Author Archives: smandb

  • 0
Real estate law in the Dutchess County area

Real estate law in the Dutchess County area

Category : Real Estate

My name is Mark Serino and I have been practicing real estate law in the Dutchess County area for decades, representing buyers, sellers, lenders, and contractors.   I started helping real estate clients with my dad, Jerry Serino and continue to do so with my law firm, Serino MacKay & Berube, PLLC. Through my interactions with thousands of clients, I have learned
that a lack of information and knowledge can be frightening when revealing your “financial soul” to obtain a mortgage, especially when you are making what potentially will be the largest purchase of your lifetime.

If you are looking to buy a home, it is important to get a good realtor and a great attorney to assist you in this potentially intimidating process. Below is a quick check list of some major concerns you should pay attention to during your entire real estate purchasing process. Feel free to cut this out and use as your personal check list when buying a home. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me @ 845-462-0001.

Best of luck and happy house hunting.

√ Call me to discuss your plans & needs

√ Shop local to obtain a pre-approval letter from a local lender

√ Consult with a local realtor

√ Locate the house of your dreams

√ Negotiate the purchase price contigent upon a satisfactory home inspection

√ Consult your attorney to review & execute contract & submit down payment

√ Excercise due dilligence and get a proper home inspection

√ Renegotiate contract based on any repairs or existing conditions

√ Execute mortgage commitment – obtain a survey if necessary

√ Attend and enjoy a smooth closing

√ Walk away with a smile & set of keys to your dream home!

Real estate law in the Dutchess County area


  • 0
DUTCHESS COUNTY DWI LAWYER

HIRING A DUTCHESS COUNTY DWI LAWYER

Category : Criminal Defense

Handling a Dutchess County DWI or Poughkeepsie DWI case requires knowledge of the Assistant District Attorneys, the Judges and the procedures in each individual Dutchess County Court.  Having started my career as an Assistant District Attorney in Poughkeepsie prosecuting DWI cases in all of Dutchess County I realized not all Judges, attorneys or cases are the same.  This is where experience matters when hiring an attorney to handle your Poughkeepsie DWI case.

The procedures and policy of the Dutchess County District Attorney are often changing.  When I first started practicing Poughkeepsie DWI law 23 years ago the unwritten policy was if a reading was above a .15 then the person would initially receive an offer of a plea to the charge.  It was then up to the Poughkeepsie DWI attorney to convince the assistant district attorney to reduce the Poughkeepsie DWI case.  When I was a prosecutor I would clearly listen more to a experienced trial attorney then one who had little to no trial experience. I knew they could not back up their arguments in a hearing or trial and often just would back down.  Things have changed little in this regard and Assistant District Attorneys still know who will and will not take borderline cases to hearing and trial.  Worse still is the readings are much lower for a plea to the charge offer, the jail time higher, the fines higher and the possibility of losing your license forever now a threat in all Poughkeepsie DWI and Dutchess County DWI cases. It is more important that ever to hire the right Poughkeepsie DWI lawyer or Dutchess County DWI lawyer to represent you.

At Serino, MacKay and Berube we have handled thousands of DWI cases of the course of our careers and more importantly have brought hundreds of these cases to either trial or hearing.  When looking for the right attorney experience matters come in and meet with one of our attorneys for a free consultation on your matter today.  

DUTCHESS COUNTY DWI LAWYER


  • 0
School District and Dutchess County Divorce

School District and Dutchess County Divorce

In today’s age of tight budgets schools look very closely at whether a student is in fact enrolled in the district and school which they are attending.

Education Law 3202(1) provides “a person over five and under 21 years of age who has not received a high school diploma is entitled to attend the public schools maintained in the district in which such person resides without the payment of tuition.”

In a Poughkeepsie divorce, parents who lived together with the children are now often living apart and living apart in separate school districts.  The question is what district must the children attend?

 

In a shared residential custodial case the parents can choose the district that they wish the children to reside.  This should be clearly delineated in the parties Dutchess County divorce agreement.  THE MAJORITY OF TIMES IT IS NOT!!! .(see http://www.counsel.nysed.gov    decision no. 15,288.) In a joint custody arrangement the answer is more complicated. “Residence” for purposes of Education Law 3202 is established by one’s physical presence as an inhabitant within the district and intent to reside in the district. Longwood Cent. School District. V. Springs Union Free School Dist. 1 NY3d 385; Appeal of Sigsby, 44 Ed Dept Rep 97, Decision N. 15,109.

Most Poughkeepsie divorce settlement agreements will list a parent as the physical custodial parent for affixing child support obligations and this can often be misconstrued as picking a school district.  Your agreement should spell out what school district the children will be attending and list why the parties believe they meet the test below.

