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About Us

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Grinberg and Segal Family Law Division

The Law Offices of Grinberg, PLLC, is located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District. Our Family Law Division consists of highly experienced and reputable lawyers dedicated to representing clients in all areas of New York and New Jersey family law. We are dedicated to provide you with personal attention and professional legal service to help you achieve your goals. In addition to our family law services, our law firm is known throughout the United States for its work in all areas of U.S. immigration law. These dual areas of expertise allow us to represent some clients simultaneously in the New York and New Jersey family law and U.S. immigration law contexts.

Our History

  • 2003 -

    Alexander J. Segal, Esq, and Eliza Grinberg, Esq, founded The Law Offices of Grinberg, PLLC.

  • 2005 -

    Wendy Barlow, Esq, joined the team at Grinberg & Segal.

  • 2015 -

    Our long-time and experienced paralegal, Melsida Asatrian, became a lawyer in New Jersey. She was subsequently licensed to practice law in New York in 2016.

  • 2016 -

    The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, moved to its current address in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district at 11 Hanover Sq, 10th Fl., New York, NY, 10005

Our Advantages

Why Choose Us

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” - Benjamin Franklin

At the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, our expert family law attorneys use their knowledge and extensive experience in New York and New Jersey family law to provide clients with the best expert representation they can find. However, our experienced family law attorneys do not owe their stellar reputation solely to their legal skill, but also to how they approach each and every client and case. Whether you simply need an attorney to review forms relating to a marriage or divorce agreement, or need help with a more complex matter such as adopting a child or navigating complicated divorce proceedings, our attorneys will bring their impeccable professionalism and care and compassion to assist you.


We do not just believe our clients deserve the best counsel; we stake our reputation on our ability to deliver it. If you choose to work with us on your family law issue, you can rest assured that you and your case will get the expert care and utmost respect that it deserves, all for a very reasonable price.

Meet Our Team

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Alexander J. Segal, Esq.

Alexander J. Segal has made it his life’s work to help clients in times of need. In order to pursue his work, he founded the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, with Eliza Grinberg. Mr. Segal works tirelessly to provide the best legal representation to all of his clients. He has established a reputation as one of the most well-respected family law attorneys in New York and New Jersey for his professionalism and skill.

team

Eliza Grinberg, Esq.

Eliza Grinberg is a founding partner of the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC. She has over 16 years of experience in all areas of family law in New York and New Jersey. Ms. Grinberg is a highly respected attorney noted for the professionalism, skill, and compassion she brings to every case. She has successfully represented matrimonial clients in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, and Texas.

team

Wendy Barlow, Esq.

Wendy Barlow is an associate attorney at the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC. She brings over five years of experience in representing family law clients in New York and New Jersey, first as a law clerk and currently as an attorney. Ms. Barlow quickly established a stellar reputation as a top attorney working closely with clients in all areas of family law in New York and New Jersey.

team

Melsida Asatrian, Esq.

After a long and distinguished tenure as a paralegal here at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, Melsida Asatrain gained her law license in New Jersey in 2015 and New York in 2016. Now as an attorney, Ms. Asatrian brings her impressive legal acumen and careful consideration to each and every New York and New Jersey family law case that comes before her.

Why People Choose Us

Expertise

Our skilled family law attorneys use their extensive experience and knowledge of the law to provide the best family law and immigration legal representation to their clients.

Integrity

Our attorneys hold themselves to the highest ethical standards. Clients know that our expert attorneys are completely honest and forthright about their work.

Compassion

Our expert attorneys not only offer clients in need expert legal representation, but also offer compassion in the handling of sensitive issues with the utmost care.

Family Law Practice Areas

Family Law Practice Areas

Our experienced family law attorneys represent clients in almost all areas of New York and New Jersey family law. Please consult the list below to learn more about our practice areas. * Uncontested Divorce * Contested Divorce * Adoption * Protection

Our Testimonials

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Mr. Segal was recommended to me by a friend, his former satisfied client. I was getting divorced before my permanent green card, and had a lot of complications with my ex-husband. Alexander provided me with possible options and assured me that I would be fine. My divorce was filed within a couple of months, and in 6 month I was officially divorced. When I was scheduled for the stoke interview Alexander and his team cooperated to help me to prepare. I felt very safe and comfortable at my interview, which Alexander attended as well. Very professional and knowledgeable. His team is helpful as well. Alexander guided me through my divorce and removal of conditions on my green card. Everything went smooth, he was very professional and confident at my interview. He also responded to all my questions whenever I had them. I am very happy with his services, I got what I struggled for. Highly recommend.

Anonymous

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Absolutely on top of each and every case! everything always smoothly and on time! They are doing a great job! [Definitely] will recommend if you do need a lawyer who does know how to do his job! Great office team, very responsible people!

Diana Tambieva

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The best lawyers of New York for 100% sure. They are very intelligent, proficient, responsible, knowledgeable lawyers. Their attention and attitude to clients is excellent, The best lawyer that I ever seen

Firuz Nirov

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No one plans to get divorced, and when it happens it is a trying event in any individual’s life. In addition to the emotional costs of divorce, the divorce process poses real financial burdens on individuals and families. Here at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, we offer several fixed-price plans for certain types of uncontested divorces in New York and New Jersey. When you choose one of your fixed-price divorce packages, you are ensuring that you will receive the best representation at a very reasonable pric

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Home  >>  Services  >>  Agreements

Agreements

A divorce may occur under the terms of an agreement. Such an agreement is a written contract between the two parties to the divorce that provides for the division of money, and property, spousal support, and the care and custody of children. Furthermore, the parties may enter into an agreement before a marriage, during a marriage, or before the dissolution of a marriage regarding the disposition of marital assets in the event of a divorce.

In this post, we provide a very brief overview of agreements in New York and New Jersey. Any individual case will present a unique set of issues.

New York Divorce Ground for Separation Agreement

One of New York’s seven legal grounds for divorce involves an agreement. NY Dom Rel L sec. 170 (2016) explains that if the husband and wife have lived separate and apart for one or more years under the terms of a separation agreement, and the plaintiff establishes that he or she performed all of the terms of the agreement, this may be used as a ground for divorce.

Agreements Made Before or During a Marriage

NY Dom Rel L sec. 236 (2016) explains that an agreement made between the parties before or during a marriage will be valid so long as it is in writing, subscribed to by the parties, and properly recorded as a deed.  Such agreements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Contract to make a testamentary provision; 
  • A waiver of any right to elect against the provisions of a will;
  • Provision for the ownership, division, or distribution of separate and marital property;
  • Provision for the amount and duration of maintenance (alimony) or other terms and conditions of the marital relationship; or
  • Provision for child custody or support.

New Jersey has similar laws at NJ Rev Stat 37:2-34 (2016).  Under these provisions, a premarital (or pre-civil union) agreement may include:

  • The rights or obligations of each party to the property of either party or both parties;
  • The right to manage or control property;
  • The disposition of property upon separation, marital dissolution, the death of one of the parties, or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event;
  • The modification or elimination of support;
  • The making of a will or trust;
  • The ownership rights and disposition of a death benefit or life insurance policy;
  • The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement; or
  • Any other matter that is not a violation of public policy.

