Is A Stay-At-Home Parent Automatically Going To Be Favored In Any Sort Of Custody Arrangement In A Divorce Case? Is The Parent Who Works Outside Of The Home At A Disadvantage, Especially If A High Net Worth Individual Works Long Hours Or Travels?
If the lifestyle establishes a stay-at-home mom and an outside working dad, that couple is quite fortunate, and the likelihood is that the earning spouse is able to adequately provide for the family. But of course, if a stay-at-home mom has been designated to be that by the couple, and that is the life plan, why would a divorce change that now? A judge is always going to look at what the couple agreed to before they became parents. If the decision that the couple made prior to divorce was for one of them to stay home with the kids, that is a very hard burden to overcome and change, unless there are holistic issues like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, negligence, abuse, neglect or other indications of bad behavior. But absent of those issues, it is a difficult road to hoe in changing the status quo. The court is always going to look to maintain the status quo. The status quo is things as they are.
Is A High Net Worth Individual Or The Working Spouse Going To Be Required To Pay Attorney’s Fees For A Non-Working Parent In A Divorce Case Or Through Mediation? Does It Matter Who Initiated The Divorce?
In a litigated case, a high net worth individual or working spouse will almost certainly be required to pay all or a large portion the attorney’s fees. Through mediation, there are no attorney’s fees that the working spouse would have to pay for. It is only the cost of mediation, which is extremely minimal. In high net worth cases, the statute presumptively states that the attorney’s fees get paid by the ‘moneyed’ spouse. However, in Suffolk County, it is rare that all of the attorney’s fees get awarded. But, a portion will almost certainly be awarded. Each judge makes their individual determinations when it comes to these things. The statute presumes legal fees are to be paid by the higher earning spouse, but this issue is decided on a case-by-case basis. The judge is certainly going to look at whether there were frivolous motions made, whether the attorney’s bills were reasonable, and what the need and the affordability is. If the non-working spouse leaves the marriage with $1.5 million of assets, the likelihood is that little, if any of the attorney’s fees, will be paid.
My Spouse Is A High Net Worth Professional Who Handles All Of Our Finances. I’m The Stay-At-Home Parent. If I Want To Hire An Attorney Before Filing For A Divorce Or Going Through Mediation Without My Spouse’s Knowledge, How Do I Go About Doing So? Do You Have Any Experience Advising Clients In Situations Where They Aren’t The Ones Guiding The Finances, In-Charge, Or Overseeing?
I have counseled many clients with many different situations. I am often hired as an advisor without filing a single piece of paper. Once a summons is filed with the Supreme Court, which is what starts a divorce in the state of New York, the summons becomes a matter of public record. Anyone who has access to a computer and the internet can see that a summons has been filed. In a situation in which an individual does not know the entirety of their finances, an attorney can be hired on an advisory basis and consult with the person who handles the financials to get an opinion beforehand as to where the case is going to go. The individual can also keep the attorney on as an advisor with or without any additional professionals, if it can be afforded. The hourly fees of a lawyer multiply every time there is another professional involved because of the necessity of consulting with that professional and the client. It is a good idea to consider becoming familiar with your finances before filing for a divorce. Make copies of bank statements, or get the proper access to your bank statements on the computer. This will save you thousands of dollars and lots of time.
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“individual or as a couple”