The Latest News

How Much Does It Cost To Get Divorced In New York?

Posted On: July 26, 2021

One of the earlier questions a client usually asks during a consultation for divorce is what are the monetary costs (legal fees) of obtaining a divorce.  The reality is, in New York, the costs for a divorce are slightly higher than the national average.  However, that takes into account that the divorce rate is higher in New York than in other places in the country, as well as the fact that the cost of living and earnings of people in New York are also higher. 

Unfortunately, the process between court fees and the documentation required by the courts in order to grant a divorce cannot be avoided.  Therefore, the actual costs of your divorce will vary, depending on the complexity of your matter as well as which method or process you utilize.  Obviously a highly contested divorce, i.e. with two attorneys fighting every issue out through the court system can become astronomically expensive.  Collaborative divorce and mediation are less expensive and are a much more holistic approach. 

However, when all is said and done, in my opinion and experience, Mediation and the Collaborative process can run about the same.  Again, each case is different and it depends largely upon the complexity of your circumstances i.e. whether there are children, retirement assets, marital assets and debt, etc.

It's important to have the right professional to help you navigate any process.  That is why a collaborative divorce, using collaboratively trained professionals, in my opinion, is the best and most holistic approach and when compared with the alternatives is the most cost effective.

If you have any questions please contact me @ Spiriolaw.com or one of the amazing Collaborative Divorce Professionals @ LICDP.com

Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

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People Share The Worst Pieces Of Marriage Advice They’ve Ever Gotten

Posted On: July 20, 2021

This article is actually a compilation of responses tweeted from an inquiry on what was “the worst divorce advice they ever received”. 

One of the items that I have always thought was sage advice was “never go to bed angry”.  However, one person responded that sometimes it is exactly what you should not do, because you’re tired, you’re angry and you are better off getting some sleep and waking up fresh and seeing if the argument is still something that needs attention or is serious. 

This one seems to be truly one of the worst pieces of advice.  A woman recalled that a co-worker interpreted her and her husband’s decision not to have children as something that the husband was imposing, and she advised her to stop her birth control and once he was settled with the fact that she was pregnant, he would have no choice and therefore would have to be happy about having a baby.

Although that is truly mind blowing, we know from experience that marriages have been conceived this way as well as creating other difficulties in marriages when someone chooses unilaterally to make choices regarding having children. 

I hope you enjoy the balance of exciting and different so called advice, and if someone offers you advice about your relationship and/or divorce, hopefully you will approach it with common sense and knowing that only you truly know what is going on in your relationship and where the communication levels are at.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Jonas Grinevičius and Mindaugas Balčiauskas of BoredPanda.com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

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Six Things You Should Do After A Divorce, But Before A New Relationship

Posted On: July 13, 2021

For many, divorce is an earth shattering, life-changing experience.  This article discusses this individual person’s perspective on six things she felt, in retrospect, that people should do after being divorced and before starting a new relationship.  

I like her suggestion of going away alone and spending some quality time with yourself.  This will help someone get perspective and restart/reboot themselves.  As important is having some quality one on one downtime with your children.

Spring cleaning, not only removing your ex’s items from your home, but also possibly refreshing some of your rooms with a new look or style will give you a fresh take moving forward.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Katie Bingham-Smith, ScaryMommy.com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

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How Happy Marriages Stay Happy: 7 Signs of a Rock Solid Relationship

Posted On: July 07, 2021

The preamble of this article interestingly points out that society is set up to support and satisfy business interests but not family interests; so when two people come together in a marriage, although they have each other, they many times face the problems of the world without much support from society. 

Researchers have studied marriages for decades to figure out what works to keep a couple together for the long hall.  They have found these 7 factors outlined in this article to be essential for a happy long term marriage:

The first thing that a relationship really needs is a strong foundation. It is suggested that starts with a good friendship.  Although your primary relationship should be one of your primary friendships, it should not be your only friendship.  Like plants and trees in nature, people need space to grow in the sun and flourish.

Successful relationships often demonstrate that the individuals are truly in a successful partnership where they always have each other’s back and are always supportive of one another.  They share successes, they share disappointments, but more importantly, they support one another when there is a problem.  As termed in the article, it’s not “codependency”, but “interdependency”.  Being consistent and empathetic with each other are required for a truly successful partnership. 

