Who determines how assets are divided in a divorce?

The two parties in a divorce can decide between themselves how to divide assets in a divorce. Most divorces are settled in this way. If they cannot agree, then a judge will decide after a trial.

New York is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that a court must decide what is a fair division of the marital property. This is almost always 50/50. Certain property is not considered marital property, such as inheritances and property owned before the marriage. Other property, such as pensions, must be professionally valuated.

Who is eligible for Social Security Disability?

To be eligible for SSD benefits, you must meet certain criteria. First of all, you must have a certain number of work credits. You get, in general, one credit for each quarter that you work at a job where you pay Social Security taxes. The exact amount you need varies, but usually you need a total forty credits, twenty of which were earned in the last ten years.

You also must have a health condition that has lasted or will last for at least one year. The exception is if the condition will result in death.

You must not be engaged in “substantial gainful activity.” This basically means that you can only be earning a minimal amount of money through employment. The amount changes every year.

Finally, your condition or conditions must meet Social Security’s criteria for being disabling. The conditions, combined with your age, education, and work experience, must render it impossible for you to work in any job that exists in substantial numbers.

If you feel that your medical conditions make you unable to work, the first step is to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

If I get a divorce, who pays the mortgage?

This is a bit of a complicated question. Legally, whoever is named on the mortgage is responsible for it. This means that the bank or other mortgage holder can sue you for it.

In the context of a New York divorce proceeding, the judge can order that one party pay the mortgage, or can divide the mortgage payments between the parties. This is usually based on income. The judge can also make orders regarding child support, spousal support, sole occupancy of the house, and can order one spouse to pay all or a portion of the other spouse’s legal fees.

When the divorce becomes final, the judgment may continue to order one spouse to pay all or most of the mortgage. It may also order that the house be sold, and the proceeds be divided between the parties.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

What notice does a landlord have to give to an occupant to vacate the property?

In New York City, a landlord must give written notice to a tenant to vacate the property. If there is a lease, the lease will usually have a provision determining what kind of notice must be given, how long a time period the notice must state, and how it must be served.

If there is no lease, the tenancy is usually a month-to-month tenancy. In this case, a 30 day notice of termination must be served. Normally, it terminates the tenancy on the last day of a month.

An occupant may not be a tenant. They can be a licensee or squatter. Either of these must be served with a 10 day notice to quit.

There are two exceptions to the requirement that an occupant must be served a written notice to vacate. One is if a lease has expired, and no new rent has been accepted. The other is if an occupant has been in an apartment for less than 30 days.

In all the above cases, a landlord must take the occupant to court before they can be evicted. No self-help evictions are allowed.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

Do I have to give my ex-spouse visitation?

This issue is usually dealt with in the divorce. Normally, the divorce judgment will give one parent primary physical custody, and the other parent will get visitation, or parenting time. Usually, there will be a set schedule. If there is a schedule, it has to be followed, unless both parties agree to change it. If one party wants change it, they can file a petition in Family Court.

However, some divorce judgments do not have a schedule. They may say “as agreed to between the parties,” or something similar. In that case, the custodial parent does not have to give visitation. The other parent has a right to file for visits, usually in Family Court. Then the court must decide what is in the best interest of the children.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

How long does it take to apply and qualify for Social Security Disability?

You can apply for Social Security Disability in three ways. You can apply online at WWW.SocialSecurity.Gov, you can call 800-772-1213, or you can go to a local Social Security office in person. You will need to provide documents, such as a birth certificate, tax forms, and medical records, or Social Security will need to get them. You will also need to schedule an in-person or phone interview, which will probably take about an hour. From the time you apply to the time you get accepted or denied can take anywhere from a couple of months to eight months. If you are denied, you have a right to request a hearing.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

What does joint custody mean?

Joint custody can mean a couple of different things. One type of joint custody is joint legal custody. This means that the parents, or whoever is on the order of joint custody, must come to an agreement on all matters involving the health, education, and general welfare of the child. It doesn’t mean that the parents have to agree on every little decision they make regarding the child, but it does mean they have to agree on important decisions. It also doesn’t mean that, in an emergency, the parent who has the child can’t make a decision. But if there is time to consult the other parent, they should be consulted.

Another type of joint custody is joint physical custody. This means that the parents have roughly equal parenting time with the child. They may also have joint legal custody, but not necessarily.

A hybrid form of joint custody is joint legal with final decision making to one parent. This means that the parents have to try to come to an agreement on all important matters, but if they can’t, than one parent has the final say. This is often a settlement arrangement when one parent does not want to do straight joint custody.

Joint custody normally has to be agreed between the parties. A court will not usually order it if there is no agreement.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

Can a tenant withhold rent in New York City?

A tenant can withhold paying rent only in certain situations. Under the Warranty of Habitability provision of New York State law, every New York tenant has the right to a “livable, safe and sanitary apartment.” To withhold rent, the housing must be unsafe or unsuitable for living. Examples include not having hot water or heat in the home, or the landlord failing to rid the apartment of a pest infestation.

Before withholding rent, tenants should take steps to have problems fixed. A tenant should notify the landlord of any issues, such as a leaky roof or a broken heater, as soon as they arise. If the landlord doesn’t respond, the tenant should send a certified letter detailing the issue and their attempts to have it remedied. If this fails as well, the tenant may begin withholding rent.

If a tenant withholds rent because the landlord allegedly breached the Warranty of Habitability, the landlord may respond by suing for non-payment. If this happens, the tenant can bring up as a defense that the landlord breached the Warranty of Habitability. The tenant also can explore other options in lieu of withholding rent, such as suing for a rent reduction, hiring someone to do the repair or doing it himself and deducting the cost from the rent. Notice should be given to the landlord before doing any of these actions.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

What kinds of cases does New York Family Court handle?

Family Court handles many different kinds of cases, include the following:

Juvenile delinquency
Child support
Spousal support
Paternity
Termination of parental rights
Adoption
Custody
Guardianship
Visitation
Persons (juveniles) in need of supervision
Family offenses and orders of protection
Child protective (abuse and neglect)

Each of these cases is different with different rules and procedures. For instance, in some proceedings hearsay evidence is admissible, in some cases it is not. In some cases parties are entitled to emergency hearings. The guiding principle in most Family Court cases is that the court is family and child centered, and it is the best interest of the child that is paramount.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com

What are uninhabitable conditions in an apartment?

When a landlord rents an apartment, the conditions in the apartment have to meet a legal standard, which is called the warranty of habitability. Any conditions which do not meet this standard are violations of the warranty of habitability. These can include broken plaster, peeling paint, no or inadequate heat, and many others.

If there are bad conditions in an apartment, a tenant has several options. The tenant can report the violations to the Office of Code Enforcement. The tenant can, in certain situations, repair the violations and deduct the cost from the rent. The tenant can withhold the rent. This can be risky, since the landlord may bring a nonpayment proceeding, although the bad conditions can be a defense to the rent. The tenant can also bring an action for repairs against the landlord in Housing Court, called an HP action.

If a landlord gets notice that there are violations in the apartment, he should arrange to fix them as soon as possible. If violations are not corrected, there may be fines imposed, and the landlord may not be able to collect rent.

Law Office of Jeffrey W. Johnson
36 Richmond Terrace, Suite 202
Staten Island, New York 10301
Phone: 718-981-6650
Fax: 347-732-2725
Email: JWJ18@Columbia.Edu
Website: JeffreyWJohnsonLaw.Com