As a Long Island divorce lawyer, I see first-hand, every day that one area of divorce that causes the most stress for divorcing couples in Nassau County and Suffolk County is the matter of child support. Custodial parents are concerned they will be left with a larger financial burden than the non-custodial parent and the non-custodial parent is concerned that the money provided will not be spent on the child or children’s needs.
Child support is financial support provided by a non-custodial parent for the needs of the child or children, including basic needs such as food and clothing, medical and educational expenses, child care costs, and health insurance. The amount of support may be privately arranged between parents and caretakers, or may be determined by a Support Magistrate in Nassau County or Suffolk County Family Court.
Child support obligations in New York are governed by the Child Support Standard Act (CSSA), enacted in 1989, which provides a formula for determining each parent’s responsibility to provide financially for the his or her children. The CSSA takes into account both the income and expenses of both parents in order to calculate each parent’s pro rata share of child support.
Basic child support, before considering factors such as medical or educational expenses, is determined by calculating each parent’s share of the combined parental income, and using that percentage to determine the responsibility of each party. The income calculation is based upon gross income, usually reflected in the most recent tax return, as well as other income such as disability payments, rental income, and other government or employment benefits. A court may also consider non-recurring income such as gifts or lottery winnings in its calculation.
The percentage of combined parental income that is used to calculate basic child support under CSSA is as follows:
17% of the combined parental income for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
No less than 35% for five or more children
This formula is applied to combined parental income above the poverty income guideline ($11,770 annually for a single person), and up to $141,000. If a parent’s income falls below the poverty income guideline, the minimum amount for basic child support is $300 per year. Above the $141,000 threshold, the court will consider additional factors such as parents’ financial resources, additional needs of the child, and other factors it determines to be relevant. In circumstances where the total combined parental income amounts to over $141,000 the court may, but is not required to, use the percentages set forth by CSSA.
Retroactive child support may also be awarded from the date that the support was demanded. Child support will not be owed retroactively from the date of the child’s birth unless a demand was made at that time.
A court may also impute the income of a noncustodial parent if that parent is unemployed or underemployed. This may be done by basing the child support obligation upon the earning income of the individual. The imputation of income mechanism may be used by the court in instances in which it appears to the court that an individual is attempting to avoid child support obligations by remaining unemployed or underemployed.
For example, if a noncustodial parent is working “off the books,” the court may impute the income of the individual by evaluating that individual’s expenses and expenditures. For example, if a parent shows income of $11,000 per year, but his expenditures amount to $30,000 per year, a court may impute the true income by assuming that this individual earns at least $30,000 annually.
Overdue child support may be collected by the New York State Child Support Enforcement Bureau. Garnishment of wages, interception of unemployment benefits, tax refund interception, or property execution such as seizure of bank accounts are all lawful administrative procedures by which child support obligations can be enforced without going to court. Failure to pay child support can result in a noncustodial parent being held in contempt of court. This can result in a loss of driver’s license or even jail time if a noncustodial parent is ordered to pay but does not pay. A court will consider whether a noncustodial parent has truly fallen on hard times before holding the parent in contempt of court. For example, if a noncustodial parent has lost a job, incurred a large medical expense, or presents some other exceptional circumstances, the court may withhold its power to do so. However, it is important to remember that, under CSSA, this decision is entirely within the discretion of the court.
Finally, a custodial or noncustodial parent is permitted to petition the court for a modification of his child support arrangement in order to increase the amount due to increases in cost of living, or to decrease the amount due to a loss of income.
Receive a Free Consultation from a Long Island Divorce Lawyer Experienced in Child Support Issues in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island
For more information about how to protect yourself and your children during your divorce in Nassau County of Suffolk County, contact a Long Island divorce attorney with great experience in child support and other divorce and family law matters. Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., PC and his compassionate and experienced divorce lawyers can help. Call us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary, confidential consultation 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 divorce lawyer 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.
As we bid farewell to 2013, we welcome 2014, and count our blessings as we prepare for a new year full of hope and promise.
While each new year brings with it hope, we know it will not be without its challenges. Fortunately, each new year is a blank canvas and a chance to overcome new challenges and achieve new heights of success.
We hope 2013 was good to you and that 2014 will be even better.
