Queens & Nassau Divorce Lawyers and Family Lawyers
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If you are experiencing marital difficulties or family law issues, contact Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers for a FREE consultation and case evaluation. Our highly experienced divorce and family lawyers will educate you and keep you on the right track for a successful divorce court case or family court case.
Our Brooklyn divorce lawyers & family lawyers take pride in delivering one-on-one attention to clients that few firms can match. We are always available to answer questions and explain your options, such as: filing a motion to have your spouse pay you funds for counsel fees, how to obtain temporary maintenance during the divorce, obtaining child support, spousal support, child visitation, child custody, and informing you what assets you are entitled to in a divorce, such as a portion of your spouse’s 401k, pension, or other retirement plans. We educate and guide you on the way courts make custody decisions for your children, how visitation issues are determined, which parent will have “final decision making authority” for your children, ways you may be able to settle your case without protracted litigation, what to do if a parent violates a visitation order or interferes with the relationship with your child, what NOT to do in a divorce case, and many other issues.
Read our informative blog posts written by experienced Divorce and Family Lawyers to get an idea of the Divorce Process, the Family Court Process, what you will be entitled to in a divorce, Restraining Orders, and how to choose the right divorce lawyer, and many other issues that often come up in Divorce and Family Law cases.
If you need help calculating Child Support, watch our informative video on the home page, that takes you step by step through the process to calculate child support.
It is imperative to have a good lawyer from the beginning of your case because the way your case proceeds from the beginning can have a profound effect on the outcome – all too often a party can turn off a judge with improper conduct during the divorce or making unreasonable demands. Start with highly experienced attorneys from the beginning to give yourself the best chance of success, and keep in good graces with the court. In this brief guide, we explain common issues that arise during a divorce case in Brooklyn to help you gain a greater understanding of the process. If you have any questions, call us to educate yourself further, you’ll feel better that you did!
We proudly serve clients in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Carrol Garden, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Bay Ridge, Williamsburg, Fort Green, Gowanus, Brighton Beach, and all areas in Brooklyn.
Concerning children, courts in Brooklyn award two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody gives you decision making authority over your children. Physical custody (also referred to as “residential custody”) is awarded to the parent the child primarily lives with. The custodial parent is the parent that the children primarily live with.
It is important to understand that custody determinations are based on the “best interest of the child.” This means divorce and family law courts in Brooklyn will look at the important factors in the child’s life, such as schooling, special needs, the child’s relationship with the parents, the child’s interest, and other factors to determine which parent is best able to meet the needs of the child. If a child has a disability the court closely examines the qualifications and attributes of each parent to determine which parent is best able to help the child overcome his or her disability.
Often, the court will appoint an attorney for the child. The child’s attorney will interview the child to determine what is going on at home and ascertain which parent the child would prefer to live with. If the child tells his/her attorney that he/she would rather stay with a certain parent—the court will afford great weight to the child’s request. Generally, courts will provide joint legal custody to both parents, which gives both parents a say in how their children are raised.
Contact Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers to learn more.
Brooklyn courts often award “final decision making authority” to one parent for certain issues, such as schooling, religious upbringing, medical care and other day to day issues. This will allow the custodial parent to take action on behalf of the child over the objection of the non-custodial parent. While final decision making authority is often granted to the custodial parent—this is not certain. There are instances where litigation is required to achieve “final decision making authority.”
In many instances, Brooklyn divorce and family courts will provide 50/50 joint physical custody to parents. In these cases, the children will spend an equal amount of time with both parents. The parents can agree to the schedule, such as a week-on week-off schedule. In the summer months this can be extended to month-on, month-off to permit vacations and travel. It is important to understand that physical custody will dictate which parent receives child support. If a child spends, even slightly more time (a few hours) with one parent, the parent who has the child for the majority of the time will receive child support. If parenting time is evenly split, court’s generally order the monied spouse to pay the less monied spouse child support. Talk to your attorney further to determine how custody and income determine child support payments.