What  most people don’t realize is that optimism and positivity are essential to succeed in any avenue in life.  This is especially true in a committed, primary relationship.  Being optimistic and positive enables a person and/or a couple or partnership to face conflict and problems and to come up with problem solving  strategies that are creative.  Practicing gratitude and being grateful for all aspects of the person in your life and having empathy for their circumstances and the things they are going through in life, in addition to your own, really fortifies the relationship.  It’s like the infrastructure that creates a strong foundation.  Think of it as steel used to reinforce concrete. 

How do you manage stress?  How do you as a couple manage stress?  Stress is a very big factor in life and it comes in all forms.  Plus, no one is immune.  Everyone has stress in their life, in one form or another.  How we individually and as a couple face stress and adversity can affect the health of a relationship. 

I found this article to be a very introspective read with some great points on what we should all pay attention to in our relationships.   Let me know your thoughts about the items outlined in this article.  I’ve only touched on a few.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Virginia Pelley, Fatherly.com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

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Happy End of Pride Month!

Posted On: July 01, 2021

🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈Happy End of Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

Hope you all got to enjoy some of the amazing pride events this past month. For me pride is an all year round thing.🙃🥰 I am fortunate to belong to the Nassau County Bar Association LGBTQ Committee and The Suffolk County Bar Association LGBTQ committee. 

When I was young Pride parades were a demonstration that we exist and to show our numbers. For many it was a danger just to March. Now Pride month is an essential yearly acknowledgement that LGBTQ+ individuals are represented and are free to be themselves and a celebration of living life openly and freely.  It is also a time to honor and pay respects to all our LGBTQ+ rights warriors past and present.  We have fought hard to get where we are today but there is so much work to be done to combat the current backlash of rights we have obtained. 

A Very special shout out to Charlie Arrowood who has worked sooooo hard getting the Gender Recognition Act passed in New York State and succeeding - I am so honored to know Charlie and thank him for all he has done and continues to do. (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-signs-gender-recognition-act) ! 

Happy Pride from the Nassau County Bar Association LGBTQ Committee!

And if you did not get to see The Suffolk County Courts LGBTQ Pride Celebration including tThe Suffolk County Bar Association LGBTQ committee and honoring our very own Justice Chris Ann Kelley. check out the recording  via this link: http://wowza.nycourts.gov/vod/WowzaPlayerVOD.php?source=suffolk&video=20210623_PrideCelebration.mp4.  

Happy Pride and stay strong and vigilant all year long to protect progress made and forge forward to more love and understanding and acceptance🏳️‍🌈

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The Homeowners Association Told Them They Couldn’t Fly a Pride Flag. So They Did This Instead

Posted On: June 27, 2021

Well, it’s Pride month and this Wisconsin homeowner did not let their Homeowner’s Association prevent them from showing their pride colors.  This homeowner had an existing pride flag on their property since 2016, however, when someone complained, the homeowner’s association, with other conflicting complaints with respect to displaying flags, declared that the only flag that could be shown on a residence, was the American Flag. 

This homeowner got very creative and went to the by-laws and chose to flood their house with rainbow colored lights. 

I love it!  Happy Pride Everyone!

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Bil Browning, lgbtqnation.com
Royalty-free picture courtesy of UnSplash

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Spirio Law Celebrates 25th Anniversary!

Posted On: June 07, 2021

I absolutely cannot believe it has been 25 years since I started and created my own firm.  Although I have been in practice for 34 years, nothing has been more satisfying than having my own law firm for the past 25 years.   Through all the ups and downs of economy, businesses and through COVID, we are still a presence in the legal community and respected by our peers.  I must say that this would not have been possible without the support of family, friends, colleagues, my fabulous staff and most importantly my clients who have supported our firm over the years. 

THANK YOU does not begin to cover it.  I have enjoyed working in the different areas of law over the years but most importantly, I have immensely enjoyed helping my clients reach positive outcomes for themselves, their businesses and their families. 