We wish you and your family the happiest, healthiest and most prosperous 2014.
With the holiday season upon us, we at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those we have helped and those who have helped us.
We count among our blessings the many fine friends we have found among our clients and the best employees we could hope for. We are truly fortunate to have our customers as our friends and our staff as our extended family.
We look forward to spending some quality time with our family and friends during this holiday season and hope that you find the time to do the same with yours.
Because the goodwill of those we serve is the foundation of our success, it’s a real pleasure at this time of year to say “thank you” as we wish you a holiday season of Peace and Happiness.
Same-sex marriage has been a highly publicized, widely debated, hot topic recently in Nassau and Suffolk County court on Long Island, NY and throughout the United States. The Supreme Court decided to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and in effect, upheld a lower court decision requiring California to recognize same sex marriages. While marriage itself is at the forefront of many individuals’ minds, there is an aspect of same sex marriage that is often overlooked: divorce. If a gay marriage is not legally recognized in a state, a same-sex couple has no access to the rights afforded in a legal divorce proceeding.
Why Is Divorce Important for Same Sex Couples?
But why is access to divorce so important for same sex couples? Divorce proceedings provide structure in a situation that can be extremely difficult, unpredictable, and often, problematic. A legal divorce provides procedures and structure for the distribution of property, the awarding of spousal support, and resolution of child custody and child support disputes. These practices and procedures come from statutes and case law developed over time. Judges do have some discretion in determining some divorce issues, especially child custody issues, but for the most part, the process is orderly and consistent.
Divorce Provides Closure & Protection for Each Spouse
Further, a legal divorce provides some finality for couples; it is a way to truly end a tumultuous and unproductive relationship. The divorce process also mitigates financial problems for both spouses. It is designed to protect the spouse that earns less money, especially if the spouse has contributed greatly to a marriage in a less than tangible way. For example, a mother who quits her job to stay home and take care of her children to allow for her husband to work full time, is making a sacrifice that isn’t easily quantifiable. A legal divorce provides a method of quantifying that contribution to the family. The structure of divorce proceedings may allow a mother to receive support, because she is the financially weaker spouse.
Supreme Court Decision Does Not Protect All Same-Sex Couples in All States
Using these criteria, it is simple to see the advantages of access to divorce for a couple seeking to end their relationship. Unfortunately, even with the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, it may be difficult for some same-sex couples to become divorced. The recent Supreme Court decision did not make same-sex marriage legal in all states, the result of which is that there are now “Recognition”, and “Non-recognition” states. These terms mean exactly what they seem: a state that recognizes same-sex marriage is a Recognition state, and a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage is a Non-recognition state. But this is not the only distinction between states. For example, some states will only recognize same-sex marriages if couples were not previously married in another state. This is just one example of a multitude of technicalities that vary in same-sex marriage laws from state to state. All these technicalities result in a situation where same-sex couples cannot be legally married in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages and therefore prohibits the couple from the rights and protections of a legal divorce proceeding.
Lack of Uniformity Between States Adds Complexity, Cost to Same Sex Marriage Divorce
This creates a problem due to a lack of uniformity in predicting whether a couple can legally divorce. The law is very confusing, and difficult to predict. This difference between states causes immense strain on same-sex couples, and additional burdens in determining whether they can be legally divorced or not. In the example above, a state that has a law that only recognizes same-sex marriage if it is the couple’s first, would therefore require the couple to provide a full relationship history to the court to determine the validity of a marriage. The couple may even be required to provide relationship history further back from previous relationships with other parties. This added complexity will likely result in higher legal fees for same-sex couples seeking marriage or divorce protections.
Non-Conformity Among Government Agencies Adds Complexity & Confusion
Another complex issue is the fact that different government agencies and departments have different ways of determining the validity of a same-sex marriage. For example, the Social Security Administration determines validity of marriage based on the residency of the married couple, while the Department of Homeland Security determines the validity of marriage based on the state where it occurred, or the state of celebration. Therefore, if a couple was married in a non-recognition state, but currently resides in a recognition state, the Social Security Administration would view the couple’s marriage as valid, while the Department of Homeland Security would view the couple’s marriage as invalid. The inconsistencies in the law make it confusing for couples to know what rights and obligations each spouse has in a divorce proceeding, if they can even access divorce rights in the first place.
