The Spodek Law Group of Queens is a top pick, and well known, divorce and matrimony law firm for all issues related to family law and more. We are one of Queen's County's oldest divorce law firms, with over 50 years of experience. Residents of Queens can trust us - with offices throughout NYC and Long Island, to service their needs. We treat each and every client like a member of our family. It's what separates us from the competition.
Our divorce law firm has offices in Queens, and throughout New York. In addition to handling divorce cases, we can also handle family court and matrimony cases - related to prenups, postnups, and much more. We handle all types of simple and complex matrimony cases. We take a big picture approach to divorce, and help you get exactly what you need, and want, from your spouse.
Todd Spodek has been called a "high powered lawyer," by some of the most elite magazines and newspapers in the country. He is dedicated to his clients.
Lance Spodek received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School where he graduated cum laude and was the associate editor of the Brooklyn Law Review.
The Spodek Law Group is one of Queen’s County’s oldest divorce law firms. Our firm was founded in 1976, and has continued to provide an impeccable and amazing level of service to clients throughout Queens, Long Island, and New York state. Our firm was founded on one singular principle: to provide the highest level of satisfaction to every single client. That mission is our sole mission, and everything we do revolves around it. That mission means only hire the best divorce attorneys in Queens to service you. Most clients work with one of our founding partners directly – in most cases Todd Spodek. It’s because of our passion to provide service – that we refuse to hand you off to lesser qualified attorneys/associates – which is what other firms do.
This level of dedication, service, and customer satisfaction, is why many of the cases our firm handles are often in the media. Clients who need the best attorney they can find, work with us – because of how talented are staff members are. Founding partner Todd Spodek, is regularly interviewed by NBC, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and major media outlets because of his skills as a lawyer. Queens divorce attorney Todd Spodek, is considered a Top Lawyer and Super Lawyer for his extraordinary achievements, and levels of customer satisfaction.
How long does it take for a divorce to be final?
Going through a divorce can be an incredibly challenging and often painful experience. This means that most people just want to get the divorce proceedings over with as quickly as possible so that they can start moving on with their new life. Unfortunately, divorce can often be a lengthy process – and our Queens divorce lawyer can help you finalize the divorce as soon as possible.
Even in the best case scenario, you will likely have to wait at least a few months before the final divorce decree is issued. On the other hand, a particularly messy divorce could take as long as two or three years to be finalized. For this reason, it is important to look at the factors that affect the speed of divorce proceedings in order to give you a better estimate of how long you can reasonably expect to wait.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces
In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree to the terms of the divorce judgment before filing the divorce papers. By agreeing on custody, division of marital assets, alimony and other important issues, couples can greatly speed up the divorce process and may be able to have the final divorce decree issued within a few months.
However, if the two parties cannot reach a prior agreement and one or both parties contests the terms of the divorce, the process can end up taking much longer. With this type of contested divorce, the spouses and their attorneys will usually go through the process of mediation in an effort to come to an amicable agreement. In this sense, the quicker you can come to an agreement, the sooner your case can move from a contested to an uncontested divorce and thus be finalized.
The majority of contested divorces are usually settled during mediation. Nonetheless, if you and your spouse are still unable to reach an agreement, you will then need to attend a final hearing where the judge will decide issues such as custody and division of assets for you.
In actuality, all divorces must go through a final hearing. However, this hearing is merely a formality when the couple has already reached an agreement. That being said, you will always have to wait until the responsible judge can fit your hearing into their schedule before your divorce can be finalized.
Be Prepared to Be Patient
No matter what you do, there is not much that can actually speed up the time your divorce proceedings take. Both parties are always afforded adequate time to respond and prepare for the proceedings, which means that your spouse being slow or refusing to cooperate could slow things down.
Although divorce laws vary by state, you will first be required to serve your spouse with divorce papers. Should your spouse suddenly make themselves unavailable and thus unable to be served, you will have to wait until the process server tracks them down before the clock can start ticking. Once your spouse has been served, they are usually given around 20 to 30 days in order to respond to the petition. After this period, contested divorces must then go through financial disclosure and discovery, which generally takes up to 90 days.
All of these factors can quickly add up to a huge amount of time. If you’re lucky enough for your spouse not to contest the divorce, you may be able to speed things up a bit. However, in most cases, you should be prepared to wait at least three or four months before you can finally call yourself single again.