One party may argue that such an agreements is unenforceable. If a party establishes that he or she did not have the opportunity to consult with legal counsel, an agreement may be found to be unenforceable. Furthermore, if one party was not forthright about his or her earnings, property, and/or financial obligations when entering into the agreement, the agreement may be found to be unenforceable. Finally, if one party establishes that he or she entered into the agreement under duress, the agreement may be found to be unenforceable. The burden will be upon the party alleging that the agreement is unenforceable to establish such. For example, in NJ Rev Stat sec. 37:2-38 (2016), the burden is on the party alleging the agreement is unenforceable to prove such by “clear and convincing evidence.”

Agreements in Lieu of Proceedings

In seeking a divorce, the parties may seek to resolve their disagreements by way of coming to an agreement, sometimes through the formal process of divorce mediation. Coming to an agreement may spare the parties from months of litigation in contested divorce proceedings. While such an agreement may not be the appropriate resolution in every situation, it is worth considering by the parties and their attorneys whether it is possible to resolve disputed issues without a court order.

Note on Custody of the Children

Notwithstanding any agreements, a judge is required to consider, first and foremost, the best interests of the child in making any child custody determinations. While a judge will consider any agreements entered into between the parties concerning the custody and support of children, he or she will still have the discretion to render an order contrary to the agreement if such would serve the best interests of the child.

Conclusion

When entering into an agreement with a spouse or fiancée, it is wise to consult with an experienced family law. Firstly, if an agreement is not well-written with respect to the relevant laws of the state, it may do little to resolve the issues. Secondly, if there is a lack of regularity in the process of entering into an agreement, this may lead to one party challenging its validity and enforceability at a later date. Finally, an attorney may help his or her client review the agreement carefully to ensure that the client understand all it entails. At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, we have extensive experience in reviewing agreements, helping parties reach agreements (before or during marriage as well as after the commencement of a divorce action), and ensuring that the rights and interests of our clients are protected.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Protection

Protection

Protection

In divorce cases involving domestic violence by one party against the other or against children, it may be necessary for the victim to seek what is called an “order of protection” in New York or a “restraining order” in New Jersey. A judge may issue such and order, which prohibits the abusive party from contact with a spouse or child and/or from engaging in certain activities. Both New York and New Jersey have specific statutes regarding such orders. This article will provide a brief introduction to the issue.

Orders of Protection in New York

The provisions regarding orders of protection in New York are found in NY Dom Rel L sec. 240 (2016).

Under this statute, an order of protection or temporary order of protection may be entered against one party in a divorce proceeding as part of a final judgment of divorce, in child custody/visitation proceedings, or prior to or subsequent to the entry of a final judgment. An order of protection entered during divorce proceedings may remain in effect after a final judgment. The order of protection need not necessarily be based on conduct that happened contemporaneously with the request. The protected party cannot be held to violate an order of protection in effect against the abusive party.

The statute lists conduct that an order of protection may require from any party:

  1. To stay away from the home, school, business, or place of employment of one party or the child, or any other specific location designated by the court;
  2. To permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation by a court order or a separation period, to visit the child at stated periods;
  3. To refrain from committing a family offense [as defined in New York law], or criminal offense against the child or against the other parent or against any person to whom the custody of the child is awarded or from harassing, intimidating or threatening such persons;
  4. To permit a designated party to enter the residence during a specified period of time in order to remove personal belongings not in issue in a proceedings or action under this chapter or the family court act;
  5. The refrain from acts that would create an unreasonable risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the child;
  6. To pay the reasonable counsel fees and disbursements involved in obtaining or enforcing the order of the person who is protected by such order if such order is issued or enforced;
  7. To refrain from intentionally injuring or killing, without justification, any companion animal [(as defined in New York law)] the respondent knows to be owned, possessed, leased, kept or held by the person protected by the order or a minor child residing in such person's household...;
  8. To promptly return specified identification documents to the protected party, in whose favor the order of protection or temporary order of protection issued...
  9. To observe such other conditions as are necessary to further the purposes of protection.

New York has further statutes detailing the scope and procedures involving orders of protection.  This section is intended to provide a list of things that an order of protection may include.

Restraining Orders in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a domestic violence victim may seek a restraining order in Family Court. NJ Rev Stat sec. 2C:25-29 (2016) contains factors that court must consider in making a decision regarding the issuance of a restraining order:

  1. The previous history of domestic violence between the plaintiff and defendant, including threats, harassment and physical abuse;
  2. The existence of immediate danger to person or property;
  3. The financial circumstances of the plaintiff and defendant;
  4. The best interests of the victim and of any child;
  5. In determining custody and parenting time the protection of the victim's safety; and
  6. The existence of a verifiable order of protection from another jurisdiction.

In the event that a restraining order is granted, courts may craft its terms to meet the needs presented in a specific case.  Under the New Jersey statute, an order of protection may include any or all of the following (condensed):

  1. An order restraining the defendant from subjecting the victim to domestic violence, as defined [in New Jersey law];
  2. An order granting exclusive possession to the plaintiff of the residence or household regardless of whether the residence or household is jointly or solely owned by the parties or jointly or solely leased by the parties...;
  3. An order providing parenting time.  The order shall protect the safety and well-being of the plaintiff and minor children and shall specify the place and frequency of parenting time...;
  4. An order requiring the defendant to pay the victim monetary compensation for losses suffered as a direct result of the act of domestic violence...;
  5. An order requiring the defendant to receive professional domestic violence counseling from either a private source or a source appointed by the court...;
  6. An order restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim or of other family or household members of the victim and requiring the defendant to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim or other family or household members;
  7. An order restraining the defendant from making contact with the plaintiff or others...;
  8. An order requiring that the defendant make or continue to make rent or mortgage payments on the residence occupied by the victim...;
  9. An order granting either party temporary possession of specified personal property...;
  10. An order awarding emergency monetary relief...;
  11. An order awarding temporary custody of a minor child.  The court shall presume that the best interests of the child are served by an award of custody to the non-abusive parent;
  12. An order requiring that a law enforcement officer accompany either party to the residence or any shared business premises to supervise the removal of personal belongings...;
  13. An order granting any other appropriate relief for the plaintiff and dependent children...;
  14. An order that requires the defendant to report to the intake unit of the Family Part of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court for monitoring of any other provision of the order;
  15. In addition to the order [required under law] prohibiting the defendant from possessing any firearm, [] an order prohibiting the defendant from possessing any other [specified under New Jersey law] weapon...;
  16. An order requiring the defendant to undergo a psychiatric evaluation;
  17. An order directing the possession of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by either party or a minor child residing in the household.

In situations where there is immediate danger, a victim may seek to obtain an emergency restraining order.

How We Can Help

No family law matter is more serious than one where the safety an individual and/or his or her children is involved.  The New York and New Jersey family law attorneys of The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, have extensive experience handling the most sensitive cases, including those involving domestic violence and orders of protection.  Our compassionate attorneys stand ready to assist clients most in need, assessing each case on its own merits and vigorously representing the interests of clients.

Please note that our experienced New York and New Jersey family law attorneys also represent immigration clients nationwide in all areas of immigration law. To learn about forms of relief that are available for certain domestic violence victims in some cases under the immigration laws, please see the relevant section on the website for our immigration law division.

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Home  >>  Services  >>  Property

Property

Property may arise as one of the more significant issues in divorce mediation or divorce proceedings. This is especially true in cases where the value of the property is significant. The parties can execute an agreement regarding property division prior to or during the marriage that will generally control upon termination of the marriage. Both New York and New Jersey have statutes and adjudicative principles regarding property division. This article will provide a brief introduction to the complicated subject of property division. It is in no way intended to be comprehensive, and each case presents its own specific circumstances.

