Lake Grove, Suffolk County Family Law Attorney
When looking for a divorce lawyer in Lake Grove, New York, call the legal team at Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, PC. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling all types of family law matters including divorce, legal separation, all Family Court litigation, paternity, modifying support orders, and custody cases. We offer free consultation to discuss your situation and advise you of all your legal options.
When starting a new case, we strategize all options including using negotiations or settlement agreements to avoid litigation. Of course, when appropriate, our office is prepared to commence litigation on your behalf in court. Call Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, PC today to set up your first consultation with a Suffolk County divorce lawyer.
Common Family Law Disputes in Lake Grove, NY
Our attorneys at Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, PC handle all family law and divorce matters in New York including:
- Divorce – New York offers both contested and uncontested divorce options for couples seeking to end their marriages. In a contested divorce, couples disagree on one or more issues such as child custody, division of assets, alimony (maintenance), and other important matters. This often leads to legal proceedings and court involvement to resolve these disputes, making the process more time-consuming, emotionally draining, and expensive. On the other hand, an uncontested divorce occurs when both spouses are able to reach an agreement on all relevant issues without the need for contentious court intervention. This streamlined approach generally results in a quicker, less costly, and less emotionally taxing divorce process. Regardless of the type of divorce chosen, seeking legal advice is crucial to navigate the complexities of New York’s divorce laws and ensure a fair and equitable resolution for all parties involved. The state of New York is a “no fault divorce” state meaning that either party will be entitled to a divorce simply based on the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage for a period of six months or more.
- Paternity – Many times, paternity is established at birth, but when it is not, the Family Court can order genetic marker (DNA) testing to determine parentage. Either the mother, father or even the County (in certain circumstances) can file a petition to establish paternity using a DNA test. Similarly, the Family Court has jurisdiction to vacate certain determinations of parenthood although the Courts are generally hesitant to do so.
- Modifications of Child Support – In New York, a child support modification refers to changes made to the court-ordered child support arrangement due to changes in circumstances that impact the financial responsibilities of the parents. Child support orders are initially determined based on factors such as each parent’s income, the number of children, and other relevant considerations. However, situations can change over time, necessitating adjustments to the child support amount. Changes giving rise to modification can include changes in either party’s income, the passage of time, changes in the needs of the child, etc. Child support modifications require the filing of a motion or petition in timely fashion as such modifications are retroactive to the date of filing of the application – not to the date of the change at issue.
- Restraining Orders – in New York, a “Family Offense” refers to a specific category of criminal acts, specified in the Family Court Act. Family offenses under New York law can include, but are not limited to:
- Disorderly conduct
- Harassment (1st and 2nd degrees)
- Aggravated harassment (2nd degree)
- Stalking (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degrees)
- Menacing (2nd and 3rd degrees)
- Reckless endangerment
- Assault (2nd and 3rd degrees) and attempted assault
- Criminal mischief
- Sexual misconduct, sexual abuse (2nd and 3rd degrees), and forcible touching
- Strangulation (1st and 2nd degrees) and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
- Identity theft (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degrees), grand larceny (3rd and 4th degrees), and coercion (1st and 2nd degrees)
This list is not exhaustive, and the exact definitions and elements of each offense can be found in the New York Penal Law. When a Family Offense has been established, the Court can issue an order of protection including a “stay away” order of protection or a “refrain from” order of protection.
- Enforcement and Contempt Motions – Violating a Court order, including a child support order, can result in serious consequences. In such circumstances, a Violation petition can be filed in Family Court or a contempt motion in Supreme Court alleging a violation of the terms of the order. Punishment for violation such orders can include fines, money judgments and even incarceration.
In New York, divorces are heard in Supreme Court. The New York Family Court does not have jurisdiction to hear divorce cases, but, instead, is empowered to hear similar issues that are not being litigated in the contest of a divorce. By way of example, the Family Court can hear child support and custody cases that are not being litigated as part of a divorce action. This means that the Family Court generally has jurisdiction to modify orders of child support or custody after the Supreme Court has entered a Judgment of Divorce. In addition, the Family Court hears matters including adoption, paternity, orders of protection (family offenses), and abuse and neglect matters. Contact a Lake Grove divorce attorney to discuss all of these options.
How to File for Divorce in Suffolk County
A divorce, like any other lawsuit in New York, is commenced by purchasing an Index Number and filing of certain pleadings with the Clerk’s office. After the divorce has been commenced, the Defendant spouse must be served. Generally, personal service of a Defendant is required but at the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, we can assist you if a motion for substitute service is required when a spouse cannot be located or served. After service is completed, the parties may either seek to resolve the case amicably as an uncontested divorce or file the appropriate paperwork to seek a court appearance before a judge.
Lake Grove Divorce and Family Law Resources
Suffolk County divorces are heard at the New York State Supreme Court in Central Islip New York.
Lake Grove Divorce Lawyer, NY – Family Law Firm on Long Island
Our attorneys at Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, PC assist Lake Grove residents with all divorce and family law matters child support, custody, support modifications, orders of contempt, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and any other family law disputes. Our team can utilize our decades of combined experience to fight for your interests and family. Call us today and we can answer any questions you may have about your divorce or other family law dispute.