About Jay D. Raxenberg
Not just any divorce attorney. Learn what makes Jay D. Raxenberg Long Islands choice for Divorce Law.
The outcome of a divorce can affect a family in multiple ways. Because it affects so many pertinent issues: child custody, spousal support, property division, and child support – the result will affect you and your children emotionally and financially for years to come. This is why I consider it of the utmost importance to properly represent my clients’ interests in their Long Island divorce cases.
Depending on the situation, a Long Island divorce may be contested or uncontested. A contested divorce is one that must be resolved with the help of the court. The spouses cannot agree upon the terms of their divorce agreement and therefore must have them ruled upon by a family law judge. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses will reach their own agreement – outside of the courtroom – regarding every issue related to the legal end of their marriage.
What is the process for divorce in New York?
My firm provides options to a perspective client who is entertaining terminating their marital relationship or pursuing a legal separation. A perspective client who does not have private health insurance and is covered by their spouse or is unable to secure their own coverage without incurring an exorbitant cost may want to pursue a legal separation rather than a divorce in order to extend the time to maintain coverage under their spouse’s health insurance policy. Moreover, a perspective client may want to pursue legal separation rather than a divorce if they believe a physical separation and extensive marriage counseling can resolve the parties’ issues in the marriage.
How long do I have to live in New York to get divorced here?
In order to commence an action for divorce in New York, one of the five following requirements must be satisfied pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 230:
- The parties were married in the state and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding, or
- The parties have resided in this state as husband and wife and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding, or
- The cause occurred in the state and either party has been a resident thereof for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the action, or
- The cause occurred in the state and both parties are residents thereof at the time of the commencement of the action, or
- Either party has been a resident of the state for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.
I don’t know where my spouse is – can I still file for divorce?
Yes you can. You traditionally need to personally serve your spouse upon commencing an action for a Summons with Notice. However, with leave of Court, if upon reasonable due diligence, your process server is unable to personally serve your spouse, you can make an application for substituted alternative service. In lieu of personal service the Court can authorize publication to effectuate appropriate service.
How is child support calculated?
Child Support is calculated pursuant to the Child Support and Standards Act (CSSA). The non-custodial parent/monied spouse is responsible for the financial support of the parties’ child(ren) calculated on his or her adjusted gross income and based upon the number of children in the parties’ marriage (i.e. one child will receive 17% of the non-custodial parent’s adjusted gross income, two children will divide 25% of the non-custodial parent’s adjusted gross income, three children will divide 29% of the non-custodial parent’s adjusted gross income, four children will divide 31% of the non-custodial parent’s adjusted gross income…). Basic child support represents food, clothing, and shelter expenses, and ends upon the emancipation of the child’s 21st birthday or another emancipating event. Furthermore, there are statutory add-ons to the basic child support where the non-custodial parent would be responsible for a pro-rata contribution towards the children’s unreimbursed medical, dental, therapeutic, optical, and hospitalization expenses. Lastly, there is also a component of child care expenses. When the custodial parent is gainfully employed, he or she is entitled to receive financial contribution from the non-custodial parent on a pro-rata basis towards the child care expenses of the parties’ child(ren).
How is child custody determined?
Child custody is based on a best interest of the child standard. The courts typically assign an Attorney for the Child (AFC), who will advocate the position of their client. When the child is incapable based on age, to articulate a position, the AFC will substitute their judgment for that of the client utilizing the best interest standard. Moreover, the courts look at various factors; environmental, economics, emotional support, and who has been the primary caregiver to the child(ren), along with looking at the health of the parties and whether one parent is more suited at fostering, promoting, and encouraging a relationship with the child(ren) and the non-custodial parent.
What are my options if my spouse isn’t cooperating in a divorce?
The attorney, on behalf of the client, will pursue judicial intervention including, but not limited to, motion practice to order the non-cooperating spouse from adhering to his or her court-ordered obligations.
Who can benefit from retaining a divorce lawyer?
It is important that a perspective client, when retaining a divorce attorney, pursues someone whom they feel comfortable with as they will be going through one of the most emotionally challenging times of their life and needs to be reassured that their attorney will be responsive in their communications with the client, keep him or her informed of all developments in their case, provide an accurate assessment of the issues they want addressed in their matter without any embellishments or unrealistic expectations. Your attorney should be willing to provide his or her cell phone number in the event of an emergency and should be expected to return your call the very same day that you reach out to your counsel.
There is a benefit to retaining a divorce lawyer, rather than mediation, as your retained counsel is supposed to zealously advocate for your best interest in contrast to a mediator, whose role is to draft an agreement that does not necessarily reflect, protect, or serve the best interest of a party.
A divorce is the end of a marriage but can also be a new beginning. No matter how you look at it, there are bound to be some complexities or issues that will need to be resolved, and whether you and your spouse are able to handle these inside or outside of court may have a significant impact on the final terms of your divorce and therefore your family’s future. This is why I recommend working with a Long Island divorce attorney such as myself as early in the process as possible.
With the proper resources and knowledge to handle your case, I can work to protect your rights and interests during your divorce, inside and outside the family law courtroom. I have nearly two decades of legal experience in this field and am ready to put my knowhow to work for you.
Contact my offices today and see what a difference I can make in your Long Island divorce.