Property Division in New York

New York Law recognizes two different types of property with regard to divorce proceedings.

NY Dom. Rel. L. sec. 236 (2016) distinguishes "marital property" and "separate property" for purpose of divorce. Marital property means all property acquired by one or both parties during the marriage and before the execution of a separation agreement or the commencement of a matrimonial action. Marital property is subject to distribution in a divorce. "Separate property" encompasses property that is not subject to division. Separate property includes property acquired before marriage, property acquired by bequest, devise, or descent, property that is a gift from someone other than the spouse, compensation for personal injuries, property acquired in exchange for or the increase in value of separate property (except insofar as the appreciation of value is due to the contributions or efforts of the other spouse), and property described as separate property by written agreement of the parties.

Valid written agreements entered into prior to or during the marriage are enforceable with regard to property division. In cases without an agreement between the parties, property will be distributed under the principle of "equitable distribution."  This does not mean that the property will be divided equally, but rather "equitably" in light of the following factors:

  1. The income and property of each party at the time of marriage, and at the time of the commencement of the action;
  2. The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;
  3. The need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects;
  4. The loss of inheritance and pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage as of the date of dissolution;
  5. The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage;
  6. Any award of maintenance [under New York law];
  7. Any equitable claim to, interest in, or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of any such marital property by the party not having title...;
  8. The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property;
  9. The possible future financial circumstances of each party;
  10. The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component asset or any interest in a business, corporation[,] or profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;
  11. The tax consequences to each party;
  12. The wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse;
  13. Any transfer or encumbrance made by either party in contemplation of dissolution of the marriage; and
  14. Any other factor deemed relevant by the court.

The statute gives the court the discretion to find that equitable distribution is inappropriate or would be impractical or burdensome in a given case. This could be relevant in cases where the major assets at issue cannot be practically divided. The court may have discretion in the latter cases to order a distributive award to achieve equity between the parties.

Property Division in New Jersey

Like New York, New Jersey also uses the principle of equitable distribution for property division. Furthermore, New Jersey makes a similar distinction between “marital property” and “separate property” as New York does. Under NJ Rev Stat sec 2A:34-23.1 (2016), judges are required to consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors in determining equitable distribution in a given case (note that all references to “marriage” include “civil unions”):

  1. The duration of the marriage;
  2. The age and physical and emotional health of the parties;
  3. The income or property brought to the marriage by each party;
  4. The standard of living established during the marriage;
  5. Any written agreement made before or during the marriage regarding property distribution;
  6. The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property becomes effective;
  7. The income and earning capacity of each party, including educational background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage;
  8. The contribution by each party to the education, training, or earning power of the other;
  9. The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property, or the property acquired during the civil union as well as the contribution of a party as a homemaker;
  10. The tax consequences of the proposed equitable distribution to each party;
  11. The present value of the property;
  12. The need of the parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence or residence ... and to use or own the household effects;
  13. The debts and liabilities of the parties;
  14. The need for creation,  now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse ... or children;
  15. The extent to which one party deferred to the other in achieving [his or her]  career goals; and
  16. Any other factors deemed to be relevant by the court.

Interestingly, agreements are to be considered under the list of New Jersey equitable distribution factors.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that both New York and New Jersey have detailed criteria regarding their equitable distribution laws and the distinction between “marital” and “separate” property, property division is often one of the most complicated aspects of a divorce. The experienced family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, stand ready to assist clients with property division. Our attorneys can review agreements reached prior to or during a marriage or can protect the interests of their clients during divorce mediation or divorce proceedings. Our attorneys are always ready to help ensure a just and fair settlement of property by agreement, by mediation, or by judicial determination.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Child Custody

Child Custody


Child Custody

One of the most important, and often the most contentious, issues that may arise during divorce negotiations or proceedings is that of child custody. Child custody can be negotiated through mediation or determined by a judge in the course of divorce or separation proceedings. Whether through proceedings or through an agreement, there may be a variety of custody arrangements from one parent having sole custody, both parents sharing joint custody, or any other arrangement that is found to be in the best interests of the child. In most cases, a parent who is not granted joint or sole physical custody of the child will still be able to seek visitation rights. It is crucial for a parent who is facing divorce to consult immediately with an experienced family law attorney for guidance on how to protect his or her interests as a parent in the course of divorce mediation or divorce proceedings.  In this article, we will provide a brief overview of some of the significant child custody provisions in New York and New Jersey.

Child Custody and Visitation in New York

Under New York law, “custody” has two components. First there is the concept of “legal custody.” A parent with legal custody has the right to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. The second concept is “physical custody.” A parent with physical custody has actual day-to-day physical care and control of a child under the age of 18.

A parent may petition for custody in Family Court, or the issue may be decided in divorce proceedings before an order of divorce is granted. Neither parent is presumed to have a greater right to custody of the child before an assessment of the facts of the case. Under NY Dom Rel L sec. 240 (2016), judges must consider the “best interests of the child” in determining custody and visitation. The statutes provide a detailed list of factors that must be considered in child custody cases. The website for the New York State Unified Court System provides a condensed summary of factors considered by courts in determining custody and visitation (paraphrased):

  • Which parent has been the main care giver/nurturer of the child;
  • The parenting skills of each parent and the ability of each parent to provide for the child's special needs (when applicable);
  • The mental and physical health of each parent;
  • Any instances of domestic violence (when applicable);
  • The work schedules and care plans of each parent;
  • The child's relationship with the rest of his or her family;
  • The wishes of the child (depending on the age of the child); and
  • Each parent's ability to cooperate with the other parent and encourage a relationship between the child and the other apparent (absent safety concerns).

The above list of factors is non-exhaustive, and courts may consider other relevant factors in making decisions in child custody cases.  Any instances of domestic violence or other safety concerns will weigh heavily in determining the "best interests of the child" in a given case.  The New York Unified Court System makes clear that the paramount concerns in decisions are the "child's health and safety."

Before issuing a temporary or permanent custody or visitation order, the court is required to review all related decisions in court proceedings in family court (if applicable) before issuing an order. In the event a situation requires expeditious action to serve the best interest of the child, the court may issue a temporary emergency order for custody or visitation.

Child Custody and Visitation in New Jersey

Under NJ Rev Stat sec. 9:2-4 (2016), the public policy of New Jersey is to assure that parents share parental responsibility after separation or divorce. However, under section 9:2-4A, “the best interest of the child” is a primary consideration “notwithstanding any provisions of the law to the contrary.” Courts may decide on joint custody, sole custody (with appropriate parenting time for the non-custodial parent), or any other custody arrangement that is determined to be in the best interests of the child. The statute lists the following non-exhaustive list of factors that courts must consider, where applicable, in making a custody determination:

  • The parents’ ability to agree, communicate, and cooperate regarding the child;
  • The parents’ willingness to accept custody and history of unwillingness to allow parenting time not based on substantiated abuse;
  • The interaction and relationship of the child with [his or her] parents and siblings;
  • The history of domestic violence, if any;
  • The safety of the child and the safety of either parent from physical abuse from the other parent;
  • The preference of the child when of sufficient age and capacity to reason as to form an intelligent decision;
  • The needs of the child;
  • The stability of home environment offered;
  • The quality and continuity of the child’s education;
  • The fitness of parents;
  • The geographical proximity of the parents’ homes;
  • The extent and quality of time spent by each parent with the child prior to or subsequent to the separation;
  • The parents’ employment responsibilities; and
  • The age and number of children.

