Primarily servicing the greater New York City metropolitan area



LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.
DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
206 East 38th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 370-1660

MEDIATION V. LITIGATION - DIVORCE SOLUTIONS SERVICES

Question #1: My wife and I had been married for approx. 5 yrs. It has come to my knowledge that during that time she has been "unfaithful". During the last year we were together I had unfaithfulness had become more and more apparent. I had at several times requested counseling which she refused on the grounds "we can work it out ourselves". That never happened. During the last year we lived together I met a woman and have been with her since. (approx. 3 yrs.)

We had never pursued a formal separation and/or divorce because at the time my finances were strained. I have since re-gathered myself and now want to pursue a divorce because would like to make my new spouse 'legal'. What are my options and/or pitfalls? We live in NY metro area, have no children and no real assets.


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Question #2: My husband and I have agreed to separate, but I am the one that will move out of our house, leaving behind all of our assets. I don't even know where to begin to make sure that I am protected, and my belongings are protected and everything is done fairly. I live in Virginia and I don't even know what my rights are. I'm nervous and frightened. Can you offer any advice?

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Question #3: How much is a session; what if my spouse doesn't want to come? do i need a lawyer? how does the divorce get into the court?

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Question #4: Once served with divorce papers, how long until the divorce is final?

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Question #5: What are your fees for a divorce with minor children involved?

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Question #6: Which counties do you practice in? What are your costs?

Our marriage has been strained for a year or two now.

I just found out, in a recent trip to Virginia where we have a joint bank account and safety deposit box, that in December of 1996, my wife opened the safety deposit box, took all the contents in the box, and then closed the box account. All without my knowledge, consent, or notice.

In the box, there were lots of gold jewelry, gold coins, cash, redeemable bonds, deeds to lands and the deed to our townhouse, several gold rings and necklaces. All of these items were either given to me, or bought by me as she has never held a job.

What should I do at this point? Could a lawsuit be filed in the above?

Please advise. Thank you.


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Question #7: My first marriage was bifurcated in 1991 (California). There are two properties that were to be sold. They are not selling at the prices quoted in the divorce judgment. In fact, neither property has any great value (10 acres in the Texas desert and a Palm Springs Time Share). I am in bad health, and would really like to get this divorce finalized. Is it possible to quit claim the deeds to her in order to get a final decree of divorce?

Also, should I transfer all properties jointly held by my present wife and myself to her name only? I have been told that if I die, and since my divorce has not been finalized, that my ex-wife can claim my assets jointly held by myself and my present wife. I do not want this to happen! What do I do to protect myself, my children and my second wife?

In the property settlement portion of the divorce proceedings, my ex-wife gets a portion of my military retirement. Since the divorce has not been finalized, can I possibly have the original document altered to specifically declare this as alimony? For tax purposes, this would be a godsend. I reside in Texas and my ex-wife lives in California. Can this be handled in absentia?


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Question #8: I am a 27 yr old man, who has been separated from my wife for 5 months now. My 7 yr old son spends every weekend with me. My wife and I are surely getting divorced, but I have no clue regarding how to start the divorce process. We were married in Florida, but our permanent residence is in NY. I am looking for advice on how I should begin our divorce process. How long will my divorce take to be final? My divorce is uncontested, so are lawyers and courts necessary? Is a child custody battle necessary?

I would greatly appreciate any advice or information you can offer! I am desperate for info!

Thank you in advance!


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Question #9: Is divorce the only solution ?

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Question #10: Two people, one mediator? Or, should we each get a mediator of our own?

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Question #11: I live in Rochester New York. You are so far away; can you help?

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Question #12: My wife is seeking a divorce. We are in NY. We have 2 kids and live on LI. We do pretty well financially. We both have no reason why either one of us can't have custody of the children. We are both good parents. The big difference though, I make sure I'm home every night to make the kids dinner, bath them, and take care of them. she used to work and get home no earlier than 7 PM. Since we have been talking last Sept. and throwing the idea of divorce around, she basically broke down to her boss and cried about how much she works. She gets home now mostly 6.30. We share equally in the taking care of the kids. She buys them stuff, I play games and sports with them. A lot of the weekends I spend time doing the guy thing and taking care of and maintaining the home. Although this takes away from spending it with the kids, I do try my best to be with them on the weekend. I just can't all the time. So her interpretation is that since I don't spend every bleeding moment with them, I'm not entitled to custody. Well, the house isn't a hotel, someone has to maintain it. Basically, I do it all. I have raised these kids since birth. I'm the one they go to when sick and hurt. She backed off and always said she wasn't maternal, I was. How can I guarantee custody. She left in Jan. and went to her moms; she wasn't sure if she wanted out of her marriage so she tried separation. She left the kids with me because at the time, felt they were better off. She slept with some guy she met last Oct. while we were together. We started spending more and more weekends together and instead of going home Sun. night, she started to stay over with me. A day here and there; she has been back in for the last 2 months, although a lot of her items (clothing) are still at her mothers. Now she refuses to leave and says she wants it all. Where can I go with this?

