How to Get a Free Family Law Attorney on Long Island
Mandated Counsel or 18b Attorneys
In certain Family Court proceedings on Long Island, a party may be entitled to an assigned attorney. This “mandated counsel” is typically referred to as an 18b Attorney. These appointed attorneys are a vital part of Family Court and are critical in protecting certain parental fundamental rights. (more…)
More Youths to Be Tried in Family Court on Long Island
Raise the Age Legislation in New York
On April 10, 2017, Governor Cuomo signed into law “Raise the Age” legislation, which raises the presumptive age of juvenile accountability. What this means is that, where in the past 16 year olds were tried as adults in criminal court, 16 and 17 year olds will now be treated as juveniles. 16 year olds will begin to be treated as juveniles in October of this year, and 17 year olds will follow suit one year later. Until Governor Cuomo signed Raise the Age into law, New York was one of two states (North Carolina being the other hold-out) to treat 16 and 17 year olds as adults in the criminal justice system.
The PINS Diversion Program Helps Keep Kids’ Behavioral Problems in Order
As a Family Law Attorney practicing on Long Island and a parent myself, I know how challenging parenting can be and how the challenges seem to only increase as children enter their teenage years. As the saying goes, “little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems.”
Teen Rebelliousness is a Normal Part of Growing Up
Most parents are at some point faced with a degree of rebellious or troublesome behavior as their children begin to explore ways to establish their own identities separate and apart from their parents and family members. Unfortunately, while most teens brush up against rebellious behavior only mildly or briefly, this typically rebellious phase extends to dangerous or “out of control” behavior in some children. (more…)
As a family law attorney working in family court on Long Island, I’ve seen first-hand how substance abuse can affect a parent’s ability to properly care for their child. Every Long Island family knows someone that is affected by substance abuse. (more…)
As a Family Law Attorney practicing on Long Island, and a parent, I know that any parent in Nassau County or Suffolk County, and especially the parent of a teenage child, would likely admit that parenting is one of the most challenging endeavors in life. (more…)
As a Family Law Attorney practicing in Suffolk County and Nassau County, Long Island, I am often asked by my clients about getting a marriage annulment. While a finalized divorce can end a marriage, an annulment can result in the marriage being declared void or invalid by a court order. Essentially, an annulment is different from a divorce in the sense that it is as though the marriage never took place in the eyes of the law. Keep in mind that obtaining a legal annulment does not constitute a religious annulment, which can only be granted by a church or clergy.
In certain cases, an annulment is the appropriate resolution of a marriage when a spouse can prove that the marriage was never legally valid. New York Domestic Relations Law Section 140 sets forth the grounds for and effects of annulment.
On Long Island, New York, a divorce can be granted upon the written, sworn testimony of the parties without a trial. In contrast, an annulment requires a hearing before a judge. One of the very specific grounds for annulment must be proven in court. For this reason, an annulment is more difficult to obtain for most marriages.
While a divorce can be based upon “irretrievable breakdown” in the marriage or a consensus that the marriage is unsuccessful, an annulment will not be granted based solely upon the parties’ desire for an annulment. Annulments can only be granted by court in Suffolk County or Nassau County in very specific circumstances. For an annulment, one of the below grounds must be conclusively proven in court.
Grounds for Annulment in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island
There are five grounds upon which an annulment can be granted in New York:
1. One or both spouses were under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage. In New York, the marriage of any person under the age of 18 requires the written consent of both parents. Marriage of any person under the age of 16 needs the additional approval by a judge. If indeed one of both spouses was underage and the legal requirements were not met, this ground for annulment is waived if the spouses continue to cohabitate or live together after both have reached the age of 18.
2. One or both spouses were unable to consent to the marriage due to mental incapacity. For example, if a spouse could not give actual consent to the marriage because of lack of understanding of the nature, effect, or consequences of marriage as a result of some mental incapacity.
3. Either spouse is physically unable to have sexual intercourse. Physical capacity is needed to consummate a marriage with sexual intercourse. If the parties did not know of the physical incapacity at the time of the marriage, this can be a ground for annulment so long as the annulment is requested within the first five years of marriage.
4. Either spouse was incurably mentally ill for at least five years. If the spouse that suffers from mental illness has a period of sound mind and continues to freely cohabitate throughout this time, the marriage may be considered ratified. Mental illness as a ground for annulment may be waived if this is the case.
5. The marriage consent was obtained by duress, coercion, or fraud. If a spouse entered the marriage due to pressure or fraud. A fraudulent marriage may occur when a spouse entered the marriage for the purpose of obtaining immigration status. Another example is where a spouse claimed to be pregnant in order to induce the other party to marry them. These and similar situations may constitute a fraudulent marriage subject to annulment.
Legal Annulment is Different Than Religious Annulment
A marriage can also be declared to be a nullity by a court. This means that the marriage is automatically void and will not be legally recognized. While the record of marriage and annulment will still exist, the parties can consider themselves to have never been married. This can occur in the case of incestuous marriages or bigamous marriages, as these types of marriages are not legal in New York. A spouse in a void marriage can bring an action in court asking for a declaration of the nullity of a void marriage.
Even after a marriage is annulled and the spouses consider themselves to never have been married, children of the marriage will still be considered legitimate children of married parents. Parents will still be legally responsible for the children in terms of custody, visitation, and child support, and will be subject to relevant laws. Furthermore, the annulled marriage will still be subject to the state laws regarding division of marital property.
Contact Long Island Family Law Attorney for Information on Annulments in Nassau County and Suffolk County
If you are in Nassau County, Suffolk County, or the five boroughs of New York City, and you have questions about annulment and whether your marriage may be void or voidable, reach out to the Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. for a free consultation. Call us at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.
Download our Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law attorney Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better. Download your Free Guide to New York Divorce here.
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently, offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.
Mr. Hornberger was so helpful to me in a recent consultation. He gave me his time generously, listened patiently,... offered clear counsel, and said I didn't actually need further legal services in a particular matter, which I really appreciated.read more
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.read more
Christine is truly the best there is. She is beyond professional, personable, genuine, extremely trusting, and has made... such a stressful and emotional time for my family and I easier to get through. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, your support, and being there every step of the way. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to anyone that is in need for legal advice - you will be in the best hands.read more
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in... different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !read more
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in,... I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this process.read more
Rob and his team are by far one of the greatest! Patty is amazing and will make sure all of your questions are... addressed and responded to. Rob and his team made a very tough time in my life as simple as possible. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and very empathetic. Patty was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend this firm to anyone that needs a great divorce attorney. Thank you for all of your help!read more
Hornberger law was the best choice I made when I needed to go to family court with my ex for custody of my children.... They were there at any time when I neeeded them. Going through a custody battle can be a huge emotional rollercoaster and very painful. They helped me through it and made it less painful and heartbreaking. And I got the outcome plus more than I expectedread more
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I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with... Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.read more
A Google User
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to... achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.read more
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Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when... you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.read more
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working... with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.read more
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