Matrimonial & Family Law

Kristen Mackay Pennessi, New York Matrimonial Law

The McCarthy Fingar Team

McCarthy Fingar maintains a reputation in Westchester and throughout the New York metro region as a leading law firm for Matrimonial Law and Family Law. People whose family relationships are under stress or failing need lawyers who are not only powerful advocates, but will take the time to understand their individual circumstances, and fashion positive solutions to their unique problems. The lawyers in our Matrimonial & Family Law group are some of the best known and respected attorneys in our region. They have both the skills and experience to represent our clients as they deal with the complexity of legal, economic and emotional issues presented in marital and family disputes. We are especially sensitive to striking the correct balance between financial and emotional issues affecting our clients and their families.

What We Do

From litigation to non-litigation services, our Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers provide a full range of services in courts in Westchester and through out New York, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Negotiation and preparation of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements.
  • Separation Agreements, Stipulations of Settlement and Uncontested Divorces for numerous clients at all income and asset levels.
  • Litigating in the Westchester courts and throughout the New York City region, all aspects of Family Court Proceedings and Divorce Actions, including:
    • Orders of Protection
    • Paternity Disputes
    • Temporary Support Awards
    • Restraining Orders
    • Domestic Violence issues
    • Exclusive Occupancy of the Marital Residence
    • Maintenance
    • Child Support
    • Counsel Fees
    • Equitable Distribution of Marital Property
    • Establishing Separate Property Claims
  • Settling disputes through the work of our Collaborative lawyers.
  • Trials and Appeals of Child Custody Disputes, including child relocation.
  • Post-judgment enforcement and modification matters.
  • Through coordination within our firm we work to ensure that our client’s other legal needs are met, which could include assistance from our Trusts & Estates attorneys.

Client Testimonials

Click on client testimonials to see what our clients say about our Matrimonial & Family Law attorneys.

Contact Us

McCarthy Fingar’s Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers are dedicated to our clients’ success. If you think you may require our assistance or have any questions, please contact Kristen Mackay Pennessi by email (kpennessi@mccarthyfingar.com) or by phone (914-385-1033).

02/27/2020

Gebhardt & Miller Speak on Parent Education in Custody Cases

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sonda M. Miller, both members of our Matrimonial & Family Law, Appellate Practice and Collaborative Law groups, presented “Mandatory Parent Education in Custody Cases: The Pilot Program” at the Westchester County Courthouse. This CLE program, sponsored by the Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association, described the requirements of the new initiative in which judges must refer divorcing parents to OCA-approved classes that assist the parents in putting their children first.

02/25/2020

Borrelli Lectures on Ethics & Diversity Training

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured on “Ethics” and “Diversity Training” at a program sponsored by the Yonkers Lawyers Association.

02/17/2020

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured in Manhattan on “Judicial Ethics Update – 2020”, at the Annual Convention for the New York State Association of Towns, as part of its Town and Village Justices Program.

01/07/2020

Borrelli Lectures to New Judges on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our  Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups,  lectured at the NYS Judicial Institute in White Plains, New York on “Judicial Ethics”, for the Unified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices.

12/06/2019

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics for New Judges

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured in Albany, New York on “Assuming the Bench – Judicial Ethics”, for the Unified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices.

11/26/2019

Borrelli Lectures to Law Students on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups,  was a guest lecturer in White Plains, New York at a Professional Responsibility class at Pace Law School (Elisabeth Haub School of Law), speaking on “How Judicial Ethics Issues impact your Law Practice”.

10/01/2019

McCarthy Fingar’s “Super Lawyers”

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio Douglas S. Trokie James K. Landau

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the field of Family Law. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the field of Family Law. James K. Landau has again been selected in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Appellate, and has again been selected for the Top 25 in Westchester County for Super LawyersFrank W. Streng has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. Douglas S. Trokie has again been selected in the fields of Business/Corporate, Closely Held Business, Real Estate, Business and Civil Litigation. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

09/18/2019

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York on “Judicial Ethics”, at the Annual Meeting for the NYS Association of Supreme Court Justices.

09/17/2019

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured in Lake Placid, New York on “Judicial Ethics Update – 2019”, at the Annual Convention of the NYS Magistrates’ Association, as part of its Justices’ Advanced Certification Program.

