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How Is Your Home Treated in the Division of Property During a Divorce?

Posted on | August 4, 2011 | No Comments

For family law and divorce representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

You face a divorce, and one of the questions you have is what will happen to the family home? The answer is: It depends.

However, before embarking on a legal query regarding how the courts will treat your home, you should first perform your own analysis. Your self-analysis should include questions regarding the feasibility of keeping the home, i.e., can you afford the home after a divorce or should the home be sold?

Some of the questions you should ask yourself include:

  • Is the home too big?
  • Is this the area I want to live?
  • If you have children, school should factor into the equation, including location and school systems for younger children.
  • Is the neighborhood safe for children and/or single parents?
  • What are my alternatives?
  • How much money will I need to maintain the home, including mortgage, utilities and other household expenses?

Once you have performed a self-check on your position regarding the home, the next question is whether an agreement can be negotiated or whether the courts will need to decide the fate of your family home.

Whether a judge will allow you to keep the family home will likely depend on a number of factors, including the following:

  • Are there dependent children involved, still living at the family home?
  • Who will have primary custody of the children?
  • How much debt and equity is in the home?
  • Is the home marital property?
  • If the home has equity, how will the other party be compensated?
  • Do finances permit for the maintenance, insurance and mortgage payments?
  • What is your spouse’s position regarding the home?

Keep in mind, a judge can award the home to either party or order the home sold and the proceeds divided. Also, in today’s economy, many couples need to worry about the debt on the home, i.e., in some cases the home is worth less than the amount owed. In this situation, you will want to consult an attorney who understands divorce and debt relief (such as bankruptcy) to fully understand your options and the benefits and limitations of your choices.

An experienced divorce attorney can help you explore and understand your options, and may even be able to find alternatives that may work to everyone’s benefit. If your debt is greater than the money you owe on your house (negative equity), an experienced lawyer can also factor your situation into your options. No matter what your situation looks like, you will want to obtain the advice of an experienced family law attorney and divorce lawyer to put yourself in the strongest possible position.

Contact Suffolk County, New York, Family Law Attorney Shawn Kassman

If you own a home and are seeking or involved in a divorce, and you are from Suffolk County or Nassau County, you can obtain guidance from experienced family law attorney and divorce lawyer Shawn Kassman, or a member of his legal team, by calling 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or filling out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and assist clients from our locations at Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location) and represent homeowners throughout Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your family law or divorce matter during your time of need.

Relocation and Child Custody

Posted on | August 4, 2011 | No Comments

For family law and divorce representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

Your divorce is finalized and everything is going great. You and your spouse have a workable child custody and child visitation schedule, and everyone is relatively happy, especially your children.

However, the time comes where someone wants to make a change that involves relocating out of state. Perhaps it is a job opportunity, or a desire to move closer to other family members. Or, perhaps it is as simple as a desire for a fresh start in a new place.

Child custody and relocation are hot topics in family law courts. But before you explore the legal aspect of moving out of state with your children, you should first examine the impact to everyone involved. You need to employ a cost-benefit analysis to your prospective move, i.e., the benefits and detriments of staying put versus relocating. This can be as simple as putting a line down a piece of paper and writing all the benefits each location offers, as well as all the costs or detriments of each location.

Some issues that you will likely want to address, include the following:

  • Children’s interaction with their other parent
  • It is likely the other parent will have less frequent contact (even if the contact will be for a longer duration)
  • How will this impact the children?
  • How will this impact your spouse?
  • What about expenses, including travel expenses for the children going back and forth?
  • Are there quality of life issues?
  • Will your children be able to deal with the loss of time with friends and relatives where they currently live?
  • School issues?

