A Decent Lawyer’s Dilemma

A Decent Lawyer’s Dilemma

Is what’s the law in a divorce always what’s right?

After the recent revisions in New York State matrimonial law, there is an automatic presumption in favor of the non-monied spouse receiving interim spousal maintenance as well as payment for legal fees.  So, what happens when a client calls with the following scenario:

My wife and I were together for 10 years and then separated 15 years ago and have rarely seen each other since.  We never got divorced and I have moved around a lot.  Since then, I have been unemployed and had odd jobs earning just enough to live on but never a really salary.  She, however, works for a large investment bank.  The last I heard, she was making at least a six figure income and definitely has some large retirement accounts.   I am told that if I sue her for divorce, the court will automatically give me a monthly support amount and she will have to pay my legal fees because she has a lot of money. 

What is a lawyer to do?  Is it right for an estranged husband, to appear out of no where to claim spousal support? The husband in this case understands  that there is a presumption in his favor.  And, the court looks at the entire length of the marriage, excluding the separation, which is not considered under New York law.  So, regardless of the circumstances, the husband shall be awarded legal fees and spousal support.  Is it right for an attorney to take the case?  Is it morally wrong?  If one attorney declines, won’t another step right up to take the case?

At Keil & Siegel LLP, we understand that New York divorce law affects significant financial rights of those involved.  Our goal is always to protect the health and well-being of the children in any matter first.   We strive to ensure that all children are protected with respect to health insurance, child care and education.  After that, we take seriously our responsibility to represent the best interests of our clients and to achieve the best outcome on each and every client’s behalf.

So what would you do if you were the husband’s lawyer? Let us know what you think.

Are you facing a claim for spousal support or need spousal support? Complete our short intake form today to schedule a FREE consultation. We will respond promptly.

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    Photo source: Justice sends mixed messages by Dan4th Nicholas on Flickr, used with Creative Commons license. Use does not connote endorsement. Photo edited.

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