The court will not determine a parent to be "unfit" unless his or her conduct has a "substantial adverse effect on the child."  Certain sexual assault or contact convictions specified in section 9.2:4-1 preclude a parent from being awarded custody.

If the parents reach a custody arrangement, the court will order the arrangement unless it determines that the arrangement is contrary to the best interests of the child.

If the parents do not agree on an arrangement, the court may require each parent to submit a custody plan to be considered in making a determination.

The court may appoint a guardian or an attorney to represent the best interests of the child.

How We Can Help

This article provides a brief overview of some issues that may come up in child custody determinations. At the Law Office of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, we understand the difficult issues that child custody presents in divorces and separations. Our expert attorneys can help clients with all aspects of child custody issues in case-specific contexts in New Jersey and New York.

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Spousal Support


Spousal Support

Spousal support, or alimony, is the regular payment by one party in a divorce to another to provide financial support during or after a divorce or separation process and/or after a divorce is completed. The amount of spousal support may be an issue that is agreed upon by the parties in negotiations. If the parties do not agree and the divorce is contested, a court may order spousal support if it sees fit depending on the specific facts of the case. In this article, we will provide a very brief overview of alimony in New York and New Jersey.

Alimony in New York

The main statutes concerning alimony in New York are found in NY Dom. Rel. L. sec. 236 (2016).

New York law provides for "temporary maintenance" payments during divorce proceedings. Temporary maintenance terminates upon the culmination of the proceedings. The parties may reach their own agreement regarding temporary maintenance.  However, if no such agreement is reached, the court may order temporary maintenance to be paid by the party with higher income to the party with lower income. The New York Courts website maintains a “Temporary Maintenance Online Calculator” which is based on the temporary maintenance factors outlined in statute.  These formulas are designed to prevent the payer from falling below an income level at which he or she can sustain him or herself.

New York's statutes also provide for post-divorce maintenance. payments. Alimony to be paid after a divorce is finalized can either be negotiated by the parties or ordered by a court based on the formulas in the New York statutes. In some cases, alimony may be paid as a single sum payment. "Maintenance" is defined as an agreed upon payment schedule, or a court-ordered payment schedule, where support is "paid at fixed intervals for a definite or indefinite payment of time..."

Post-divorce maintenance is calculated before child support is calculated. It is important to note that notwithstanding divorce maintenance factors, the amount of maintenance awarded cannot reduce the payer's income below the self-support reserve for a single person. Where a court orders maintenance, the duration of such maintenance will generally depend on the length of the marriage.

Courts have discretion to deviate from the post-divorce maintenance guidelines based on several factors.  These factors are listed in statute and paraphrased here:

  • The age and health of the parties;
  • The present or future earning capacity of the parties;
  • The need of one party to incur training or education expenses;
  • The termination of a child support award before the termination of the maintenance award when the calculation of maintenance was based on child support being awarded which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been...;
  • The wasteful dissipation of marital property;
  • The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or post-divorce separate household;
  • Acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment;
  • The availability or cost of medical insurance for the parties;
  • The care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party's earning capacity;
  • The tax consequences to each party;
  • The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  • The reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage;
  • The equitable distribution of marital property and the income or imputed income on the assets so distributed;
  • The contributions and services of the payee as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker to the career potential of the other party;
  • Any other relevant factors.

Post-divorce maintenance ceases upon the death of either party or the remarriage of the receiving party. It can, in some cases, be modified.

Alimony in New Jersey

The main New Jersey statute involving alimony is NJ Rev Stat sec. 2A:34-23 (2016).

The provision sets forth four types of alimony: open durational alimony; rehabilitative alimony; limited duration alimony; or reimbursement alimony. In considering which type of alimony to award, New Jersey courts must consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors:

  • The actual need and ability of the parties to pay;
  • The duration of the marriage or civil union;
  • The age [and the] physical and emotional health of the parties;
  • The standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other;
  • The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties;
  • The length of absence from the job market of the party seeking maintenance;
  • The parental responsibilities for the children;
  • The time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment, the availability of the training and employment, and the opportunity for future acquisitions of capital assets and income;
  • The history of financial or non-financial contributions to the marriage or civil union by each party...;
  • The equitable distribution of property ordered and any payouts on equitable distribution, directly or indirectly, out of current income...;
  • The income available to either party through investments of any assets held by that party;
  • The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award...;
  • The nature, amount, and length of any pendite lite support paid, if any; and
  • Any other factors which the court may deem relevant.

Barring "exceptional circumstances," for cases in New Jersey involving marriages or civil unions that lasted less than 20 years, the duration of alimony will not exceed the length of the marriage or civil union. "Exceptional circumstances" are defined in statute.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded based upon a rehabilitation plan of the payee and may be modified.  Reimbursement alimony may be awarded "under circumstances in which one party supported the other through an advanced education, anticipating participation in the fruits of the earning capacity generated by that education" and may not be modified under any circumstances. Other types of alimony may be subsequently modified based on specified factors. Alimony will generally terminate upon death, re-marriage, or (in most cases) the retirement of the obligor.

How We Can Help

Alimony can often be one of the most contentious issues in a divorce, especially where there exists a significant difference in income between the parties. At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, our expert family law attorneys have extensive experience both in representing clients in mediation and in contested divorce proceedings before a judge. An experienced family law attorney can ensure that the rights and interests of a party regarding alimony and other issues arising in a divorce are protected. Please remember that is article is only a summary of major alimony provisions in New York and New Jersey, and each case will require a fact-specific inquiry in light of all of the laws and regulations of the state in question.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Child Support

Child Support

In divorces where children are involved, child support may emerge as significant issue. Child support may be negotiated and agreed upon by the parties in divorce mediations or may be determined and ordered by a judge in contested divorce proceedings. Child support generally involves the non-custodial parent of a child making negotiated or court ordered payments to the custodial parent. Both New York and New Jersey have similar systems for calculating child support obligations.  In this article, we will briefly examine a sampling of the significant child support provisions in New York and New Jersey.

Child Support in New York

The major statutes regarding child support in New York are found in NY Dom Rel L sec. 240 (2016). The NY statutes define child support as money paid by one or both parents under a court order or under a valid agreement between the parties. If an agreement stipulates a child support amount that deviates from the payer's basic child support obligation under New York law, "the agreement or stipulation must specify the amount that such basic child support obligation would have been and the reason or reasons that such agreement or stipulation does not provide for payment of that amount..." New York law has specific formulas for calculating the basic child support obligation based on an income shares model which takes into account the incomes of both parents and apportions from that a percentage of the income from the non-custodial parent. The New York rules are designed to ensure that child support does not place one party below the federal poverty level.

Courts may deviate from the basic child support obligation for the non-custodial parent based on the following factors (paraphrased):

  1. The financial resources of the parents and those of the child;
  2. The physical and emotional health of the child and his or her special needs;
  3. The standard of living that the child would have had if the marriage or household had not been dissolved;
  4. The tax consequences to the parties;
  5. The non-monetary contributions that the parties will make toward the well-being of the child;
  6. The educational needs of either parent;
  7. The determination that the gross income of one parent is substantially less than the other parent’s;
  8. The needs of the children of the non-custodial parent who are not subject to the child support action in question;
  9. The financial resources of any person obligated to support the children;
  10. Provided that the child is not on public assistance, extraordinary expenses incurred by the non-custodial parent in exercising visitation; and
  11. Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

It is important to note that spousal support and child support are distinct concepts, but may both be considered in determining the payees financial needs.

