Matrimonial Law

When Does a Financial Contribution from a Spouse’s Parents Constitute a Loan versus a Gift? The “Gift v. Loan Conundrum” in New York Equitable Distribution Law

When parents of a husband or wife make a significant financial contribution to a married couple, does this contribution constitute a loan or a gift under New York divorce law?  The answer to this question can significantly affect how assets and debts are equitably divided in a divorce.  If a spouse’s parents’ financial contribution is

New York Appellate Court Rules on Wife’s Entitlement to Marital Residence Purchased by Husband Prior to Marriage

Under New York law, property acquired between the date of marriage and the filing for divorce is generally classified as marital. Property owned by one spouse before the marriage is considered that spouse’s separate property. However, there are situations where the lines separating marital from separate property are unclear. Some of the most contentious and

Party Who Accepts Benefits of Marital Settlement Agreement Waives Right to Challenge its Validity: Second Department Weighs In

In its December 10, 2014 decision in Sabowitz v. Sabowitz, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the granting of summary judgment dismissing the husband’s challenge to the validity of the parties’ stipulation in which they settled their divorce action. That award had been made below by Supreme Court, Kings County Justice Eric I. Prus. In

Former Wife’s Polyamorous Relationship Does Not Justify Termination of Former Husband’s Maintenance Obligation

Justice Phillip R. Rumsey of New York’s Cortland County Supreme Court has given the New York matrimonial bar a wonderful Christmas present with his recent decision in the case Hunsinger v. Hunsinger, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op 51633(U). Judge Rumsey describes a cast of characters and salacious shenanigans that are amusing, even by Manhattan standards –

Second Department Appellate Division: If you Need to Take an Appeal, Submit an Adequate Appellate Record or You Will Lose

Matrimonial trials are devastatingly expensive.  Appeals, when necessary, add even more insult to that financial injury.  Yet, if things do not go your way at trial, you may have no choice other than to seek appellate review. At that juncture, there is (for obvious reasons) a desire on the part of many litigants to proceed

CSSA Child Support “Income Cap” Increased as of January 31, 2014

As of January 31, 2014, the combined parental income used for purposes of calculating the presumptive amount of child support amount under New York’s Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) increased from $136,000 to $141,000. This increase was automatically triggered by a provision of New York’s Social Services Law, which requires an increase in the “income

Court Imposes Ultimate New York Child Support Enforcement Remedy: Prison

A New York parent who fails to pay his or her child support obligations faces a long list of potential penalties, including forfeiture of their driver’s license and passport. In truly egregious cases, courts can sentence non-compliant child support obligors to jail. This is precisely what happened to the obligor-father in the case Longman vs.

New York Domestic Violence Law: Testimony of Controlling Behavior

In this blog, I have discussed patterns that the New York divorce lawyers at Rapaport Law Firm have observed during our two decades attorneys for victims of domestic violence in New York and New Jersey. In my earlier post, entitled New York Courts Allow Testimony of Battered Women’s Syndrome, I wrote about the cyclical patterns

Prenuptial Agreements are Alive and Well in New York

Earlier this year, Elizabeth Cioffi-Petrakis won an appeal overturning a bizarre premarital agreement with her millionaire husband. At the time, New York divorce lawyers described the decision as a landmark ruling. The decision garnered widespread attention in the media. Several of New York’s celebrity divorce attorneys suggested that the appellate court’s decision would have the

Domestic Violence Expert Takes Stand on Behalf of Woman Accused of Murder in New Zealand

This week, Jessica Keefe, a New Zealand woman who is on trial for murdering Sean Verma, is presenting testimony by a domestic violence expert about Ms. Keefe’s state of mind at the time of the alleged stabbing. Earlier in the trial, the prosecutor described the relationship between Ms. Keefe and Mr. Verma as having been

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