Founding partner Todd Spodek personally feels responsible for the outcome of each and every client. Todd, a well known NYC and Long Island divorce attorney, is personally involved in each and every client’s case at the Spodek Law Group. In his practice, he works tirelessly with our team to get our clients the best outcome possible. Our team of Queens county divorce lawyers tirelessly advise our clients on all of the possible scenarios they could face during their divorce. Our team is unflinching, uncompromising, and unforgiving. If the opposing counsel, or spouse, plays games – we make sure they regret them. Our only goal is to help our clients. We always keep you aware of what’s going on, and we offer a 24/7 support system to help you in case you need assistance.
Moreover, our team of divorce lawyers truly empathize with what you’re going through, and are your support network. We are on your side – and in addition, we offer flexible payment plans so you never have to worry about money. We help you get the best outcome, with over 50 years of experience as a law firm – we’ve seen virtually every type of divorce and matrimony case. We don’t take a cookie cutter approach to law – we treat each case differently, based on it’s merits. Our goal isn’t to simply rush your case to completion – our goal is to get you the best possible settlement possible.
How is child support determined?
The state bases child support on the needs of the children and the resources of the parents. The state uses a general child support formula to calculate support. That is, the judge doesn’t make up what they think is an appropriate amount in each case. Rather, the judge only inquires into the incomes of the parties and child expenses like medical insurance and child care. With a few exceptions, the court applies the child support formula in order to arrive at the appropriate child support amount.
The purpose of child support is not to equalize income between the houses. Rather, it’s to provide each household an appropriate amount of money to provide care when the child is with the parent. The combined income of the parents creates a presumption as to the needs of the children.
The first step to calculating child support is to determine the resources of the parents. The question is what moneys the parents have available to pay support. If a parent is employed for wages, this is usually quite easy to determine. This is a harder question if a parent is self-employed or tries to hide income through family members.
The number of children
One of the important factors for a child support calculation is the number of children involved. Two children have greater financial needs than one. This is usually an incremental increase.
That is, the second child doesn’t double a parent’s support obligation. Instead, for every additional child, a smaller percentage of the parent’s additional income goes to support. A parent may receive a reduction in support if they have biological children that are not part of the support order.
The child support formula presumes that a parent who provides direct care for the child contributes to the child’s needs directly. In the vast majority of cases, both parents provide at least some care for the child. That means that the child support formula needs to account for the paying parent’s expenses for when they are the direct care provider.
The parent who has the child the majority of the time is usually the parent who receives support, but that isn’t always the case. If the parent with the majority of the parenting time has a much higher income than the other parent, that parent may pay the other parent, so that the parents can provide for the children equally during their respective parenting times.
Additions and corrections
Most child support calculations also include provisions for medical care for the children. In most cases, the parent who directly pays for medical insurance for the child receives a reimbursement from the other parent for part of the child’s share of the premium. The court may also apportion payments for out-of-pocket medical bills. Another common addition to a child support award is child care expenses.
Deviating from the formula
In some cases, the court may choose not to apply the child support formula. This may occur in situations where the parties have significant travel expenses in order to facilitate parenting time. It can also occur in a situation where a child has special needs or extraordinary education costs. When the court doesn’t strictly apply the child support calculation, this is called a deviation from the formula. Our queens county divorce lawyer can give you the recommendations and help you need with this.
Our law group is one of the few Queens county firms to have a perfect 5 star rating with top Queens county divorce lawyer rating services like Avvo, Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers, Yelp, Google Places, and other high profile websites. If they can trust us, so can you.
Our Queens divorce lawyers are available 24/7 to help you. We have locations all over NYC and Long Island. We can come to you, if needed. Just call us whenever you need assistance.
We are one of the few firms in Queens County to offer flexible payment plans. We understand you may be facing financial difficulties - we get it. In order to help you, we offer flexible monthly installment plans. Even if you have no money we can help you.
Spodek Law Group is one of Queens County's oldest divorce law firms. Our divorce attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience practicing law. Contact us to learn more about your options.
The end of a marriage can be an emotional experience. It can also take place at a whirlwind pace, causing you more confusion than clarity. Thus, you may find yourself having many questions about the process and what you need to do. In this case, the best option is to consult the services of a good divorce lawyer. He or she would be capable of providing the advice and information you need. The divorce lawyer can also answer any of the questions you might have. However, looking at some of these questions can help shed more light on the process and leave you better informed.
Is divorce expensive?
