The Types of Alimony (Maintenance) Available in New York

In New York, what is commonly known as “alimony” is referred to as “maintenance.” Maintenance are support payments made from one spouse to the other spouse. They are ordered when there is a need on the behalf of one spouse and an ability to pay on behalf of the other spouse. That is why maintenance ends up being ordered when there is a big disparity in earning ability between the two spouses. The precise payment is calculated by New York’s maintenance support formula. These payments can occur either during or after the spouses have divorced. The timing of the payments and length of payments will depend on the type of maintenance ordered by the court.

The Types of Alimony (Maintenance) Available in New York

New York has two different types of maintenance that may be awarded in a divorce. These three types differ based on the timing of the payments. The first type of maintenance, pendente lite, is also referred to as “temporary maintenance” and it is paid from one spouse to the other spouse while the divorce process is still pending. It will usually end upon the finalization of the divorce. Pendente lite maintenance will be awarded if one spouse can show a financial need for the support. If this happens, the court will employ the statutory guidelines to calculate the amount of support to award.

The other type of maintenance is post-divorce maintenance which, as its name suggests, is paid from one former spouse to the other former spouse once the divorce has been finalized. An award of post-divorce maintenance will largely be based on the length of the marriage and the incomes of the spouses. The court will use New York’s statutory guidelines to determine the baseline of support.

In addition to the statutory guidelines, New York courts will evaluate a number of other relevant factors in determining an alimony award. You see, the guidelines have a standardized calculator which will suggest a post-divorce maintenance amount, but judges do have discretion in deciding whether an increase or decrease in that amount is merited. Factors that a judge can consider in rendering this decision often include:

  • The spouses’ ages
  • The spouses’ earning capacities (both present and future)
  • The spouses’ access to medical insurance and its cost
  • A spouse’s need for further education or training
  • Tax liabilities for each spouse
  • The standard of living established when the spouses were married
  • Any missed opportunities a spouse forewent during the marriage
  • Any caregiving contributions a spouse made during the marriage
  • Any waste of marital assets 
  • Any factor the court believes to be just and proper to consider in the maintenance calculation

Family Law Attorneys

Maintenance awards and other important decisions rendered during the divorce process can have a far-reaching impact on your finances and your future. Trust the dedicated team of family law attorneys at CDH Law to advocate on your behalf during this critical process. Contact us today.

What is an Affirmative Defense?

If you have been charged with a crime, now is not the time to resign yourself to fines and imprisonment. Taking action and hiring an experienced attorney to mount a solid defense in your favor can still turn the whole thing around. What type of defense can successfully clear you of the charges you face? Well, there are a number of different defense options that will vary in applicability depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. In some cases, an affirmative defense may be asserted to clear you of criminal liability for your actions.

What is an Affirmative Defense?

When successfully asserted, an affirmative defense will excuse a defendant from criminal liability, in whole or at least in part. It basically is a “yes, but…” defense. Yes, the defendant engaged in behavior that may be considered criminal in other contexts, but in this case extenuating circumstances present mean that no criminal liability should attach. The defendant must affirmatively raise this kind of defense and has the burden of proof in the matter. If successful in meeting this burden, an affirmative defense will prevent conviction of the defendant even if the prosecutor has met their burden of proving the defendant is guilty of the criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

This is the basic explanation of what an affirmative defense entails, but it can still feel complicated to understand. As such, presenting examples of affirmative defenses can help clarify these otherwise murky waters. Take, for example, the affirmative defense of duress The duress affirmative defense states that the defendant did engage in the criminal behavior, but only did so under duress. Duress is the threat of serious bodily harm or death that is strong enough to induce a person to commit a crime.

Entrapment is another example of an affirmative defense. With entrapment, the defense is asserting that the defendant would not have committed the crime but for the inducement of a government agent. The government agent is oftentimes an undercover law enforcement officer.

One more example of an affirmative defense is necessity. With the necessity defense, the defense is asserting that the defendant reasonably believed that there was an imminent threat of harm to themselves or others and that the only way to avoid this imminent threat was to break the law. In order to successfully assert this defense, it also needs to be proven that the harm resulting from the violation of the law was less severe than the harm that the defendant sought to avoid in the first place.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

Are you facing criminal charges? Do not accept defeat before things have even begun. Reach out to the experienced criminal defense team at CDH Law. We will immediately begin working on your case and exploring all viable defense options to help exonerate you from all charges. Contact us today.