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Question #13: Divorce mediation is mandated by Family Law court in Santa Clara County, California. It does not work. The vast majority of parties opt to go to court.

Why not a divorce arbitration service rather than a mediation service? Your answer may be, mediation gets both parties to agree and work out solutions, thus accept outcomes.

Again, at least in Santa Clara County, mediation is not being used extensively. One or both parties think they may "win" in the court setting. Their lawyers may have a hand in creating this thinking.

Court, after all is arbitration - decision by means of a judgment handed down by someone, in this case a judge.

Arbitration by non-legal personnel (i.e., no lawyers or judges) would be cheaper for the parties and probably achieve the same outcome.

I would appreciate and welcome your comments. I am interested in establishing an arbitration service for divorcing couples in the Bay area.

In advance, thank you for the benefit of your thoughts.


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Question #14: I have been a stay at home mom for 7 years and have 3 kids (8,3,and 1) and my husband wants to divorce without a lawyer and I don't know if I will be losing any thing by settling out of court. We had a boat he recently sold and he said I was entitled to half by he has not given me anything yet. I am also not able to access any money in his account because he had taken me off of his account 5 years ago. I feel like a hostage and we only have 1vehicle that we have to use. He had taken my daughter (when she was little) to his parents house 2 hours away and had me give up our other daughter for adoption when she was born before he would let me have my oldest home and he will have the two older ones at his parents house again this weekend and I fear that he will try to take them from me by keeping them up there away from me. I am at a loss for any thing and I desperately need some input. I am in Collin County in Texas. I need an attorney by have no money available to me. Can an attorney tap into his account to pay the attorney fee? Being married to him should make it legal shouldn't it?

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Question #15: MY Husband and I have been separated for over five years. I'm now seeking a divorce so I can get on with my life. We went through a divorce process already but he declined to sign the divorce paper. He wants a 100 mile radius clause, but I don't want to be restricted to where I can live. Let along 100 miles near him. I have been the sole provider for my child from birth. He is also a dead bet dad. What should I do. I live in New York City.

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Question #16: My husband and I were married 5 years ago in Florida and still reside here. We have a 3 year old daughter. I asked for a divorce and my husband refuses to cooperate. He claims he can make me happy and blames all of our relational problems on me. He says he will fight for custody of our daughter and the fact that I admitted to kissing another man is enough to take her away from me if I pursue a divorce. He also wants me to leave the house without her and he refuses to leave. Also, he recently talked me into a consolidation loan against our home to pay off our credit cards and lease a very expensive vehicle which we both signed on. Without his income I wouldn't be able to live alone in the house or keep the car. If I filed bankruptcy would I still be liable for the house and car if I moved out? Is kissing someone else considered adultery and cause me to lose my daughter? I'm a wonderful mother to her, my work history is far better then his, I earn more money then he does and I take care of most of her needs. Would a mediator be helpful in my case?

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Question #17: My wife and I are presently stationed in Sasebo Japan, would we still be able to utilize your service. We have discussed a parting agreement, and the service you offer appears to best suit our wishes.

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Question #18: 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?

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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

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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?

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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.

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Question #22: Thank you very much, I'll give you a call.

How much would you charge for preparing documents for an uncontested divorce? We already agreed upon all the issues:

- our son custody - child support - spousal support - no QDRO is needed ( house is left to wife PV of 401K is included in divided assets - 50/50 split) .


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Question #23: I live in Texas and my wife of 22 years wants a divorce because I hit her...I was going thru a big depression at the time. I do not want to get divorce because we have a 10 year old girl which I love very much.. Every time I get close to her all she say is she wants the divorce.What can I do to give her a hard time if she does get a lawyer???

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Question #24: My husband and I are New York City residents. We have decided to separate then divorce as soon as we have met the legal one year requirement. Between us, we have already reached agreement on custody of our 9 year old son, child support, and the distribution of our belongings (contents of our home). We have no major assets to divide. We would like to pursue a mediated divorce, but are concerned about the cost. This is the only thing holding us back at this point. At present, we would be unable to afford even standard adversarial legal services.