Whenever most people hear that lawyers are involved, the cost element always comes up. People want to get the best legal representation at an affordable price. This means that it is important for you to have a lawyer that is able to carry out the divorce proceedings without it costing you an arm and a leg. It is important to note that the reason divorces racks up costs is poor interactions between the divorcing couple. If the two sides have an amicable split, they can split assets and agree to the finer things of the separation easily without resorting to drawn out arguments. Thus, it is always advisable for offers for discussions and agreements be made in good faith so that the chances of the split being amicable are increased.
Must the court be involved?
While marriages can be officiated by a number of people including magistrates and priests, only the courts can grant divorces. There may be a requirement for mediation between the two parties where the courts require you and your former partner to agree on how to share property and custody of children if any. However, the court will have the final say on the divorce. The judge may only assent to the elements agreed in mediation, but his or her decision will be needed for the divorce to be final.
Are there differences in state laws on divorce?
Yes. Different states have different statutes on divorce. For instance, Florida requires that you must have been a resident of the state for a period of 6 months before you are allowed to sue for divorce. The divorce can be granted even if your spouse lives outside of Florida. There are also some states which require for a partner seeking divorce to provide suitable grounds. Other states allow for a “no-fault” divorce which means that the partner making the application does not have to give reasons for the desire for the divorce.
Is custody decided together with divorce?
All the matters related to divorce are best handled together. If you really want to get out of the marriage, you want to ensure that everything is dealt with at once. The splitting of the property needs to be completed early on so that you can move on with your life. However, there are some elements such as alimony and child support payments that mean that you still have to deal with your former spouse. This is in addition to sharing custody of your children. In this regard, the divorce proceedings should handle all the tricky aspects at once. This means that you would have a determination on the amount of alimony and child support to be paid, the ratio of division of property, and the child custody formula.
Do I need to be represented by a lawyer for divorce?
Legally, you do not need to have a divorce attorney arguing your case. However, it is highly advisable. Divorce can be an emotional undertaking, and you want to be on your best foot when going into the proceedings. Thus, having a team of professional lawyers arguing your case will increase your chances of getting the best possible outcome.
Getting a divorce is truly a life-changing event and most definitely not something that you should take lightly. In this sense, it is always best to wait until you and your spouse are fully sure of your decision to divorce before you sign and file your divorce papers. Unfortunately, some spouses tend to rush into the decision out of anger or jealousy only to later realize that they made a mistake.
This situation is actually quite common as evidenced by the number of married couples that cancel their divorce proceedings or end up getting re-married later on. For this reason, it is important that you are aware of your legal rights as there are some situations where you may still be able to cancel your divorce prior to it being finalized.
Cancelling Your Divorce Proceedings
In terms of the legal right to cancel a divorce proceeding, the law is clear and consistent in ensuring that this power rests solely in the hands of the partner that initiated the proceeding. This means that there is nothing you can to put a stop to divorce proceedings that were started by your spouse unless you’re able to successfully convince your spouse to file to have the divorce proceedings dismissed.
However, all states require the spouse that filed for divorce to cancel the proceedings as long as the final divorce decree has not yet been issued. The laws tend to vary from state to state, but generally all you’ll need to do is visit the court where the divorce was filed and then fill out a form to file for a “Motion for Order of Dismissal.”
After filing this motion, you and your spouse may be required to appear in court for a hearing related to this order. During the hearing, the judge will question both of you to ensure that you both agree with the decision to cancel the divorce proceedings. Should the judge be satisfied that the decision is mutual, the court will then issue an “Order of Dismissal” that becomes legally binding once signed by you, your spouse and the judge.
In some jurisdictions, the hearing is not necessary and all you will need to do to cancel the proceedings is file the appropriate form with the court clerk. As you were the person who filed for divorce, you don’t actually need your spouse’s approval or involvement when canceling the proceedings. However, some states still require that you provide your spouse with a copy of the dismissal order.
Canceling a Divorce Once the Final Decree Has Been Issued
Although it is always important to fully think about your decision and take time to ensure that divorce is the best road forward, the fact is that many people eventually end up missing their spouse once the dust has finally settled and the divorce is finalized. Unfortunately, if this is the case and you and your ex-spouse want to get back together, the only way forward is to get married again.
A divorce decree is considered final and there is no way you can take it back. Therefore, it is vital that you and your spouse take the time to decide whether divorce is the right option long before the papers are filed and the divorce finalized. Our Queens divorce attorney can help you decide whether divorce is the right option for you or not.
During the separation and divorce process, spouses can sign a contract called a marital settlement agreement. This contract determines the specifics of the divorce, including who will receive what property and assets, if there will be any spousal support and if so, the amount, and other important details. If the couple has children, the marital settlement agreement will also cover child custody, support and visitation.