Steps for Same Sex Couples to Take to Protect Their Rights
In light of these concerns, there are some steps same-sex couples can take to make the dissolution of their relationship more concrete. Same-sex couples should create a pre-marital or pre-cohabitation agreement. This agreement will provide ease and clarity in the event that the couple decides to split, regardless of whether that couple can access a legal divorce. These agreements will provide structure that can spare them the emotional and legal costs of divorce. Even more-importantly, these agreements can make decisions that courts will not, should the couple’s marriage is deemed invalid for various reasons. Although divorce is a desirable, structured way to end a relationship, these agreements create a structured alternative in case divorce is not an option for the couple. Same-sex couples may also choose to use an alternative dispute resolution technique, like Divorce Mediation which can provide structured and legal documents that outline each parties’ rights and responsibilities outside of the structure of a legal divorce. Through divorce mediation, a couple can negotiate and settle their dispute, without ever going into court.
Questions About Same Sex Marriage & Divorce in Nassau & Suffolk on Long Island, NY?
The divorce law firm of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. remains vigilant in its efforts to know and understand every aspect and new development in the field of divorce for both same-sex and opposing-sex couples. Divorce is our business and protecting the rights of couples is our responsibility and our pleasure. If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities in your divorce, please give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page for a free one-on-one consultation where we can discuss your options and determine a course of action that will be best for you and your family.
Child Custody determinations are a special form of legal dispute in Nassau County and Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. Although there are two official parties to the legal dispute, often the mother and the father, the unofficial third party that is the main concern of the controversy is the child. Because the child is the main concern of the courts, the method used by most states in resolving child custody disputes is what is known as the “best interests of the child” standard. Because this standard only considers the implications on the child as a neutral third party, it is technically neutral and does not favor either the mother or the father in the dispute.
Is the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard Really Neutral?
Many professionals in the legal field would answer that the current “best interests of the child standard” is not actually neutral in practice. Statistical evidence shows that custody is disproportionally awarded to the mother of the child in most disputes. Statistically, the courts seem to believe that the mother is more often than not the party best suited to care for the child. If this were intrinsically true, there would be no dispute that awarding custody to the mother was always in the best interests of the child. In actuality, however, this is not always the case.
Why Gender Bias in Child Custody on Long Island, NY?
There are several reasons why this gender bias exists in child custody disputes.
First and foremost, the standard used to determine custody is problematic.
General public sentiment, and historical judicial sentiment, seems to favor mothers as guardians.
The combination of the two creates a situation forcing the father to disprove a presumption that the mother is the better guardian, which makes it much more difficult for a father to win custody of his child.
‘Best Interests’ Standard Enables Too Much Flexibility?
Allowing courts to use the best interests of the child standard is beneficial, as it allows for flexibility in child custody decisions. Custody disputes are complicated and unique situations. Allowing judicial discretion in a standard allows the courts to tailor decisions to each unique circumstance. However, this flexibility may also be the downfall of the “best interests of the child” standard. Because a flexible standard lacks objective elements or factors, the ultimate determination lies in the opinion of the individual adjudicating the dispute. Consequently, if a judge, mediator, etc. lacks objectivity; it is his or her opinion that decides the fate of the child.
Discretion Favors Mothers over Fathers in Child Custody Disputes
Such wide discretion would not be problematic if public and judicial sentiment with respect to custody matters were different. However, the general public outlook on custody-related matters seems to be that mothers are naturally better caretakers to their children than fathers. Furthermore, a history of judicial decisions shows that judges share this particular attitude with the public as well. Some courts have even explicitly stated that if all circumstances were equal between the mother and the father, the mother should be awarded custody. Matthew B. Firing, In Whose Best Interests? Courts’ Failure to Apply State Custodial Laws Equally Amongst Spouses and Its Constitutional Implications, 20 Quinnipiac Prob. L.J. 223, 249 (2007). This effectively creates a rebuttable presumption that the mother, all other things being equal, is the better caretaker. As a result, instead of being judged by an equal standard, an unfair burden of proof is placed on the father in custody disputes. With a presumption that the mother is the better custodian, the father is placed in the position of having to prove that the mother is an unfit parent. The “best interests of the child” are considered, but in a different way than intended. The judge is not actually considering, objectively, which parent provides the best situation for the child, but whether the father has proven that the mother is unable to provide the best possible environment for the child.
