Question #79: My question is how can a stay at home mom hire a lawyer for divorce, when her husband controls the money and will the lawyer bill the husband?

If you are unable to pay for your attorney, the court will make your spouse pay
for your attorney as well.
By litigating your divorce you will both have to hire separate attorneys and will be spending a
large portion of your marital estate on legal fees. Divorce mediation is a much better alternative.

If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss
mediating your divorce.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #71: We have been married for only 1 1/2 months when we realized that it was a big mistake and we decided to separate and are looking for a very quick divorce. We have not shared any property, banking, etc and there is nothing really to share. We live at two different addresses, though both in NY. We want to part amicably, yet as quickly as possible. Any suggestions ? Thanks

You must get a divorce and it should be done ASAP. The longer you wait the more financial exposure you have to the debts and other support requirements of the other party under the law. Although you are married only for a short period, you still need to file all of the divorce papers and they should be prepared and filed by an experienced matrimonial attorney.

If you a living in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at the 12-370-1660 to discuss the matter a greater length.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #63: My wife of 6.5 years and I have been separated for 17 months in NJ where we were wed and have been residing the whole time. We have no children together. We both agree to proceed with a no fault divorce amicably. We have already transferred all major assets such as bank accounts, car, etc. and all that’s left is little stuff like photos, ornaments, etc which we are in the process of exchanging. I never put her name on the deed of my house as she moved from an apartment and now resides in one. We want to have the most economical and headache-free divorce possible. We were just going to go to a local Divorce Center who charges $500 for everything including court costs. Is there anything to be concerned about with this approach? Secondly, is a formal property settlement agreement necessary

You get what you pay for! This is a matter too important to leave to

someone who is not a lawyer . If either party wishes to challenge the

division of the assets some time down the road it will be easy to do so

and you will end up in court with much bigger legal bills than you ever dreamed.

Without a formal Separation Agreement detailing the exact division of your

marital estate, you have no closure on the issues, which can be revisited

in years to come .

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./ Divorce Solutions

Question #59: My wife and I plan to separate after a 3 year marriage. What are the procedures and do we have to acquire the services of a private professional mediator? We do not have any children or any assets to speak of. What is the least expensive and quickest way to do this? Also, I was told that you have to be legally separated for a year before moving on to a divorce. Is that true?

I strongly recommend that you seek out an experienced, attorney-mediator in your

area to mediate your divorce and prepare the Separation Agreement and Divorce Papers.

The matters are too serious to do by yourselves and you want to be sure that you

have finality so you can get on with your individual lives.

You do not have to be legally separated for a year to get a divorce in NY. There are other

alternatives.

If you are located in the NYC area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to

discuss mediation further.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.\Divorce Solutions

Question #32: THERE ARE MANY MEDIATORS IN MY AREA. A DIVORCE IS AGREED UPON AND BOTH PARTNERS ARE NON-COMBATANT. THERE IS A SMALL HOUSE THAT IS JOINTLY OWNED AND A SUM OF 10,000 IS OWED TO A SON (WE USED HIS INHEIRTANCE FOR THE DOWN PAYMENT} WE BOTH AGREE TO SELL OFF THE HOUSE. THERE IS SUFFICIENT EQUITY IN THE HOUSE TO COVER WHAT IS OWED AND THEN A LITTLE LEFT OVER. DO I NEED A PARALEGAL FOR THIS PROBLEM ?

In order to properly answer your question I must know in which state you were married, are presently living, your spouse is living, and if there are any children or other marital assets besides the house, and where are they located.In any case, you need a qualified attorney who is familiar with the marital laws in your jurisdiction who can advise you regarding the proper procedure to follow to file your divorce. There are many issues involved, some having statutory requirements, such as child support, custody, spousal maintenance etc, which generally are scrutinized by the court and which an experienced attorney can advise you with. If in fact all of the substantial issues have been resolved by you and your spouse, it should be relatively easy and inexpensive for the attorney to prepare the separation agreement that you will need and to file the divorce papers. Find an attorney- mediator in your area with experience in divorce mediation to assist you in this matter. Do not rely on a paralegal who is not licensed to advise clients on any matters, certainly not on divorce matters which can be technical and which have immense ramifications on the future lives of both spouses and the children, if any.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #29: Married in Virginia…been married 10 months…I am active duty and was married while on leave from overseas…we have never lived together and have no marital assets…we both agree this was a mistake and have no issues to resolve. What is my best option? What is the average cost? How long will it take? I assume whatever action is to be taken will be in Virginia. P.S. great page! I’ll send my New York friends your way.

I suggest that you get in touch with legal counsel available to you through your military service to assist you in filing the proper divorce documents, assuming that your spouse is willing to cooperate. The cost should be relatively inexpensive, and the time it will take depends on the backlog in the county clerk’ s office in the Virginia county in which you reside.
Glad you appreciate the page and thanks for the recommendation.
Good luck,
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #27: I am a 42 year old RN, with an 18 year old daughter who has Cystic Fibrosis….I am seeking information regarding the possibility of losing my home of 5 years of which I share with my husband…He has told me that I will not get the house….I am wondering if the fact that this was a VA loan (myself being the veteran), and having a child with a chronic illness what the possibilities are of losing the house. Please advise…and I live in Florida so need someone local if you have any suggestions.