New York Winter Driving Hazards

Well New Yorkers, winter is upon us. Whether you love the chilly days or plan to hibernate for as much of the season as possible, the ice and snow is here for the foreseeable future. As such it is important to brush up on your winter driving safety practices. After all, even for the most seasoned winter warriors among us, New York winter driving hazards can be perilous. Let’s take a look at some such hazards and how we can all stay safe on the roads this season.

New York Winter Driving Hazards

What creates winter driving hazards? The low temperatures, the icy conditions, and the snowy conditions. These are the real root causes to pretty much all of the winter driving hazards. Consider the snow and ice, for instance. Ice and snow on the road can not only be difficult to see, but can easily cause you to lose control of your vehicle as the tires struggle to grip these slick surfaces. The lack of traction due to snow and ice can make it difficult to stop your car and it can also make it difficult to steer your car.

There are also the visibility issues to consider when discussing winter driving hazards. Ice and snow buildup on your windshield and mirrors can bring your visibility on the road to a minimum. There may also be cars driving by that kick up snow onto your windshield. On top of all of this, you may also have visibility issues due to problems within your car as well. A low functioning heater or window defroster in your car can make condensation buildup nearly impossible to combat. Foggy, icy, or snowy windshields are not going to afford you much of an ability to clearly see the path ahead of you and can be incredibly dangerous as a result.

There are also some dangerous side effects to the low temperatures we experience in New York winters. For instance, cold air impacts tire pressure. The lower temperatures causes a reduction in tire air pressure. This means that your properly inflated summer tires may not be up to snuff for the winter. Additionally, cold weather can lead to battery failure. Batteries struggle in the cold to provide sufficient charge to start a car’s engine. In colder temperature, more charge is required. This means that many end up stranded in the cold because they cannot get their car to start.

Speaking of being stranded in cold temperatures, because of all of the winter hazards out there, it is always recommended that you keep a winter emergency kit in your car. In the event that you experience car problems during the winter season, a well-stocked winter emergency kit can be invaluable. In this kit, consider including things like blankets and extra clothing. It should also contain flashlights, water, and hardy snacks.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Stay safe out there, New York. If you are injured in an accident caused by someone acting negligent this winter season, you can count on the dedicated personal injury team at CDH Law to help fight for full and fair compensation. Contact us today.

Keeping Pedestrians Safe

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, in 2020 alone, 6,516 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes. Clearly, pedestrians are at risk on U.S. roads. As such, we should all make a concerted effort to do what we can to keep pedestrians safe. Motorists and pedestrians alike can make adjustments in their behaviors to help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents that occur each year. Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can help keep pedestrians safe.

Keeping Pedestrians Safe

One of the best ways that drivers and pedestrians can help keep pedestrians safe on the roads is by eliminating distractions. In recent years, the dangers of distracted driving have become a major talking point on the national stage. With our constant dependency on and use of our phones, most states have even passed legislation making it illegal to use a handheld device while driving. Unfortunately, distracted driving persists and it is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. Drivers, put away your phones, wait to eat until you get home, give the road your full attention. You may just save a life.

Pedestrians, however, are also not immune to putting themselves in danger because of being distracted. If you look around on sidewalks everywhere, you will likely see pedestrians glued to their phone screen. They may be texting, checking email, or selecting some music to listen to on their walk. Regardless, pedestrians are as distracted as ever. Some remain distracted even when crossing roads. You can easily see how this would be dangerous. Pedestrians, help keep yourself injury and accident free. Pay attention to your surroundings.

Accounting for inclement weather conditions can also help keep pedestrians safe. Of course, best practice is to avoid walking or driving when rain, sleet, snow, and other dangerous weather patterns strike. Sometimes, however, this is not always possible. When inclement weather hits, visibility can be greatly impacted as can roadway traction. Icy or wet conditions can greatly increase the distance necessary for a car to come to a safe and complete stop or avoid a roadway hazard. These conditions can also increase the chances of a person losing control over their vehicle. In the event of rain or snow, pedestrians and drivers should remain extra vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings. Vehicles, in particular, should slow their speeds.