09/11/2019

Borrelli is Dinner Speaker for Association of Supreme Court Justices

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, was a dinner speaker for the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York in Queens, New York.

05/29/2019

Judge Borelli Speaks to Judges and Judge Candidates on Campaign Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family Law, Appellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, chairs the Judicial Campaign Ethics Subcommittee of the NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. In that capacity, Judge Borrelli served on a panel at the NYS Judicial Institute in the taping of the “2019 Judicial Campaign Ethics Online Training Video.” All candidates for election to Judicial Office this year, including incumbent judges running for re-election (except Town and Village Justices), are required to timely complete this program during his/her candidacy.

03/26/2019

Borrelli Speaks at Dinner of Association of Supreme Court Justices

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our  Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, was a speaker in Staten Island at a dinner of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York.

04/13/2018

Judge Borrelli Speaks to Judges on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured on “Judicial Ethics” at a program of the New York State Unified Court System entitled “Taking the Bench – Spring, 2018” for newly-elected and recently appointed Town and Village Justices from around the state. The program was held in Albany, New York.

02/19/2018

Judge Borrelli Presents for Unified Court System on Ethics Issues

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, served on the faculty of the New York State Judicial Institute and New York State Unified Court System, Office of Justice Court Support sponsored Continuing Judicial Education Program at the NYS Association of Towns Annual Convention in New York City. Judge Borrelli presented on two topics: 1) 2018 Judicial Ethics Updates and 2) Ethics: Civic Participation Limitations

01/25/2018

Judge Borelli Joins Firm

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

We are please to announce that Judge Edward P. Borrelli has joined the firm as Counsel in our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups. Judge Borrelli joins the firm following an illustrious 40 year career in the New York State Unified Court System, where he has presided over a very wide variety of proceedings, including Civil and Criminal jury trials and non-jury trials, high exposure Supreme Court Civil litigation, matrimonial, parental and grandparental child custody, visitation, child relocation, child support, domestic violence, elder law, adult guardianship and guardianship compliance enforcement proceedings.

01/09/2018

Judge Borrelli Part of Panel Discussion on Rules Governing Judicial Conduct

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, was part of a panel presentation by the New York State Judicial Institute entitled, “Rules Governing Judicial Conduct”, as part of a seminar for new judges.

10/01/2014

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt, Miller & Streng Selected as Super Lawyers

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Seven of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Frank W. Streng has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

06/04/2014

Miller Authors Article on Prenuptial Agreements for New York Law Journal

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who has a national reputation on family law issues and leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, authored an article for the New York Law Journal on Prenuptial Agreements entitled, “Come Live With Me and Be my Love…But Sign This Prenup!

10/01/2013

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

04/15/2013

Miller & Rosmarin Lecture on Family Law Mediation

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Judge Miller and Abby Rosmarin, lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group, lectured at Pace Law School on April 15, 2013 in White Plains, New York at a CLE program entitled “Essential Family Law/Matrimonial Law: Fundamentals.”

10/01/2012

Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Howell Bramson Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Five of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Howell Bramson has been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Joe Brophy has also been selected as one of Westchester’s top 25 lawyers. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

03/12/2012

Judge Miller Interviewed by Wall Street Journal on Impact of New Divorce Law

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice groups, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on the impact of the new divorce law. Judge Miller, who has been a long-time proponent of reforms in divorce law, discussed how the new divorce law, passed in 2010, has had unintended consequences on temporary alimony for some affluent New Yorkers. See video below for that interview. Footage provided by Wall Street Journal.

10/25/2011

Judge Miller & Donelli Speak to Law Revision Commission

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller and Kathleen Donelli, members of our Matrimonial & Family Law and Collaborative Law groups, were invited and met with the New York State Law Revision Commission (“LRC”) at a Roundtable Meeting on Maintenance Awards in Divorce Proceedings on October 25, 2011 at Albany Law School in Albany, New York. Both Judge Miller and Kathleen had the opportunity to discuss the legislation that the New York State Legislature has directed the LRC to propose by December 31, 2011 on maintenance awards.