New York courts apply a mathematical formula to determine child support. The child support formula considers each parent’s income to determine the amount of child support that needs to be paid to the custodial parent (the parent that the child primarily lives with.) Child support must be paid until the children reach the age of 21 or become emancipated through marriage, military service, or the child becomes self-supporting through substantial employment.
Contact Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers to learn more about child custody in Brooklyn cases.
Child support is vital to the wellbeing, care, and upbringing of children. New York courts provide two types of child support: basic child support and support for add-on expenses (commonly referred to as “add-ons”). Watch our videos on the Home Page for an explanation of how to calculate child support.
In Brooklyn divorce and family court cases, basic child support is calculated through a mathematical formula that is explained more fully below. Add-ons are additional payments for certain expenses.
Mandatory add-ons, include, health insurance premiums, un-reimbursed medical or dental expenses, and day care expenses. In some cases, the court will order payment for additional add-on expenses, such as after school programs, tutoring, summer camp, and other extra-curricular activities. The payment of additional add-ons are determined on a case by case basis upon considering the parties’ income to cover these expenses and the specific needs of the child. The non-custodial parent will be required to pay a portion of the add-ons. This is known as the parent’s pro-rata share of add-ons.
Contact Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers to learn more about the amount of child support you will receive or have to pay.
In Brooklyn divorce cases and family court cases, the amount of child support payments is determined largely by the parent’s income. In most cases, the more you make – the more child support you will have to pay.
Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The custodial parent is the parent that the children primarily live with.
Who Pays child Support With Joint Custody?
If the parents have joint custody, generally the less monied parent will receive child support payments from the monied parent (the parent who has greater income.)
Can I Get Child Support During the Divorce Case?
Yes, during the divorce case, the court can order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. For this to happen, your Brooklyn Divorce Lawyer or Family Lawyer, will file a motion for child support.
After the divorce is finalized the non-custodial parent will continue to pay child support, unless there is a change is circumstances. If the parent’s income increase or decrease by at least 15%, an application for an upward or downward modification of child support can be made by either parent.
The Child Support Formula
Watch our videos on the Home Page for an explanation on how to calculate child support.
The formula to calculate basic child support in Brooklyn is as follows:
In New York, Maintenance Payments (commonly referred to as alimony in other states) are payments made by the monied spouse to the less monied spouse based on a mathematical formula that considers both spouse’s income, the duration of the marriage, and other factors. Like child support, the primary factor for maintenance is the income of the spouses.
There are instances where a spouse underreports income in an effort to reduce the amount of maintenance and child support payments.
Intentionally underreporting income is fraud and must be brought to the attention of the court. In instances where a spouse receives off-the-books cash income, we take measures to identify their cash income and disclose it to the court.
Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers have substantial experience dealing with unscrupulous spouses who underreport their finances – we know how to expose their schemes. And when the court finds out, the Judge is generally not happy.
In some instances a spouse will inflate business expenses to reduce net profits. In these instances the business records will need to be examined to determine if excessive expenses are made. Whenever a spouse actively conceals cash and other assets, additional discovery is typically required into the monied spouse’s business interests, off-the-books earnings, business expenditures (made in an effort to “zero out” their company and avoid distribution payments), as well as other sources of income the spouse may be hiding. In situations where a spouse conceals income, close cooperation between you and your attorney is required to identify hidden income and reveal it to the court.
In some instances a spouse may willingly choose to work below his or her earnings capacity in an effort to reduce child support and maintenance obligations.
Generally, courts will “impute” income to the spouse to reflect the true value of their earnings capacity.
This is another instance that requires close cooperation with your attorney to demonstrate to the court that your spouse is voluntarily making less money to reduce his or her maintenance and support payments. We examine past earnings, education, experience, and other factors to demonstrate true earning potential. At Solomos & Storms, PLLC we develop a close working relationship with our clients, in order to ensure that they receive a just and equitable outcome in their divorce case.
Many people are not aware that the Brooklyn Divorce court can order your spouse to pay you temporary maintenance, at the start of your divorce case. At the commencement of a divorce case, a pendente-lite application may be filed with the court requesting certain relief during the pendency of the divorce case, such as temporary maintenance, child support, attorney’s fees paid to you by your spouse, consolidation of any pending family court actions, and other relief that may be appropriate.