Pedestrians can also help keep themselves safe by wearing bright and reflective clothing, especially at night. It is best, however, to avoid walking at night altogether. After all, visibility is lower at night. It is also more likely to be the victim of someone driving under the influence when you are out and about at night. If you are out walking at night, however, make sure your clothing is visible. Stick to well-lit areas and use crosswalks whenever available. Never assume that a vehicle sees you.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Pedestrian accidents can often involve devastating injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, reach out to the trusted personal injury team at CDH Law. Contact us today.

Think Twice Before Using Social Media After an Accident

Rarely a day goes by that person does not access their social media accounts. Social media has become ingrained in our everyday lives. We have come to depend on it to provide us with updates on friends and loved ones near and far. It provides a sense of community and support to many. We post our thoughts, share our feelings, and show people a glimpse into our lives. There are so many benefits of social media, but it does not come without its risks. This can be particularly and poignantly true when it comes to the time following an accident. Accident victims risk more than they may know when using social media while they have an injury claim pending with an insurance company. Here is why you should think twice before using social media after an accident.

Think Twice Before Using Social Media After an Accident

Insurance companies investigate claimants. This is a fact. You may not believe it, but insurance companies have vast resources and they use it to protect their bottom line. This means looking into the lives of claimants to see if there are any weaknesses in their accident claims. Insurance companies will dispatch investigators to follow claimants around, covertly taking pictures of their day to day comings and goings. It will also involve a thorough search of the claimant’s online presence.

Well, you may think that there is nothing on your social media that could hurt your claim. You may think that you would never post anything that would hurt your claim. The trouble comes with the fact that even the most seemingly innocent social media activity can end up undermining your claim or completely destroying it.

For instance, you may post something about the accident after it happened. It may be just a simple “I was in an accident, but I am okay.” Innocent enough, right? Well, saying you are “okay” after an accident can be twisted around as you saying you were not hurt in the accident. This is a sticking point if you have a pending injury claim related to that very accident. It doesn’t matter if your intention was only to assuage the fears of your loved ones that you may have been seriously injured, an insurance company will use it as it can.

After an accident, you have to carry on with your everyday life despite the new challenges you may face. Doing this and posting evidence of this on social media can read very differently. For instance, you may have posted pictures from your weekend hike or kayaking trip. When these kinds of pictures get in front of an insurance adjuster, however, they can spin it in a different direction. They can claim that it does not look like you are that hurt or that you are suffering too much after an accident. Posts and photographic evidence of things like this can be compelling. Even if the reality is different, pictures like this can be difficult to refute.

Personal Injury Attorneys

After an accident, call CDH Law. We know the tricks of the insurance company and we are not only here to protect you from them, but to stand up and fight for you. Contact us today.

When Settlement Negotiations Don’t Work in Personal Injury Cases

Being injured in an accident is an overwhelming ordeal to go through. After such a traumatic experience, there are still battles and hurdles to overcome afterwards. While trying to cope with the pain of your injuries, you may feel helpless as you watch medical expenses pile up. You may be missing out on wage earnings due to missed time at work. The anxiety and financial pressure can be severe. It is no wonder accident victims are often extremely eager to reach a resolution on their personal injury claim. While most personal injury claims end in reaching a settlement with the insurance company, what happens when settlement negotiations do not work in a personal injury case?

When Settlement Negotiations Don’t Work in Personal Injury Cases

Settlement negotiations on a personal injury claim usually begin with the sending of a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will outline the events of the accident. It will detail the property damage and, perhaps most importantly, it will detail the injuries sustained by the claimant in the accident. The claimant’s damages will be broken down and estimated. This will all be presented to the insurance company. As a result, the insurance company will likely generate their initial offer on the claim.

Now, brace yourself for that initial offer, because, after all you have been through, you may be disheartened by it. It is often extremely low and not nearly what you deserve to be paid out on your claim. The insurance company is often hoping that the claimant will accept this initial offer in a desperate attempt to quickly resolve the claim and get at least some much-needed compensation to cover expenses. Remember that once you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, you will be asked to sign a release that will prevent you from bringing any future claims on this accident. In other words, you get one shot to recover the compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered in the accident. Do not get wrapped up on the idea of a quick recovery when it could have such a significant impact in the long term.

