Amidst all of the emotions that a divorce case brings to the forefront, there are certain details that need to be respected. One of these details is often met with hesitation. That would be compulsory financial disclosure required by New York Domestic Relations Law. Clients seem to be very curious as to how far they can push this requirement without complying. It need only be said that failure to comply with required financial disclosure can result in penalties under CPLR §3126. Such penalties can result in having equitable distribution issues resolved in favor of the other party; the Court prohibiting you from being allowed to introduce certain relevant financial evidence necessary to support your case; or even dismissal. Although it can be tedious to complete the disclosure paperwork, it is still better than losing your share of the marital assets for failing to comply. If you have any questions regarding this matter or need assistance with a divorce in general, please call 516-858-2620 to speak to a Divorce Attorney today!
Can you handle your own bankruptcy, divorce, eviction and/or foreclosure defense?
We have been receiving more and more calls and visits from individuals whose do-it-yourself legal representation went awry. These individuals have filed their own bankruptcy petition, started to defend their own foreclosure action, filed their own divorce petition or have tried to evict a tenant. We are usually asked if we can salvage their case by fixing the mistakes that were made. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t.
We are certainly not against people handling their own legal matters. We are all for people saving a buck in this economy. There are certainly situations where you can handle your own legal matter without any problems at all. However, you should be fully aware of the potential consequences you face should things not go so well.
Here are some of the potential consequences you face if you fail to properly follow procedure and/or the law when handling your own divorce, tenant eviction, bankruptcy filing, or foreclosure defense:
- Your case is dismissed (you have to start all over. You likely lose time and money)
- Treble damages for an illegal eviction
- Jail for an illegal eviction
- Case dismissed for failing to follow law or procedure
- Loss of non-exempt property
- Denial of discharge
- Adversary proceeding brought against (usually alleging non-dischargeability of debt)
- Jail for fraud
- Your answer is treated as a notice of appearance
- Loss of meritorious defenses
- Loss of your home
- Dismissal of petition
- Unnecessary delay
- Loss of marital assets and spousal support
The above is not meant to dissuade you from doing any of the above on your own. It is simply meant to give you an idea of some potential consequences you might face. It might be a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable attorney before making a final decision on self-representation. You may find that the potential savings are not that great and that you could actually end up losing lots of money and time if things go wrong.
No matter what you decide to do, we wish you well. All the best!
As always, The Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to speak with an attorney.