This upfront relief helps to ensure your standard of living during the divorce as well as provides you with legal funds to obtain a just and fair resolution in your divorce case.
Post Divorce Maintenance
Post divorce maintenance are payments that the monied spouse makes to the less monied spouse after the divorce is finalized. In order to determine the amount and duration that post divorce maintenance is paid, courts consider the duration of the marriage, the age of the parties, the health of the parties, earnings capacity and several other factors.
Generally, for marriages from 0 to 15 years, maintenance is 15-30% of the duration of the marriage. Thus, for a 10-year marriage, maintenance would be paid for 1.5 to 3 years. For a 15-20-year marriage, maintenance is 30-40% of the duration of the marriage. Thus, for a 20-year marriage maintenance would be for 6-8 years. And marriages more than 20 years, maintenance is 35-50% of the duration of the marriage. Thus, for a 30-year marriage maintenance would be paid for 10.5-15 years. The court may modify the duration of maintenance based on a variety of circumstances.
Generally, the non-custodial parent will be afforded generous visitation with the children, unless improper conduct arises during visits, such as neglect, mistreatment, abuse, or other harmful actions. Courts encourage visitation as the default position because a relationship with both parents is generally in the best interest of the child.
Unfortunately, during visitation some parents engage in an activity known as “alienation.” This concerns efforts by a parent to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child. This can include not allowing a child to talk to the other parent during visitation, monitoring phone calls, or instructing the child to say hurtful things to the parent, such as, “I don’t love you.” In some troubling cases, a parent will actively try to manipulate a child to get them to avoid seeing the other parent.
Despite clear instructions, some parents choose to intentionally violate the rules by refusing to return children as scheduled, sometimes in an effort to destroy a planned vacation. We have several options to address these instances, such as filing a writ of habeas corpus motion to have the children immediately returned, as well as filing a motion for contempt of court that may be punishable by fines and imprisonment.
The holidays should be a time of family enjoyment. Unfortunately, it can be a time when emotions run high and parents attempt to “weaponize” the children to antagonize their ex-spouse. Disputes can arise as to who spends Christmas with the children, New Year’s, and other special days. To avoid this, the Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers at Solomos & Storms, PLLC provide detailed visitation schedules in settlement agreements, to include drop off and pick up times, and other provisions that make crystal clear where the children are to be during the holidays.
Despite clear explanations and warnings from the court, there are instances where drastic measures must be taken to address recalcitrant conduct. Some parents willfully and contumaciously refuse to abide by court orders. The Divorce Lawyers & Family Lawyers at Solomos & Storms, PLLC are equipped to quickly handle these situations, so that your holiday plans are not ruined by an antagonistic parent.
A fundamental component of a divorce case concerns the distribution of marital property, known as equitable distribution. Marital property is property that was acquired during the marriage, and is not considered separate property–and must be apportioned between the spouses.
Marital property often includes real estate, businesses, vehicles, boats, bank accounts, cash, and other assets.
An appraiser will often need to be retained to appraise certain assets, such as real estate, businesses, vehicles, and boats.
Apportionment of Marital Assets
Marital property is generally distributed evenly (50/50) between the spouses. However, certain conduct during the marriage can affect this, particularly spousal abuse. Courts take abuse into consideration during equitable distribution and may award a greater share of marital property to the abused spouse.
Marital assets can be sold and the proceeds divided, or one spouse may choose to buy out the other spouse’s share in the asset. Quit often this is the case for the marital residence, especially if children reside in the marital home and moving would disrupt the children’s schooling and social life.
We often draft settlement agreements when the parties can agree on how the marital property is to be divided. This saves considerable expense, and avoids the need of going to trial, where a judge would determine how the marital assets will be divided.
Certain items are deemed personal property, such as awards from personal injury lawsuits, property acquired prior to the marriage, inheritances, gifts, and certain other property. For example a car that was given to you by a parent as a gift is personal property, and will not be apportioned to your spouse.