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Question #25: Already divorced, reason: abandonment First lawyer suggested to settle on the property because it would cost too much to go to court. My ex-husband was suppose to sign the property over to me for a ten thousand dollar settlement. He never signed anything, I never paid him. He took me to court for breach of contract. Second lawyer took my money, wrote one letter to the courts regarding this issue. There was a court date, that neither myself or my lawyer was never notified. There was a judgment in his favor. I spoke to my second lawyer, who said he will write a letter to vacate that judgment. NOTHING has happened. I have called my Second lawyer several times, have gone to see him, but he was not there. He has not answered any of my calls. Now I have received an eviction notice, which is very confusing to me because this is a condominium. I know I need a new lawyer, but I need one I can afford since I am very tight on my budget. How do I handle this situation. How can I get the original settlement dismissed, and how can I fight this. Thank you for your attention in this matter.

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Question #26: I am currently involved in a situation that is very bitter. I would like to know the following:

1. Is mediation helpful if one side is bitter? 2. How can I convince the bitter side to go to mediation? 3. What are the fees for this service.

Thanks.


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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.

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Question #28: I have a bother-in-law in the state of Oregon who married less than a year ago. They submitted paper work for an amiable 90 day divorce roughly 45 days ago. The divorce was originally initiated by the wife because of the bother-in-law's dissatisfaction to his spouse's idolization of her pet dog. Just last week his spouse showed up at his work an attempted to commit suicide. Now she is filing a mental anguish suit against him. From the way he has been explaining it for the past six months he has been the one with the mental anguish. The question is could/should he file a counter mental anguish suit?

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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.

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Question #30: Can a judge site the husband for contempt, if the husband refuses to pay a law guardian. A law guardian appointed by the court for the purpose of interviewing the husband, the wife and the child and to report to the court his findings. The law guardian interviews the wife and the child, but not the husband. The law guardian makes a demand for 50% fee compensation from the husband. The husband claims that the law guardian fees are exorbitant and in addition the law guardian provided no services to him "he never met the law guardian" and in fact the law guardian provided the court with a biased opinion. Does the judge have the legal right to force the husband to pay or site him for contempt? Shouldn't the law guardian seek legal avenue for payment on his own? Please respond Thank you .

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Question #31: Do you do business in New Jersey?

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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 ?

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Question #33: Do you have anybody you can recommend in the Commack N.Y. area (Suffolk county)?

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Question #34: Interesting page, especially after going through a long struggle myself in a divorce. How much does an average program of mediation cost and do you offer divorce services as well?

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Question #35: I had been a battered woman before the syndrome was defined. I would like to know if I can genuinely sue this ex-husband for all the damage he has done to me, my grown children, and grandchildren who are feeling the Wrath. We would like to recoup all the support the "Legal System" did not afford to my family (As Victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse)? My life as well as my grown girls, with their children are still being victimized by this man. Is there any escape from the turmoil that this man , (my children's' father);my children are now raising their own children with feelings of all the anguish and pain (Very vivid in there minds), and yet still this man does not seem to care/consider what we (females (2) daughters and myself) have undergone due to his battering, domination, parasitic abnormalities he has bestowed upon our being which we still endure today. I am 51....the 1st born is 28.....the 2nd born is 27 and we lost the first son (not biologically his child, but we raised till I decided to leave due to my ex-husbands physical abuse). My son committed suicide by the time he was 26 years old. Speaking of his torment. When I went to Family Court for support, I was accused of revenge, I am not looking for revenge...I am looking for answers to questions so I can give my grown children something to give to their children (my grandchildren) who are seeking answers to....Can We Talk?

Awaiting your response .


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Question #36: I live in Ohio....where are your offices located?

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Question #37: I have read a little on mediation and am quite convinced that this is the way to go rather than utilizing lawyers to battle it out in court. However I am having trouble convincing my wife. She thinks we don't even need lawyers and can do a divorce on our own. We do negotiate fairly well, but we have issues around child custody especially for the future and are wrangling over property. If you can provide some detailed information about how you work and what it will cost, perhaps I can be more convincing in our need for mediation. Thanks.

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Question #38: I have been separated from my husband for over a year. He is suing me now for child custody, alimony and wants overnight visitation rights. How can I get full custody and not give him overnight visitation rights as he is an alcoholic, drug addict, has dwi over 4 years ago. I live in NJ. My child is only 20 months old. Please advise. Thank You

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Question #39: Please send me some more information regarding the solutions you are offering. A good friend is currently going through a divorce, and is trying to save some money. The divorce is un-contested, but two children are involved. Please send me any information regarding the such. Thank you for your continued assistance on this matter.