The test in a joint custodial arrangement as to which school district the children must attend was spelled out in Appeal of Forde, 29 Ed Dept Rep 359 and Appeal of Cortes, Decision No. 13,818. http://www.counsel.nysed.gov .

“In those cases where the child’s time is essentially divided between two separate households and the parents both assume day to day responsibility for the child, the determination of the child’s residence must rest ultimately with the family.  In such cases, the custodial parent may designate the child’s residence for purposes of Education Law 3202.”

There is no requirement that the time be equal, but rather that both parents be involved in the day to day responsibility and that the time be essentially divided between the parties.  Your Dutchess county divorce agreement should spell out how each parent is participating in the day to day responsibility of the children and define how while the time is not equally split that the custodial access time is essentially divided between the parents. 

School District and Dutchess County Divorce


  • 0
CHOOSING THE RIGHT POUGHKEEPSIE DIVORCE ATTORNEYS

Choosing the Right Poughkeepsie Family Attorney

Having practiced Poughkeepsie divorce law for 23 years choosing the right attorney to handle your Dutchess County case is not an easy task.  I routinely take over cases from other Poughkeepsie Divorce attorneys who know the law but are not able to get along with the clients or have handed the case off to a less experienced person in the Dutchess County law firm.  I often refuse to take on a Poughkeepsie separation case because I feel the expectation of the client is not realistic and I will be unable to meet their expectations and thus result in a poor attorney client relationship.

This leads to RULE #1 in choosing a Poughkeepsie divorce attorney: Meet with the attorney who you are going to work with and ask them questions.  A few of the questions which would seem to be common sense are rarely asked,

 A. How long have you been doing this for?

 B. Have you ever done a trial? 

 C.  Are you the attorney who is going to work on my case?  They may sound good, look and smell good, but is this bait and switch to a less experienced or different associate.  

         You have an absolute right to know who is going to be working on your Poughkeepsie divorce case because in the most difficult time in your life this is the person who you are going to have a relationship with as yours is breaking apart.  If you don’t meet the Dutchess County attorney who is handling your case at the intake you don’t hire that firm!

D.  What are the issues you see in my Poughkeepsie divorce and how can you help me?

         These are just the basic common sense questions that should be asked at all interviews with a Dutchess County family attorney.  It all relates back to RULE #1: Meet with the Poughkeepsie family attorney who is going to handle your case and see if he or she is right for you.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT POUGHKEEPSIE DIVORCE ATTORNEYS


  • 0
Dutchess County divorce lawyers

Dutchess County divorce

Category : High Asset Divorce

 

Dutchess County divorce clients often start out a consultation wanting sole custody and control of the visitation schedule. This is a common misconception of the term and what it means. There are essentially two types of custodial arrangements in a New York divorce, not to be confused with parental access schedules or visitation. They are Joint Custody and Sole Custody. The difference between the two is who will be making the major decisions for the child or children. In a sole custodial arrangement the parent who has sole custody will have the right to make all decisions relating to health, religion and education that relate to the children. In a joint custodial arrangement both parents work together to make the decisions in this area.
 Parental visitation schedules in Dutchess County divorce are as varied as the lives of different parents. They can be alternating weekends, one weekend a month, equal time often called shared custody (not to be confused with either joint or sole) and any other combination of access times the parties can work out in the best interest of their children and family.  The parent of a sole custody order does not get the right to alter a court ordered parental access or visitation schedule in Dutchess County divorce.
 Physical custody and shared custody are also terms you will often hear in a Dutchess County divorce. Neither are a joint or sole custody order but rather  are terms which relate to the time each parent has with the child or children. The Physical Custodial parent in a New York divorce is the parent who has the child or children more than 50% of the time and will be entitled to child support. A shared custodial arrangement is where each parent has the children 50% of the time. Even in a shared custodial arrangement one parent will be labeled the physical custodial parent for the purpose of child support, with the other being able to possibly seek a reduction in their child support obligation called by the Courts a “deviation”
 Custody is complex and emotions are often high in Dutchess County divorce. A poorly written or understood order can lead to loss of trust between the parents, fights and never benefits the children. Please contact Serino, MacKay, and Berube for a free consultation and more detailed analysis of your custodial issue.

  • 0
New York divorce law

Good to Know: New York divorce law

Category : High Asset Divorce

New York divorce law changed on August 15, 2010, when Governor David Paterson authorized no-fault divorce into law in Nyc state. Till 2010, New York recognized divorces only upon fault-based standards or upon separation. The Senate had approved the No-Fault Divorce process bill in June 2010, and the State Assembly passed the bill on 1st of July.