A key component of a divorce case concerns the distribution of marital property, this is called equitable distribution of marital property. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage, that is not considered personal property, and can include real estate, businesses, vehicles, boats, stocks, bank accounts, cash, pension and retirement accounts, and other assets. It is important to keep in mind that, unless you have an enforceable prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, your spouse is entitled to a share of your retirement, annuity, and pension plan until you file the divorce action. Thus, the sooner you file the action, you will keep a greater share of your retirement plan. Generally marital property is split 50/50; however, conduct during the divorce can affect this. For example, if a spouse engaged in physical abuse during the marriage, courts take this into consideration during equitable distribution and can provide a greater share of marital property to the abused spouse. Certain items are exempt from equitable distribution, such as inheritances, gifts, monies collected from personal injury lawsuits, property acquired prior to the marriage, and certain other property. Call Solomos & Storms, PLLC to gain a greater understanding of how marital property will be distributed in your divorce.
We understand the immense financial and emotional burden that divorce litigation can cause. To alleviate this, we do our best to amicably resolve disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible. In the majority of our cases, we are able to negotiate a settlement agreement that is acceptable to both parties, encompassing issues of visitation, child custody, maintenance, property distribution, distribution of retirement and pension accounts, payment of credit card debt (and other debts), and other issues required to resolve the case.
In divorce cases the bulk of mediation is getting the parties to agree to the terms of a Settlement Agreement. While drafting the settlement agreement we work with you to ensure that your goals are met and you are satisfied with the result. Thereafter, we negotiate with opposing counsel in an effort to come to a resolution.
In addition to saving money, settlement agreements have the tremendous advantage of certainty. At trial you do not know how the judge will rule, and in particular how the judge will distribute assets, award custody and visitation, and handle other issues.
Often the parties prefer to control their fate through settlement negotiations and avoid the stress, expense and uncertainty of trial—particularly if a good offer is on the table.
If the case is resolved through settlement, the parties can move on with their lives.
Not all cases can be resolved through settlement. In some instances, a spouse will make an unreasonable settlement demand that is not just or equitable. In these cases trial may be your best option to obtain a fair resolution.
At trial, we present witnesses and evidence to demonstrate to the court that our desired outcome should be granted.
You will likely be called to testify at trial. If you have children, your children’s appointed lawyer will present evidence at trial on behalf of your children, such as, the child’s requested living arrangement and other issues that your child has communicated to his or her appointed attorney.
The Judge Decides Your Fate at Trial
At trial, the Judge has the power to decide all issues in your case, including, child custody and visitation, child support, maintenance, distribution of marital property, distribution of retirement and pension accounts, allocation of debt, and all other aspects of your case. This is something to keep in mind throughout the divorce proceeding–you do not want to rub the Judge the wrong way–as the Judge decides your fate at trial.
Trial can be stressful, but in some instances it is unavoidable if your spouse insists on an unreasonable settlement demand. You should always be prepared to go to trial in the event settlement negotiations fall apart, which can be the case with an unreasonable spouse.
Our Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers are always prepared to take your case to trial in an effort to get you a fair and just result.
We strive to provide the highest level of legal service to our clients, and go above and beyond the call of duty. Solomos & Storms, PLLC is a veteran owned business. One of the founding partners of the firm, Derrick Storms, Esq., is a former United States Marine, who served during the Iraq War. Our goal is to provide the best possible legal service to you, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Thank you for considering our firm for your Brooklyn Divorce and Family Law case.
An uncontested divorce in Brooklyn, NY can start anywhere from $1,500 and up, depending on the complexity of the case, such as the existence of marital assets or children. This does not include court costs.
A contested divorce can start off with a retainer of $3,750 and up. An average divorce, without major assets and no children can cost around $6,500, depending on which divorce attorney you hire.
*Please keep in mind that these costs are all speculative and may vary, depending on the circumstances. In certain instances, such as where unreasonable demands are made by your spouse, a case cannot be settled and a lengthy trial may be required that cost more.