If you weigh all the factors and decide it is still in everyone’s best interest to relocate and take the children with you, then you will need to determine whether your spouse will contest the move. If so, you will need to petition the court to take the children, and you will need to be prepared to address many issues with the court, including (remember, the court will focus on the interest of the children):

  • Does the divorce decree address relocation? If so, has the party desiring relocation complied with the order?
  • Will the move lead to a better quality of life for the children?
  • Does the spouse staying put exercise his or her visitation rights with the children, and if so, how much time does he or she spend with them?
  • Are you willing to allow longer, less frequent visits? Is your spouse?
  • Is the relocating spouse willing to absorb the additional travel expense for these visits?
  • If the children are older, what is their position regarding the move?
  • An experienced family law attorney can assist you with your issues regarding relocation as well as help you prepare or fight a petition for relocation. Regardless of your position, you will want to be prepared to present the strongest possible case to the court.

    Contact Suffolk County, New York, Family Law Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you seek relocation from Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call family attorney and divorce lawyer Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and assist clients from our locations at Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location) and represent mothers and fathers throughout Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your family law or divorce matter during your time of need.

    The Power of Trust

    Posted on | August 4, 2011 | 2 Comments

    For estate planning representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    Perhaps you partook of an exercise when you were a child to fall backwards and trust those with you to catch you and keep you out of harms way. You learned that trust could be very powerful. In estate planning, a trust works a little differently, but can be just as powerful.

    Trusts are tolls that are utilized by an experienced estate plan attorney to help you protect your assets and minimize your taxes. Unlike a will, trusts protect you while you are alive. Utilizing a trust, your lawyer can help you protect your home, business, real estate holdings and other assets from creditors, and help you ensure that your family members will have the assets they rely on in the event of trouble, illness or death.

    There are many different types of trusts, and each has its own particular benefits and limitations. An experienced estate plan attorney can analyze your situation and your goals and develop a customized estate plan that may use one or more trusts in combinations (as well as other estate planning tools) to best meet your needs and goals.

    In Suffolk County and Nassau County, the estate planning law firm of the Law Office of Shawn R. Kassman Esq. Will take the time to listen to you and understand your goals, as well as analyze your situation. Estate plan attorney Shawn Kassman, or one of his qualified members of his legal team, will explain your options to you, including the benefits and limitations of each course of action. Our goal is to put you in a position to make an informed decision and provide you with recommendations based on our extensive experience.

    Contact Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York, Estate Plan Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you would like information about estate planning or to discuss how an estate plan can help you, please call Suffolk County and Nassau Countyestate plan attorney Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and defend clients located in Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location), Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located and we can assist you with your estate planning matter.

    Cell Phones and Driving Don’t Mix

    Posted on | August 4, 2011 | 641 Comments

    For criminal defense representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    Cell phones should not be used when driving. Every year, thousands of individuals are killed and hundreds of thousands of individuals are injured because a driver was distracted while driving. Although teens are probably the biggest culprits of text messaging (texting) or using a cell phone driving, they are by no means alone. Cell phone use, especially text messaging while driving, is akin to drunk driving in terms of the danger you put yourself in and those around you.

    One very successful middle aged man drove right off a cliff, and to his death, while text messaging. Another driver killed a large number of people because he was texting and failed to stop. Cell phone use is no joke, and the consequences of driving with such a distraction can kill you or someone else.

    It is estimated that nearly one-fifth of experienced drivers have sent or received text messages while driving. An insurance survey has stated that teens admit their number one distraction on the road is text messaging. A large majority of the population now owns cell phones, and you only need to look at the cars passing you to see just how many people use cell phones while driving.

    In New York, it is illegal to use a hand held mobile telephone (cell phone) while driving. Drivers caught using a cell a cell phone while driving, other than to report an emergency, will be fined. Although in New York, illegal cell phone usage is not currently a point violation, that day may not be far off.

    What can you do to help yourself or your children avoid using cell phones while driving? The best advice would be to turn the cell phone off while driving. While you have the best intentions, it is almost impossible for anyone, let alone a teenager, to resist responding to text message alert or a phone ring, while driving. If you turn your phone off, you can check for text messages or phone calls once you arrive at your destination or pull over for a stop (e.g., gas, food or bathroom break).