Child Support in New Jersey

New Jersey's formulas for determining child support are similar to those in New York. The New Jersey Rules of the Court set the standard that New Jersey will use the “Income Shares Approach” to apportioning child rearing expenses. This approach is used because New Jersey State law presumes that both parents are responsible for the care of the children. Accordingly, the amount of child support depends on a formula involving the combined income of both parents and the income of the payee. When there is one custodial parent and one non-custodial parent, the approach will be used to ensure that the non-custodial parent makes the requisite contribution to the expenses involved in raising the child. The child support orders may be adjusted pending new evidence.

Under NJ Rev Stat sec. 2A:34-23 (2016), a court must consider the following factors in determining how much child support is appropriate in divorce proceedings or whether to modify such support (paraphrased):

  1. The needs of the child;
  2. The standard and living and circumstances of each parent;
  3. The sources of income of each parent;
  4. The earning ability of each parent;
  5. The need and capacity of the child for education, including higher education;
  6. The age and health of the child and of each parent;
  7. The income, assets, and earning ability of the child;
  8. The responsibility of the parents for the court-ordered support of others;
  9. The reasonable debts and liabilities of each parent; and
  10. Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.

The statute notes that child support obligations may not necessarily cease merely on account of the child’s age if the child suffers from severe mental or physical incapacity that hinders his or her ability to be independent.

The New Jersey Rules of the Court state that where the parties reach an agreement on child support payments that diverges from the New Jersey formulas, the agreement must state what the child support obligation would be under New Jersey rules and why the amount in the agreement differs from that amount.

Conclusion

Child support is one of many complicated issues that may arise in divorce mediation or proceedings where the parties have children. In some cases, the amount of child support may be identical to the amounts stipulated in the New York and New Jersey formulas. In all cases, the experienced family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal stand ready to assist clients in matters involving child support and other complicated issues that may arise during the divorce process.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Contested Divorce

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce occurs when one party in the proceeding opposes a divorce action. This can mean that one part does not want to get a divorce, disagrees on the grounds of divorce, or disagrees on important issues in a divorce such as child custody, the allocation of property/assets, or post-divorce support.

A contested divorce can be a lengthy and – sometimes – contentious process. Divorces are civil matters and a contested divorce may be resolved by a judge under the laws of the state in which it occurs. For example, the New York Courts System advises that a contested divorce will require the parties to go to Supreme Court “numerous times.” NJ Court Rule 5:1-4 explains that the length of time that it may take for a contested divorce to be resolved will depend upon the issues presented. Certain matters may be placed on the “standard” track, whereas more complicated cases may be placed on the “Complex Track” and take longer. Cases that involve custody or parenting-time issues may be placed on the “Priority Track” for expeditious adjudication of these issues in the best interest of the child(ren).

In short, a contested divorce is a lawsuit. It will involve pleadings, discovery motions, and potentially a trial before a judge (and in some cases, a jury). It is extremely important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney if a divorce is contested, both to ensure that one’s interests are protected and that every avenue is explored for a potentially amicable solution (if appropriate). Judges will make child custody determination, and either party can request that a judge make a determination on select other matters at issue in the divorce (such as property division or spousal support).

In certain cases, it may be possible for the parties to reach a resolution without going to trial. This can be accomplished through the parties coming to an agreement, whether through an informal process or through formal mediation. Experienced family law attorneys may be able to help the parties see if there is a way to resolve the issues involved in the divorce without having to go through complex divorce proceedings. However, certain cases may not be amenable to such a resolution. Such cases may include those where one party is unwilling to negotiate, where the sides are too far apart on key issues, or situations where domestic violence is involved.

The experienced family law and divorce attorneys at The Law Office of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, are experts in handling all aspects of divorce proceedings – contested or uncontested – in New York and New Jersey. Our attorneys always seek the best solution for clients, whether through a negotiated agreement or defending the interests of clients before a judge in a divorce trial. Every contested divorce case is unique, and may vary in complexity depending the number of disputed points, children, and assets at issue.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce results when the parties involved in a divorce agree on all of the pertinent issues without the need of a trial, and the decree of divorce is entered by the court based upon the agreed upon uncontested terms. The issues requiring agreement may include, but are not limited to: the division of property and assets; spousal support and child support; and child custody. The parties may reach such an agreement at the beginning of the process, through mediation, or at any time before a judge issues a final decision following a trial. Where practicable and where the parties can agree to fair terms, an uncontested divorce may save both sides money and the prospect of potentially acrimonious and protracted divorce proceedings.

Even if the divorce is uncontested, both parties must specify  the specific ground of divorce under New York or New Jersey law (whichever is applicable). Both New York and New Jersey maintain similar lists of specified divorce grounds recognized under law.

If a party fails to respond to a divorce summons or complaint or a divorce summons with notice, a judge may issue a default judgment against that party, which will preclude that party from contesting the divorce and the terms specified in the summons, complaint, or summons with notice.

Uncontested Divorce in New York

A divorce in New York may be uncontested if the parties agree on the legal grounds for divorce and reach a settlement of all the issues without judicial proceedings. It is possible to reach such an amicable agreement either at the very start or through ensuing mediation. The most common ground for divorce in uncontested cases is the irreconcilable differences ground. However, the uncontested divorce may be based on any of the legally sufficient grounds.

Uncontested Divorce in New Jersey

Uncontested divorces in New Jersey work similarly to uncontested divorces in New York. The parties may seek an uncontested divorce if they can agree on issues involving property and assets, children, and spousal support. Under the NJ Court Rule 5:1-4, an uncontested divorce where the parties have reached an agreement and where the parties were married for less than five years may be placed on the expedited track. Expedited track cases may be resolved more quickly than other cases.

How We Can Help

An uncontested divorce is not possible or necessarily advisable in every case. However, in less complex divorce matters or in any divorce matter where the parties are willing to negotiate and are open to making fair compromises to reach an agreement, an uncontested divorce may save both sides time and money in moving on to the next phase of their lives. Agreements are generally easier to reach in cases where the parties do not have significant assets to divide, large disparities in income, and/or children. However, it is possible for negotiations to bridge the gaps in more complicated cases provided that both parties desire to reach a settlement.

At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, we pride ourselves in offering the best legal representation at a reasonable price for parties seeking uncontested divorces in New York or New Jersey. We are committed to ensuring that the rights and interests of our clients are protected. Furthermore, we also stand ready to help parties who hope to avoid a protracted contested divorce process through divorce mediation.

We offer a variety of New York and New Jersey uncontested divorce packages on site.  To learn more, please see our "Pricing" section:

https://divorcesus.com/pricing/

Home  >>  Services  >>  Mediation

Mediation


Mediation

Through mediation, the parties may come to an agreement on how to resolve contentious issues relating to a divorce without having to go to trial. Mediation may be appropriate in cases where there is enough common ground between the parties to resolve the issues without a judge. Furthermore, pursuing a divorce agreement through mediation may lead to a more amicable settlement than what would be possible in court proceedings. However, mediation may not be possible in every case. In cases where the parties are too far apart, where one party is unwilling to negotiate, or where there has been domestic violence, divorce mediation may not be a viable option.