A separation agreement will cost somewhere in the vicinity of $2500, depending on the complexity of issues, not including filing fees and court costs. A small estate with a pre-nuptial agreement would probably cost about $3,000.
A Family Court Petition can start at $3500. For complex custody cases a $6,500 retainer may be required. Talk to the lawyers at Solomos & Storms, PLLC to get a better idea how much your particular case will cost.
A divorce is the judicial dissolution of a marriage- it requires a court order from a judge in order to be finalized.
A separation agreement is a contractual dissolution does not need to be signed off on by the court. It is not a divorce, but it is a legal step which often leads to a divorce.
A contested divorce is when both parties disagree on matters concerning the marriage such as the division of assets and child custody matters.
A contested divorce is fought out in court, often leading to increased legal fees and longer resolution times. The attorneys at Solomos & Storms, PLLC will bring to the court’s attention when your spouse makes unreasonable and unrealistic demands during the divorce – which in many cases facilitates settlement.
No, there is no jury in a divorce case. A divorce trial is held in front of a judge and all issues are decided by the judge – both factual and legal issues. This is referred to as a bench trial, where the judge, not a jury, decides the outcome of your case. This is why it is particularly important to remain in good graces with the court – the judge will decide your fate if your case proceeds to trial.
People often wonder who pays child support when you get divorced. A lot of people assume that the father automatically pays child support. This is not so. A mother may be required to pay child support, depending on certain circumstances, such which parent has primary residential custody and the incomes of the parents. Review our child support section for more details and call Solomos & Storms, PLLC to learn more.
In New York State, Child Support is governed by the Child Support Standards Act, known as the “CSSA” or simply “the guidelines” and is found in two mirror statutes, Domestic Relations Law 240 Section 1-b and Family Court Act 413. The DRL is used for actions in Supreme Court, while the FCA applies in Family Court proceedings. Courts use these statutes to calculate which parent pays child support how much child support is required to be paid. A Supreme Court Judge or a Family Court Support Magistrate may also use their own discretion to decide the amount of child support — though in many instances the guidelines are followed by the Court. Contact Solomos & Storms, PLLC to learn more.
Some of the factors the court may use to determine who pays child support and the amount of child support are which parent has primary residential custody of the child, which parent makes more money, and living expenses, to name a few. In the end, the court will decide the financial responsibilities of each parent using the CSSA and the judge’s discretion when it comes to paying child support in Brooklyn.
Yes, the court can order who is sometimes referred to as “the moneyed spouse” to pay the other spouse’s legal fees. This might happen in the case of a doctor’s husband or wife who is not employed. The doctor may be ordered to pay for their spouse’s lawyer! In a high asset divorce, you need the best Brooklyn divorce lawyers that money can buy: Solomos & Storms, PLLC.
Yes, NY State Laws govern the counties, this includes Brooklyn. However, certain counties have shorter case backlogs and processing times which can speed up the resolution of your divorce case. Contact Solomos & Storms, PLLC to learn more.
If you are getting divorced in Brooklyn, NY, you will be required to appear in Brooklyn Supreme Court at some point.
The Brooklyn Supreme Court is located at 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Phone number for Brooklyn Supreme Court is (718) 675-7699.
No, there are times your lawyer can go to court without you. It is best if you attend as many court dates as possible to keep abreast of the goings on in your case, and to assist in it as well. No one knows your circumstances better than you do – you have lived through them. You divorce lawyer welcomes your insights and input into the case.
Our Brooklyn Divorce Lawyers handle cases throughout Brooklyn, to include Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Dyker Heights, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, and all areas of Brooklyn.
you can be assured that:
You will receive one on one personal attention.
We have over 40 years combined legal experience. We are attorneys that know the ropes!
You are extremely important to us, which is why your calls will always be returned as a priority.
We are well known and well respected amongst local businesses and residents in Brooklyn. We’ve been here a long time, and we’ll be here for you!
We can help you settle your matter without going to court, if it’s appropriate, or go into battle on your behalf. We are trial tested.