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Question #40: Are therapists better equipped than lawyers to do family mediation with the exclusion of the financials?

Where does the boundary lie between therapy and mediation? Thank you kindly.


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Question #41: WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU SHOULD ASK WHEN SELECTING A MEDIATOR?

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Question #42: Can't find a phone number or location for you. Where are your offices located? How about a phone number? Are you located or have offices in the state of Maine? Do you know of any similar offices in Maine?

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Question #43: Can you help us with our divorce?

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Question #44: Why is Divorce Solutions a ďbetterĒ way to get divorced?

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Question #45: Do you have to be a resident of New York to use your services?

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Question #46: My husband and I are both US citizens. I am leaving in June on a work Visa for Australia. I may decide after thinking in Australia to divorce him. We have no assets or no bills to consider. Can I divorce him through the mail without being present in the US or do I have to come home to do it?

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Question #47: My wife has been having an affair for many months now. It came out into the open in early December. When that happened, we agreed to try and work on our relationship rather than face the alternative of divorce. During our reconciliation period, she continued to see her lover, and their love has grown stronger. She cut short our reconciliation and said she wanted a divorce. We have 2 boys, aged 8 and 5. She wants to use mediation/arbitration instead of the traditional adversarial divorce route. Continuing to today, se continues to be promiscuous. I have numerous documented occasions where she has dropped off our kids with someone else (a grandparent, a friend, me) in order to get her sexual appetite filled. Recreational drug use is well-documented on paper with her lover, even discussions of using XTC. She is using very poor judgment on a daily basis. She continues to deny her involvement with her lover, saying it is a "friend" and a platonic relationship. I have documentation that shows otherwise. She is also a recovering alcoholic, but never and not currently regularly attending AA meetings. Broken childhood home, and she has been in therapy for 15 yrs. She is now scared of losing the kids to me. I do not want to have my children feel that they are in a position where they have to choose between her or me, so mediation is a promising alternative. But I am hesitant that mediation would be slanted towards granting custody to the mother no matter what. I do not want my children put into a living situation where there are drugs present (pot & who knows what else, as my wife's lover indulges more frequently than my wife), and I want them to be in a stable environment. In a traditional divorce, I know that it would be rough, but my evidence would prevail. I'm not so sure about mediation though. Comments? Advice?

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Question #48: What is the typical cost of a divorce through "DIVORCE SOLUTIONS"?

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Question #49: Do you offer recommendations for the best way to address the needs of the children so that they may come out of the divorce with the least amount of psychological damage?

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Question #50: What is the advantage of having an attorney-mediator as opposed to a psychologist or psychotherapist mediator?

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Question #51: My husband and I are divorcing and about to go to mediation. Is there anything I can do to prepare for the procedure?

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Question #52: In a divorce, should my attorney attend mediation? What if my wife insists that her attorney attend mediation, am I at a disadvantage not having my attorney with me?

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Question #53: I am an immigrant, I came to USA by permanent resident visa from my wife side. I was married for 11 years out of that we both lived together for 5 years. Since I came to this country my wife mostly stayed away from me. I have two sons. My wife is working for the past 3 years on and off. Since we do not have any emotional and physical relation, I was requesting her for divorce. But she and her parents are threatening me saying, they will inform at my work as I am abusing her and refusing to give divorce. Even though we live under same roof, we are like strangers. I am ready to provide child support to my sons or I will happily take my sons custody but they are refusing it. Please give me your advice, what to do.

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Question #54: My husband and I have been married for a year and a half. Two months ago I found out that he has been unfaithful throughout the entirety of our marriage, and this relationship has even existed while we were engaged. To complicate things even further, I am five months pregnant with our first child. Please advise as to what legal actions I must take to get the ball rolling on a divorce.

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Question #55: How long is the process of divorce in ny city? What are the costs? Can divorce been done without a lawyer?

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Question #56: I'm at a loss...I am married for 18 years and know my wife for 23. We started with nothing and now I own a business as well as a building and other assets. I understand these will be split equally in some way. My real issue isn't the money, she supported me and stayed home with the kids and contributed to our marrage. My issue is my children, as much as I know me and my wife just can't get along anymore. We have tried counseling and it just doesn't seem to work but I would do anything for my kids, 14, 13, 6. I would fight for custody but I don't want to put my kids through it, I much rather have an amcicable seperation and divorce and move on, but she doesn't seem willing to do that. I live in NY; I feel totally lost. No offense to you, but picking out a laywer isn't easy... there's no way to know who to trust. How do I resume my life in peace and not hurt my kids mentally? I need direction before I lose what little self worth I have left.
Thanks for listening.

