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New York Appellate Court denies separate property credit for marital home

Every few weeks it seems there is a new decision by a New York court, trial or appellate level, that speaks to the importance of obtaining a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Last month, in Klauer v. Abeliovich, the First Department (which handles mid-level appeals from Manhattan trial courts) issued just such a decision. First, some […]

Divorce on Screen: Mrs. Doubtfire

SPOILER ALERT for a very predictable movie from 1994. We all remember the 1994 classic family comedy Mrs. Doubtfire, yes? A heartwarming tale of a dedicated if absentminded dad who would do anything to spend time with his kids. Belly laughs, tears, the mom is mean, etc. Let’s take a minute to recollect the actual […]

Long Island Court: A child can have three legal parents

A Suffolk County trial court has issued a first-of-its-kind decision in a New York case: a child may have three legal parents, who all share custody. You can read the entire decision in Dawn M. v. Michael M. here, or read the more “fun” New York Post article describing it here. And the facts are […]

Family Law on Screen: The Affair, Season 2

The-Affair

Those watching Showtime’s drama series The Affair (and if you aren’t, you should be, it is excellent) have been treated to quite a bit of New York family law over the last two seasons. While HBO’s Divorce, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, has gotten the lion’s share of press coverage regarding on-screen depictions of matrimonial discord, […]

New York’s Highest Court Expands the Definition of “Parent”

In a true landmark ruling, the New York Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court, has embraced a broader definition of a “parent” which would include the same-sex spouses of biological parents who did not adopt their partner’s child. In doing so, the Court overturned its prior precedent defining parenthood for purposes of custody […]

On neglect findings and custodial rights of parents of neglected children

In a sad story from Ulster County, the Third Department, in In the Matter of O’Dale UU v. Lisa UU, has upheld a trial court decision granting the father of a 9 year-old child sole legal and physical custody after the mother admitted to, over a three-month period, giving the child excessive amounts of the […]

Should I Get a Prenuptial Agreement?

Engaged couples should think about getting a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) if: Either partner owns their own assets; One or both partners owns a business; There is an earning disparity between the partners; or They wish to reduce uncertainty and risk in the future In New York, and particularly in NYC and the surrounding metropolitan area, […]

Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd Partner Jacqueline Newman Interview by Piers Morgan on Madonna’s Messy Custody Dispute

Jacqueline Newman, managing partner of Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd, was interviewed last week by Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on the popular iTV morning show Good Morning Britain. The topic: the messy and extremely public child custody fight now being waged between Madonna and ex-husband Guy Ritchie over their child Rocco, who currently resides […]

Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd, LLP Announces New Partner Jessica L. Toelstedt

Berkman Bottger Newman & Rodd, LLP, is extremely proud to announce that Jessica L. Toelstedt has been promoted to partner, joining current partners Barry Berkman, Walter F. Bottger, Jacqueline Newman, and Evan D. Schein. Jessica joined the firm in 2012. Prior to this, she worked for another Manhattan firm where she also focused on complex […]

Divorce in Song: Blu Cantrell’s “Hit Em Up Style”

We all know the 2001 song “Hit Em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell, yes? Not only was it a massive hit back then, it still pops up pretty frequently in clubs and on the radio now. It is, inarguably and without question, a great song. It is also a song with some very bad legal […]

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