If you decide to retain an attorney for divorce mediation, his or her role will be different than in adversarial proceedings before a court. The job of the attorney in divorce mediation is to represent you in working with the other party to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides on all of the issues related to divorce, while ensuring that your rights and interests are protected. An expert family law attorney can be an indispensable asset in the mediation setting with his or her experience and knowledge of the relevant state laws. For example, an experienced family law attorney will be able to assist clients in achieving, among other things, an equitable division of assets, mutually agreeable child custody terms, and appropriate child and spousal support payments, all while taking into account your best interests in light of the financial and other relevant implications of the sensitive issues being discussed in the mediated dissolution of the marriage.

At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, our experienced family law attorneys have the skills and temperament necessary to assist clients in New York and New Jersey in the mediation context. We take pride in helping clients resolve their differences through divorce mediation where possible, and by effect helping them and their families avoid potentially protracted and expensive divorce proceedings before a judge. Our attorneys are always enthusiastic about being able to help parties come to a fair resolution in mediation and, in so doing, avoid protracted contentious proceedings in court.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Adoption


Adoption

Choosing to adopt a child is a life-changing decision both for the adoptive parents and the adopted child. However, the process for adoption is not necessarily straightforward, and prospective adoptive parents must go through the proper procedures in order to complete an adoption. Here, we will provide a brief overview of adoptions in New York and New Jersey along with information about how the experienced family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC can help guide parents through the adoption process. This article is not intended to be in any way comprehensive, and individuals with case-specific questions should schedule a case-specific consultation.

Adoption in New York

Under New York law, unmarried adults, married adults, and unmarried adults who are living together may adopt a child. Two adults living together who seek to adopt a child may be of the same sex or different sexes. A person who is married but living separate and apart from his or her spouse under a separation decree, judgment, or divorce may adopt a child. Finally, an adult married person who has been living separate and apart from his or her spouse for at least three years may seek to adopt a child. It is worth noting that an adoption may not be denied on grounds of race; religion; fertility; gender preference; marital status; income; employment; or education.

New York state law recognizes two distinct adoption procedures for adoptions that take place in New York State.

First, there is the “agency adoption” process. In this process, an agency authorized by New York places a child in a home for adoption. To adopt a child under this process, the prospective parent(s) must work with an approved adoption agency. The agency will be required to screen prospective parent(s) to ensure that the child will be placed in a safe and suitable home environment. In order to commence the agency adoption process, the prospective parent(s) must file an application in court. After filing for adoption, parent(s) will be required to undergo what is called a “home study process.” The adoption agency will be required to assess the suitability of the prospective parent(s) to care for the specific child. Adoption proceedings require the submission to the court of extensive documentation establishing the suitability of the parent(s) and the eligibility of the child to be adopted. For this reason, adoptive parents are strongly advised to retain an experienced adoption attorney for guidance through the process.

The second process is called the “private placement” process. Under this process, the child is put up for adoption by his or her birth parent(s) rather than by an authorized adoption agency. Accordingly, the prospective adoptive parent(s) must enter into an agreement with the birth parent(s). Parent(s) seeking to adopt a child through private placement will be required to obtain certification as qualified adoptive parents from a court of competent jurisdiction under New York law. The issues considered by the court for certification are similar to those considered in the agency adoption process. Also similarly, the adoption must be approved through adoption proceedings in court.

In order to adopt a child who resides in the United States but not in New York state, prospective parent(s) will first have to obtain permission for the child to be moved in accordance with the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).

Adoptions in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a single adult, married adults, or adults in a domestic partnership or civil union may adopt a child.

Similar to New York, children in New Jersey may be adopted privately or through an approved adoption agency. If the prospective parent(s) are seeking to adopt from an approved agency, they will, as they would in New York, be required to undergo a home study. If the adoption agency determines that the prospective parent(s) are suitable, it may, in its discretion, attempt to match the parent(s) with a child who the agency believes would be a good fit in the home. Once a pairing is settled upon, New Jersey law requires that the child must reside with the prospective adoptive parent(s) for six months before they may file what is called a “complaint for adoption” with the court. The agency must also consent to this application. The court reviews the qualifications of the parents, the situation of the child, and renders a decision based on the agency’s report and whether the adoption would promote the best interests of the child.

With regard to private adoptions, prospective parents are permitted to pay or reimburse the birth parent for medical, hospital, counseling, or other similar expenses in connection with the birth or any illness of the child, or any reasonable living expenses of the mother during her pregnancy. However, these payments may not continue beyond four weeks after the termination of the pregnancy by birth or otherwise. A prospective adoptive parent is well advised to consult with an experienced family law attorney for guidance on the rules surrounding such reimbursement.

As is the case in New York, a parent in New Jersey seeking to adopt a child from out of state must first obtain permission for the child to move through the ICPC.

Conclusion

At the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, our attorneys understand how special providing an adoptive child with a loving home is, and we are ready to provide our expertise to help parents through the process. It is highly recommended that prospective adoptive parent consult with a family law attorney early in the adoption process.

Please note that the experienced family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, are also experts in all areas of immigration law, including international adoption. For those who are interested in learning about international adoption, please the website of the immigration law division of The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC.

You may start with our section devoted to international adoption:

http://myattorneyusa.com/international_adoption

Home  >>  Services  >>  Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence


Divorce and Domestic Violence

There is no more urgent cause for divorce or legal separation than domestic violence and/or abusive conduct by one partner of the marriage toward his or her spouse and/or child(ren). The experienced family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC stand ready to offer their expert counsel and compassion to a client who has suffered domestic violence in his or her marriage and who is dealing with the fallout from the violence and abuse in his or her divorce proceedings.

New York and New Jersey Divorce Grounds Involving Domestic Violence

Both the New York and New Jersey State divorce laws include domestic violence against a spouse as a legal ground for divorce.

New York State law defines “cruel and inhuman” treatment of the plaintiff by the defendant as a ground for divorce. In order to satisfy the statute, the cruel and inhuman treatment must endanger the plaintiff’s “physical or mental well-being” such that it renders it unsafe or improper for the plaintiff to continue cohabiting with the defendant. NY Dom Rel L sec. 170 (2016).

New Jersey State law includes conduct constituting “extreme cruelty” towards the plaintiff by the defendant as a ground for divorce. The statutory definition includes both “physical and mental cruelty,” which must either endanger the safety or health of the plaintiff or make it improper or unreasonable to expect the plaintiff to continue to cohabit with the defendant.  NJ Rev Stat sec. 2A:34-2 (2016). New Jersey also includes as a divorce ground “deviant sexual conduct” performed by the defendant without the consent of the plaintiff..

Other Family Law Concerns Involving Domestic Violence

Before pursuing divorce, it is crucial for a victim of domestic violence to ensure his or her safety. An experienced attorney will be able to guide the domestic violence victim in obtaining potentially necessary forms of relief, such as an order of protection. In proceedings, an attorney can help ensure that the victim’s address and personal information will be kept from his or her abuser.

Indeed, domestic violence often complicates divorce actions in that the circumstances of abuse and cruelty may make it impossible to resolve issues through out-of-court mediation rather than through formal court proceeding. In such cases, an experienced attorney can help the victim defend his or her safety and future in court.