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Question #57: I have been married for 4 years. My husband and I have been separated for close to 3 years now. I moved in with my mother 3 years ago because he is in the military and was stationed on a ship. We have a 4 year old son and no real assets. My husband isn't 'sure' he wants to continue our marriage so I asked him for a divorce. I don't know if he has been unfaithful or not and when I mentioned divorce he seemed hesitant. I'm not sure I'm willing to allow him custody and how this should be handled. I would appreciate some expert advice. Thanks

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Question #58: Thank you, I recently learned about mediation, and how it may be an better alternative to a court battle. My concern is, my wife is still in Indiana. I am not sure how it can be done, from what I have read, mediation is done with both spouses present. I thank you for your time.

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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?




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Question #60:

I have been married for 10 years and have endured verbal abuse for at least 7 of those years. The last 2 years, he feels that he has tried to improve his behavior, but I feel that the damage has been done. I no longer love him. Under what grounds in NYS can I file for divorce ? There are assets to be divided and 2 young children whose custody needs to be worked out. I would like to go through mediation - are there any "rules" where mediation cannot be used ? My husband does not feel that divorce is needed because he has made efforts to change and is quite hostile about the idea. Please help. Thanks




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Question #61:

Could I use a paralegal to get a divorce after being separated 3 years, we have no children together, house has been turned over to me. He, up and left us 3 years ago. Leaving all financial responsibilities to me. What I would like to do is get a cheap divorce, free and clear, as so does he.



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Question #62:

My wife and I have been married for 2 1/2 years. We were married in NY and she still resides there. We have decided to divorce. The split is very amicable and there are no children and no property to split. Although I did briefly speak with an attorney to better understand the options, both of us would like to get this over with quickly and with as little drama as possible. Is this the sort of thing that you do and approximately how long is the process and how much should I expect it to cost? Thank you.



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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?



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Question #64:

I would like to end my 7-year marriage to my husband. We have no children and have mutually agreed on the property split (so there's nothing to mediate). We have both worked full-time jobs throughout our marriage so there's no need for alimony. We live together for economic reasons. What would be the quickest and most affordable way to divorce him in NYC? Do we need to be legally separated for a specified amount of time. We don't have a lot of money, and like I said earlier, not much property to split. Should one of us move out?




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Question #65: I live in NYC; I met my wife in February of 2002. She is a citizen of an Asian country and was here on a student visa. Within two months, she moved in with me. When she graduated in June, she had only 30 days to find an "approved" job to fulfill the requirements for a work visa. Unfortunately, the bad economic environment did provide an acceptable position. So, in love and sympathetic to her plight (and considerable prodding from her), I married her in July 2002. Since that time, it has been mostly miserable for us. Profound differences between us and her habit of secretly destroying my belongings has created an intolerable environment for me. Desiring quick and simple, I initiated an uncontestable divorce under the grounds of "Cruel or inhuman treatment". She, at first, said she would sign; alas, but now changed her mind. I have, to this point, only filed for an index number and could continue without her signature, but her parents (back in her home country) are urging her to either hire a lawyer to fight my grounds or make me agree to a one year separation in order to keep her in the US. She hasn't even received her conditional green card, so her status in this country is in jeopardy. She received her temporary working permit in February 2003; so, prior to that time I was paying all the bills. She hasn't yet decided on a course of response and I've delayed further action until this is clear. To compound matters more, she attempted suicide last night (she even wrote a note) and is now in the hospital awaiting psychiatric approval/release. I know I did the right thing in calling 911 and caring for her, but now I need to escape from this nightmare before she either hurts either herself again or me. I want to reclaim my once-peaceful life. . .quickly. Please advise.



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Question #66:

I'm married 12 years and want out due to the fact my husband and I want completely different things in life. I pay 95% of the household expenses and he doesn't want to contribute 5%. Everything he does and every dollar he spends must be for his personal benefit. I simply refuse to live like this anymore. Please advise what my first step is in getting this marriage disolved. I live in New York.




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Question #67:

Here's my situation: I got married in 1990 in Panama. The marriage was registered in the consulate there. In 1994 we moved to NY with our son. In 1996 we separated amicably but not legally and because my wife was still establishing her immigration status we left it at that. We shared custody of our son and I provided child support. Two years ago I moved to Mexico. Now... my (ex) wishes to marry her boyfriend and my girlfriend would be so much happier if I were no longer to be married. How can we get a divorce as quickly and easily as possible. I'm not a legal resident here so the Mexican divorce is out. What can we do? I can't go back and forth from Mx to NY for court and I can't stay there for a couple months either. HELP!




