Rieger & Fried LLP

January 2017 Archives

Splitting stock: Divorce in the age of tech start-ups

Since the beginning of the tech start-up boom, it's become increasingly common for professionals to receive compensation in the form of stock options and restricted stock - assets that may bear little value in the present but which can have huge future payouts. With new norms, however, come new forms of litigation; figuring out how to divide employee stock packages has lately figured as the central issue in numerous divorce proceedings.

My New York Matrimonial And Family Law Attorney Provided Me With A Statement Of Net Worth To Fill Out For My Divorce Proceeding And I Am Having Problems- Do I Need To Complete The Statement Of Net Worth? Why Is The Statement Of Net Worth Important In Divo

Once you retain an attorney in a divorce proceeding, you will be provided with a blank Statement of Net Worth form to complete. Even if you never intend to step foot into a courtroom, you will need to prepare and sign a Statement of Net Worth. If your spouse is not providing you with enough support during the divorce proceeding, you will need to attach the Statement of Net Worth to your request to the Court for temporary support. The Statement of Net Worth is a time consuming and difficult form which requires a great amount of attention and precision since it is the most frequently scrutinized document by opposing counsel and the Court. The Statement of Net Worth is also the most important document that you will prepare in your matrimonial proceeding as it is a sworn document in which you are setting forth your monthly expenses and income as well as the present value of your assets and liabilities. This document will be reviewed by opposing counsel and the Court if you choose to litigate the matter.

I Scheduled An Initial Consultation With a Matrimonial Lawyer In New York: What Should I Bring To The Meeting??? What Should I Expect???

Contemplating a divorce, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, child custody, child support or order of protection proceeding is a difficult and emotional decision. In fact, several clients have told me that the mere act of picking up the telephone and scheduling the initial consultation was one of the hardest tasks they had to undertake. This article is intended to take away the fear of the unknown and educate you as to how to prepare for a consultation in a matrimonial or family court proceeding and what you can expect during this initial meeting. Once you have decided to schedule an appointment for a consultation with me, you should be aware of the following:

Once I Retain A Matrimonial Lawyer In New York Do I Need To Go Immediately To Court?

Once you have retained a matrimonial lawyer, the next step will be for the attorney and client to discuss the appropriate course of action. Not every case immediately belongs in a courtroom. In some instances, it might be appropriate for the attorney to send a "first letter" to the other spouse to advise him or her that the attorney has been retained. The "first letter" is an inoffensive letter that would state the following:

WHAT IS AN EBT?

An EBT, which is the abbreviation for an Examination Before Trial, is also known as a deposition. It is a discovery device utilized by both sides in order to prepare for trial. An EBT involves the opposing lawyer asking questions of the other party in which that party has to respond to questions under oath. While no judge is present, the testimony is transcribed under oath by a court reporter and can be used at trial, not to bolster one's testimony but rather to impeach one's testimony. Accordingly, one does not "win" a case at an EBT. The best a client can do is not damage one's case at an EBT. Again, we must keep in mind opposing attorney asks questions in order to gather information and to lock in the opposing party's testimony so that any contradiction during the trial will be subject to impeachment with the EBT transcript. Accordingly, when a party is asked a question at an EBT, it is best to answer the question truthfully and directly but not to elaborate unless the question calls for such an explanation. For example, if a party is wearing a blue long sleeved button down shirt but also has a design, and that party is asked "what kind of shirt are you wearing?", the answer should be a blue shirt. This answer is truthful and direct. It does not elaborate on the length of sleeves, the fact that the shirt has buttons, and other minor colors in the shirt. The more that a party raises extraneous facts, the more ideas for questions are provided to the opposing attorney. A good result of an EBT is where the opposing attorney does not obtain any significant new or damaging information from the party. As stated, there is only a downside when being deposed and there is no upside.

HOW IS CUSTODY DEFINED IN NEW YORK STATE?

Sole legal custody gives one parent the right to make decisions regarding the child. New York Law favors one parent having sole custody, although most other states do not. The philosophy of New York Courts is that if the parties are not getting along, then one party must be in a position to make final decisions. The only way one can obtain joint legal custody is if one can show that the parties work well together and are of the same opinions in their decision making for the children.