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

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From Judge Paul G. Feinman to the Nomination of Justice Anthony Cannataro:  Two Openly LGBTQ+ Judges And The New York Court of Appeals

Posted On: June 03, 2021

Loss of Legal Scholar
In Memoriam
Judge Paul G. Feinman 

Originally I was planning on writing a tribute article to Judge Feinman in recognition of his service and ignited by his unexpectedly and sudden retirement from the Court of Appeals.  Needless to say, it was a tragic shock to hear of his unexpected passing on March 31, 2021, only eight (8) days after the sudden announcement of his retirement for health reasons.  This tribute, intended to be about his early retirement, is now an article in memoriam.

This is an incredible loss for the entire legal community and especially for the LGBTQ community who has lost an avid advocate and voice, not only to the public but from the bench.  As many know, Judge Feinman was an incredible legal scholar and jurist and LGBTQ voice from the Court of Appeals bench.  

We mourn the untimely passing of Judge Paul G. Feinman (only 61), one of the Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, who ascended to the Court of Appeals in June, 2017, as a result of Governor Cuomo’s nomination.  Judge Paul G. Feinman, was the first openly gay Associate Justice of the N.Y.S. Court of Appeals.

Born and raised on Long Island, we were proud and fortunate to not only have had another Long Islander reach high levels in the judiciary, but for him to ascend to our Court of Appeals, not only as an esteemed Jurist, but as the first openly gay and LGBTQ representative and voice.  

Chief Judge, DiFiore, said that “Judge Feinman is an exceptional Judge and a magnificent human being, who has made extraordinary contributions to the Court of Appeals during his tenure and that he will be greatly missed”.  We echo that sentiment and are sorry that his voice and a voice for the LGBTQ community will no longer be on the bench. 

Justice Chris Ann Kelley, of the Suffolk County Supreme Court shared “I recall watching the  N.Y.S. Senate confirmation hearing when Judge Feinman was officially confirmed as an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.  His humility, warmth, wit and keen intellect are apparent in that presentation before the Senate.” She further commented that at his confirmation hearing before the N.Y.S. Senate Justice Feinman was questioned about the appropriateness of his filling the vacancy caused by the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam.  Judge Feinman responded: “Certainly my entire career has been about promoting equal access and equal justice for all, and I hope to add to the diversity of perspectives that the Court considers.” Judge Feinman underscored the importance of adding LGBTQ+ voices to the Bench. 

As a member of the SCBA LGBTQ Committee in Suffolk County, I recall Judge Kelley recounting how she reached out to Judge Feinman on a whim, to invite him to the Suffolk County Court Pride Event, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall.  She was surprised that he answered his own phone in chambers.  She related that he was so personable and humble and approachable and that he did not hesitate in accepting an offer to come speak at the Suffolk County event.  Judge Feinman graced us with his presence, and we were able to hear his insightful review of the history of LGBT cases decided by the Court of Appeals. He was so friendly and approachable to the members of our committee.  He has served as a role model and mentor to many lawyers and judges.

Judge Kelley also shared with our committee that she was brought into an association, known as the International Association of LGBTQ + Judges, which Judge Feinman was actually a member and a past president.  It is a unique association that supports LGBTQ + Jurists on the bench.  

Judge Feinman was so dedicated.  I was told of an instance where he literally left his hospital bed to appear and give testimony, with respect to Judge’s salaries.  

He was so dedicated to our profession, to his fellow attorneys and fellow jurists.  His voice and presence will be sorely missed!

Last Week Governor Cuomo Nominated Justice Anthony Cannataro
To Serve As The Second Openly LGBTQ+ Judge
Of The New York Court Of Appeals
In Its 170-Year History

Per the LGBT Bar Association of New York:  While the LGBTQ+ legal community has been deeply affected by the loss of their dear friend, Judge Paul Feinman, with the appointment of Justice Cannataro, the Court will once again have a member who has a deep commitment to, strong relationship with, and empathic understanding of the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

As the Administrative Judge of the New York City Civil Court, Justice Cannataro brings a unique perspective on the challenges of administering a vast and often burdened court system. Justice Cannataro is one of the original Commissioners of the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the New York Courts. In this capacity, Justice Cannataro has presided over an education program to ensure that transgender litigants, among others, are treated with respect and dignity in their interactions with the courts.

We applaud the Governor for this nomination and urge the Senate to move swiftly with confirmation.  




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