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DIVORCE

Under the 2010 “no-fault divorce” law in New York, either spouse can obtain a divorce by swearing that the relationship between the spouses has broken down irretrievably for at least six months.  Before this law’s implementation, a spouse was typically required to prove the other spouse’s “fault” to secure a divorce.  This difficult requirement often allowed a spouse of a party who couldn’t prove fault to prevent a divorce or extract more in settlement than what the law would otherwise have allowed. 

However, the no-fault divorce law only entitles a judge to grant a divorce after all other aspects of a case – including property division, custody, child support and spousal support – are resolved by either settlement or trial.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz p.c. provides skilled advocacy to protect our clients’ rights as the new no-fault law is interpreted by the courts and in all facets of a divorce through settlement or judgment after trial.

 


PROPERTY DIVISION

New York is an “equitable distribution” state, in which courts have wide discretion in dividing marital property.  New York defines marital property to include not only financial accounts, real estate, retirement plans, deferred compensation and similar assets, but also businesses, licenses, degrees, stock options and other assets that often require complex financial analysis and valuation.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz p.c. has extensive experience in asset identification, analysis and division, and is equally adept at structuring complex settlements or litigating all aspect of property disputes when necessary.

 


SPOUSAL SUPPORT

In many divorces spouses are entitled to support, which in New York is called maintenance.  Courts have wide discretion in setting maintenance.  Determining a client’s right to, or obligation to pay, maintenance, as well as its duration and amount, often involves a wide variety of considerations, such as incomes (and uncovering hidden income), assets, tax consequences, lifestyle analysis, property division and vocational capacities.  Whether our client is a stay-at-home mother or a highly compensated executive, our accomplished attorneys analyze all relevant factors to advocate most powerfully for an optimal maintenance outcome.

 


CHILD SUPPORT

In New York both parents are responsible for their children’s support.  That support can be determined by a legal formula applied to income, or by an agreement or court decision that deviate from the formula.   Whether by formula or not, many complex issues can be involved in achieving a just and favorable child support obligation.  For example, hidden income may need to be uncovered.  Expert analysis of tax consequences can structure support to maximize financial benefits to both parents.  Courts can impute income to non-working or “underemployed” parents in setting child support based on evidence presented skillfully at trial.  Child support can also be modified when circumstances change, and a new 2010 law will have far-reaching effects on such modifications.  A thorough understanding of local decisions and court practices can be invaluable in negotiating a fair settlement as well as litigating child support matters in court.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz, p.c. attorneys bring experience, knowledge and skill to negotiating and, where necessary, litigating all aspects of child support and its modification.

 


ENFORCEMENT

Unfortunately, ex-spouses and parents often violate their obligations to pay child support or maintenance or divide property.  In such cases, skilled legal representation can make the difference between successfully enforcing a party’s rights to support and property and allowing a scofflaw to flout the law.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz attorneys bring broad expertise and zeal to securing compliance with their client’s rights.

 


CUSTODY AND VISITATION

Nothing can be more important than protecting your rights to parent your child, both in terms of your parenting time and your input into the important decisions in your child’s life.  At the same time, nothing can be more agonizing than battling for those rights in a courtroom.  In New York, custody and visitation are determined by the “best interests of the child,” a far-reaching standard that can encompass almost anything bearing on a child’s welfare.  Effective attorneys must thoroughly understand cutting-edge legal and psychological issues in the area of custody and be able to marshal them at trial and in settlement negotiations.  To guide clients successfully through a custody settlement or trial, attorneys must also be highly sensitive to their clients’ emotions and the effects of the divorce process on their children.  Through their multi-faceted skills and experience, Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz attorneys are committed to achieving favorable results for our clients in all aspects of custody and visitation matters, including relocation and grandparents’ rights, by settlement if possible, or through trial if necessary.

 


PRENUPTIAL, POST-NUPTIAL, SETTLEMENT AND MODIFICATION AGREEMENTS

New York law allows couples to enter into agreements before, during and after marriage.  Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements can protect property and establish spousal support in the event of a divorce.  At the time of divorce, agreements can resolve all issues, including property division, support and child custody.  After divorce, when circumstances change, agreements may be needed to modify a divorce stipulation or trial decision.  All such agreements must be skillfully crafted so that they will achieve a party's goals.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz attorneys work closely with their clients to negotiate and draft favorable and effective agreements.

 


SPOUSAL/FAMILY ABUSE

New York law takes spousal and family abuse seriously.  A party can obtain a civil order of protection in Family Court or Supreme Court against a spouse, intimate partner or family member without going through the criminal process.  If orders of protection are violated, the violators can face severe legal consequences.  Spousal abuse can also be a powerful factor in a determination of custody or visitation.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz attorneys have broad experience working with clients to decide if seeking an order of protection is appropriate, successfully trying cases to secure orders of protection and prove their violation, and establishing spousal/family abuse effectively at custody trials.

 


COLLABORATIVE LAW AND MEDIATION

In collaborative law parties retain lawyers trained in mediation and collaborative techniques to settle cases without court intervention.  In appropriate cases, the collaborative law process can minimize conflict and protect children while achieving results in the best interests of the entire family.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz has experienced collaborative law practitioners with extensive experience settling matters effectively through this process.  Divorce mediation is a more traditional alternative dispute resolution method, in which both parties retain one lawyer to achieve a settlement.  In proper cases, mediation can produce favorable results with reduced conflict and cost.  Berman Bavero Frucco & Gouz provides skilled and experienced divorce and family law mediation.

 


Berman Frucco Gouz Mitchel & Schub p.c. is located in White Plains, NY and serves clients throughout Westchester County, including but not limited to Ardsley, Bronxville, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Chappaqua, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Purchase, Rye, Scarsdale, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, Yonkers, and Yorktown.



© 2017 Berman Frucco Gouz Mitchel & Schub p.c. | Disclaimers
123 Main Street, Suite 1700, White Plains, NY 10601
| Phone: 914-997-7100

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