Monthly Archives: September 2018

Help Paul Goldhamer of KGG Fight Multiple Sclerosis!

NJ & NY family lawyer Paul Goldhamer, Esq. is a founding partner at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. In addition to practicing divorce and estate law, Mr. Goldhamer keeps busy with lectures, teaching, and TV & radio appearances. He is proud to have helped pioneer free legal seminars for the public in the Tri-State area. Mr. Goldhamer was cited as a “Super Lawyer” in 2014 by Superlawyers.com.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

Dear Friends, Clients & Fellow Fighters of MS:

As you may know, I am again riding in the 2018 BikeMS rally on Oct. 21, 2018. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, disabling disease that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and body. MS is different for everyone, and that makes it all the more challenging.

Mile by mile, dollar by dollar, Bike MS provides needed funding to ensure people affected by MS can live their best lives. I truly appreciate your support. Your tax-deductible contribution will help create life-changing programs for people living with MS.

If you already contributed this year: Thank you!

To make a donation online, click below:
http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/NYNBikeEvents?px=13657273&pg=personal&fr_id=29981

To send a donation, mail to:
National MS Society – NYC – Southern NY Chapter
Attn. Bike MS NYC
733 Third Ave, Third Floor
New York, NY 10017-3204

All checks should be payable to:

NYC-Southern NY Chapter of the National MS Society

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How To Prove Fault When the Other Car Ran a Stop Sign

Stop SignIf you are hit by a car that ran through a stop sign, it can be both frightening and dangerous. Suddenly, your life may be in peril, and through no fault of your own.

Accidents like this can be quite severe, because one car going through a stop sign when another car actually has the right of way means that the right-of-way vehicle may be hit broadside in what some call a T-bone collision. The term refers to the 90-degree angle of the collision, where the red light-running car hits either the driver or passenger side of the other vehicle with the front of the car.

This kind of accident can cause fatalities or severe injuries. As a result, you might want to bring a legal case for damages, to receive compensation for medical bills, surgeries, damage to your car, and more.

To win a case, you will have to prove that the other driver was negligent. This means that the law was clear, the stop sign was posted, but that the driver ignored the instruction to stop.

Proving Negligence

Proving negligence is not always easy. You need evidence that the other driver ran the stop sign. Evidence can be gleaned in several different ways.

1. Witnesses

If there were witnesses to the collision, get their statements. They may be called on to say what happened if the case goes to court. Get the contact information of any witnesses as well.

2. Surveillance cameras

Some traffic intersections have surveillance cameras. If they do, the surveillance tape can be very helpful in proving that the driver ran a stop sign. However, since not every intersection has cameras, this can’t be relied on.

3. The location of the damage to both cars

Many judges and juries will accept the location of damage as indicating what happened in an accident, even in the absence of witnesses. In a T-bone accident, the car with the right of way will sustain damage to the side, in all likelihood. The car that ran the stop sign will likely sustain damage on the front.

4. Pictures taken at the scene

If you have a smartphone, take multiple pictures at the scene. Take pictures of your car from all angles, the other vehicle from all angles, the stop sign, and any skid marks. Take pictures of any injuries as well.

Remember, car damage can be repaired. The negligent driver may repair damage in an attempt to deny culpability. One picture is worth a thousand words.

5. A police report

If you have been hit by another vehicle, it’s very important to call the police right away. They can also interview witnesses, of course. They will also file a police report that can be used as evidence.

6. Draw a picture

It’s useful to draw a picture of what happened if you don’t have a camera. Show the intersection and approximately where the car that ran the stop sign entered it.

When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a driver who ran a stop sign in New York or New Jersey, we can help.

NY & NJ car wreck lawyers at KGG have decades of experience successfully litigating these kinds of cases. Call us toll free or fill out the form on our website to schedule a consultation in our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices. We will review your case thoroughly. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.

Additional Resources:

  1. Harris, Tom. How Red-light Cameras Work. How Stuff Works. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/safety-regulatory-devices/red-light-camera2.htm
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Highway Loss Data Institute. Red light running. https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/red-light-running/topicoverview
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Class Action Lawsuit Forms Against Sinclair Broadcasting

Sinclair Broadcasting TV Stations Under InvestigationIf you have invested in Sinclair Broadcasting shares between February 22nd, 2017 and July 19th, 2018, you may be entitled to compensation if a newly forming class action lawsuit proves successful. The complaint charges the company with violating federal securities laws and failing to disclose important information to investors. If you have lost $100,000 or more due to Sinclair Broadcasting’s actions, you have until October 9th, 2018 to become part of the legal action pending in the States District Court for the District of Maryland.

