Neil Cahn, PLLC

Neil Cahn, PLLC Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Neil Cahn, PLLC

Using the state’s Child Support Enforcement Services can have unintended results. Having support payments made through a Support Collection Unit triggers a cost-of-living adjustment procedure that may result in a significant change to the court-ordered support obligations to which parties had agreed. Consider the September 26, 2018 decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Murray v. Murray. There, the former spouses in their 2001 surviving divorce settlement agreement had agreed to share joint…
The Child Support Standards Act authorizes parents to agree to a child support obligation that deviates from the presumptive formula provided in that statute. However, if they are going to deviate from the formula, the parents must state what the obligation would have been if the formula were to be applied, and the reasons why the parties have agreed to deviate. In its September 26, 2018 decision in Fasano v. Fasano, the Appellate Division,…
It’s one of my pet topics. How do you provide — how do you write a provision awarding one spouse credit for paying down the mortgage principal while a divorce action is pending or thereafter? Consider the August 29, 2018 decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Westbrook v. Westbrook. In April 2008, the wife commenced this action for a divorce and ancillary relief. In a pendente lite order, the Supreme Court, inter alia,…
May a parent be directed to maintain life insurance in a Family Court support proceeding? Do an aunt and uncle awarded primary residential and, with the father, joint legal custody of his children, share responsibility for the children’s health and education expenses? Such were the questions addressed by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in its September 12, 2018 decision in Lozaldo v. Cristando. Following the death of the children’s mother, the maternal aunt and…
Tom Griffiths, psychologist, cognitive scientist and Princeton professor, concludes his TED talk, 3 ways to make better decisions — by thinking like a computer, with the following lesson: “You can’t control outcomes, just processes; and as long as you’ve used the best process, you’ve done the best that you can.” Dr. Griffiths has researched the connections between natural and artificial intelligence to discover how people solve the challenging problems they encounter in everyday life. His…
Here’s a reminder. Look over the “boilerplate” counsel-fees-on-default provision of your settlement agreements; and re-read them when resolving enforcement proceedings. Take a lesson from the July 25, 2018 decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department, in Posner v. Posner. There, The parties’ 2010 judgment of divorce incorporated, but did not merge, their stipulation of settlement. That stipulation provided that where one of the parties commences litigation to enforce it, and that litigation does not…
The prospective husband’s attorney who drafted a couple’s prenuptial agreement was not disqualified from representing the husband in the couple’s divorce action, nor in the action to set aside the prenuptial agreement that had been joined for trial. So held the Appellate Division, Second Department, in its August 15, 2018 decision in Lombardi v. Lombardi. Moreover, it was held that an interim award of counsel fees to the wife was improper. In 2004 the…
  On June 12, 2018, the Court of Appeals in a 5-2 decision, affirmed the ruling discussed below. It is common in agreements, and often the case in judicial decisions, for the parent paying periodic child support to receive a credit against those payments for college room and board expenses paid by that parent. May parties agree that the credit exceed the amount allocated by the parties to the support of the particular child…
In its July 25, 2018 decision in Crago v. Diegel, the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed a counsel fee award to a wife, the monied spouse in this divorce action. Supreme Court Kings County Justice Esther M. Morganstern had awarded the wife 55% of her total counsel fees. Upholding the award, the Second Department noted: In its determination of a counsel fee application, the trial court must consider the relative financial circumstances of the…
Jerilyn Klein Bier writes “How Advisors Help HNW [High Net Worth] Clients ‘Collaborate’ On Divorce” in the current issue of Financial Advisor, a monthly publication for financial planners, registered investment advisors and independent broker-dealers, She begins with a quote from Danny DeVito, portraying a divorce attorney in The War of the Roses, “When a couple starts keeping score, there is no winning, it’s only degrees of losing.” Wealth managers “are having more success…