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Question #68:

I live in NYC. My husband and I have agreed to a Legal Separation. Is this something we can do, or do we have to hire an attorney? Is there a general form to use for a legal separation?




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Question #69:

what is the usual time frame from filing to finalization for a non contested divorce?




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Question #70:

If I am in the middle of a divorce and we can't agree on the settlement on the house, can we go to you to have this settled like adults between us both. She can't take any more time off work for the hearings and I don't like the way I am being represented by my lawyer. Can I ask my lawyer for a refund because he's not around if I have questions or concerns.



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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



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Question #72:

Several months ago, my wife asked me for a separation. This was quite a shock to me. I then became aware that my wife was involved in an affair with a married man. When I questioned her about this, she denied it vehemently and stated that she wanted a temporary separation with the hope of an eventual reconciliation. I then documented irrefutably with a licensed private investigator that my wife indeed was involved in an affair. I confronted her with the evidence and, long story short, after several months of marriage counseling, we are headed for a divorce. We have two young children who we have tentatively agreed to "share parent". Our house will most likely have to be sold. I have suffered enormous emotional trauma as a direct result of the affair, and also enormous financial damage- private investigator bills, attorney fees, and all the expense that will now be involved in maintaining two homes.

I am hoping for an amicable resolution to these issues, however, I have three questions:

1. Would "collaborative lawyers" be a good idea for me (my wife wants to go this way)?

2. As far as distribution of marital property, does this documented adultery entitle me to a larger percentage than would normally be the case (or at least reimbursement of such expenses as private investigators)?

3. How successful would a civil suit against the other man potentially be and has this been tried in the past?(I have definite evidence that he plotted with my wife to get me to leave my home before I knew of the affair but I don't think it would be usable in a New York court).


Thank you.




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Question #73: My husband and I are seeking a divorce and I would like to know how it works if we would come to you as a mediator. Do we see you together or separately, what are the fees and do you provide a free consultation?

I did my research about the divorce itself and our situation is like this:
I guess the best grounds that are not severe for us would be constructive abandonment.
The custody will be full physical with the mother and shared decision making with flexible visitation rights.
My husband has a pension plan from his job, he makes around 52-57k I am now unemployed but will resume working in a month for $18/hour (about 35K).
We need to somehow split our 30k dept from which almost 9ooo is for a car that my husband will take. I want him to be responsible for that ammount and share the rest 2/3 to 1/3 due to my lower income.
II will need a child support and possibly a spousal support at least for the start. Can the child support be increased in a future if he will be promoted? I will also need to determine how to split the cost of education, summer camps, medical etc for my son.
Also I would like to keep my son on his medical insurance and change my last name.
I dont know what else to look into, so can you pleaselet me know if youy have a free consultation to discuss this matter further?
Thank you for your time.


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Question #74: I am in the middle of divorce proceedings. Frankly, I think it was bad advice on my attorney's part.

This has dragged out almost a year. A Temp. Court Order was issued in Jan '07.

Am I able to stop these divorce proceedings (yes, I started them) and convert our Temporary Court Order into a Legal Separation agreement?

My main problem: I am disabled and am fearful if we are divorced, I may not even qualify for my own healthcare. I am currently under his HMO from his job.

Thank you.



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Question #75: Hi, I guess I could be one of your horror stories. I'll try to make my story short.
We got married with my husband three years ago and have a beautiful 2-yr old daughter together.
My husband comes from a divorced family and so, he acted towards me accordingly Ė lack of respect, kept me under control, used me literally as a punching bag to practice karate, denied excess to his finances and spent more time with his local Rabbi than he ever did with me. We also lived in terrible conditions, in the mold-infested basement. He refused to move, and only after pleading to his parents and Rabbi, he let me find a new place.

Unfortunately, that apartment wasnít any better Ė mice, mold, gas leak, 2nd hand smoking, and when the baby came I was terrified and especially upset by the fact that his parents decided we could live there for another 3-4 yrs. Among other issues, my husband showed no remorse and the more Iíd get agitated, the more he grew with resentment towards me and set forth on a quest to portray me a bad mother. Oftentimes, I overheard his conversations with his sister and fatherís side of the family in my regard; constant lecturing and verbal put-down coming from his step-mother was overbearing.