What Happened to Sinclair Broadcasting?

Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting was not just denied a $3.9 billion merger that would’ve linked over 200 stations across the country. Now, in what Variety Magazine called “a spectacular crash and burn,” Tribune filed a $1 billion lawsuit, accusing Sinclair of breaching its obligations to get the deal cleared by federal regulators. The Justice Department is reviewing actions taken by Sinclair, Tribune, and other broadcast groups for potential antitrust violations.

According to Tribune, Sinclair “engaged in belligerent and unnecessarily protracted negotiations with DOJ and the FCC over regulatory requirements.” Further, they contend that Sinclair “rejected clear paths to regulatory approval” and “found, threatened, insulted, and misled regulators” to retain control over stations they were obligated to sell. The lawsuit claims selling stations in 10 problematic markets would  have enabled the deal to go through, but instead, Sinclair “invited litigation” over divestitures and “went so far as to threaten to file its own lawsuit against the DOJ.”

The Merger Had Critics On Both Sides of Political Spectrum

The Sinclair merger may have been doomed from the start, with left-leaning opponents worried Sinclair would have served as a mouthpiece for President Trump to make his way into local newscasts while those on the right such as Newsmax figurehead Chris Ruddy fearing the concentration of ownership “posed serious risks for diverse and balanced news in America’s heartland.” The American Cable Association said the failed merger is great news for consumers who would’ve paid higher rates for television. However, the collapse wasn’t good news for everyone.

Why Does A Failed Merger Matter to Citizens?

Sinclair Broadcast Group shares took an 11.8% nose-dive after FCC Chairman Aijt Pai expressed concerns about the merger. Similarly, Tribune Media shares fell as much as 18%. These sharp declines resulted in losses of more than $100,000 for some shareholders.

The complaint alleges that the Defendants:

  • Made false and/or misleading statements and omitted material facts
  • Failed to disclose important information about the company’s operations and proposed merger
  • Attempted to openly defy the FCC’s broadcast ownership rules
  • Failed to disclose that the merger was not in compliance with FCC rules and regulations
  • Proposed divestitures that were sham transactions in violation with federal securities laws
  • Did not use their best efforts to overcome obstacles to regulatory approval

Get Help Filing a Claim

Contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. to speak to an experienced attorney in New York and New Jersey. We have over four decades of experience with class action lawsuits. We’re big enough to do it all, and small enough to care! With a class action lawsuit, you can expect a representative party (the “lead plaintiff”) to act on behalf of all class members in establishing a compelling argument in favor of compensation for all affected parties. If the litigation is successful, all members of the party can be eligible to receive a portion of the compensation package.

Additional Resources on the Class Action Against Sinclair Broadcasting:

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Jackknife Truck Accidents: What Are They and Why Do They Happen?

big rig truckJackknife truck accidents are some of the most dangerous that can occur on New York and New Jersey roads. Truck accidents caused 3,838 deaths nationwide in 2015 in 2015, the last year for which statistics are available. There were 317,000 truck collisions across the country in 2012. Because trucks are larger and heavier than many other vehicles, a crash involving one can do much more damage than a collision with a standard size vehicle.

It’s likely you’re heard the words “jackknife truck” to describe a particular type of accident — especially because alerts frequently go out on radio and television when one of these accidents happen. But you might not know exactly what a jackknife truck accident is or why it happens.

Jackknife Truck Accidents Caused by Skidding

The term “jackknife” is used because it’s a type of accident where part of a large semi-truck or tractor trailer turns at a 90-degree angle to the other part. The end result looks like an open jackknife, or like a capital letter “L.”

Jackknife truck accidents are significantly dangerous. First, when parts of the truck turn in multiple directions, the potential exists for other vehicles to be hit in either direction, given the size of trucks. Second, the accident can cause the truck to be spread out over the roadway so that traffic must come to a stop. This raises the potential for rear-end crashes, since trucks travel on heavily frequented major roads.

