Divorce: New York

Divorce: New York

Category Archives: Counsel Fees

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Failing To Give Default Notice Precludes Counsel Fee Award

Posted in Counsel Fees, Enforcement of Support and Orders
The wife’s failure to send notice of default as required by the parties’ divorce judgment resulted in no award of counsel fees on her enforcement application. So held the Appellate Division, Second Department, in its August, 2015 decision in Taormina v. Taormina, reversing the wife’s $7,781.25 counsel fee award by Westchester Supreme Court Acting Justice Janet C. Malone. The… Continue Reading

Litigating Prenuptial Agreements Is Going To Get Messier

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Counsel Fees, Maintenance
Particularly in the Second Department, the last few years have brought a host of cases threatening the enforceability of prenuptial agreements. To review a few just type “prenup” in the keyword search at right. It’s going to get worse. New York’s Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(3) provides that prenuptial and other marital agreements executed with proper… Continue Reading

Melting Pot (Part 3 of 4): Domesticating the Foreign Child Support Judgment

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Enforcement of Support and Orders
The third of four decisions this month with an international context was decided by New York County Supreme Court Justice Manuel J. Mendez. In Bond v Lichtenstein (pdf), decided July 15, 2014, Justice Mendez granted a mother summary judgment in lieu of complaint under C.P.L.R. §3213 domesticating a $570,110.05 Hong Kong judgment for child support… Continue Reading

Does Small Claims Court Have Jurisdiction to Resolve Divorce Settlement Agreement Disputes?

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Counsel Fees, Enforcement of Support and Orders, Jurisdiction, Settlement
Not according to Richmond County Civil Court Judge (and Acting Suprme Court Justice) Philip S. Straniere, seemingly running afoul of a contrary body of case law, particularly in the Second Department. Small Claims Court proceedings may well be the only practical way to redress relatively modest, but often important breaches of divorce settlement agreements as to… Continue Reading

Wife Given “Skin In The Game” By Having To Pay Her Own Interim Counsel Fees Using Marital Assets

Posted in Counsel Fees, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
Mid-trial in a “high-end” matrimonial, it was held that the “monied” husband would not be required to continue to pay his wife’s continuing fees. Rather, in his October 10, 2013 decision in Sykes v. Sykes, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew F. Cooper held that such fees would be paid from $2 million in marital assets; each… Continue Reading

Second Department Approves Interim Counsel Fee in Excess of Prenuptial Agreement’s Cap, But Reverses Award of Interim Spousal Maintenance

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Counsel Fees, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
In its September 18, 2013 decision in Abramson v. Gavares, the Second Department briefly reviewed the interplay between prenuptial agreements and interim awards in divorce actions. In this case, the parties were married in 2004 and hade one child, born in 2006. This divorce action was commenced in 2009 [before the 2010 laws on counsel… Continue Reading

Wife Wins Million-Dollar Lottery While Divorce Action Is Pending

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Equitable Distribution, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
What does a court do with a wife who claims not to have discovered that she was a million-dollar winner of a May 19, 2011 lottery drawing until only days before the ticket would have expired a year later, and 11 months after she was awarded temporary support and counsel fees in her pending divorce action?… Continue Reading

Collecting Counsel Fees in Divorce Actions: Charging Lien Against IRA Denied

Posted in Counsel Fees, Enforcement of Support and Orders
In his February 26, 2013 decision in J.K.C. v T.W.C., Monroe County Supreme Court Justice Richard A. Dollinger held that an attorney could not have a charging lien under Section 475 of the Judiciary Law against the IRA received by his former client (the wife) as her marital share of the husband’s IRA. IRAs, generally, are exempt from creditor’s… Continue Reading

Divorce Counsel Fee Awards: Beware Formulaic Approaches

Posted in Counsel Fees
In his January 7, 2013 decision in Gluck v. Gluck, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Daniel R. Palmieri, determined that the wife pay 80% of the counsel fees incurred by the husband, as such reflected the wife’s pro rata share of the parties’ total income. Following a 13-day trial, the parties agreed that the Court… Continue Reading

