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The Law Offices of Alan L. Finkel.

Some basic knowledge about retirement plans should be obtained prior to attempting to negotiate your divorce or legal separation. There are basically two types of retirement plans, true pensions (also known as ‘defined benefit’ plans……..those plans that actually define the monthly benefit to be paid to the plan participant upon retirement), and defined contribution plans (commonly known as a 401k, 403B, 457B and IRA). These defined contribution plans are more similar to bank accounts, and typically require a direct contribution from the participant’s earned income. Pensions used to be quite…Read More

Not with a divorce, only with a legal separation. Unless you are looking to get remarried, a legal separation likely is a wiser choice, especially if staying on a family health insurance policy is an issue. We all know that the medical system in New York can be incredibly expensive or make you subject to inferior medical care. Most of the families who live in Suffolk County are working-class families. Their incomes vary between $80,000 or so to $250,000 per household, for a household of four. That usually means husband…Read More

Certainly not before talking to your spouse in a really hard conversation. Then, not until you try to mediate it. The court system is the last thing you want to engage when issues of your children arise. As parents, work it out. Don’t let someone in a black robe make decisions for you. Don’t force your children to be examined by a lawyer appointed for them by the Court. Don’t take whatever bit of civility there might exist between you and your spouse and ruin even that. Unless emergency circumstances…Read More

A divorce is started by filing a Summons (a court document signed by the party or the attorney for one party), with the county clerk, accompanied by a fee of $210. For fee, (currently $210), you are given an Index Number, which is the same number that stays with the divorce forever, (it is possible that years after the divorce is concluded motions for enforcement, or interpretation of a settlement agreement are brought before the Court). In a contested litigation, if I am retained as an individual litigating attorney, and…Read More

Can Couples Live Together While Legally Separated? Yes. They can also reside in the same house after a divorce is granted. And now more than ever, this has become a more accepted, and sometimes a necessary method to secure the financial future of the family. It is not as common if there are no young children of the marriage, but simple logic dictates that it’s less expensive to run one house than two. However, for those of you who are contemplating such a living arrangement, be very mindful that living…Read More

My wife referred a client to me, after the client’s third attorney was “looking to sell her out” at a four way meeting two years into the matrimonial litigation. This client’s child has a pervasive physical disorder, which required him to spend approximately 1 ½ years of his 7 years hospitalized. But for medicaid, the medical bills would have been well in excess of 1.5 million dollars that was paid to the various medical care providers. I met with the client, felt horrible for her situation, and advised her that…Read More

Confront him or her or ignore it. If you want a divorce, your spouse cheating has nothing to do with getting that divorce in a Court of law. It does, have a lot to do with basic trust and fidelity within a marriage, but I am speaking old school from my personal experience being married almost 40 years. Plus the economic pressure is so great in Suffolk County, many spouses simply ignore it, and hope it will go away. Some spouses will confront the other, challenge them and insist that…Read More