Third, jackknife accidents are precipitated by skids, and those are caused by the driver trying to stop the vehicle too quickly. Sometimes, it is an experienced driver not braking properly. It can also be caused by weather. Wet and slippery roads can cause a truck to skid and jackknife. But other jackknifes can be caused by the driver’s need to avoid a vehicle that has swerved in front of the truck, debris, or some other type of obstacle. All those causes can spell potential danger for other vehicles on the road as well.

If You Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a jackknife truck accident or any other kind of truck accident, we can help.

The causes of truck accidents can be complicated and fault is often not easy to determine. The truck itself, the way it was loaded, the cargo, the driver, traffic, and weather conditions can all have contributed.

Please call KGG today or fill out the form on our website. We have decades of experience successfully investigating and litigating truck accidents and making sure the injured and those left behind receive just compensation.

We can meet you at our Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ offices. All initial consultations with a NY & NJ truck accident lawyer are complimentary.

Additional Resources:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC Vital Signs, March 2015. Trucker Safety. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/truck-safety/index.html.
  2. United States Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/81121/2017-pocket-guide-large-truck-and-bus-statistics-final-508c-0001.pdf
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How Is Child Custody Decided When Parents Live in Different States?

Child custody in divorce: Mother comforting her daughter, sitting in the bedroom, huggingIf you and an ex-spouse or divorcing spouse live in different states, you may be wondering how child custody is decided. It’s a good question, because states often handle custody very differently.

Custody Generally Follows the Rulings of the Child’s Home State…

Almost all U.S. states follow the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). According to the Act, custody will follow the determinations of the child’s home state. All custody hearings are physically held in the home state.

The child’s home state, in turn, is usually determined by where the child has lived for the last 6 months. That state’s jurisdiction will have priority over any other state, regardless of where the parents live.

So if your divorcing spouse lives in Florida but you and your children together live in New York, custody law will follow New York law.

If you and your children relocate to any other state, New York remains the children’s home state for six months. After that, the new state, provided the children are still living with you, become the home state.

…But Other Factors Can Be Considered in Deciding the Home State

But there are cases where these general rules may yield to other considerations. The UCCJA also places authority to determine which state is the child’s home state in the court’s hands. The court may consider multiple other factors, in this order according to the UCCJA.

  • The child’s relationships with other people in the state may also be a determining factor in deciding the home state. These connections may be with grandparents, doctors, teachers, other people, and friends.
  • Safety can be a determining factor. If an abusive former spouse caused you to move to another state to put distance between you, for example, the new state may be determined to be the home state.

If parents don’t agree on what the children’s home state is, they might both attempt to gain custody in their state of residence.

If that occurs, judges from both relevant states examine the evidence and decide which state should be considered the home state. Two states are never allowed to be the children’s home state, because of the possibility of conflicting or competing rulings.

If You Need a Divorce Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, our Rockland County, NY & Bergen County, NJ divorce lawyers have been helping clients with child custody solutions in New York and New Jersey for more than 40 years.

We are experts in child custody, visitation rights, child support, alimony and spousal support, division of marital assets, modification after divorce, parental relocation, and conservatorships.

Additional Resources

  1. Boyd, Karie. “How Is Child Custody Decided When Parents Live in Different States?” January 18, 2016. DivorcedMoms.com. https://divorcedmoms.com/how-is-child-custody-decided-when-parents-live-in-different-states/
  2. Smurda, Matthew. “Which State or Country Should Handle My Multi-State or International Child Custody Dispute?” October 31, 2016. DivorceMagazine.com. https://www.divorcemag.com/blog/multi-state-or-international-child-custody-dispute-/
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Social Security Savings Trick: Wait to Take Your Full Benefits

NJ & NY divorce lawyer Paul Goldhamer, Esq. is a founding partner at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman. In addition to practicing estate and matrimonial law, Mr. Goldhamer maintains a crowded schedule of lecturing, teaching, and doing media outreach. Among numerous accomplishments, he helped to establish free legal seminars for the public in the Tri-State area. Mr. Goldhamer was honored by Superlawyers.com as a “Super Lawyer” in 2014.

