Divorce: New York

Divorce: New York

Category Archives: Settlement

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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

Claimed Ignorance of C.S.S.A. Treatment of Income Over Cap Not Basis to Set Aside Divorce Settlement Agreement

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Attorney and Client, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Settlement
The alleged failure of the mediator and the husband’s counsel to advise the husband that a court need not apply the C.S.S.A. formula to the husband’s entire agreed-upon income of $1,200,000.00 per year income is not a basis to set aside a divorce settlement agreement, or its $29,500.00 per month child support obligation. So held … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing the Husband Who Tried to Recover Madoff Money from Divorce Settlement with LXBN TV

Posted in Settlement
As I wrote about last week, New York attorney Steven Simkin attempted to recover $2.7 million from his wife after he found out the $5.7 million Madoff-invested account he split up in their divorce agreement was worthlesss. In the video interview with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN TV, I discuss the background of the case, why … Continue Reading

Husband Keeping Madoff Account in Divorce is Not Basis to Change Pre-Collapse Settlement Agreement

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Equitable Distribution, Settlement
Continuing to demonstrate New York’s public policy enforcing settlement agreements and the finality they bring to bear on divorce litigation, the Court of Appeals on April 3, 2012 held that the post-agreement discovery that the fact that a marital account had been invested with Bernard Madoff and retained by the husband upon the divorce was not … 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

Court Avoids Parents’ Agreement to Arbitrate Disputes Over Education of Child

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Custody and Visitation, Settlement
Shlomo Scholar and Shoshana Timinisky married in 2005. They had one child the next year.  The year after that they entered a stipulation of settlement to resolve their divorce action. Included in that stipulation was the parties agreement that Ms. Timinisky would have sole custody of the parties’ child. However, the parties also agreed that … Continue Reading

The Nature of 529 Education Savings Plans Should Not be Disregarded Under the Guise of Divorce Stipulation Interpretation

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Settlement, Tax Matters
Entering open-court oral stipulations of settlement to a divorce action is treacherous.  It’s easy to miss something or be imprecise in language. However, striking the deal while the iron is hot is a necessary part of matrimonial litigation.  Letting the parties walk out of the courthouse without putting the day’s agreement “on the record” may … Continue Reading

Severability: When Only One Provision of a Divorce Settlement Agreement Is Invalid

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Child Support (C.S.S.A.), Modification, Settlement
What happens when only one provision of an agreement is invalid because it violates some statute or public policy?  The answer may depend on who the court wants to benefit, instead of consistently-applied rules of contract law. Take, for example the April 5, 2011 decision of the Second Department in Duggan v. Duggan.  In that … Continue Reading

When Settling the Divorce, Draft the QDRO Before Drafting the Agreement Dividing the Pension

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Equitable Distribution, Settlement, Tax Matters
After 36 years of family law practice, I pride myself on having a good idea of what I don’t know. The good news is that I can reach out for the help needed to make sure the bases are covered when drafting a divorce settlement agreement.  Matrimonial litigation has spawned a host of forensic specialities eager to … Continue Reading

Court Enforces Property and Support Agreement Between Husband and Guardian for Incapacitated Wife

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Maintenance, Settlement
Marital financial planning is vital for spouses dealing with advanced age and deteriorating health.  Though not arising from an orchestrated plan, the February decision of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in Matter of Donald L.L. (Miceli), supports that planning. After almost 40 years of marriage, the wife in 2005 suffered a stroke that left her with … Continue Reading

Nassau County May Require a Mandatory Mediation Session in Divorce Cases

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Settlement
Commencing March 14, 2011, parties to a Nassau County divorce action may be required to participate in a mediation session under a program initiated by Justice Robert A. Ross, Supervising Judge of the Matrimonial Parts. After a preliminary conference, the judge assigned to the case will decide whether the case is suitable for mediation. The parties … Continue Reading

Using Parenting-Time Calendars Will Avoid Years of Visitation Disputes

Posted in Agreements and Stipulations, Custody and Visitation, Settlement
Howard v. Laird, a recent decision of New York’s Appellate Division, Second Department, highlights the usefulness of a parenting-time calendar when entering a divorce settlement. In Howard, the appellate court had occasion to reverse an initial post-divorce Supreme Court decision in a visitation dispute, and to send the case back to the lower court for still further … Continue Reading

Confronting Sacred Beliefs in Divorce Settlement Negotiations

Posted in Custody and Visitation, Settlement
In A Taboo Exchange, an article in the July/August 2010 issue of Scientific American Mind magazine, Adam Waytz reported that a few recent studies have examined how people react when their most passionately held values are challenged.  He defined a “sacred value” as more than just a strongly-held belief, but rather a moral stance on … Continue Reading