I suggest that you get in touch with an attorney-mediator in your area who has been trained in divorce mediation to assist you and your spouse in the separation and divorce.
With regard to the house, I do not believe any court would force you to sell the house, especially since you are responsible to care for your sick child. Rather than listen to the idle threats and misinformation being offered to you by your spouse, consult an attorney-mediator who is well versed in the local divorce law and can provide you with accurate information.
Good luck,
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq. Divorce Solutions

Question #21: My wife decided she wants out of the marriage because she doesn’t love me. We own our own home, have two children and have no other debts. We have amicably made an agreement. She does not want maintenance or any of my pension. Is there any reason that I could be forced to pay maintenance if she declines it. We have also agreed that she can remain the occupant of our home with the children for seven yrs. or when my daughter reaches 18 yrs. old. The house will then be sold and the proceeds split 50/50. Cohabitation will not be allowed. Is there a problem with any of our agreement as you see it? Thank you.

In order to concretize your understanding regarding the above issues, you must reduce them to writing in a Separation Agreement which you both must sign. There are other issues that also must be determined, such as child custody, and child support, payment for educational and medical costs of the children. All these and other issues, including determining and dividing the marital property must be done and reduced to writing.
I recommend that you contact an attorney-mediator in your area who has training and experience in divorce matters to provide you with professional assistance.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #22:

Question #20: I am considering a legal separation. I have two young children and do not want to return to work full-time. I would like the process to be fair to me since I have I will be raising these children and supporting the house. I also do not want to endure courtroom battles. My husband will be cooperative. Will using a mediator provide me with the financial support to go it alone? Would I benefit financially from using my own lawyer? How do I know that I am getting the best I can for myself using a mediator?

Mediation will provide you and your husband a forum in which you will be in control of the decisions that are being made that will effect your life and the life of your children. You and your spouse will decide the issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of marital assets, among other issues to be decided.
It is my role as attorney-mediator, to control the process rather than the substance of the matters being discussed, and to offer suggestions and recommendations when the parties are finding it difficult to arrive at a fair and reasonable settlement of the particular issues under discussion. You will be advised as to the law and as to how the courts have dealt with similar issues in the past so that you can make an informed decision about what you should accept or reject.
In mediation we try to satisfy the needs of both parties, rather than insist on the wants of one party to the detriment of other party. The adversarial system exacerbates the conflicting interests of the parties and prolongs the emotional and financial strain on the parties, to the benefit of only the attorneys who are paid by the hour.
Mediation does not provide either party with anything other than the forum for the two individuals to arrive at mutually beneficial solutions to their concerns. You can arrive at a financially secure result through mediation which will provide you with the necessary financial support to get on with your life under the new circumstances.
How do you define “the best I can for myself”? If you see it purely in terms of dollars, you may be able to get a “hired gun” to shake down your husband for more you may get in mediation. But what about the long-term effect this will have upon your future relationship with your former husband who still remains the father of your children and with whom you will have to deal on numerous occasions in the future such as weddings, etc? What effect will this have on the children?
If you consider the actual financial and emotional costs of a prolonged battle in court, which will necessarily ensue as a result of the two lawyers going head to head trying to “maximize” each sides position, and in the course of this battle, depleting the marriage of a large portion of its assets through astronomical attorney’s fees, I have serious doubts about the financial benefits afforded by the adversarial system.
Mediation is not for everybody; but it is far better emotionally and ultimately financially for both parties. The adversarial system should be the court of last resort; not first resort. Mediation is a voluntary process in which neither party is obligated to participate. If the result is unsatisfactory, you can always turn to the court.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #19: My husband and I were married nine months ago in NH, and have resided in NC for the last six months. We incurred debt jointly before the marriage, on credit cards in my name. The debt paid mostly for furniture, and for educational equipment and material used to help him qualify for better jobs, which he has since obtained. He has committed adultery in the past three months, as I was absent for much of the marriage due to some training. We know we are not right for each other and shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. Taking my situation into consideration, would I seek a divorce, an uncontested divorce, or an annulment (I’m not sure of the differences among the three), and would I pursue the proceedings in the state where I married, or in the present state of residency? Thank you

With regard to which state has jurisdiction, most states require a minimum residency before it will assume jurisdiction over a divorce matter. Please check with your local bar association to see how long the residency requirement is in your state.
Regarding whether you should file for divorce, uncontested divorce, or an annulment, each state has specific requirements to qualify for an annulment, which from the information you have provided you would probably not qualify. An uncontested divorce requires the full consent and cooperation of the other spouse. Is that a possibility in this case? To get a regular divorce, you must commence a lawsuit with a summons and complaint outlining the grounds for divorce, if grounds are necessary in your state.
Divorce matters are not simple and should be handled by a competent attorney trained in these matters who is familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction.
Once again I emphasize the importance of seeking out a competent attorney-mediator who can assist you in your effort to seek a divorce.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq.-Divorce Solutions