    While using a hand held mobile device while driving, in and of itself, may not be such a serious crime, injuring someone or killing them while on a cell phone is a serious charge. We would prefer you avoid hurting anyone in the first place, but if you have been arrested for manslaughter or homicide, we can provide you with an aggressive defense.

    Contact Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York, Criminal Defense Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you are charged with manslaughter, homicide or other serious crime in Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call criminal defense attorney Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and defend clients located in Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location), Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your criminal matter during your time of need.

    No Fault Divorce Has Finally Arrived in New York

    Posted on | July 25, 2011 | No Comments

    For family law and divorce representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    New York is never quick to make changes in the law concerning divorce. Attorneys and couples have long been frustrated with New York’s policy that a party must prove fault to gain a contested divorce. Even in an uncontested divorce, couples were required to wait a mandatory one-year period, and be able to present agreed to settlement terms.

    Couples who could not agree to settlement terms, including child support, child custody, child visitation and the division of property were forced to allege fault by one of the parties, which usually meant allegations of cruelty or adultery, often times without proof. In fact, in many of these cases, the allegations were purely fabricated to gain access to the courts.

    Alleging fault, which could be taken into consideration by the court when making important decisions, including decisions regarding the division of property or awarding child custody, meant costly, time-consuming litigation to prove fault.

    New York’s new no-fault divorce law permits couples to divorce without assessing fault for failure of the marriage. The no fault divorce law will mean quicker access to the courts, less expensive divorces, and more efficient disposition of divorce cases, which, to some extent, should free up the clogged court docket. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

    Financial resources and vast amounts of time associated with a grounds divorce (proving fault) will no longer be required. The time and expense of litigating who is at fault will be dramatically reduced thanks to New York’s new no fault divorce law.

    An experienced family law attorney and divorce lawyer can explain how the new no fault divorce law will affect you, and your ability to obtain a divorce in New York, especially if you have some contested matters, such as child support, child custody and visitation, or the division of property and assets.

    Contact Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York, Post-Divorce Modification Attorney Shawn Kassman

    For additional information regarding no fault divorce in New York, or to discuss your particular situation in Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call family attorney and divorce lawyer Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and assist clients from our locations at Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location) and represent mothers and fathers throughout Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your family law or divorce matter during your time of need.

    New Divorce Laws in New York Level the Playing Field

    Posted on | May 20, 2011 | No Comments

    For family law and divorce representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    New York has enacted new divorce laws that are designed to level the playing field between spouses in a divorce proceeding. No longer will the breadwinner, or the spouse with more money have such a distinct advantage in a contested divorce. This is extremely important where couples disagree on child support, maintenance (spousal support), child custody, child visitation and the division of marital property.

    New York has enacted two reforms designed to place both spouses on more equal footing in a divorce. The first reform protects the spouse with less money by providing for temporary support during a divorce proceeding and revise the factors for spousal maintenance after a divorce to more accurately reflect the life circumstances of each party. The purpose of this provision is to help achieve more consistency in temporary maintenance while a divorce is pending.

    The second reform deals with ensuring that both parties have equal access to representation during a divorce. There is now a presumption that the spouse with less money is entitled to payment for interim attorney fees and expert fees from the spouse with more money. The spouse with more money may rebut the presumption, but the burden is on that spouse to demonstrate the other spouse should not be entitled to payment for the interim lawyer fees and expert fees. The reform is designed to level the playing economic field between the spouses.

    An experienced family law attorney and divorce lawyer can explain how the new reforms to New York’s divorce law will affect you, and your ability to obtain a divorce in New York, especially if such matters as child support, maintenance, child custody and visitation, or the division of property are in dispute.