Our intimate life was horrific, as he would simply exploit me for his pleasure while I was crying of pain. He would quietly drive me crazy and asked his sister to come over almost every day to ďhelpĒ. Not to mention that he would leave to Temple at 5:30 am and come back from Karate and the gym late at night and force me to keep our daughter up till 10 p.m. Sometimes he would scold me for calling while he was on the treadmill that I desperately needed help with the baby.

I grew to hate him more each day as his emotional abuse only escalated. He was extremely conniving, whispering something nasty and offensive to me, farting in my face, biting nails and spitting at me. I would scream for him to leave me alone, or call him a name and he would say I did it in front of our daughter, even when she wasnít there. He called and questioned my friends and family behind my back if they noticed how Iíve changed since the birth of our baby. Meanwhile, I was cooking and cleaning and had his friends and relatives over for Shabbat (with no help from him). Heíd still call me crazy and so did his sister.

At some point I confronted him that he was just raping me and he got scared that I might report him and later set up a spycam in our bedroom and started taping our conversations. The more he did it while denying he was doing it, the more I just wanted to leave, but nobody would ever believe me and I didnít have any money for the attorney. Then he went to a social worker(CSW), a member of his community, and told him that I was the one to abuse him sexually. Then he went to some officer and told him that if I call, they should know that Iím crazy and delusional. Then he hired and attorney and after months of torturing me emotionally, served me with papers on the grounds of cruelty. In addition, his Rabbi and the scial worker wrote pretty disgusting letters, that Iím a sinful woman whoís been touching her husband inappropriately and sexually abusing him.

Despite everything that happened, I tried to understand that my husband was afraid to loose his license and go to jail, and I had tried to save the marriage for our daughterís sake and we went to see social worker of his choice. Of course, he didnít like the fact that she was taking my side, especially when he was the one paying her so much money.

I expected genuine love and support, while he just wanted to get rid of me. So we tried mediation, but we couldnít agree on visitation schedule and the mediator wasnít really helpful. So he went to seek out a lawyer behind my back but I found out shortly after because she is also a member of the same community, and my husband has been a friend to her husband for quiet some time.

So, after he practically kicked me out of the apt, my previous attorney told me to take the baby and run and so I did and, immediately after that we set up visitation schedule. Of course, his attorneys claim that I just packed up and left with our baby unilaterally, (as if my life was so peachy and sweet that one day I decided to make trouble and take off with our daughter).

This is just a small part of what they have to lie about to represent their client and make opposing party so miserable. And how fast did she transform from being a friend to the role of his attorney. A friend would probably suggest to treat the mother of your child with respect at least.

And so, I left to Brooklyn from Long Island, got a job, rented an apt, and wish I could spend more time with my daughter and canít wait to have more kids. But do you think my ex is happy that Iím content and confident that I can stand on my feet and that now Iím with my friends and family and donít have to put up with his familyís abuse? NO! And his lawyers are trying so maliciously make me a crazy woman and to take the baby away from me.

You are absolutely right, they helped my husband hate me even more, and heíd refuse to discuss our daughter with me and made my life living hell! And you would think, his lawyer, a religious woman, be compassionate and understanding, or at least investigate what really is going on, but she decided to play it so nasty and what really hurts is that most of the time my husband lies and twists my words or tries to purposely exasperate me while on the phone to see if I loose it and say something that sounds crazy enough to later use as supportive evidence.

She also offered mediation and we tried to settle the case, but she and her partner were so mean, cynical and aggressive at the meeting that the only thing I wanted to do is to walk out on them.

Right now we have a case pending in court, which was moved from Brooklyn to L.I. and this is only a beginning. At some point I wanted to see justice and proceed with litigation but I didnít realize how stressful it was going to be and how unfair the system really is.

So, definitely, if couples could agree between themselves, they should go for professional mediation.

But the big question for me is, when it comes to visitations, how does the mediator really know whatís in the best interest of the child when they donít evaluate both parents and their interaction with the child?



I hope I didn't bore you with my story, but it's one out of many that shows how exhasting and overbearing divorce procedure becomes when two people are taught to hate and ignore each other.