If a party to divorce proceedings presents evidence that he or she was the victim of domestic violence, many aspects of the ultimate resolution of the divorce petition can be affected. This may be true even if the domestic violence is not the ground upon which the divorce is based. The following is a non-exhaustive list of matters that may be affected by allegations or evidence of spousal domestic violence or cruelty:

  • Child custody/visitation determinations (evidence of domestic violence against either the parent or child will be considered in custody and visitation determinations);
  • Child support;
  • Alimony/spousal support (e.g., NY Dom Rel L sec. 236 (2016) provides that domestic violence will be considered in any temporary maintenance determination insofar as the domestic violence inhibited or continues to inhibit the victim’s capacity to gain employment);
  • Allocation of marital assets.

Other unique issues may also arise depending on the facts and the state. For example, in New Jersey, divorced couples with children are generally required to undergo a “Parent’s Education program” in order to promote cooperation between divorced parents with regard to child rearing. NJ Rev Stat sec. 2A:34-12.3 (2016). However, the statute recognizes that the “cooperation may sometimes be inappropriate in cases of domestic violence.”

Conclusion

There are no more serious family law cases than those involving domestic violence. At The Law Office of Grinberg and Segal, PLLC, we are committed to representing those who are most in need. The facts of each case are unique, and it is crucial for a victim of domestic violence to have his or her interests and safety protected in family law proceedings. We would like to remind readers that we also represent clients in complex immigration matters nationwide. Those who are interested in forms of immigration relief for domestic violence victims may consult the relevant section of the website for our immigration law division.

Home  >>  Services  >>  Consultation

Consultation


Consultation

The experienced family law attorneys of The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, offer reasonably priced family law consultations for clients with New York and New Jersey family law questions. You may consider scheduling a consultation with us if you are looking for professional legal advice on case-specific family law matters.

We offer consultations over the telephone, in person, and online using Skype. Depending on your case, you may purchase one of our two types of consultations.

First, we offer a 15-minute uncontested divorce consultation for $49. The uncontested divorce consultation is intended to provide professional legal advice on case-specific uncontested divorce questions and give a client an idea of how he or she should proceed.

Second, we offer a 45-minute general New York/New Jersey family law consultation for $160. This consultation is for general family-law questions. Our experienced attorneys have found that 45 minutes is sufficient for providing a detailed, case-specific consultation that will give a client the information that he or she needs to decide how to proceed in a specific case.

In order to request a consultation, please go to our online consultation field, select your consultation, and begin answering a few short questions so that we can learn about you and your case. Before you begin, it is important for you to know that we are bound to preserve the complete confidentiality of all information that you provide to us on the consultation form and in your consultation. We will never share your information with a third party. The information you provide will be used solely to help ensure that we have enough information to be prepared to offer you the best consultation. Accordingly, please make sure to fill out every required field on the consultation form accurately and completely.

In order to make a payment, you must use the secure payment portal found on our “Make a Payment” page. We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover. You must complete the payment information in order to schedule your consultation.

Once we receive your completed request for a consultation, one of our experienced family law attorneys will contact you in the manner you prefer, by telephone, Skype, or email, to schedule your consultation.

Please note that our divorce attorneys only handle family law cases in New York and New Jersey.

If you have a you need professional legal advice on a case-specific question regarding U.S. immigration law, please consider scheduling an  immigration consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys over at our immigration website:

https://myattorneyusa.com/online-consultation

Home  >>  Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.
When Can an Action for Divorce be Brought in New Jersey?
A.
The statutes outlining when an action for divorce can be brought in New Jersey are found in NJ Rev Stat sec. 2A:34-8, 9, and 10. In order for New Jersey courts to have jurisdiction over a divorce or legal separation action, either party must be a bona fide resident of New Jersey at the time of the commencement of the action. Alternatively, New Jersey also has jurisdiction where either party becomes a resident of New Jersey at least “1 year next preceding the commencement of the action” and has continued thereafter to be a bona fide resident of New Jersey. Process must be served upon the defendant in accordance with New Jersey rules. Under New Jersey law, no action for absolute divorce can be commenced for any cause other than adultery unless one of the parties has been a resident of New Jersey for one year preceding the commencement of the action and is a bona fide resident of New Jersey. Please note that these provisions also apply to actions for dissolution of a civil union, legal separation from a civil union, and divorce from bed and board.
Q.
What are the Benefits of Making an Account on the Divorceus Platform?
A.
When you make an account with us, you will be able to contact us with immigration questions, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced New York and New Jersey family law attorneys, or begin the process of having our expert attorneys represent you. Your information is safe with us, and we will never share it with third parties. To stay up to date, consider signing up separately for our email newsletters.
Q.
What Can a Family Law Attorney Do For You?
A.
An experienced family law attorney can ensure that his or her client’s rights and interests are protected in a variety of family law matters. At The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, we offer a full range of New York and New Jersey family law services, including legal representation for divorces (contested and uncontested), divorce mediation, agreements, document review, adoptions, and seeking orders of protection (New York)/restraining orders (New Jersey). Please see our article on _what a family law attorney can do for you_. __
Q.
Where Do Our Family Law Attorneys Help Clients?
A.
The family law division of The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, represents clients in divorce cases and other family law matters in New York and New Jersey. Please see our services section to learn about all of the different areas in which our expert New York/New Jersey family law attorneys can help their clients. In each section, we provide a general primer about the issue.
Q.
What About Your Immigration Services?
A.
The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, is known throughout the United States for its accomplishments in immigration law. Our expert immigration attorneys represent clients in all 50 states and U.S. consulates around the world. To learn about our immigration services, please see the website for our _[immigration law division](http://myattorneyusa.com)_. In certain cases where an individual requires legal representation in both the U.S. immigration and New York or New Jersey family law contexts, we may be able to offer plans to represent the individual on both fronts. Please contact us for more information.
Q.
What are Our Adoption Services?
A.
The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, offer a full range of family law services to clients in New York and New Jersey, and our attorneys take pride in helping New York and New Jersey families complete the adoption process under applicable state and international laws. There is nothing more special than adding a member to one’s family, and adoption is one area where an experienced family law attorney can be of the greatest assistance. For assistance involving international adoption across the United States, please see the _[international adoption](http://myattorneyusa.com /international-adoption)_ section of our immigration website.
Q.
What Issues May Arise in a Divorce?
A.
Divorces can vary greatly in complexity depending on the issues involved. Divorces may be relatively straight-forward in cases where the parties agree or where there are few assets to divide and no child custody issues. Divorces can be extremely complicated in cases where there are significant assets to divide, where there are child custody issues, or where there are questions as to spousal support and/or child support. We are experienced in helping clients navigate the divorce process from the most straight-forward uncontested divorces to the most complicated contested divorces. Please see our _[Services](https://divorcesus.com/services/)_ section to learn more about the variety of issues that can arise in New York and New Jersey divorces.
Q.
When Can an Action for Divorce be Brought in New York?
A.
NY Dom Rel L sec. 230 (2016) outlines the cases in which an action for divorce or separation can be brought in New York. The situations are as follows: 1. The parties were married in New York and one of the parties is a resident of New York and has resided in New York for at least one year preceding the commencement of the action; 2. The parties resided in New York as husband and wife and one of the parties is a resident of New York and has resided in New York for at least one year preceding the commencement of the action; 3. The cause or ground for the divorce occurred in New York and either party has been a resident of New York for a period of at least one year preceding the commencement of the action; 4. The cause or ground for the divorce occurred in New York and both parties are residents of New York at the time of the commencement of the action; and 5. Either party has been a resident of New York for at least two years preceding the commencement of the action. This statute only refers to when New York has jurisdiction over a divorce or separation action. Please note that the action must be properly commenced in accord with New York law and must based upon one or more grounds for divorce specified in New York law. This section also applies to actions in New York to annul a marriage or declare as null a void marriage.
Q.
How do the Consultation and Ask a Question Features Work?
A.
We offer very reasonably priced consultations with our expert New York/New Jersey family law attorneys. In a consultation, one of our attorneys will assess your situation and provide you with case-specific advice on the issues presented and your different options for moving forward. Those who need legal guidance regarding a specific case should consider scheduling a consultation with us today. Please see our _introduction to consultations_ and our _consultation form_ to learn more. If you have a more quick legal question, you may ask us by using the convenient _Ask a Question_ feature. Here, we will provide general legal answers about New York and New Jersey family law and guidance on how we can help you.
Q.
What are Our Domestic Violence Services?
A.
There is no family law matter more serious than one involving domestic violence. Both New York and New Jersey have procedures for the filing of domestic violence criminal complaints and the seeking of orders of protection (NY) or a restraining order (NJ) in criminal and family court. Both states also include domestic violence as a ground for divorce. Our expert family law attorneys have extensive experience handling the most sensitive cases. We have represented domestic violence victims in both the New York/New Jersey family law and U.S. immigration law contexts. We are experienced in representing those who are accused of domestic violence in both of these contexts. Individuals whose family law cases involve domestic violence should consult with an experienced family law attorney. To learn about some of our services for domestic violence cases in the immigration context, please see our _[immigration website](http://myattorneyusa.com)_.
Q.
What is the Difference Between an Uncontested Divorce and a Contested DIvorce?M
A.
An _uncontested divorce_ is divorce where the parties agree on all key issues. Uncontested divorces are most likely in cases where there are limited assets and property at stake. A _contested divorce_ is a divorce where the parties cannot come to an agreement on one or more important issues. In this case, the divorce proceedings go to trial before a judge. There are many benefits to uncontested divorces. In addition to saving the parties time and money, an uncontested divorce may make for a more amicable dissolution of a marriage than a contested divorce. Even if the parties do not agree on all matters initially, mediation may help the parties come to terms on the key issues and thus avoid protracted litigation. However, an uncontested divorce is not appropriate or possible in every case. In some cases, the parties may simply be too far apart to reach an agreement, or one party may not be amenable to engaging in mediation to resolve contested issues. In these cases, contested divorce proceedings may be unavoidable. Our experienced family law attorneys are committed to achieving the best outcome for each and every client. In some cases, this may involve helping client’s complete paperwork for an uncontested divorce or assisting clients reach an agreement through divorce mediation. In other cases, this may involve vigorously representing a client’s interests at trial. No matter the circumstances, our attorneys will always seek to do what is right by their clients. We offer several uncontested divorce packages. Please see our _pricing_ section to learn more.
Q.
What are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New Jersey?
A.
In order for a divorce action to be granted in New Jersey, whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, the divorce must be based on one of nine grounds enumerated in statute. The New Jersey divorce grounds are found in NJ Rev Stat sec. 2A:34-2 (2016): **1. ****Adultery** ; **2. **Willful and continued **desertion** of the plaintiff by the defendant for 12 or more months; **3. ****Extreme cruelty** that occurred at least 3 months before the filing of the divorce (3-month requirement does not apply to counter-claims); **4. ****Separation,** where the couple have lived separate and apart for at least 18 consecutive or more months; **5. **Voluntary induced **addiction or habituation to any narcotic drug** (defined under New Jersey Law) or **habitual drunkenness** for a period of 12 or more months after marriage; **6. ****Institutionalization for mental illness** for a period of 24 or more consecutive months after marriage; **7. ****Imprisonment** of the defendant for a period of 18 or more months (divorce action can only be brought after the defendant’s release and where cohabitation is not resumed); **8. ****Deviant sexual conduct** voluntarily performed by the defendant without the consent of the plaintiff; and **9. ****Irreconcilable differences** that cause the breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months where it appears the marriage is dissolved and that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
Q.
What are the Legal Grounds for Divorce in New York?
A.
Whether a divorce in New York is contested or uncontested, a divorce action must be brought on one of seven grounds enumerated in statute. The New York divorce grounds, listed in NY Dom Rel L sec. 170 (2016), are as follows: 1. **1\. Cruel and inhuman treatment** of plaintiff by the defendant; 2. **Abandonment** of the plaintiff by the defendant for a period of one or more years; 3. The **c** **onfinement** of the defendant in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years; 4. The commission of an act of **adultery** by the defendant; 5. The couple have lived apart in accordance with a **decree or judgment of separation** for a period of one year or more and the plaintiff has followed all terms of the decree or judgment of separation; 6. The couple have lived apart in accordance with a **separation agreement** for a period of one year or more and the plaintiff has followed all the terms and conditions of the agreement; 7. The relationship of the couple has **broken down irretrievably** for a period of six or more months (also known as a "no-fault divorce").

Home  >>  Blog

Title:
Increase in "Gray Divorces"
Posted by:
Wendey Barlow
Erica Lamberg of myCentralJersey published an article about a new book on “gray divorces,” that is, divorces involving couples where at least one of the parties is aged fifty or over. The book, titled “Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits” is authored by Jocelyn Elise Crowley, Ph.D., a professor and researcher at Rutgers University. The article discusses many of Crowley’s research findings regarding “gray divorces.” In the article, we learn that the rate of “gray divorces” has increased sharply in recent years. From 1990-2010, the rate of “gray divorces” doubled, and Read more...
Title:
Our NYC Family Law Attorneys are Expert Immigration Law Attorneys As Well
Posted by:
Wendey Barlow
Our experienced New York and New Jersey family law attorneys represent clients in virtually every area of family law in New York and New Jersey. Please see our “Services” field to learn about all of the areas in which we assist clients in New York and New Jersey. However, The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC, our New York family law lawyers are not only experts in New York and New Jersey family and divorce law, but also in all areas of immigration law, representing clients throughout the United States and abroad. We encourage those who have family law questions pertaining to immigra Read more...
Title:
New Tax Law Eliminates Alimony Deduction Starting for Divorces Finalized in 2019
Posted by:
Eliza Grinberg
On February 15, 2018, Bloomberg Politics published an article titled “Trump’s Tax Law Could Make Divorces More Bitter.” The article explains that, starting in 2019, the new tax law will no longer allow for the deduction of alimony from the payer’s taxable income. In effect, the new rules will apply to divorces that are finalized beginning in 2019. The article suggests that the new rules may prompt some to move to finalize their divorces before the new tax rules kick in. Alimony is not an issue in every divorce matter. However, in many divorce negotiations and divorce proceedings, alimon Read more...
Title:
Cities in New Jersey and New York with Highest Percentage of Divorces
Posted by:
Eliza Grinberg
On January 29, 2018, John Harrington and Cheyenne Buckingham of 24/7 Wall St published the list of the city in each state that has the highest percentage of divorces among individuals aged 15 years and older. The data were compiled from U.S. Census Bureau data. Since we handle uncontested divorces and contested divorces in both New Jersey uncontested divorces and contested divorces and New York uncontested divorces and contested divorces, we will examine their findings for New Jersey and New York. First, the 24/7 Wall Street report found that Crestwood Village, New Jersey, has the highest Read more...
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