06/15/2011

Boggio, Donelli & Gebhardt Elected Directors of Women’s Bar Association of State of New York

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, Kathleen Donelli and Dolores Gebhardt were elected and then sworn in as directors of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.

04/28/2011

Judge Miller Receives the “Above the Bar” Award & Selected as “Pace Setter”

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was selected as the “Pace Setter” and received the “Above the Bar” award on April 28, 2011 in White Plains, New York.

02/04/2011

Judge Miller Interviewed by New York Law Journal on Court Ruling on New No-Fault Divorce Legislation

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who has been a long-time proponent of “no fault” divorce and helped bring upon its passage in law last year, was interviewed by the New York Law Journal (2/4/2011) to comment on a recent ruling on the new law by Essex County Justice Robert J. Muller. Justice Muller is  the second judge to rule that a trial is required if a party disputes whether, under the new law, a marriage has “broken down irretrievably.” The article went on to say:

 

“Sondra Miller, the former Second Department justice who headed a commission appointed by former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to examine the state’s matrimonial laws, disagreed with Justice Muller’s conclusion stating that the ‘irretrievably broken’ language must be read in the context within which it was written. . . . ‘It is quite clear,’ Ms. Miller said, that the ‘purpose’ of the language referring to an oath provided by ‘one party’ was to ‘avoid litigation.’  ‘It was not the intent of the Legislature and the bill’s sponsors to avoid litigation on fault grounds only to substitute litigation upon the ground of irretrievable breakdown,’ added Ms. Miller who is now chief counsel at McCarthy Fingar in White Plains. ‘The statute was designed to avoid the expense and delay of full trials.'”

01/19/2011

Judge Miller Speaks at Induction Ceremony of Justice Linda J. Christopher

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller spoke at the Rockland County Courthouse in New City at the induction ceremony of newly elected Justice Linda J. Christopher.

04/01/2010

Mackay Featured in Pace Law School’s Newsletter

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen L. Mackay (n/k/a Pennessi), a member of our Commercial Litigation and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was featured in a “Practitioner Profile” in the April, 2010 newsletter of Pace University School of Law. The article also spoke of Kristen’s involvement with Judge Miller on the Post-Miller Commission for Change. “Since June 2007, Kristen has also served as a representative on the Post-Miller Commission for Change. As a representative, Kristen attends monthly meetings and participates in forums to develop best practices and effect reform in the matrimonial and family law systems in an effort to reduce trauma, delay and cost to parties, children and families.” Click at Report to see the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission chaired by Judge Miller.

06/17/2008

Judge Miller Interviewed by New York Law Journal on “No Fault” Divorce

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was interviewed by the New York Law Journal as a spokesperson for various state and local bar groups who lobbied Albany legislators for an amendment of divorce law to permit “no fault” divorce. Judge Miller, who is also the Director of the Office of Family Services for the Office of Court Administration, organized the event in Albany, to remind legislators of the need to change the divorce laws and to highlight the near-unanimous support that the no-fault option has among bar groups. In her interview, Judge Miller also spoke of the difficulties the no-fault option faced in the current legislative session, since no-fault divorce is just one of a myriad of items vying for attention. In the interview, Judge Miller said: “They are not focused on this issue. And we, as a group, are at a disadvantage because we are not lobbyists.”

11/08/2007

Judge Miller is Keynote Speaker for The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was a keynote speaker on November 8, 2007 for The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York (FDMCGNY) at its 25th anniversary gala celbration in New York, New York. FDMCGNY is a not-for-profit group dedicated to the constructive resolution of traditional and non-traditional family disputes.

11/01/2007

Gebhardt and Judge Miller Author Article on Divorce Law and Abandonment

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sonda M. Miller authored an article in the Pace Law Review, Justice Abandoned: Forty Years of Stalemate in Actions for Divorce on the Ground of Abandonment, 27 Pace Law Review 605 (2007). Click on Article to see this publication.

10/11/2007

Gebhardt & Judge Miller Lecture in Manhattan on No-Fault Divorce

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sondra M. Miller spoke at a forum in New York City at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on October 11, 2007, entitled “The Need for No-Fault Divorce.”