    Contact Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York, Post-Divorce Modification Attorney Shawn Kassman

    For additional information regarding divorce in New York, or to discuss your particular family law situation, please call Suffolk County and Nassau County family attorney and divorce lawyer Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and assist clients from our locations at Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location) and represent mothers and fathers throughout Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your family law or divorce matter during your time of need.

    Should Juveniles Be Given a Fresh Start When They Become Adults?

    Posted on | April 20, 2011 | No Comments

    For criminal defense representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    Kids do stupid things. It is part of being a kid and growing up. Virtually everyone has done something stupid during the course of their youth, which they may, or may not, have had to answer for. The question is: For youths who are arrested or charged for committing a crime, should they be given a fresh start when they reach adulthood, or should their criminal history follow them into adulthood?

    The answer to this question often depends on the severity of the crime and the age of the youth at the time the crime was committed. For example, if a juvenile is charged with the juvenile crime of shoplifting, most people would agree that the juvenile should be given a second chance and start with a clean criminal record when they reach adulthood. After all, it is difficult enough to make a life for oneself in this day and age without having to fight an uphill battle with one strike against you.

    However, if a juvenile is charged with sexual assault (rape) or other violent felony charge, then your opinion may change. In fact, in some states, juveniles can be tried as adults for serious crimes. For example, in one state, a juvenile, only 11 years old, was tried as an adult and sentenced to jail for killing a man at a party store. Most juveniles tried as adults are much closer to adulthood (17 years old). The reason for not trying juveniles as adults is because they do not have the mental capacity to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

    Moreover, many would argue that people do learn from their mistakes, and in the case of a juvenile, with their whole life in front of them, they should be afforded every opportunity to achieve the American dream, to raise a family and to live their life as every other human being in this country.

    Regardless of your position on how juveniles should be treated for juvenile crimes, especially once they reach adulthood, the fact is that if your child has been charged with a crime, you will want to ensure they are provided with a quality criminal defense from an experienced attorney. Your child is too valuable to take unnecessary risks with in the justice system. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can fight to bring about the best possible results for your child.

    Contact Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York, Juvenile Defense Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If your child has been charged with a crime in Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call juvenile crime defense attorney Shawn Kassman or a member of his criminal defense team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and defend clients located in Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location), Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your criminal defense or juvenile crime matter during your time of need.

    The Power of Trust

    Posted on | March 17, 2011 | No Comments

    For estate planning representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    Perhaps you partook of an exercise when you were a child to fall backwards and trust those with you to catch you and keep you out of harms way. You learned that trust could be very powerful. In estate planning, a trust works a little differently, but can be just as powerful.

    Trusts are tolls that are utilized by an experienced estate plan attorney to help you protect your assets and minimize your taxes. Unlike a will, trusts protect you while you are alive. Utilizing a trust, your lawyer can help you protect your home, business, real estate holdings and other assets from creditors, and help you ensure that your family members will have the assets they rely on in the event of trouble, illness or death.

    There are many different types of trusts, and each has its own particular benefits and limitations. An experienced estate plan attorney can analyze your situation and your goals and develop a customized estate plan that may use one or more trusts in combinations (as well as other estate planning tools) to best meet your needs and goals.

    In Suffolk County and Nassau County, the estate planning law firm of the Law Office of Shawn R. Kassman Esq. Will take the time to listen to you and understand your goals, as well as analyze your situation. Estate plan attorney Shawn Kassman, or one of his qualified members of his legal team, will explain your options to you, including the benefits and limitations of each course of action. Our goal is to put you in a position to make an informed decision and provide you with recommendations based on our extensive experience.

    Contact Suffolk County and Nassau County, New York, Estate Plan Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you would like information about estate planning or to discuss how an estate plan can help you, please call Suffolk County and Nassau Countyestate plan attorney Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and defend clients located in Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location), Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located and we can assist you with your estate planning matter.

    Post-Divorce Modifications

    Posted on | February 17, 2011 | 3 Comments

    For family law and divorce representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479.

