There are numerous benefits of hiring a Long Island divorce lawyer to help with your family legal issues. Most people already know about the major ones, like protecting your rights and increasing your chances of a favorable outcome. Learn more about why you need an experienced lawyer for your divorce. Below, you’ll learn about some not-so-obvious benefits of having experienced legal advocacy during a divorce or other family legal matter, and how to get in touch with an knowledgeable lawyer in your area.
As a Long Island divorce lawyer, my assistance is often sought to submit to the court a name change request on behalf of their minor children Nassau County or Suffolk County court. I have found that the general consensus regarding name changes in New York is that the process is quite easy. However, the reality of the situation is quite opposite.
Procedural Requirements for a Name Change in Suffolk County or Nassau County Court
In order to file a name change request, you must first download and fill out the appropriate forms from the New York State Unified Court System website. If you wish to do this on your own you must be careful, as there are different forms for “state” residents as opposed to “city” residents. Because my divorce attorney firm practices mainly in Nassau County and Suffolk County, this blog will discuss only how to file for a name change in those counties. After completing the requisite forms, you will need to file them with the court. There is a $210 filing fee in Supreme Court, as well as any additional fee associated with filing a Request for Judicial Intervention. A Request for Judicial Intervention is a necessary form that alerts the court to your request in order to have a judge assigned to the matter.
The Petition for an Individual’s Name Change requests information such as whether the minor (or individual seeking a name change) has ever been convicted of a crime, has ever filed for bankruptcy, or if there are any judgments or liens against the child or any property titled to the child. This information is requested because if the judge believes you are seeking to change your child’s name to commit fraud or otherwise avoid debts, liabilities and/or other responsibilities, it is likely your request will be denied.
What Do I Have to Show in Suffolk County or Nassau County Court for My Petition to Be Granted?
The recent Suffolk County case Matter of Dennington (Schaeffer), 2014 NY Slip Op 51735 (U)(2014), analyzed what may and may not be a valid reason to grant a name change petition.
The Petitioner, who alleged the child’s father was absent from the child’s life, sought to change the child’s last name to her own maiden name. After hearing conflicting testimony about the father’s role in the child’s life, the Court noted that deciding a name change petition must be done after an examination of the totality of the circumstances, and whether based upon those circumstances, granting the petition would be in the best interests of the child involved. Therefore, such a decision is not based solely upon the word of the moving party. Rather, the court will consider, among other things, whether changing the child’s surname would affect his or her relationship with either parent, how the child is known throughout the community, the extent to which the child identifies with his or her last name, and, if old enough, the child’s preference to have his or her named changed. Matter of Eberhardt, 83 A.D.3d 116, 123-24 (2d Dep’t 2011).
Additionally, even if a court finds a name change to be in the best interests of the child, there must still be a “compelling” reason to grant the name change, such as “where the natural father is guilty of misconduct, abandonment, or lack of support.” Matter of Dennington (Schaeffer), 2014 NY Slip Op 51735 (U)(2014). It is believed that unless one of the above is shown, such a decision is better left to the child when he or she reaches maturity. Id.
What if the Non-Custodial Parent is Delinquent in Child Support Payments?
What most likely caught your eye from the above decision is the statement that the lack of support may be a compelling reason to grant a name change application. However, it also must be known that while the Court in Dennington did note that the lack of support was a compelling reason, it also denied the Petitioner’s motion even though she alleged that the Respondent-Father was in arrears on child support and his wages were now being garnished. Therefore, it seems that there must be a gross lack of support for this to be sufficient grounds on which to base a name change application.
Your Long Island Divorce Lawyer Can Advise You Regarding Name Change Petitions in Suffolk County or Nassau County Court
Whether or not to file a name change petition on behalf of your minor child is a purely personal decision. As a Long Island divorce lawyer, I can only guide you as to the laws involved and the likely outcomes. If you have doubts as to whether your petition would be granted, you may take either the “wait and see” approach, and allow the child to make his or her own decision upon reaching the age of 18, or the “I’ll never know unless I try” approach and file now. As always, it is important to remember that the child will be affected by any name change, and you must be sure you are seeking this for the right reasons.
When you’re ready to move forward, give the experienced and compassionate Long Island divorce lawyers at Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., PC a call at 631-923-1910. We’ll help walk you through the process so you can decide for yourself which route is in your, and your child’s, best interests.
Long Island, NY divorce lawyer Robert E. Hornberger, Esq. is pleased to offer you a free copy of his brand new eBook written to help you navigate the often murky waters of divorce in New York State.
The eBook, “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” takes the mystery and fear out of the often the difficult process of divorce so you can make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
Why the ‘Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York’?
Speaking to your spouse about a divorce is not likely a conversation you imagined yourself having when you got married. But as we all find out sooner or later, we never know what life has in store for us. As a Long Island divorce attorney with 15 years of experience, I have seen husbands and wives enter my office with numerous emotions; complete disbelief, extreme anger, and at times, even joy.
However one thing that stays the same with the majority of the clients we encounter is that each one is anxious. Most people will go their entire lives without dealing with the court system, but a divorce puts you in the position to stand in front of the judge and discuss personal matters.
We know how complicated and scary this unknown process of divorce can be. Therefore, my job as a Long Island divorce attorney is not only to fight for the rights of my clients in court, but to also fight for them outside of court, and attempt to make a stressful process just a little less stressful.
Our intent behind publishing this book is exactly that. We hope to provide you with some general information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the State of New York, so you are better able to meet with divorce attorneys confidently, and begin your divorce prepared for the road that lies ahead.
We understand that if you’re considering a divorce on Long Island, you are likely distraught at the prospect of going through a divorce. Even if you are initiating the divorce, it’s still an emotional experience and there’s so much confusion and misinformation out there. We wrote this book to help people who may be considering divorce in New York understand what they’re getting into. We hope that by being able to read this book on your own time from the comfort and convenience of your own home, you’ll be better prepared for what’s to come when you take the step to meet with a Long Island divorce lawyer.
The eBook covers the most important issues anyone on Long Island considering divorce in New York will have to tackle. We’ve provided a glimpse of the Table of Contents of the eBook below to demonstrate the comprehensive nature of this guide. Far from a “sales pitch” for our firm, we want you to consider carefully what you’re getting into and be sure that you’ve tried everything to save your marriage before you initiate divorce proceedings. We also want to be sure that, should you decide to divorce, that you are prepared to move on with your life after your divorce in a healthy and happy way.
We know that it’s difficult for anybody to absorb all the information they need to know sitting in a divorce lawyer’s office, particularly when you’re in emotional turmoil. Our hope is that, after reading the book, when you visit a Long Island divorce lawyer, you’ll know what to expect and be more relaxed and able to make the best decisions for you and your family.
Download Long Island Divorce Lawyer, Robert E. Hornberger, Esq.’s New eBook Now
The new eBook, “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” is available now as a free download from the company’s website, https://divorce-longisland.com
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.
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
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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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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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