Our practice is limited to Family Law and related issues. As a result, we understand not only the legal and financial ramifications of divorce but also the emotional implications of the breakup of the family. We have listed below a number of areas where we have experience.
Frequently, clients are referred to us by a family’s estate or business lawyer. We are used to working with family advisors to make sure that our client’s matrimonial strategies are aligned with their business, estate and tax planning.
We prepare every case thoroughly, believing that the same preparation that allows for effective argument to a court enhances our ability to negotiate a fair settlement. Furthermore, early preparation and the involvement of experts where necessary, allows the case to be better prepared at every stage.
Prenuptial, Separation, Postnuptial Agreements
Although only a judge can sign a divorce decree in New York meaning that all cases must go to court, the statute allows and encourages agreements before, during and after the marriage. We have broad experience in negotiating and drafting such agreements.
Court Appearances, Trials and Appeals
We are first and foremost trial lawyers. Our philosophy is that those skills will prevail either after trial or through negotiation and that lawyers without that litigation background are at a disadvantage in negotiation.
Understanding your “end game” is the key to settling a case. We encourage our clients to educate themselves as to the risks and possible rewards of litigation to understand where the case should settle. We then try to successfully negotiate towards those goals.
Rather than providing for an equal division, New York requires that marital property be distributed “equitably” based on 14 factors enumerated in the domestic relations law. We pride ourselves in our ability to handle complex financial cases while applying these factors to the unique circumstances of each case.
The court has the power to award spousal maintenance to a dependent spouse. The amount and duration of maintenance depends upon 20 factors, such as the length of the marriage, a spouse’s need for support, the ability of the other spouse to pay support and the family’s lifestyle.
In New York, the Child Support Standards Act establishes guidelines for support on the first $141,000 of combined spousal income but beyond that amount of income the court has discretion to award additional support. A negotiated settlement does not necessarily have to follow these guidelines.
We have handled all aspects of custody, visitation, relocation and international custody and jurisdictional disputes. We are particularly aware of the sensitive and emotional nature of the protection of these rights.
Peter Bronstein is a founding fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. The firm frequently deals with cases where parties have homes and citizenship in numerous jurisdictions.