Gender Bias Due Process Claims Unsuccessful
In addition, gender-biases in child custody determinations implicate several constitutional issues under the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause. Courts have interpreted the Equal Protection Clause to apply to gender-based inequalities, and the Due Process Clause to protect a fundamental right to privacy in family matters. Child custody has been assumed to be a fundamental right under the Due Process Clause. Although these clauses may seem to give legal merit to a father’s challenge of gender bias in the best interests of the child standard, these challenges have been historically unsuccessful.
“Best Interests” Standard Not Fairly Applied to Fathers
Gender bias in child custody disputes is prevalent, as mothers are awarded custody of their children disproportionately more than fathers in judicial proceedings. While the “best interests” standard is a good method to gauge the best environment for the child involved in a custody dispute, the standard is not always properly and fairly applied by the courts. Therefore, it may be time to reevaluate our societal outlook on child custody and make some real changes that would result in more equitable decisions for fathers.
Questions About Child Custody and Visitation on Long Island?
To learn more about what you need to know about Child Custody on Long Island, visit this page on Child Custody or contact us at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary consultation.
Long Island, NY Child Custody Questions?
Call Us. We’re Here to Help in Nassau & Suffolk
The law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. P.C. has regularly and successfully represents both mothers and fathers in Child Custody disputes in Nassau County and Suffolk County courts on Long Island. If you have questions about your Child Custody case, give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page for a free, complimentary consultation where we can discuss your case and advise you on the best way forward. We’re here to help.
Nobody on Long Island enters into a marriage anticipating that it will end in a divorce. Why would you? That said, we all know the statistics of how many marriages end in divorce, nationally and locally. In light of that reality, many Long Island couples believe that it’s not a bad idea to consider the benefits of having a pre-marital agreement in place as a precaution to preserve your assets should your marriage end in divorce.
Prenuptial Agreements Minimize Future Conflict
A properly prepared and executed Prenuptial Agreement has the potential to minimize the possibility of conflict upon the dissolution of a marriage, reducing the need for the litigation of financial issues between the parties. Parties considering a prenuptial agreement should pay particular attention to certain requirements that need to be met in order to properly execute a prenuptial agreement.
To ensure the validity of the contract, there are several legal requirements that must be fulfilled when entering into a pre-nuptial agreement. In order for a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid, there must first be complete financial disclosure between the parties entering into the contract. The purpose of complete financial disclosure is that it eliminates the possibility that one party may claim ignorance pertaining to the other party’s financial resources at the time the parties entered into the agreement. A party may claim ignorance if the other party fails to provide him or her with specific financial information, and knowledge of that information would have influenced his or her decision to enter into the per-marital agreement in the first place. Both parties should fill out a Statement of Net Worth to avoid this situation from occurring. Doing so will guarantee that each party is informed of the other party’s financial position when they enter into the prenuptial agreement.
Separate Legal Representation
Another factor that should be taken into consideration to preserve the validity and integrity of a prenuptial agreement is that both parties should be represented by separate counsel when negotiating the terms of this type of contract. Retaining separate counsel will ensure that both parties are represented fairly during the drafting of the agreement. It will also eradicate the potential for any claims of attorney bias in the preparation of the terms of the agreement.
Have Your Prenuptial Agreement Notarized to Avoid Disputes Later
In the execution of a prenuptial agreement, parties must also properly acknowledge their signatures on the document before a notary public. Failure to do so may result in the invalidity of the agreement. This was the case in Matisoff v. Dobi, where both parties acknowledged that they had signed a prenuptial agreement, but the New York Court of Appeals nevertheless held that the parties should have complied with the Domestic Relations Law, which requires a certificate of acknowledgment. Recognition of the authenticity of the signatures by the parties was not considered adequate for the purposes of satisfying the acknowledgment requirement under the statute in this case. However, in Bloomfield v. Bloomfield, the Court of Appeals decided that a premarital agreement was not required to have this type of acknowledgment. In any case, clients should be mindful of how their prenuptial agreements are executed in order to prevent the possibility of such litigation over the validity of an agreement from occurring.