04/01/2007

Miller Interviewed on Recommendations of Matrimonial Commission

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller  In the aftermath of the recent bribery conviction of former state Supreme Court Justice Gerald P. Garson, there has been substantial media coverage of the manner in which matrimonial and family law cases are litigated in the court system. Judge Miller, who headed the Matrimonial Commission formed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, was interviewed by The Institute for Judicial Studies for both her observations on the case and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission. For excerpts of that interview, click at Interview. Click at Report to see the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission.

10/24/2006

Judge Miller Lectures on Ethical Considerations and Attorney Fees

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller lectured on Ethical Considerations and Attorney Fees as part of an all-day program in Tarrytown, New York on October 24, 2006 entitled “Probate and Administration of Estates” for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

05/09/2006

Bramson and Donelli Lecture on Tax Issues Related to Divorce

Howell Bramson

Howell Bramson and Kathleen Donelli lectured on “Tax Issues Related to Divorce” on May 9, 2006 at The Bank of New York in White Plains. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

01/01/2006

Judge Sondra Miller Joins Firm and Leads the Firm’s Appellate and Mediation and Arbitration Practice Groups

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

We are pleased to announce that Judge Sondra M. Miller, retired from the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, as of January 1, 2006, has joined our Firm as Chief Counsel. Judge Miller is a member of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation and Matrimonial & Family Law groups and will lead the Firm’s appellate practice.

08/01/2005

Santoro Joins Firm as Associate

Michelle L. Santoro

Michelle L. Santoro has joined the firm as an associate and is a member of our Commercial Litigation and Matrimonial and Family Law groups.

Mitarotonda v. Mitarotonda, ___ A.D.3d ___ (2d Dep’t 2019)

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Child Custody – Appellate Practice – Constructive Emancipation

Our matrimonial lawyers often represent clients on financial issues relating to child custody. Here, Kristen Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli won an appeal in the Appellate Division in which the lower court denied a post-divorce judgment motion, brought by the noncustodial parent (the “father”), to stop paying the custodial parent (our client, the “mother”) child support based on constructive emancipation. Under the doctrine of constructive emancipation, New York courts have held that child support payments may be suspended where the “custodial parent unjustifiably frustrates the noncustodial parent’s right of reasonable access.” Kristen and Kathleen successfully argued that our client, the custodial parent, did not deliberately frustrate or actively interfere with the father’s relationship with his children. Therefore, the court ordered that the father continue to pay child support even though his children refused to have meaningful contact with him.

[Read in full]

Representation of Wife in Successfully Imputing Income to Husband For Purposes of Calculating Child Support & Maintenance

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Pendente Lite Support – Imputing Larger Income to Spouse Than  Claimed Salary

Our matrimonial lawyers represent clients on contested Pendente Lite applications. Where the husband dissolved his business and voluntarily stopped working and the wife earned $45,000 per year, Kristen Mackay Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that the Court should impute $150,000 of income to the husband in calculating pendente lite support obligations. Here, the husband had not been paying child support, spousal support or any of the household expenses. The Court ordered the husband to pay pendente lite support in the amount of $5,310 per month, and to make direct monthly payments of  the mortgage, HELOC, real estate taxes and homeowners insurance.

Representation of Wife in Successfully Arguing That Husband Pay Pendente Lite Child Support, Maintenance & Wife’s Counsel Fees

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Pendente Lite Support – An Award of Pendente Lite Support & Counsel Fees

Pendente lite applications are an important part of the work of our matrimonial lawyers. Where the husband earned approximately $150,000 and the wife earned approximately $75,000, Kristen Mackay Pennessi argued that the husband pay pendente lite support. The Court ordered the husband to pay $988 per month in pendente lite maintenance and $3,293 per month in pendente lite child support. Kristen was also successful in arguing that the husband, as the monied spouse, be responsible for paying the wife’s counsel fees. The Court awarded the wife $10,000 in counsel fees.

Following a Divorce, Representation of Client in a Legal Name Change

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Legal Name Change   

Our lawyers sometimes represent clients on other matters, like legal name change. Here, where the client wanted to legally change her name, Kristen Mackay Pennessi prepared and filed all the required forms and documents necessary to finalize the client’s request for a legal name change.

