turn prevent your spouse from trying to conceal or transfer assets that would typically be subject to equitable distribution.
What can I do if I am unable to pay a firm's divorce retainer?
Your Nassau divorce attorney may be able to make a motion to the court to direct your spouse to pay for your legal fees if there is a significant discrepancy in income and assets between the two of you. Your lawyer could also make a motion for interim "pendente lite" relief which requests your spouse to provide temporary spousal support or child support to help with household expenses as you wait for the final and permanent ruling of the court.
Can I obtain a court order to compel my spouse to vacate our marital residence now that the divorce proceeding has commenced?
Sometimes. The unique circumstances of your situation will ultimately determine whether or not you can do this. A spouse can always voluntarily leave the marital residence, but doing this without a written agreement may have a significant effect on custody, visitation, and the general grounds for divorce, so it is important to discuss this with your Nassau divorce attorney before taking any action. In situations involving domestic violence, the court may implement an order of protection which would require the abusive spouse to vacate the marital residence.
Is it possible to prevent the custodial spouse from relocating to a different state? Do I have any say about how far of a distance my children reside from me?
If a divorce case is settled by Agreement, the attorney should have negotiated a radius clause to restrict the distance from which the custodial parent may reside from the non-custodial parent's residence. Short of this agreement, the custodial parent must petition the court before he or she can relocate the children out of state. In determining whether to permit the custodial parent to relocate the parties' children out of state, the court must look at whether it is in the "child's best interest." In addition, the court will weigh the impact of the move on the child which will focus on the decreased parenting time with the non-custodial parent, the effect of the child's educational needs, social and family relationships. If the court determines that the custodial parent is relocating for the exclusive purpose of frustrating the non-custodial parent's parental access schedule with his or her children, then the relocation would be denied.
Furthermore, a custodial parent who wants to relocate his or her children out of state because of remarriage or better employment opportunities must show that it is in the children's best interests as well as their own.
Regardless of whether you want to relocate or are attempting to prevent a relocation, it is important to act quickly because the failure to seek the court's intervention in a timely way can lead to a waiver of important rights.
If you have specific questions about child custody, child support, or any other family law issue, contact Nassau Divorce Lawyer Jay D. Raxenberg immediately. Call us Toll Free at 1(888) 543-4867!