After the initial settlement offer made by the insurance company, there will often be a back and forth exchange of offers and counteroffers. In most cases, a settlement agreement is reached. There are some cases, however, where an insurance company will fail to come back with a reasonable offer. They will not budge and you as the claimant will have some tough choices to make. At this point in the process, it is time to seriously consider the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the insurance company.

By bringing your claim to court, it is important to realize that you could leave the courthouse with nothing. You could, however, end up being awarded much more than you would have gotten through settlement negotiations. The point is that you must take a good, hard look at your claim. How strong is it? Are there any potential questions as to who is actually liable for causing the accident? Is the medical evidence of your injuries clear, consistent, and solid? If you have a strong claim, then it may be a good idea to file a lawsuit.

Personal Injury Attorneys

The time dealing with the insurance company after an accident can be frustrating, especially after all an accident injury victim has been through. Hand this burden over to the dedicated team at CDH Law. We are here to fight for you. Contact us today.

CDH Law Partners with New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers

Syracuse, NY (Law Firm Newswire) November 01, 2022 – CDH Law announces they are partnering with New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers. New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers is a law practice that defends drivers throughout New York against traffic tickets. Law enforcement may have an unfair advantage regarding traffic violations, but we have the skills and experience to level the playing field.

Located in downtown Syracuse, our firm regularly handles all types of traffic violations, including no seat belt, cell phone use, speeding, reckless driving, disobeying traffic control devices, red light violations, DWI, driving with a suspended license, operating without insurance, and CDL commercial tickets.

Drivers who get ticketed sometimes pay the fine just to be done with it or fail to appear, both of which are costly mistakes. We represent clients in traffic courts around New York and have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes. Our traffic ticket attorneys are former prosecutors with the legal know-how to investigate, litigate, and defend traffic infractions on all levels.

No matter the traffic violation, we are committed to helping our clients keep their driving records clean and protecting their driving privileges. Been ticketed by the police? Call for the informed representation we provide. Contact our office today to learn how we can help.

Contact:

CDH Law, PLLC
100 Madison Street Tower 1
Floor 12, Suite 1220
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: 315.930.0538

Working to Build a Solid Co-Parenting Relationship

The bottom line is that you and your co-parent are in it for the long haul. After a divorce, it may feel impossible that you and your former spouse will be able to work together on anything. While it may be true that you will never have a close or overtly friendly relationship, however, it can be important for you both to work out some way to build a solid co-parenting relationship. Such a relationship will evolve and you will likely establish many boundaries along the way, but your child has everything to benefit from a good co-parenting situation and everything to lose from a bad one. Let’s discuss some ways that you can work towards solidifying a positive co-parenting relationship.

Working to Build a Solid Co-Parenting Relationship

The foundation of an effective co-parenting relationship will be your means of communication. This will look different for everyone. Some co-parents may choose to only communicate through a co-parenting app. Others may choose to text, email, call, or talk in person. There is always the possibility that a combination of these communication methods will work for you and your co-parent. It is important to note, however, that any conversations via a phone call or in person should usually be put in writing afterwards. This means writing down the details of what was decided during the conversation and sending them to your co-parent via text or email in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

The means of communication with your co-parent is important, but so is how you communicate with them. Keeping communications positive, or at least not negative, and focused on a specific purpose can be critical to building a solid co-parenting relationship. Snide remarks and other displays of contempt for your co-parent are not likely to be tolerated well for long. They can quickly chip away at your ability to effectively communicate with each other. It can be difficult. It will likely involve biting your tongue on more than one occasion. Just remember what you are doing this for. Your child will reap the benefits of seeing you work together with your co-parent, as difficult as it may feel for you to do.

Sticking to the parenting plan can also play a big role in building and maintaining a positive co-parenting relationship. The details set forth in the parenting plan can set everyone’s expectations and manage them as well. Sticking to the parenting plan helps ensure that everyone is operating in a manner consistent with the expectations established by the parenting plan. When there are deviations from the parenting plan, things can get chaotic quickly. So, as often as possible, stick to the plan. If the plan is not working for your situation anymore, consider seeking a modification to make some changes official.

Family Law Attorneys

For all of your family law needs, the team at CDH Law is here for you. Contact us today.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New York?

We place so much trust and faith in our doctors to take the best possible care with our health and well-being. When a doctor proves undeserving of that trust, provides substandard care, and a patient is harmed because of it, the law provides us with a way to seek compensation for that harm suffered. If you have suffered harm due to medical malpractice, you can pursue a claim for monetary compensation for the losses you have sustained as a result of the negligent medical care you received.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in New York?

