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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1476
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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My son was sent in regular U.S. postal mail Uncontested

Customer Question

My son was sent in regular U.S. postal mail Uncontested Divorce Papers after only one year of marriage. She walked out on him in April saying she did not want to be married anymore. There really are no mutual assets. He is back home with me because he was laid off from his job but is just started a new one this week. He cannot afford an attorney to look over the papers. There are two areas that he want to be included in the papers. One that she keep him on her medical insurance for an additional six months after the divorce is final and the second one i'll explain. She consciously took took out the money from her retirement fund after she switched jobs instead of rolling over the money. The money was used for her car: parking tickets, booting of her care in New York City and repossession of car due to lack of paying the loan. She did not provide her 1098 when their joint tax return was prepared. He wants it included in the divorce papers that he is not responsible if the IRS comes back and says they owe money. I'll also stated that she transferred all of the assets (including the tax return) into a separate checking account before she left him. I will also state that her income was significantly more than his. Can he just contact her lawyer and ask for these provisions to be included in the Uncontested Divorce Papers. He has gone to legal aid but they have not responded to him yet. He got them on June 20th and does not have much more time to answer. Look forward to your answer . Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I’m a NY family lawyer and appellate attorney with 36 years’ experience. My office is located in Westchester County.

Please note:This is general information for educational purposes and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site.

At the end of this discussion I'm going to ask you to please rate me as that's the only way I get credit for my time here today. Are you okay with rating me?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

I would first suggest that he continue go contact Legal Aid. I have had many cases with LA in West. County (if that's where this is), and they've been excellent. Of course, he has to interview them and make sure he likes them, but I've never had a problem with Legal Aid in NY. It's preferable for him to have an attorney help him with this.

Second, he has 20 days to answer the papers, so he's already late, unless he's out of the state, in which he has 30 days to respond. He doesn't have to file an answer -- he can file an appearance to let the court know he's not in default.

As far as contacting her lawyers, it is unlikely that the lawyers will agree for her to be totally responsible for the tax charges, although she should be because there will be penalties for early withdrawal, most likely. The penalties can be high, so of course he should try to get out of that. I doubt her lawyer will go along with it, but he can try. He's better off having an attorney negotiate that point for him.

If his spouse works for a company that employs 20 or more people, then he is eligible to apply for continued health insurance coverage in his employer’s plan under a Federal law known as “COBRA” (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act).

If the company has fewer than 20 employees, he might still be eligible for continued coverage under the mini-COBRA coverage laws of NY.

If his health insurance is through the spouse’s employer, once the divorce is final he will need to obtain health insurance for himself. It is very important that there is no gap in coverage, so he must deal with the issue early in divorce negotiations. The employer will not cover a former spouse. However, as indicated above, he can get the insurance through COBRA, which is medical insurance at a reduced cost. The link is included above.

Please let me know if you have anymore questions. I'm happy to help.

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Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you or if there is any more information that you need. Thanks!