Posts made in February 2018

How can a marriage be dissolved if a spouse has been missing?

Where your spouse is absent and missing for five years or more, you may bring a special proceeding in Supreme Court to dissolve the marriage. You must prove that your spouse has been absent for five successive years, without being known to be alive; that you believe that your absent spouse is dead; and that you made efforts to discover that he or she is still living, but no evidence proving otherwise was found. After the dissolution becomes final, the reappearance of your absent spouse does not revive your marriage. 

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

Juvenile Delinquency Within New York Courts

WHO IS A JUVENILE DELINQUENT? 

A “juvenile delinquent” is someone at least 7 but under 16 years old who commits an act that would be a crime if committed by an adult and is found to be in need of “supervision, treatment or confinement.” The act committed is a “delinquent act.” Juvenile delinquency cases are heard in Family Court. In Family Court, the accused child is called “the respondent.” The alleged victim is called “the complainant.” 

Children who are 13, 14 or 15 years old who commit certain more serious or violent acts may be treated as adults. These cases are heard in Supreme Court but may sometimes be transferred to the Family Court. If found guilty in the Supreme Court, the young person is called a “juvenile offender” and can be subject to more serious penalties than a juvenile delinquent. 

What is a separation agreement?

A separation agreement is a detailed contract which should be prepared by attorneys, where the parties agree to live separate for the rest of their lives. It should set forth the respective rights and duties of husband and wife with respect to the custody and access to children, support payments, distribution of property, and all other matters pertaining to the marital relationship. 

Certain vital formalities must be carefully followed, or the written agreement will not qualify as a ground for divorce. Here, the skill and experience of the attorneys for the husband and wife are uniquely valuable in helping them reach an agreement that will be fair, just and reasonable to both parties and their children. 

How to Get a Copy of the Death Certificate

A death certificate is a paper that records the official date and location of a person’s death.

The funeral director usually purchases several copies for your use.

In some cases, you might need a “certified” copy of the death certificate. A certified copy has the raised seal of the state and is good for legal purposes such as settling an estate or claiming insurance benefits.

Person Died in New York City

If the person died in New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island), you can order a certified copy of the death certificate online or by mail from the Office of Vital Records. 

Person Died Outside of New York City

If the person died outside of New York City but in New York State, you can order a certified copy of the death certificate online or by mail from the New York State Department of Health.

Termination of Parental Rights Within New York Courts

WHO FILES A PETITION TO TERMINATE A PARENT’S RIGHTS? 

ACS or the foster care agency may in some circumstances file a petition asking the court to terminate (end) a parent’s legal rights to a child so that the child may be adopted. 

WHAT ARE A PARENT’S LEGAL RIGHTS? 

The rights that the child protective agency seeks to terminate include the parent’s right to custody, to raise the child, to make religious, educational, or medical decisions for the child, to visit with the child, to speak with the child, to contact the child, and to learn about the child. 

WHO MUST BE NOTIFIED ABOUT THE PETITION? 

The mother must be served with the petition and a summons. If the child’s parents are or were married, then the agency must also serve the father. 

What is adultery?

Bringing an action on the ground of adultery, especially if your spouse is going to contest it, is not a simple matter. The proof of adultery here is difficult. Generally, you are not permitted to testify against your spouse, and you must have a witness ready to convince the court that your mate did engage in sexual relations with another person. Adultery is usually proven by circumstantial evidence, that is, by showing that your spouse had the opportunity, inclination and intent to engage in sexual relations with the other person. 

In addition, there are four defenses to the charge of adultery, and if any of these are proven, the court will deny the divorce: 

1. “Procurement” or “connivance” — Procurement means that one spouse actively encouraged the other to commit adultery. Connivance is similar to “collusion” or “consent” by a spouse to the adultery.

What is “cruel and inhuman treatment”?

Cruel and inhuman treatment can involve either physical or mental cruelty. To be a reason for divorce, the treatment must have such a serious effect on the physical or mental health of the divorce-seeking spouse that it is not safe or proper for the parties to continue the marriage. 

Some examples of acts that courts have held to be cruel and inhuman treatment for divorce purposes include physical attacks upon a spouse; constant screaming, profanity or other verbal abuse; gambling away the household funds; staying away from the house too often without an explanation; going out with another man or woman; and wrongfully accusing the other spouse of adulterous relations with another man or woman. 

Alcoholism, by itself, usually is not a sufficient basis for divorce, unless your spouse becomes cruel or violent when intoxicated, so that you fear for your health and safety. 

No Fault Divorce in New York

What is “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”?

An irretrievable breakdown of the marriage allows one spouse, unilaterally, to end a marriage and to do so without the agreement of the other spouse. However, the 2010 law provides that a court cannot grant a judgment of divorce unless and until the economic issues of the marriage are dealt with.

To prove the ground of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage the party seeking the divorce must demonstrate that:

  • the relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably;
  • for a period of at least six months; 
  • provided that one spouse states this under oath; and 
  • proves that the “economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts’ fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the minor children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce.”

For information on serve divorce papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

What You Should Know About Background Checks

When making personnel decisions — including hiring, retention, promotion, and reassignment — employers sometimes want to consider the backgrounds of applicants and employees. For example, some employers might try to find out about the person’s work history, education, criminal record, financial history, medical history, or use of social media. Except for certain restrictions related to medical and genetic information (see below), it’s not illegal for an employer to ask questions about an applicant’s or employee’s background, or to require a background check.

However, any time you use an applicant’s or employee’s background information to make an employment decision, regardless of how you got the information, you must comply with federal laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination. That includes discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion; disability; genetic information (including family medical history); and age (40 or older). These laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).