Medical malpractice is based on the legal theory of negligence. In order to prove medical malpractice, you need to be able to prove that a doctor or other medical professional was negligent in the care they provided to you. What does that mean? What constitutes medical malpractice? Well, medical malpractice occurs when the following elements of negligence are substantiated:

  • Duty:  If you are a patient of a doctor or other medical care provider, they owe you a duty of care. That duty of care is to provide you with medical attention comparable to what would be provided to you by a similarly situated medical provider under similar circumstances.
  • Breach:  If your medical care provider fails to uphold this duty and provides you with substandard medical care, they have breached the duty of care to which you were legally entitled.
  • Causation: The breach of the duty of care must have been the direct and proximate cause of any harm you claim to have suffered
  • Damages:  You must have sustained compensable damages as a result of the breach of the doctor’s duty of care that caused you harm. 

It is important to understand that the damages you claim in a medical malpractice case are a reflection of the harm you have suffered. The damages you recover are meant to, in large part, compensate you for the losses you sustained due to the medical negligence. That is why damages in a medical malpractice case will commonly include things like medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential. Damages will also likely include things like loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.

In other words, if a doctor provided you with substandard medical care and you were harmed as a result, it is likely that you have a medical malpractice claim on your hands. Be mindful that, in New York, there is a 30 month statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. Failure to bring your claim in a timely manner will likely result in you being barred from bringing it altogether.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys

If you have suffered as a result of negligent medical care, do not delay in reaching out to the team of dedicated medical malpractice attorneys at CDH Law. Medical malpractice claims can be tricky and the stakes are high when you may have incurred significant harm. We fight for our clients and their legal right to full and fair monetary recovery. Contact us today.

What are the Most Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents?

Most other vehicles on the road do not stand a chance against a tractor trailer. These oversized vehicles can cause devastation when involved in an accident. Resulting injuries are often serious, if not fatal. So, how do we share the road safely with large trucks? For starters, you can give them a wide berth on the road. Stay focused and drive defensively. You can also learn about some of the most common causes of tractor trailer accidents and account for this information when you are sharing the road with a tractor trailer.

What are the Most Common Causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents?

There are too many different causes of tractor trailer accidents to recount at one time. The nature of these causes runs a wide range. Here, we will focus on the more common contributing causes to tractor trailer accidents. There can, of course, be more than one cause of a tractor trailer accident and it is not uncommon for multiple causes discussed here to be at play in an oversized truck accident.

First, let’s take a look at some of the external, environmental factors that can often cause a tractor trailer accident. Weather, for instance, can create unsafe roadway and driving conditions. Heavy rain, snow, and sleet can mean slick road surface. Slick road surfaces mean significantly reduced traction which, in turn, makes it more difficult to effectively stop or slow a truck down and increases the chances of a truck driver losing control over the vehicle. Furthermore, such weather conditions can severely impair the driver’s ability to see other cars and hazards.

Poorly maintained roads and confusing construction site arrangements can also lead to tractor trailer accidents. It is dangerous enough for a regular-sized vehicle to hit a pot hole on a poorly maintained road, but this danger exponentially increases with an oversized vehicle like a tractor trailer. A tire blowout caused by a pothole can lead to the truck jackknifing and sweeping out to other lanes of traffic, unable to stop hitting anything in its path.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the dangerous driving behaviors tractor trailer drivers engage in that are often the root causes of accidents. Driver fatigue, for starters, is a common cause of tractor trailer accidents. While truck drivers can put in long hours on the road, there are legal regulations in place that restrict the number of hours a truck driver can put in within a certain period of time. Unfortunately, far too many drivers ignore the restrictions and end up driving while tired. This can slow reaction time and impair judgment.

Truck drivers can also engage in reckless driving behaviors that can all too easily result in an accident. Excessive lane changing, speeding, disregarding traffic signals, and tailgating are all common causes of truck accidents. Truck drivers driving while distracted also greatly increase the chances of an accident occurring. When truck drivers check their phones, text, eat, or engage in any activity that takes their full attention away from the road, accidents happen.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Trucking accidents can have devastating results for all involved. If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident, you can count on CDH Law. Contact us today.