    No one wants to go through a divorce, or rather the divorce process. A contested divorce can be messy, time consuming and draining on you, your emotions and your resources.

    Divorce can be expensive, time consuming and aggravating. In fact, many people just want to do whatever it takes to be done with the divorce and get on to the next phase of their lives. However, there are ways for you and your family law attorney to save time, money and aggravation, through the use of settlement.

    Of course, there may be major points of contention that require litigation; but that doesn’t mean every single point in the divorce must go through an expensive, time-consuming litigation process. There may be many points that you and your soon to be ex-spouse can agree on prior to litigation.

    For example, if you have a child custody dispute and cannot agree on a visitation schedule, that does not mean that you cannot resolve the division of property issues and spousal support issues prior to litigation.

    Likewise, if you cannot agree on division of property issues, that does not mean you cannot agree on child support, as well as child custody and visitation issues. Remember, the more points you can agree on prior to litigation, the less expensive and faster you will be able to obtain your divorce and move forward with your life.

    An experienced family law attorney can assist you with settling the points that can be settled and litigating the points that cannot be settled. By providing you with accurate information and experienced advice, your divorce lawyer can guide you toward resolving some of the issues presented in a divorce and saving you money. Your goal, and your attorney’s goal should be to obtain your divorce in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible, without sacrificing your interests or rights.

    Contact Suffolk County, New York, Divorce Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you seek a divorce in Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call family attorney and divorce lawyer Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and assist clients from our locations at Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location) and represent mothers and fathers throughout Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your family law or divorce matter during your time of need.

    How to Avoid Traffic Court

    Posted on | January 17, 2011 | No Comments

    For criminal defense representation throughout Suffolk County and Nassau County – call attorney Shawn Kassman at 631-232-9479

    Let’s face it – a traffic ticket can be a pain in the derriere. You don’t want the points against your license, and you certainly don’t want to ruin a day hanging out in traffic court. So what are your options?

    Hire a lawyer! That’s right, a traffic ticket attorney can possibly offer you an opportunity to avoid points, a conviction, and the aggravation of taking time out of your busy schedule to attend traffic court.

    The key is to retain a traffic ticket lawyer who regularly practices in the court where you are scheduled to appear. A traffic ticket attorney, who regularly practices in the court that you are designated to appear before, will be familiar with the local rules, the prosecuting attorney and the judges. That familiarity will allow the attorney to evaluate your traffic violation (ticket) and driving history, and provide you with accurate information, including whether you will be required to attend traffic court.

    Typically first time offenders and individuals charged with minor traffic offenses will not be required to appear, as their attorney can handle the appearance on their behalf. Those charged with more serious offenses, or repeat offenders, may be required to appear in court with their attorney.

    Don’t forget, even a minor traffic ticket is still a criminal violation. Ignoring the ticket can lead to a warrant being placed for your arrest, an embarrassment next time you get pulled over, possible time in jail (arrests at night will almost always require an overnight stay in jail until a judge can be reached in the morning).

    If you have received a traffic ticket, contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney in your area to find out if you need to appear in court. You may be pleasantly surprised. Moreover, the cost of an attorney is often offset by the expense of missing work, and chances are excellent that you will receive a much more favorable result with a lawyer, than on your own.

    Contact Suffolk County, New York, Traffic Ticket Attorney Shawn Kassman

    If you receive a ticket in Suffolk County or Nassau County, please call traffic ticket defense attorney Shawn Kassman or a member of his legal team at 631-232-9479 (toll-free 888-545-2944) or fill out our online intake form. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and defend clients located in Central Islip (main office location), Holtsville (office location), Bayshore, Brentwood, Oakdale, Sayville, Port Jefferson and Riverhead and both Suffolk and Nassau counties. Our Central Islip law offices are conveniently located down the street from the courthouse and we can assist you with your criminal defense or traffic matter during your time of need.

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