Representation of Wife in Successfully Imputing $100,000 in income to Husband in Calculating Pendente Lite Child Support

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family LawPendente Lite Child Support – Imputing Larger Income to Spouse than His Claimed Salary

Our matrimonial lawyers often represent clients on contested Pendente Lite applications. Where the husband claimed to earn only $10,000 per year working as the CEO in his family’s company, Kristen Mackay Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that the Court should impute $100,000 in income to the husband for purposes of calculating pendente lite child support.  Specifically, the Court held that, where the family business was paying for most of the husband’s expenses (he was residing at the marital residence in Scarsdale and his statement of net worth showed expenses of more than $10,000 a month), the husband’s account of his own finances was not credible. Thus, the Court found that imputing income in the amount of $100,000 per year for pendente lite child support purposes was reasonable and appropriate.

Representation of Mother in Successfully Opposing Father’s request for Unsupervised Child Visitation & Interim Custody of Children

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Unsupervised Child Visitation – Interim Custody of Children

Our matrimonial lawyers often deal with issues on child visitation and child custody. Here, Kristen Mackay Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that supervised visitation between the father and children should continue. After a hearing, the Court held that based on the credible testimony from the son’s therapist, the testimony from the children’s uncle, prior reports of Child Protective Services and the “rehearsed and forced” testimony of the Father and his witnesses,  supervised visitation between the Father and the children should continue.

Representation of an Individual In Child Support Matter Regarding Mistaken Identity

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Enforcement of Child Support – Wrongful Garnishment of Wages – Mistaken Identity

Enforcement of child support obligations in matrimonial actions is a common issue after a divorce decree is finalized. Where a payor has not paid child support, a Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support may be issued against the payor. However, where a Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support was wrongly issued against an out of state individual, Kristen Mackay Pennessi was able to successfully resolve the case by proving that the out of state individual had been mistakenly identified as someone else. After resolving the mistaken identity issue, Kristen was able to have the individual’s wages repaid (after they had wrongly been garnished pursuant to the Notice).

Representation of Father in Successfully Enforcing Stipulation allowing Father to Make Final decisions on Child’s Religious Upbringing

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Enforcement of Settlement – Decisions on Religious Upbringing of Children

Our Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers are often retained to enforce a client’s rights under a settlement agreement made by the client and his or her ex-spouse. Here, the parties had entered into a stipulation giving the father the final decision making authority on a child’s religious upbringing. Kristen Mackay Pennessi and Kathleen Donelli successfully argued in Family Court that the mother violated the stipulation when she refused to allow the child to attend Bar Mitzvah classes.

Representation of Mother in Successfully Opposing Father’s Petition For Downward Modification of Child Support

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Downward Modification of Child Support

After divorce or support decrees are finalized, Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers sometimes make or defend against applications for a modification of child support. Kristen Mackay Pennessi successfully opposed the husband’s request for a downward modification of child support. In this case, although the husband was disabled and unable to continue to work as a firefighter, he was still collecting his full salary. Thus, there was no change of circumstances to warrant a reduction in the child support payments.

Representation of Wife in Successfully Arguing that Forgiveness of a Loan to Husband is Considered Income When Calculating Maintenance

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Post Judgment Maintenance Calculation – Forgiveness of Loan is Considered Income For Purposes of Calculating Maintenance

Our matrimonial lawyers often represent clients post-judgment for purposes of enforcing or modifying support obligations. Where the husband was required to pay the wife maintenance each year based on a calculation of his income, Kristen Mackay Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that where the husband received an unsecured loan from his employer in the amount of over $5 million, the portion of the loan forgiven each year was constitutes income to the husband for purposes of calculating his maintenance obligation.

Representation of Husband in Successfully Settling the Marital Portion of Husband’s Partnership Interest

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Spouse’s Share of Business Interest – Spouse’s Contribution to Business

The value and marital portion of a spouse’s business interest are often essential issues in a divorce action. Kristen Mackay Pennessi and Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that the wife was entitled to only 25% of her husband’s partnership interest, if and when he actually receives any monies for his partnership interest. In this case, it was proven that the wife had only negligible and indirect contributions to the husband’s business partnership.