From Paul Goldhamer, Esq.:

A word about when you should take your Social Security. You can take your Social Security at Full Retirement Age (FRA)  at if you were born:

Year                       Age
1937 or earlier        65
1938                       65 and 2 months
1939                       65 and 4 months
1940                       65 and 6 months
1941                       65 and 8 months
1942                       65 and 10 months
1943-1954              66
1955                       66 and 2 months
1956                       66 and 4 months
1957                       66 and 6 months
1958                       66 and 8 months
1959                       66 and 10 months
1960 and later        67

But here’s a great savings trick. If you don’t take your full retirement at age Full Retirement Age (66 for most of us approaching retirement) and wait one year, you will get 8% more in Social Security Benefits, tax deferred. If you wait the maximum allowed four years, until age 70 (you must take it at age 70), you will get an additional 32% each year, thereafter.

People always think they won’t live long enough to gain a benefit from waiting. However, the Social Security Administration and many others have studied this belief of dying early and have discovered that 93% of people live substantially longer than they predict.

If you delay taking Social Security for 4 years you will lose 100% of your benefit for the 4 years or 400% of 1 year’s Social Security payment. But, if you live to be 82 ½ ,  you
will make up the 400%. From the time you’re 70,  you will be paid 32% more each and every year you survive (or your spouse survives). Remember, when you die,  your spouse will receive your higher Social Security benefit.  Therefore,  if one or the other of you survive more than 12 ½  years to age 82 and six months, you will be ahead on the investment. Further, if you have a disabled child who’s collecting Social Security on your Social Security benefit, the child will receive the higher amount for the rest of their life.

In actuality, the benefit is 8%  more per year for the rest of your (or your spouse’s) life, once payments commence. If you think you need the money, you are better off taking money from your savings to live until you are 70. Very few people can successfully invest and make 8% every year. The S&P 500 this year so far is at 5% … and that is taxable.

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Remarriage After Divorce: Legal Implications

Woman divorcing and taking off wedding bandIt’s well known that divorce has profound legal implications. How often you see any children from the marriage, your salary, and even where you live can be affected by legal proceedings surrounding your divorce.

But what about remarriage? Are there any legal implications if you remarry after a divorce?

See below for the legal implications of remarriage on key areas of divorce agreements.

Child Support

If you or a former spouse are paying child support under the legal terms of a divorce, remarriage is not likely to affect the payments. Courts usually hold that biological parents are responsible for financial support of their children. Step-parents are not.

The situation could change if the new spouse moves to become an adoptive parent, but one of the parties to the divorce would likely have to petition the court for a change.

Custody and Visitation Rights

If you have custody of or visitation rights with children from your former marriage, there is no reason for these to change upon your remarriage.

But bear in mind that marriages often involve moving or even beginning new families. If your former spouse has visitation rights on weekends and your new spouse has a job requiring that you move across the country, the former spouse’s visitation rights may be affected.

It’s a good idea to talk with your former spouse about your new plans and try to come to an amicable agreement. Both custody and visitation rights are legal rights, and your former spouse may decide to begin a court case if new arrangements do not allow them to be met.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, or alimony, is usually given today if one partner in a divorce has no means of earning a salary, is primarily responsible for child-rearing, or needs retraining for a salary. Whether spousal support stops upon remarriage or not depends very much upon the terms of the divorce decree.

Before you remarry, it’s a good idea to read over the terms of the divorce decree and perhaps consult an attorney about the current spousal support obligations you have.

Other Financial Obligations

It’s a good idea to review your financial obligations before a remarriage, so you and your spouse are on the same page. Are you, for example, committed to putting children from the former marriage through college? Have you agreed to this? That may mean a lengthy financial commitment that both new spouses need to be aware of.

Do you have other financial obligations stemming from the former marriage, such as payment into retirement funds, or payments on a house? Because these payments affect your disposal income, your new spouse may expect to know about them.

If You Need a Divorce Lawyer in New York or New Jersey

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman is a family law firm that has represented clients in divorce since 1975. We are committed to long-lasting, fair, and reliable solutions that benefit you and your family.

Our expertise includes child custody and visitation rights, child support, alimony and spousal support, division of marital assets, post-divorce modification, parental relocation, and conservatorships.

Additional Resources:

  1. Brooks, Rodney. “Remarrying in retirement? Look before you leap.” USAToday. August 21, 2014. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/brooks/2014/05/20/retire-baby-boomer-divorce-remarry-pension/9171469/
  2. Heidelberger, Eirene. “How To Gently Talk To Your Kids About Divorce.” Huffington Post. August 23, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-gently-talk-to-your-kids-about-divorce_us_5b7eca66e4b03067348d99eb
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