Electronic communication in your New York divorce case

You have just taken the difficult but necessary step of retaining a matrimonial attorney and filing for divorce and custody of your children. Your spouse has been served with a Summons & Complaint. Now the communication between you and your soon to be ex has gone from bad to worse with verbal sparring spilling over to e-mail and text message - do not fall into this trap!

New post-judgment spousal maintenance guidelines in New York State-Answers to the 5 most frequently asked questions

On September 25, 2015, New York State Governor Cuomo signed into law the new post-judgment maintenance guidelines bill ("new guidelines") which will revolutionize the manner in which the amount and duration of post-judgment spousal maintenance awards will be determined by attorneys and the Courts. Prior to the adoption of this bill, the amount and duration of maintenance were determined by a number of statutory factors without any precise methodology or formula. The new guidelines have introduced various mathematical formulas to provide the Family Law practitioner and the Courts with a greater certainty in arriving at an appropriate range for the amount and duration of spousal maintenance based upon income and the length of marriage measured up to the date of commencement. Notwithstanding the formula, arguments by either counsel can still be made that the award of maintenance is "unjust and inappropriate", requiring the Court to fashion an award that does not comport with the new guidelines. This article will highlight the most frequently asked questions from clients and other attorneys regarding the new guidelines.

(1) Q. When will the new guidelines become effective?

Testimonials

Read what others are saying about us!

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  • "Rieger and Fried is the finest law firm to hire. I got the best outcome any client can hope for in a custody case: sole residential and legal custody of my two children. I hired the firm four years ago; my case was a highly contested interstate divorce and custody. The delay in my case was due to the opposing party. My case was handled by Michael Fried who is the most ethical professional I have met. Michael focused on facts of law and documentation to protect my children's legal rights. Michael is efficient, prompt, and helped me for years through the most difficult time of my life. The paperwork was filed on time. The motions were carefully researched and submitted. Michael made sure that he documented all communication with opposing counsel.

    Michael was involved in the evaluation of my ex-husband's medical practice, meeting with me and the forensic accountant. Michael is highly organized and detail-oriented. He tracked down the most important financial documentation to prove my ex-husband's income in order to determine child support.

    Michael prepared me for trial and was keen about details and how to highlight my role as the primary care giver for my children. I went through 16 days of trial during which Michael moved away from his family to stay in Brooklyn in order to meet with me daily before trial to review every single detail. He emailed me in the evenings to make sure all evidence was in place.