The term for a marital settlement agreement and the procedure for setting one up depends on the state. Other common names for it are divorce settlement agreement and marital separation agreement.
Although spouses don’t need attorneys to set up a marital settlement agreement, it’s unwise to set one up without legal representation. If you set up a marital settlement agreement without consulting an attorney, the agreement may not include details required by the state, or it may not be clear enough in certain areas.
It’s best for each spouse to have an attorney who can help them with a marital settlement agreement during the divorce process. The reason for this is because an attorney can only represent one party in a divorce, and two people can’t have the same Queens county divorce attorney. Both spouses should have an attorney representing their interests.
Either spouse can propose a marital settlement agreement, and proposed agreements can occur at any time from the initial separation or immediately before divorce proceedings in court. Spouses can negotiate on anything within the agreement, and neither spouse is under any obligation to sign an agreement. However, if you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, then it will be up to the court to decide.
A judge must accept the marital settlement agreement after both spouses sign it. A judge won’t accept the agreement if it’s not set up properly, if it’s too vague in certain areas or if it’s too advantageous to only one party, which are all reasons why it’s good to consult with an attorney regarding the agreement.
After a judge accepts a marital settlement agreement, both parties must meet the terms of this agreement. Failure to do so would put the offending party in contempt of court.
A common question regarding marital settlement agreements is what happens if both parties decide they want to change the agreement. For example, perhaps you and your ex decide on a different amount or schedule for child support payments.
You and your ex could simply decide to do what you want instead of following the agreement, but this presents risks. If the agreement isn’t followed, both parties have the right to go to the court to get the original agreement enforced.
It’s smarter to modify the marital settlement agreement. Both you and your ex must agree to this, and if so, you can submit a modification agreement. The court will then decide whether to allow the modification. Some aspects are easier to modify than others, and you may need to present a reason for the modification.
The decision to divorce does not come lightly for anyone, but it’s one that affects everyone in the household regardless. Most people don’t go into a marriage with the belief it won’t work out, and no one has kids knowing their marriage won’t work out. However, that’s precisely what happens in many marriages. It’s unfortunate, but understanding who gets custody of the kids is helpful. When you’re ready to call it quits, you should know who gets the kids, how it works, and what might happen.
What Determines Custody?
There’s not a right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends on many factors.
– Are both parents fit?
– Is there abuse?
– Is there a parent moving out-of-state?
– Can the parents make an agreement together?
There is no way to answer this question without knowing the specifics of any particular case. Many couples choose their own custody agreement outside of court and come up with a plan on their own. A judge is happy to approve a shared-custody plan when both parents are good parents who want to spend time with their own kids.
If you and your children’s other parent can come up with a mutual custody agreement, you’re in charge of what happens in a court of law regarding custody following a divorce.
What if No Mutual Agreement Works?
If you cannot come up with a mutual custody agreement, you’ll go to court. It’s a better situation for all when you both agree on what you want, but sometimes couples want more than the other. If no agreement can be made, the court will make the decision and it might not be satisfactory. It might depend on which parent is able to provide the kids with the kind of life they’re most accustomed to right now.
For example, the court might believe the kids are better off staying in their current home full-time with the parent keeping the home. If one parent is a stay-at-home parent, the court might look favorably upon that. If there is any drug use, addiction, or abuse alleged during the divorce, the court will work to figure out who is a better fit as parent.
The way custody works is in the best interests of the child. The court decides what works best for the child in every situation. Sometimes the child is old enough to provide a little feedback in this situation, and other times there isn’t anything the child can do or say to be with one parent over another.
It’s best if you can agree on a custody agreement without the court interfering. It’s not always a solution you want to see occur, and it might mean hurting your kids more than they’re already hurting. It’s better for kids to spend more time with a parent who is able to provide them with a more normal life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with something that allows them to spend time with both parents when they want. Our Queens divorce lawyer can help you with all of these issues.
Despite the fact that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, it seems that the majority of Americans are still mostly unaware of how typical divorce proceedings work. For this reason, it is important to clear up some common misconceptions in an effort to answer questions that you may have when suddenly facing divorce. In this sense, one of the most common questions is whether or not you’ll need to appear in court at any time during the divorce proceedings. Our queens county divorce lawyer helps with a lot of the issues that might otherwise bring you to court.
