At Mona Shah & Associates you will find experienced, understanding and aggressive divorce lawyers.
When you are facing a legal separation or divorce, it can be like falling into a dark pit – your life is in turmoil. You are unsure of what the future holds and the steps you must take to protect yourself and your children financially, emotionally, and physically. What about custody issues, child support, alimony and the division of assets. You may even be the victim of domestic violence and in need of a protective order. Immigration can also be an issue.
We Help You Move Ahead:When you come to us, you can be sure that we will take care of your financial, as well as emotional needs. The decision to end a marriage is one of the most difficult decisions you will face. Seeking advice from a knowledgeable domestic relations attorney, as early as possible, is indispensable in preserving your long-term financial and emotional health as you move toward a new future.
Uncontested Divorce in the US
Uncontested divorce is the way most people divorce. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it offers you and your spouse the chance to end your marriage quietly and with dignity.
The most apparent advantage of uncontested divorce, of course, is its cost. With the exception of the pro se divorce, an uncontested divorce that stays uncontested divorce is almost always the least expensive way of getting divorced.
The low cost is not, however, the only advantage of uncontested divorce. If the level of conflict is low at the inception of divorce, uncontested divorce offers a way to keep it that way. Private agreements can be included in an uncontested divorce and be filed with the court.
Disadvantages of Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorce is not appropriate if there is ongoing domestic violence, nor if there is excessive animosity, greed and ignorance about the law. The first disadvantage of an uncontested divorce flows from its very simplicity. If, for example, you and your spouse hold joint title to real property or owe money jointly, or if your children have unusual parenting needs, resolving them in uncontested divorce may not be suitable. The second disadvantage of uncontested divorce arises from the way the law looks at the role of the lawyer in divorce. The law sees divorce as an adversarial contest, and as a lawyer must not represent two parties who are competing with each other, the lawyer cannot represent both of you. He or she must represent either you or your spouse. In an uncontested divorce, that means the other party will not have a lawyer at all. That creates an imbalance of power between the spouses.
Divorce mediation is an alternative to traditional litigation.
A mediator is a neutral third party who acknowledges your emotional and practical concerns, while helping to negotiate an agreement between you and your spouse. A mediator will usually have a background as an attorney or mental health professional. Attorneys can be especially helpful in drafting agreements, while mental health professionals may be more sensitive to the emotional issues of your divorce.
Mediators work with both parties to resolve key issues, including visitation, child support, custody, alimony and property division. In a mediation session, either party may have an attorney or financial planner present.
At the end of this process, the mediator creates a settlement agreement for your divorce. A divorce mediation typically takes several sessions, and often both parties split the mediation fees.
The Family Law teams in London and New York have extensive experience with family law cases, providing experienced legal advice to a number of clients in sensitive and complex matters including:
Contact and Residence Applications
Prohibited Steps Orders
Care and Supervision Proceedings
Special Guardianship Orders
Both the UK and USA offices are fully equipped to handle emergency applications in relation to children who are thought to have been abducted or taken from the country. Where necessary, both offices will work in tandem to provide the best service to clients whose children divide their time between both countries.
Mona Shah & Associates deliver efficient, effective and clear legal advice with the utmost professionalism. Moreover, both offices deal tactfully with such complex issues. We understand that matters concerning children can be very difficult and our experienced teams are armed with the right skills to help and guide you through the process smoothly to achieve a satisfactory result.
Whether you are facing a friendly uncontested divorce or a contested divorce involving disputes over the division of assets, custody of the children, maintenance/alimony or other issues, we can guide you through the process. Our attorneys are both skilled courtroom litigators and effective negotiators. We can represent you in Supreme court, Family court or guide you through mediation.
We can help you establish or modify spousal support or maintenance, post-divorce issues, marital property issues and domestic abuse. We will work hard to resolve issues without resorting to litigation, but if it is necessary to go to court, be assured that we will be fully prepared to aggressively represent you every step of the way!
What is Child Support? It is a sum to be paid pursuant to a court order for the care, maintenance and education of any child(ren) under the age of 21 years old. It is an obligation that may be imposed by the courts upon a non-custodial spouse or parent of the child(ren).
How is Child Support Calculated?
States such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut use the Income Shares Model to calculate child support payment. With this model, the child would be able to receive the same proportion of parental income that would have been spent on the child had the parents not divorced/separated; for instance, in New York, the standard is as follows: 17% of the total income of both parents for one child; 25% of total income for two children, 29% of total income for three children; 31% of total income for four children; for five or more children the standard is no less than 35% of total income. This model can easily be adjusted for split and shared custody, health care needs, child care expenses, etc.; in order words, with this model, the cost of taking care of the child rests on both parents.
Termination of Child Support :
In some states, child support continues until age 21 for a child who continues to progress toward a high school education and until age 22 for a child enrolled in college who completes at least 12 credits each term/semester. However, in New York , termination of child support is mandatory once the child becomes 21 years of age or is emancipated as determined by the court. NY Domestic Relations Law 240 (1-b) (7) provides that the court may award educational expenses, such as college or private school or for special enriched education. A parent may not, however, be directed to pay child support and/or contribute toward college expenses for a child who is 21 years of age or older, absent express agreement to do so.
Modification of Child Support:
States are required by law to review and make necessary modifications to all child support orders in the state system at least once every three years. Modifications are also permitted at the request of either parent based on a substantial change in circumstances. Parties are permitted only thirty days to contest the modification. A court may abate child support payments and transfer custody of a child if it finds that a parent has failed to provide visitation or custody to the other parent.
Enforcement of Interstate Child Support :
With regards to interstate child support issues, child support agencies around the country, known as IV-D agencies, are responsible for processing most of the interstate child support cases. Once a child support order is entered, an IV-D agency can enforce that order by seeking income and assets of the non-custodial parents. There are enforcement procedures that states can use to collect child support orders.
Our experienced Matrimonial Law teams on both sides of the Atlantic offer expert legal advice on all aspects of relationship breakdown, including:
Divorce and separation
Cohabitation, Prenuptial and Pre-registration agreements
We handle our clients sensitively and compassionately, and ensure that our advice is clear and practical. Mona Shah & Associates are highly skilled in negotiating the best terms for their clients, acting robustly and professionally on their behalf.
If you believe your marriage has broken down, you may want to consider whether or not to attempt mediation or instigate proceedings. Our professional team can offer you tailored advice according to your own unique needs. Tackling the breakdown of one’s marriage is a daunting aspect but we aim to assist, advise, and guide in order to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.