Prenuptial Agreement Which Bars Spousal Support and Counsel Fees Does Not Bar Interim Support and Fees

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Counsel Fees, Maintenance, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
The premarital agreement of the parties limited their rights to obtain spousal support upon divorce. It also contained a waiver of their rights to counsel fees. Nevertheless, recently-retired New York County Supreme Court Justice Saralee Evans awarded the wife $6,000 per month in unallocated pendente lite support (an award not specifying how much of it… Continue Reading

Resigning NYC Police Officer Ordered to Pay Additional Counsel Fees in Pending Divorce Action

Posted in Counsel Fees, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
Within weeks after entering a temporary support stipulation, the husband in a Kings County divorce action, resigned from his employment as a police officer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He moved to Georgia and entered the police academy as an entry-level officer at $38,000.00 per year, a more than 50% reduction of… Continue Reading

Correcting a Mistake in a Divorce Settlement Agreement

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Counsel Fees
Show your work. Mistakes happen, and probably a lot more often than any of us matrimonial lawyers would care to admit. We all make mistakes. I am happy to say that most mistakes are alleviated by collegial adversaries working together to put things right. However, sometimes the spouse benefiting from the mistake in marital settlement agreement… Continue Reading

Sanctions and Fees Totaling $60,000 Imposed Against Ex-Wife; Divorce Litigation Often Keeps Going, and Going, and Going . . .

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Counsel Fees, Sanctions, Settlement
There are may circumstances which courts recognize warrant revisiting a divorce resolution. On the other hand, ongoing litigation is often unfounded and a result of the anger, bitterness, sadness, desire for revenge, etc. In her February 3, 2012 decision in D.W. v. R.W., Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Francesca E. Connolly imposed $17,500.00 in sanctions and… Continue Reading

When Mortgaging the Marital Residence Is Necessary to Pay Temporary Support

Posted in Counsel Fees, Maintenance, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
The May, 2011 decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Many v. Many, seems, at first blush, to be a rather routine matter. While their divorce action is pending, the interests of the parties are balanced. However, below the surface lurk issues which highlight the frustration and anxiety which spouses must feel as their case is… Continue Reading

Court Tempers Temporary Maintenance Formula and Temporary Child Support with Reality Check

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Maintenance, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
In this second of two blogs discussing Supreme Court Nassau County Justice Anthony J. Falanga‘s March 28, 2011 decision in A.C. v. D.R., we look at the Court’s temporary financial relief rulings under the recent amendments to D.R.L. §§236B(5-a) and 237. Last Monday’s blog discussed the joinder for trial of the wife’s post-no-fault action with the husband’s pre-no-fault… Continue Reading

Court Fails to Consider Temporary Maintenance Formula’s Application To True Income Picture

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Maintenance, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
The February 15, 2010 [sic] decision of Rockland County Supreme Court Justice Alfred J. Weiner in C.K. v. M.K., adds to what is shaping up to be a remarkable string of cases applying the 2010 temporary maintenance and counsel fee amendments to the Domestic Relations Law.  The decision was published March 15, 2011, the same day as Margaret A. v.… Continue Reading

2010 Temporary Maintenance and Counsel Fee Provisions, and Child Support Formula, Applied to Unemployed Husband

Posted in Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Counsel Fees, Maintenance, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
The March 15, 2011 decision of Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Francesca E. Connolly in Margaret A. v. Shawn B., raises a number of questions and invites lessons to be learned. Here, the Court applied the recently-adopted temporary maintenance and counsel fee statutes to a recently-terminated substantial wage-earner. The parties were married in June, 2007, and have… Continue Reading

Amending D.R.L. §237: The Divorce Lawyer’s Accounts Receivable Reduction Act!

Posted in Attorney and Client, Counsel Fees, Temporary (Pendente Lite) Relief
With the addition on August 13, 2010 of D.R.L. §170(7), making New York the 50th state to grant no-fault divorces, Governor Patterson also signed an amendment to D.R.L. §237. That amendment creates a rebuttable presumption that while a divorce action is pending, the “less monied” spouse shall be awarded counsel and expert fees and expenses… Continue Reading