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Question #76: I physically, emotionally and verbally abused my wife six months ago. She left the marital residence three months ago, took out an Order of Protection from me (for six months), found a job, moved into an apartment, and rematriculated our son into another school district. Since, she has been awarded temporary custody of our six year old son and child support. (I have been "indicated" for child abuse, but deny emphatically these allegations my wife has made, which are the only bases for the "indication" - it's a pretty corrupt process.) I understand her concern about our marriage, her anger at me, and her fear of me (I suffered an Adjustment Disorder six months ago after she stabbed me with a pair of butcher knives). (Although claim that she fears for the life of her and our children is excessive in response to being slapped a few times after "extreme" provocation and instigation - I am not proud of my behavior, but her portrayal of me is ridiculous to the point of comedy.)
That being said, after three months, several hearings in family court, support hearings, almost a nervous breakdown on my part, etc... she still has not served me with papers or even purchased an index number with the Clerk's Office. Is it normal to proceed with a divorce this way, humiliate your spouse in Family Court indefinitely, lie about his parental abilities, grossly exaggerate abuse to the point of delusion, etc... without serving papers and without anything really to gain as custody is not an issue and financial matters are independent of the reasons for divorce (to the extent we are getting divorced yet). Concerning custody, even after my attorney advised my wife's attorney that I have no reservations about her having custody, she still proceeded to allege child abuse (completely untrue - I am practically father of the decade).
So, there is no reason to do what she has as I have no reservations about yielding permanent custody to her. She also has alleged violations of the Order of Protection (interpreting "violation" very liberally). Even after being indicated for child abuse (which has emotionally crippled me as my relationship prior to three months ago was extraordinarily good), being arrested twice and jailed once for "violating" the Order (which also has emotionally crippled me as I have never even had so much as a speeding or parking ticket in my life), yielding custody, and giving in to practically every demand of her and her attorney, my wife still has not served papers. (Although I have rehabilitated my emotional state since she first left me, I was suicidal early on and no-one seems to appreciate the impact of these kind of extreme and false accusations on a person.)
Is there a name for this process? Again, I understand her state of mind as I would be pretty pissed off at me too, but I confess to being a little annoyed by the false allegations and the extreme claims like "fearing for her life" and having those entered into public record. Also, the failure to be served yet is puzzling. It seems we could have avoided all the problems of the past few months (at least the problems for me as my wife has been pretty much in Xanadu) if she had just filed for divorce with grounds (that she can prove and to which I have confessed) in Supreme Court. Heck, we could have been divorced by now and although I do not want to get divorced, it would have been easier on me as I would not have to be humiliated and falsely "indicated," etc...
Anyway, my question is what is going on and what should I expect in the future. I'm pretty stressed out, miss my wife and my son (I have only seen him in a limited capacity during supervised visitation). I love my wife passionately and don't think the problems we have are irreconcilable (although I will always feel pretty ashamed of my behavior), but I also don't want to confine her to a marriage she does not want (as neither of us will be happy then).


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Question #77: Hope you can help. My wife and I are in individual
counseling, not couples counseling (CC). Her counselor
feels we have a lot of individual issues to work out
before CC. I don't know what her issues are and her
counselor won't talk to me at all. My issue is anger
management which I have been working on for 8 months.

My wife claims she doesn't want a divorce and would
like to work things out if possible. My counselor
wants me to initate a divorce because he feels she is
stalling but he doesn't know why. My wife and I hardly
communicate. My counselor also feels once in court I
will find out her true intentions.

My question is how successful, in general, are long
separations vs short ones? Do the marriages actually
end up better or worse? Would a divorce be the wiser
course of action?



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Question #78: I sat down with my attorney and my soon to be ex and her attorney, we finalized our divorce and the papers were drawn up, 8 months ago (April 12, 2007). We both agreed and both left satisfied. But 8 months later she still refuses to sign off. What can I do. She is living with her boyfriend and my children for the last 3 years. I am living with my girlfriend and would love to marry her. But this never ending divorce is starting to stress our relationship ..................Please help...............my attorney tells me one thing and my soon to be ex is telling me something else and I can not afford another attorney to start this process all over again. I had to walk out 5 years ago when she decided to have an affair with a my ex-friend. Thank you.


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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?


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Question #80:
Is there any of the mediation or arbitration solutions still an option if the parties are already going through the divorce proceedings in NY and also there is a "order of protection" in effect?

Thank You

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Question #81: I have been married for 25 yrs and want a divorce. I am employed, he is self -employed. I pay the bills, as I get paid every two weeks and he gives money as he gets money from jobs. He is a carpenter. We don't have any children. Live on Long Island and own our home and land upstate NYS. Since I pay the bill and if I leave the home I will have to continue to pay the mortgage and rent at my new place . I can't afford both.. I have a pension he does not- 25yrs of pension with NYS. Would this be difficult for me to do mediation ? or lawyer which is best for me. Do you have a free consultation for me to evaluate which is better?

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