Ways to Avoid Divorce Court
The truth is that it is virtually impossible to know whether you’ll need to appear in court or not until after the divorce papers are filed and your spouse has responded to your divorce petition. The reason is that you spouse can either choose to accept or not accept your proposed divorce conditions. If your spouse does accept the conditions and chooses not to contest the divorce, it may be possible to have the divorce finalized simply by filing all of the required forms and documentation with the court clerk.
Similarly, even if your spouse chooses to initially contest the divorce, you may still be able to avoid having to appear in court if you are able to reach an agreement through mediation. In this case, a judge may not require a final divorce hearing he/she deem that the mediation agreement is reasonable and within the scope of the law. In this sense, it is essential that you hire an experienced divorce attorney to assist with the mediation in order to give yourself the best chance of not having to appear in court.
Contested Divorces and Other Necessary Court Appearances
The majority of divorce cases never have to go to trial as most couples are able to reach an agreement through mediation. However, should you be unable to reach an agreement, it will then be necessary for you and your spouse to appear in court for the final divorce hearing where the final judgment will then be up to the judge’s discretion.
Should you find yourself unable to reach an agreement over custody, alimony, child support, division of assets, etc., the judge will use the final hearing to listen to both you and your partner’s respective cases. After this, the judge will then settle all of these relevant issues for you. In this case, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney and attend the hearing as otherwise the court will usually rule in favor of your partner.
Divorce laws are different from state to state, and in some jurisdictions, the partner that filed for divorce is always required to show up for the final hearing before the divorce decree can be issued. As well, even if you reach an agreement prior to filing and your partner agrees not to contest the divorce, the judge may still request a formal or informal hearing to go over the terms and make sure that both partners actually agree to them.
There is really no way to guarantee that you won’t have to appear in court during your divorce. However, you can at least improve your chances of avoiding court by attempting to work with your partner to reach an amicable agreement. Still, the fact that most divorce cases require mediation means that you need to prepare yourself for this eventuality and seek the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney
People who are in the process of getting divorced have all kinds of ways to try and get the upper hand. Sometimes, that means one of the spouses moves the marital money out of joint accounts, so that the other party can’t access it. If that happens to you, you have options.
Fortunately, most queens county divorce attorneys know that spouses sometimes clean out the accounts. This shouldn’t deter a good queens county divorce lawyer from wanting to represent you. There are ways that your queens county divorce lawyer can help you find marital assets and ask the court for justice.
Ask the court to freeze assets
The first thing that might help you is to ask the court to freeze assets. This means to ask the court to order that neither party dissipate or transfer assets. That means that your spouse can’t spend through your finances quickly or transfer all of the money to friends or relatives. If your ex ignores the order and moves money anyways, the court can punish them by awarding the amounts to you.
Motion for attorney fees
In most cases, you can ask the court to order your ex to pay your attorney fees. This is usually based on your need and your ex’s ability to pay. If your spouse moved the money out of the accounts, you can likely demonstrate that they have an ability to pay your attorney fees. Most attorneys are sympathetic when a spouse moves money out of an account, and they’re often willing to work with you in order to collect their fee from the joint accounts.
To ask for attorney fees, you need to bring a motion to the court. This means filing formal court papers. The paperwork should cite the relevant laws or court rules that allow someone in your situation to collect attorney fees. It should also detail what your spouse did in order to prevent your access to joint funds.
Motion for temporary spousal support
You don’t have to wait for the final divorce judgment in order to seek support from your ex. If you’re dependent on your spouse during the marriage, the court may order your ex to support you while the divorce pends in court. This can mean paying temporary alimony or spousal support. You may be able to use these funds to pay fees to your attorney.
Finding the money
Your attorney can help you take steps to find where your ex moved the money. You can use a deposition or written questions called interrogatories in order to make your ex answer questions under oath. Your attorney can also issue subpoenas to financial institutions to follow transfers of money and deposits. This process is called discovery.
Can they keep the money by moving it?
Your ex might think that they can keep the money if they move it right before or shortly after they file for divorce. This isn’t the case. In fact, the court likely isn’t going to be pleased to hear that your ex moved the money where you can’t access it.
In a divorce, the court divides marital assets equitably. Usually, an asset is a marital asset when it’s earned during the marriage. Absent a prenuptial agreement, there’s nothing that a spouse can do in order to make a marital asset non-marital.
The court is going to look at all of the assets, look at the evidence and make an equitable distribution. Even if your ex tries to hide assets, the right attorney isn’t going to be deterred. They can help you find marital assets and ask the court to award you an equitable share of marital property that includes your attorney fees.