Take Time to Consider the Terms of Your Prenuptial Agreement
In addition to the above considerations, parties must also be afforded sufficient time to contemplate the terms of an agreement. The time in which a prenuptial agreement is signed in relation to a marriage is an important factor for courts in determining whether a party may have signed an agreement under duress. This aspect of entering into a prenuptial agreement relates to fairness and the notion that the agreement the parties are entering into is free from any “undue and unfair advantage.” Matter of Grieff, 92 N.Y. 2d. 341 (1998).
Prenuptial Agreements Protect Your Property
Prenuptial agreements serve to protect the separate property rights of parties entering into such an agreement. A prenuptial agreement is not only beneficial in that it can aid in the preservation of assets in the event of a divorce, but also in that it can help to reduce the potential for litigation over certain financial disputes that may arise between parties. While prenuptial agreements are a useful tool in this sense, it is essential that parties seeking a prenuptial agreement ensure the contract’s validity by taking the necessary steps to guarantee its proper execution. This can be done by engaging in full financial disclosure, obtaining separate representation for both parties, properly acknowledging the signatures on the agreement before a notary public, as well as allowing for sufficient time between the signing of the agreement and the nuptials.
Contact Us for More Information on Prenuptial Agreements in Nassau, Suffolk, Long Island, NY
Do you have questions about Prenuptial Agreements on Long Island? Contact us today by calling 631-923-1910 or filling out the short form on this page for a free, complimentary consultation where we can discuss the issues involved in acquiring a prenuptial agreement before your marriage.
As a Family Law attorney practicing in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island, NY, the Law Office of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. PC is often called upon to represent fathers and mothers in paternity cases in Nassau County and Suffolk County courts.
How Nassau & Suffolk Courts Determine the Child’s Father
Under New York law, there is a rebuttable presumption that the husband of a woman who gives birth during the marriage is the legal father of the child. Therefore, the husband will be considered the legal father of the child even if he is not the biological father. This presumption is rebuttable, meaning that a petition for paternity can be filed to determine if the husband is in fact the father of the child. When a child is conceived through natural methods of conception, there is a rebuttable presumption concerning paternity, but what about when the mother is artificially inseminated?
Domestic Relations Law Section 73
According to New York Domestic Relations Law Section 73, there is an irrebuttable presumption of paternity when a married woman gives birth to a child via artificial insemination when both the husband and wife as well as the physician who performs the service consent in writing. However, there is only an irrebuttable presumption that the husband is the legitimate father of the child if all the statutory elements are met. But what happens when an element is not met?
Artificial Insemination Can Cloud Paternity
Prior to the enactment of Domestic Relations Law Section 73, there was a rebuttable presumption that the husband was the legitimate father of a child born during the marriage even if the husband did not provide written consent. The presumption of legitimacy under common law stems from a strong public policy in favor of the legitimacy of children.
Husband Must Prove He is Not the Father
Upon the enactment of Domestic Relations Law Section 73, if the husband does not provide the requisite written consent and the husband objects to recognizing his status as the legitimate father of the child, then there is no irrebuttable presumption of legitimacy because the statutory requirements were not met. However, even in cases where the husband does not consent and Domestic Relations Law Section 73 is inapplicable, the husband must still prove by clear and convincing evidence that he is not the father of the child. Two major factors to consider are whether the husband held himself out as the father of the child or children and whether he made a clear objection to the procedure. These are only two factors in a complicated web of factors that a judge would need to consider in determining whether the husband has met his burden of proof.
What About Unmarried Fathers?
It is important to note that both the common law presumption of legitimacy and Section 73 only pertain to married couples. How does an unmarried father establish paternity? The easiest method for an unmarried father to establish paternity is through voluntary acknowledgement. If a father no longer wishes to recognize his paternity after a voluntary acknowledgement, he can petition to vacate that acknowledgement within 60 days. However, after 60 days the father must prove that there was fraud, duress or mistake of fact involved in order to petition to vacate.
Paternity Actions in Nassau County & Suffolk County, NY
Another method of establishing the paternity of an unmarried father is to bring a Paternity Action to determine the father of the child. The alleged father may bring a paternity action, but the mother of the child, the child’s guardian, a public welfare official, or as deemed appropriate by the Family Court Act, may also bring a paternity action. The judge has the discretion to allow or deny a paternity action based on the best interests of the child.
