“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
— Albert Einstein
Separation agreements allow the spouses to untangle their financial affairs, create parenting plans and calculate child support and spousal support without the need of a divorce. Separation Agreements are most useful to extend the life of the marriage without incurring additional obligations that would otherwise result from the continued marriage. The most common reason for separation agreements is to maintain a spouse on health insurance while allowing each spouse to live their own life. Because of New York’s new recognition of no-fault divorces, special care must be taken in preparing separation agreements.
Life is full of surprises. If you need to modify your settlement agreement, divorce judgment or court order, you need to see an attorney. There are different standards for modification and proving the need for modification can be quite difficult. The Firm can assess your situation and determine a suitable course of action, based on the realities of the law and the intricacies of your case.
Although your case may be finished, sometimes situations arise down the road in which one party fails to comply with the court order, divorce judgment or settlement agreement. If this situation arises, it may be necessary to return to court to seek an order from the judge to compel the non-complying party to follow the court order, judgment or agreement. These types of actions may include parenting issues that cannot be resolved outside of court or financial matters. The Firm will work with the client to evaluate the likelihood of success in seeking enforcement, the best methods and procedures for seeking enforcement and that actual enforcement.
Legal Advice for Non-Married Individuals
Today, couples may share children or purchase property without legally formalizing their union. These situations can present challenges since some of the present domestic relations laws do not fully address legal rights and obligations in these situations. Parties may need to resort to contractual or real estate laws which can feel very sterile or inadequate, especially when emotions may run high. The Firm can provide legal counsel to guide clients in these situations. Other advice may be sought regarding estate planning for property division, inheritance rights, life insurance beneficiary information or health care decisions because non-married partners are not automatically entitled to certain benefits or decision making.
Consult Counsel for Mediation
The Firm can provide legal representation for a party who chooses to resolve his/her legal matter through mediation with the benefit of counsel. In the consultation counsel role, the Firm can support participation in mediation sessions, with or without attending the mediation sessions, and provide legal advice in a way that helps preserve the process but advocates for the client’s best interest. Once an agreement is reached, the Firm can draft the settlement agreement and necessary court documents based on the agreement reached in mediation or review those same documents prepared by the spouse’s attorney or mediator.
Review Counsel for Mediation
The Firm can provide legal representation for a party who chooses to resolve his/her legal matter through mediation without the benefit of an attorney. In the review counsel role, this firm reviews the settlement agreement and advises the client whether the agreement complies with the applicable law, discusses the terms and their implications with the client, explains which terms are more-favorable and less-favorable for the client and explores with the client whether the deal will work going forward.
The Firm also advises clients on other legal areas such as estate planning, health care proxies, and beneficiary designations on financial accounts and insurance policies.