    When emotions ran high and opposing counsel was provocative during trial, Michael maintained his calm and represented me and my children wholeheartedly. Michael is the best lawyer any client can hope for, and I am ever so grateful that he handled my case."
  • So many people tell you, “Oh, I’ve got the BEST lawyer for you.â€? Or, “This guy is the absolutely the BEST lawyer to handle your case – the BEST!â€? When in a divorce situation, you hear a lot of this. But, when you are in a situation so foreign to any experience you have ever gone through, there is so much more that is important. It is not the lawyer, who may look great and have a career of flashy litigation. It all comes down to the entire TEAM of individuals working in your best interest. It comes down to their sincere dedication to every minor detail regarding your case, and, most importantly, understanding, and reacting to your mental frame-of-reference, sensitive to the fact that a divorce is one of the most traumatic events one can go through. This level of competence is the consistent apex at which Rieger & Fried operate each and every day. Not only is a successful outcome of the litigation an ultimate priority of the relationship — through over-the-top competence — but their understanding of a client’s well-being, who is probably completely out of their depth in a divorce proceeding, that really sets Rieger & Fried apart from all other firms. Hats off to Rieger & Fried… truly the BEST. SD
  • Kieth and Michael were instrumental in the positive and fair outcome of my case. From the start, they set realistic expectations. They fought hard on — and won — the critical issues that arose during the course of my case. I am extremely happy with their services; I highly recommend them! Melissa J.
  • Michael Fried was very professional and supportive during a very difficult period in my life. He worked very hard to look out for my interests while trying to come to a fair and equitable agreement. I would highly recommend him. Cathy C.
  • Kieth Rieger navigated my divorce with the expertise of a highly skilled negotiator. He is the consummate divorce attorney: determined, effective and compassionate. Rebecca H.
  • Keith headed the team that navigated me through the most difficult time of my life. My divorce was very lengthy and uglier than most. Keith litigated brilliantly and made certain the outcome would be just and fair. Karen D.
  • The Firm Rieger & Fried handled all my family concerns with the utmost respect and professionalism. Joshua Rieger is not just a attorney with the vast knowledge of Matrimonial law and Family Law, he is in tune with his clients , and understands the important challenges they face. The Firm Rieger & Fried protected my interests from start to finish ,and are truly a cut above the rest. Jason B.
  • Kieth Rieger is a superior attorney and I was able to benefit from his ability to process large volumes of information quickly and formulate effective strategy. Kieth was extremely accommodating and sensitive when he represented my case yet firm and commanding when warranted. Soo L.
  • Let’s face it, going through a divorce can be long and nerve-wracking process during which you can be excruciatingly vulnerable. Keith proved to be the sharp, savvy, efficient, frugal and empathetic attorney I needed to be able to achieve a timely and favorable outcome. Jay E.
  • As a fellow attorney, I was aware of your reputation as a skilled and highly regarded matrimonial lawyer. Your representation of my interests in my own divorce confirmed what I had heard; I received outstanding counsel. Thank you for your advice and guidance and for an excellent result. Richard R.
  • When I considered getting a divorce, I wanted to assert my rights while at the same time making sure I wasn’t being unfair to my spouse, and preserving the good relationship I had with my children. You took the time to understand what I was hoping to achieve, and dealt fairly with me and with my spouse. I understand that matrimonial law is inherently adversarial, but I felt that you helped keep it from being more adversarial than absolutely necessary. The end result: a settlement in which both sides got what we needed, in which my parenting relationship with my ex is a productive and civil one, and in which the children are comfortable and cared for. It’s hard to be excited about a divorce, particularly one that ends up in the courts, but you made it as fair and painless as possible, and I thank you for it. Jonathan W.
  • Kieth Rieger made me realize the divorce process is not about showmanship in the courtroom but simply the facts. Eric W.
  • Despite the reputation of divorce lawyers’ being heartless and all about the money, Kieth Rieger was kind, compassionate and willing to work with me financially. When I had a problem making a payment he didn’t threaten to drop me as a client but rather came up with a fair and reasonable payment arrangement. Sharon S.
  • Kieth Rieger and Michael Fried handled my recent marriage litigation. During the entire process both were very professional and always available to answer my many questions. I would highly recommend both if you have this type of litigation. Patrick P.
  • Faced with a contentious divorce 12 years ago, I turned to Kieth Rieger to represent me. I found not only brilliant legal advice, but strong support and calming guidance that came at a critical time. All these years later I returned to him to help me write a pre-nup agreement as I begin a new life. He is a trusted professional who I have recommended many, many times. Amy D.
  • Keith Rieger , My Superlawyer, who checked his ego at the door, rolled up his sleeves, fought for me and my girls, and won in the end. If you want a smart, honest, hardworking lawyer who really cares about his clients, look no further. Lauren L.
  • Going through my divorce was very draining and emotional. Kieth helped me through this time in my life, he made me feel comfortable and at ease that everything would be fine. He and his staff treated me as if I was family. It turned out just the way he said it would. I would recommend this firm to family, friends and anyone that needs a Divorce attorney. Mr. Rieger and associates are hardworking, caring and extremely intelligent. Thank you for giving me a new beginning! Sharyn S.
  • Keith Rieger helped me tremendously during a very difficult divorce. He worked with me financially, and had great empathy for my situation. Your great legal and personal advice were invaluable. Maryanne J.
  • Kieth Rieger guided me through my divorce with incredible professionalism, insight and expertise. Kieth worked tirelessly to achieve the resolution I desired and did everything in his power to realize that outcome efficiently. I highly recommend Keith and the team at Rieger & Fried LLP. Stephen E.
  • Rieger & Fried LLP helped me every step of the way in the process of my divorce. They were adept at walking me through all of the potential options that were available for me. They were focused on resolving our marital issues fairly and with a sense of dignity rarely seen in this field of law. Brian M.