Representation of Husband in Successfully Opposing Wife’s Claim For Spousal Support Because She Was Allegedly Unable To Work

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Spouse’s Ability to Earn Income – Psychiatric Examination Ordered

A spouse’s ability to find and maintain employment is an important issue in divorce actions. Where the wife claimed that she was entitled to spousal support because she allegedly had a mental condition and was unable to work, Kristen Mackay Pennessi and Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that the wife should be ordered to submit to a mental examination to determine whether she was able to work. Ultimately, no mental condition was found and the wife did not receive spousal support.

Representation of Husband In Successfully Opposing Wife’s Egregious Fault Claim

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Egregious Fault Claim –  Permissible Topics for Deposition

Generally, during a deposition in a Matrimonial matter, questions are limited to the finances of the parties. However, Kristen Mackay Pennessi and Kathleen Donelli successfully argued that questions pertaining to alleged abuse were appropriate at the wife’s deposition where egregious fault was at issue.

Representation of Mother In Favorable Child Support Settlement

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law  – Child Support – Under Reporting of Income

An essential part of the work of our Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers is to verify the accuracy of information provided by a spouse and his or her lawyer. Kristen Mackay Pennessi successfully settled a child support issue where the husband had under represented his annual income to the Court by more than $100,000. Through subpoenaed documents from the husband’s employer and bank, Kristen was able to establish the husband’s true income and settle child support at the higher amount.

Representation of Parents in Successfully Opposing a Grandparent Visitation Petition

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Grandparent Visitation Petition

Matrimonial & Family Law litigation sometimes involves applications for visitation or other relief by grandparents of a minor child. Kristen L. Pennessi and Kathleen Donelli successfully opposed a petition for grandparent visitation where both parents were fit and loving parents and the grandparents had little to no contact with the child.

Representation of Husband In Successfully Opposing Wife’s Order To Show Cause Seeking Pendente Lite Relief

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Opposing Pendente Lite Relief

Pendente Lite applications – seeking financial support from the other spouse during the divorce action – is an important tool for Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers. Kristen Mackay Pennessi and Kathleen Donelli successfully opposed the wife’s Order To Show Cause for pendente lite relief.  The wife was awarded zero in pendente lite support and zero in legal fees.

Presenter Description Organization Date
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Mandatory Parent Education in Custody Cases: The Pilot Program

Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association

02/27/2020
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

“Ethics” and “Diversity Training”

Yonkers Lawyers Association

02/25/2020
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics Update – 2020

New York State Association of Towns

02/17/2020
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics

NYS Judicial InstituteUnified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices.

01/07/2020
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Assuming the Bench – Judicial Ethics

Unified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices

12/06/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

How Judicial Ethics Issues impact your Law Practice

Pace Law School (Elisabeth Haub School of Law)

11/26/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics

NYS Association of Supreme Court Justices

09/18/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics Update – 2019

NYS Magistrates’ Association

09/17/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Dinner Speaker

Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York

09/11/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

2019 Judicial Campaign Ethics Online Training Video

NYS Judicial Institute

05/29/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics

New York State Unified Court System

04/13/2018
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

“Judicial Ethics Updates” “Ethics: Civic Participation Limitations”

New York State Judicial Institute

02/19/2018
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Essential Family Law/Matrimonial Law: Fundamentals

Pace Law School

04/15/2013
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

“Who Owns Your DNA: Property, Privacy and the Cancer Battle”

Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Manhattan

11/10/2010
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

New Divorce Legislation: No Fault Divorce, Maintenance Guidelines, Counsel & Expert Fees, Modification of Child Support & Orders of Protection

Westchester Women’s Bar Association, White Plains, New York

10/14/2010
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Keynote Speaker

New York, New York, The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

11/08/2007

Expert Witnesses in Matrimonial Cases: Direct & Cross-Examination

Westchester Women’s Bar Association, White Plains, New York

10/23/2007
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

“The Need for No-Fault Divorce”

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Manhattan

10/11/2007
Howell Bramson
Howell Bramson

“Tax Issues Related to Divorce”

The Bank of New York, White Plains, New York

05/09/2006
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Separation & Matrimonial Agreements & Implication in Estate Litigation”

White Plains, New York. Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

04/18/2005