New York is really a mixed state that allows to both no-fault and at-fault divorce. In the United States, about one-third of the states, most of them inside the West and Midwest, are merely no-fault, having abolished at-fault divorce.

Wedding rings and moneyDespite being generally considered the liberal state, New York has a history of being conservative with issues regarding marriage; it was the last state in USA to allow no-fault divorce whilst still being maintains a (seldom enforced) law against adultery.  Until 1966, adultery was the sole ground of divorce; cruelty, a ground that had always been available in most other declares, was not available in Nyc

At fault divorce
The state of New York is amongst the states which allow the prospects for an at fault divorce. In cases like this, one party accuses the other of the wrongdoing (the “fault”). The other party may or may not contest. In practice, the parties might use the at fault grounds to acquire a mutually desired and agreed after divorce: they can agree to the uncontested divorce as long as one of the parties is willing to allege on the list of fault based grounds and another party accepts the “fault” without having contesting it (this was common inside the past).

An at fault divorce can be had due to the following:

  • Terrible and inhuman treatment (Domestic Associations Law §170. 1)
    Abandonment for the continuous period of one year or even more (DRL §170. 2)
    Imprisonment for in excess of three years subsequent to the actual marriage (DRL §170. 3)
    Adultery (DRL §170. 4)

Cruel and inhuman treatment need to be behavior by the defendant that rises to the level such that it causes it to be improper for the plaintiff to stay to reside with the defendant as wife and husband. Allegations under this ground include things like allegations of domestic violence in addition to repeated, extreme mental cruelty.

Abandonment might be actual or constructive. Actual abandonment is normally one spouse leaving the marital residence with no consent of the other spouse without intention to go back. One spouse may also lock out another spouse from the marital property. Constructive abandonment is the refusal of “basic obligation arising from the marital contract, ” which includes a cessation of sexual relations; establishing such a prior helpful abandonment may render the loved one who leaves, or locks out another, as the innocent spouse.

Adultery is difficult to prove the way it requires corroborating evidence from an unauthorised; thus a statement by the defendant that he or she had sexual relations with an unauthorised is not legally admissible to allow for the court to grant a divorce to the plaintiff. Furthermore, if the adultery ended up being “condoned”, i. e. the cheated-on party knew concerning the extra-marital sexual relationship but continued to stay in a marital, conjugal relationship because of their spouse, the adultery cannot serve like a cause for divorce.

Separation while ground of divorce

  • Separation will also be a ground of divorce. Common sense of Separation: “Decree of Separation” or “Judgment of Separation”, given with the court, for at least one year
  • Separation Agreement: Spouses have not lived together for a minimum of one year, and have signed the “Agreement of Separation”

Irretrievable malfunction (no fault)

Since 2010, a brand new ground has been added, effectively permitting no-fault divorce in Nyc state:

  • The relationship between wife and husband has broken down irretrievably for the period of at least a few months (DRL §170. 7)
    Even in a case of mutual consent, the parties may also disagree over child support, custody, alimony, division of joint assets or who will probably pay legal fees. These are referred to as “ancillary relief” (see below) which might be requested by one or both from the parties.

  • 0
Poughkeepsie Divorce spousal maintenance

Poughkeepsie Divorce spousal maintenance

Category : High Asset Divorce

When dealing with Poughkeepsie Divorce spousal maintenance of support formerly called alimony is one of the more litigated areas of matrimonial law concerns spousal maintenance, spousal support, this area of law requires either by agreement, court order, one spouse to pay the other spouse income. This income can be treated as taxable or can be negotiated that payer assumes tax liability. The NYS legislation in the past 3 years has made efforts to institute a formula that can be applied to all matrimonial cases to determine how much maintenance should be paid and for how long. Poughkeepsie Divorce today they have only instituted legislation to provide a formula for spousal maintenance while in litigation. Currently a list of 20 factors under the statue that leave a broad discretion with the courts as to how much, if any money a spouse can receive as well as how long.  The Poughkeepsie divorce matrimonial attorney needs to address each factor relevant to clients case because failure to do so can cost a client tens of thousands of dollars.  If you have any questions regarding spousal maintenance please schedule a free consultation with Kevin MacKay (845)462 0001Poughkeepsie Divorce spousal maintenance