Unmarried Fathers Must Act Quickly to Establish Paternity
Pursuant to Family Court Act section 517, an unmarried father has until 21 years from the birth of the child to establish paternity. A putative father who wishes to exercise his paternity rights should do so as soon possible, because unmarried fathers do not have the same parental rights as married fathers. For example, if the father’s parental rights were going to be terminated, only a legal father or a registered putative father is entitled to notice of the potential termination. A legal father is considered a father who has voluntarily acknowledged paternity, or a court has determined his paternal status. A registered putative father is a father who registers his intent to claim paternity with The Putative Father Registry, but he must do so in a timely manner. By registering with The Putative Father Registry, the father has the right to notice of all court proceedings involving the child and the child will then be entitled to inherit assets from the father.
Want More Information?
The Long Island Divorce Attorneys at Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. are dedicated to keeping current on the latest rulings with respect to divorce, paternity and father’s rights in Nassau County and Suffolk County courts and how those rulings can affect their clients. Call us at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page and we will be happy to demonstrate how we can help you during a free consultation.
Our attorneys use our extensive experience, track record of success and passion for all facets of divorce and family law to affordably protect your interests. We work every divorce and family law issue with caring concern and dedicated personal attention.
Our Personal Attention Pays Long Term Dividends
We recognize that every divorce or family law case is unique and yours will have implications in your life for many years to come. Not every case can be negotiated out of court; not every case has to be litigated. We will take the time to understand the specifics of your case, listen to your personal goals and desires, and help educate you on the options available to you.
We Only do Divorce & Family Law
Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. is a proud member of these prestigious legal organizations and groups.
The law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. is proud to bring honest, knowledgeable, aggressive and caring representation to a broad range of clients like you on Long Island, NY. The depth of our combined experience, an appreciation and sensitivity to your needs and objectives provides you with the ability to make intelligent and well-informed decisions regarding the direction, progress and ultimate resolution of your legal issue, whether by way of settlement or litigation.
Protect Yourself and Your Children
Divorce is often referred to as the restructuring of your family. If you have children, your divorce or separation will certainly affect them. You owe it to your children, as well as to yourself, to hire a law firm that is committed to achieving the best result tailored specifically for your family. Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. has the intensive, in-depth knowledge and experience to provide your family with the personal attention and high level of service you require to bring your matter to a successful conclusion.
Pick up the phone and call us at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page to schedule your complimentary introductory consultation with Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. Your initial consultation is a casual “get to know you” meeting where we will get to know you and learn more about the specifics of your unique situation. We can discuss all the options available to you and help you decide which is the best route for you to take for your divorce or family law matter. You’ll get to know us and we’ll get to know you. Read more about our free initial consultation here.
The law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C. is conveniently located between Nassau County and Suffolk County in Melville, Long Island, New York
Visit us at: 20 Broadhollow Road(Route 110) Melville, NY 11747 between Exit 49N off the LIE and Exit 40S of the Northern State Parkway.
From the minute my now x-husband and I met with Robert, we both felt comfortable and confident that he and his firm were a great fit for our "gray divorce". Divorce is unsettling but the firm and the confidence, consideration and responsiveness made this very challenging time much easier to navigate. I am grateful for the whole team at Hornberger Verbitsky. Reasonable competent and fair to both my "x" and I. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone needing legal representation. Patty is also the "bomb" she was always kind and patient with me, which was a blessing during this very difficult life changing time.
Robert has been my attorney for 14+ years. Through the years he has taken every call, and responded to every email, even when we were not dealing with an active court matter. Most recently, he, and his amazing team, did everything to see me through a lengthy and draining child support modification. His experience with Divorce, and Family Court, matters makes him extremely knowledgeable; therefore, if he doesn’t feel you can benefit from an action, he will advise you as much. He is not in this business to charge you fees just for the sake of making money. He will listen to you, take your feelings into consideration, and then take the time to explain how the Law works. The Courts do not care about your feelings but he, and his entire firm, genuinely do care about you AND work to obtain the best possible outcome! All the while, truly understanding these matters are very difficult to go through emotionally AND the financial impact they have on you. I highly recommend Robert and his firm… you will not be disappointed.