The Scarsdale Daily Voice

Scarsdale, New York

The Phases of Divorce and Other Important Issues

March 15th, 2013

Though divorce may be the best option to end a turbulent and unhappy marriage, this complex process is often stressful, frustrating, and overwhelming, even in the best of circumstances. Depending on the type of settlement spouses want to pursue, a divorce case can last between a couple of weeks to more than a year. A divorce settled amicably, that is uncontested, can be the shortest, easiest, and least expensive; however, many couples find they cannot agree on a number of important issues, including:

  • Division of marital assets and debts
  • Alimony or Spouse support
  • Child custody and child support
  • Child visitation

When a couple cannot reach an agreement on these or other issues, they will likely have to seek a contested divorce. In doing so, they may have to go through the following steps:

  • Meeting with a divorce attorney – Selecting the lawyer who you believe can best represent you, doing interviews with him or her, and providing him or her with all the information (about marital properties and children) necessary for your case
  • Divorce petition served to your spouse – Serving the divorce petition to your spouse (through mail, by a deputy sheriff, or personally) may be done after it has been filed with the court
  • Your spouse responds to the petition – Your spouse is given about 30 days to respond to the petition (a law common to most states). His or her option not to respond will earn you a default judgment of divorce; by responding, your divorce case will go to the nest stages: discovery and settlement
  • Discovery – This is the phase where issues about income, marital assets, and custody are brought into the open, as well as other issues relevant to the case
  • Settlement – Prior to the final court schedule, spouses will be asked by the judge to reach an agreement. The discovery stage continues if agreement is not reached; this is followed by the scheduling of the case for divorce court
  • Trial – The phase for presenting or cross-examining witnesses
  • Post – Trial Motion –30 days is usually allotted for the defendant to file for relief from the judge’s signed final order. Another 30 days is given for the other party to respond to this motion
  • Appeals – This is resorted to only if the post-trial motion has been denied

While every divorce does not go through all or most of these steps, it is possible, depending on a couple’s circumstances and each person’s wishes or needs.


How to Handle a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

March 1st, 2013

Suffering the loss of a loved one can be a devastating experience regardless of the circumstances. However, it can be doubly painful to know that the cause of their death was negligence or the carelessness of others. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one way to help deal with the financial troubles as well as the emotional trauma that the death has caused to a family. A wrongful death lawyer would help in assisting you in getting the necessary compensation.

Not everyone can file for a wrongful death suit. As any wrongful death lawyer can tell you, only certain people have the right to file for compensation for a wrongful death suit, such as:

  1. Immediate family members – namely the parents, spouses, children, and legally acknowledged adopted children. They are the most accepted claimants for wrongful death suits, accepted by every state.
  2. Distant family members – brothers, sisters, and even grandparents are allowed in some states to file wrongful death suits.
  3. Financial dependents – some states allow people who are affected by the death to file for a wrongful death suit (even if they are not married or blood-relatives) if they can prove the death has caused them financial strain.
  4. Parents of a deceased child – for instances where medical malpractice caused the death of a newborn child, parents can file a wrongful death suit against the medical professional or the hospital itself.

While trying to cope with the consequences of a loved one’s loss, the last thing most people want to think about is financial issues. However, particularly when the cause of such a tragic loss was another person’s irresponsible behavior, it may be necessary to consider these things in order to get the compensation necessary to pay for funeral costs, medical bills, and other consequences of a loved one’s loss.

There is a lot to prepare after a loved one’s death, which are difficult in and of themselves. Funeral preparations, informing the deceased’s friends and family, going through his or her belongings, finding a new home for pets, and other post-death things that need to be tended to can take a lot out of a person, so adding a lawsuit on top of it can be unfathomable. However, the lawsuit should be begun as soon as possible, as there is only a limited time to file.