  • 0

Custody is complex and emotions are often high in Poughkeepsie divorce

Category : High Asset Divorce

  Poughkeepsie divorce clients often start out a consultation wanting sole custody and control of the visitation schedule. This is a common misconception of the term and what it means. There are essentially two types of custodial arrangements in Poughkeepsie divorce, not to be confused with parental access schedules or visitation. They are Joint Custody and Sole Custody. The difference between the two is who will be making the major decisions for the child or children. In a sole custodial arrangement the parent who has sole custody will have the right to make all decisions relating to health, religion and education that relate to the children. In a joint custodial arrangement both parents work together to make the decisions in this area.
 Parental visitation schedules in Poughkeepsie divorce are as varied as the lives of different parents. They can be alternating weekends, one weekend a month, equal time often called shared custody (not to be confused with either joint or sole) and any other combination of access times the parties can work out in the best interest of their children and family.  The parent of a sole custody order does not get the right to alter a court ordered parental access or visitation schedule in Poughkeepsie divorce.
 Physical custody and shared custody are also terms you will often hear in Poughkeepsie divorce. Neither are a joint or sole custody order but rather  are terms which relate to the time each parent has with the child or children. The Physical Custodial parent in Poughkeepsie divorce is the parent who has the child or children more than 50% of the time and will be entitled to child support. A shared custodial arrangement is where each parent has the children 50% of the time. Even in a shared custodial arrangement one parent will be labeled the physical custodial parent for the purpose of child support, with the other being able to possibly seek a reduction in their child support obligation called by the Courts a “deviation”
 Custody is complex and emotions are often high in Poughkeepsie divorce. A poorly written or understood order can lead to loss of trust between the parents, fights and never benefits the children. Please contact Serino, MacKay, and Berube for a free consultation and more detailed analysis of your custodial issue.
Poughkeepsie-divorce-LAWYERS

  • 0

Financial tips for New York men facing alimony, child support

Category : Child Support

Divorce can be a challenge, and many spouses who feel that their marriage is coming to an end search for advice on how to manage the process and to know what to expect. A great deal of the information available in print and online, however, focused on advising women on how to navigate divorce. Very little is geared explicitly toward men and their divorce concerns, leaving many New York husbands feeling out of the loop and unsure what to expect when it comes to alimony and child support.

In many ways, divorce advice is gender-neutral. However, men and women do have different interests when it comes to certain aspects of a divorce. Alimony is one area that serves as an example. While many men struggle with the concept of making long term payments to a former spouse, it is possible to reframe the manner in which one considers spousal support. Alimony payments are tax-deductible, and in many cases can provide solid tax benefits when handled correctly.

A related issue involves men who might be eligible to collect, rather than pay, alimony. While spousal support was once considered solely the realm of wives, many husbands are entitled to these payments based on their own efforts to support the career of their spouse or set their own career aside to care for shared children. When a father is going to assume the primary care for those children, then child support becomes another issue that will buck the “normal” path of a divorce. If there is any question whether a husband is eligible to receive these payments, it is important to meet with an attorney to investigate the matter further.

Times have changed, and along with those changes have come shifts in the way that divorce is perceived. Men who are facing the end of a marriage should make every effort to determine their rights under New York law, as well as what to expect from the divorce process. Having this information will help spouses make the best choices possible as they work toward a favorable settlement in regard to alimony and/or child support.

Source: The Week, 8 financial tips for men getting a divorce, Hayley Krischer, Sept. 30, 2013


  • 0

Take care when claiming alimony deductions

Category : High Asset Divorce

One of the few silver linings of having to pay spousal support is the ability to deduct those payments from one’s Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI. In some cases, this tax deduction can make a big difference in one’s overall tax outlook. However, for those in New York who are planning to make use of the alimony deduction, it is important to understand how doing so can raise a red flag with the Internal Revenue Service.

Claiming alimony payments as a deduction requires that the filer submit a social security number or tax identification number for his or her former spouse. This allows the IRS to match the amount claimed as a deduction, with the amount that the recipient claims as income. However, if those two numbers do not match, both returns could be flagged for further review.

In 2010, over half a million tax returns were filed in which alimony was claimed as a deduction. Of those, nearly half did not list the same amount as that claimed by the recipient. From the perspective of the IRS, this may represent a significant loss, as well as a great deal of potential fines. While audits concerning these discrepancies are still relatively uncommon, it would not be surprising if the IRS decides to turn additional focus toward these discrepancies.

For those in New York who are preparing to divorce, it is important to understand how alimony will play into one’s tax planning in the years to come. It can be difficult to control whether one’s spouse files a proper tax return. However, knowing that a discrepancy could trigger an audit should underscore the importance of ensuring that one’s own return is accurate.

Source: Forbes, “Alimony Deduction Requires Good Substantiation“, Peter J. Reilly, Aug. 13, 2014


TOP QUESTIONS TO ASK

Ask Us Directly

Ask Us Directly

WP Google Maps Error

In order for your map to display, please make sure you insert your Google Maps JavaScript API key in the Maps->Settings->Advanced tab.

Office Location

Serino, MacKay & Berube PLLC

12 Walker Rd.

Poughkeepsie, NY 12603

Phone: 845-462-0001

newpic