Arnold Cribari Blog

How to Save Money in your Divorce

Settle Maintenance (Alimony) before December 31 of this year:
If you have exposure to paying maintenance, which is the term used in New York for alimony, you can save a lot of money by immediately retaining an attorney to make a legally binding agreement settling the maintenance issue. Such an agreement could be a Separation Agreement.
Time is of the essence, however, because if maintenance is resolved by December 31, 2018, the new Tax reform Act provides that the payor will get a tax deduction for it. If not, the payor will not be able to deduct it.
You will need an Attorney that has the time available to help you make such a settlement by December 31, 2018.
Other ways to save money in a Divorce:
1. Organize your documents.
2. Do not call your lawyer to ask questions every day, unless it is an emergency. Instead, make a list of questions ahead of time, and call your lawyer once per week to ask your questions.
3. Consider retaining a divorce lawyer with a reasonable hourly rate.
4. Consider an out of court settlement first. Litigate only when necessary. Mediation or Collaborative Law are great ways to make an out of court divorce settlement.
5. Be willing […]

Postnuptial Agreement: Can It Help Save The Marriage?

Are you hurt because your spouse cheated on you? That triggers a divorce for many people. If you have been hurt this way, it is perfectly understandable if you are considering a divorce.

Earlier this year a marriage counselor recommended that a woman, living in an affluent suburb of Westchester County, contact me to help her with a Postnuptial Agreement. Although her husband cheated on her, she did not want a legal separation or a divorce. In fact, she was optimistic that her marriage could be saved and that a Postnuptial Agreement could help her accomplish that.

What is a Postnuptial Agreement? It is similar to a Prenuptial Agreement except that instead of making it prior to the marriage, it is made after the marriage. Both Agreements are similar in that they commonly provide for the following in the event of a divorce : (a) protect the existing assets and future acquired inheritances and gifts of each party so they are not shared with their spouse; (b) define what the marital assets will be and how they will be divided; and (c) address the issue of maintenance (alimony). Unlike a Prenuptial Agreement, a Postnuptial Agreement might also address custody, visitation and […]

A Most Affordable Prenuptial Agreement

The inspiration for my recent article entitled “The Most Affordable Divorce,” was a recent matter in which I was hired by a couple, very much in love, to serve as their mediator to help them negotiate a Prenuptial Agreement.

The bride was young and financially middle class, and the groom was older and a high net worth individual. What made this matter most compelling was that in 2017, each party had hired his/her own high priced, aggressive lawyer, and the negotiation became so adversarial that the Prenuptial Agreement was never finalized and executed, and the couple called off their marriage and split up!
Fortunately, love triumphed, the couple got back together and resumed the negotiation of their prenuptial agreement keeping lawyers out of it.

A few more facts are important to shed light on this couple’s situation and concerns. The groom had a net worth in excess of $35,000,000, annual income in excess of one million dollars, and a very successful business known to most people where this couple lived. The groom was also married and divorced twice before, and had spent a fortune on legal fees in his prior divorces. As a result of this and the bad experience this couple […]

The Most Affordable Divorce

Unbeknownst to many divorcing couples, it is possible to have a one-attorney no-court divorce, which is the most affordable divorce.

If done properly, such one-attorney divorces are also fair and reasonable, and enforceable.

Kitchen Table Divorce Utilizing a Neutral Mediator
A “kitchen table divorce,” or “Starbucks divorce,” happens when a couple negotiates their own settlement terms for divorce (over the kitchen table or at Starbucks) without any attorney involved, and then an attorney is retained to draft the separation agreement or marital settlement agreement.

In my opinion, the best way to do such a kitchen table divorce is for the couple, after their private negotiations, to go together and retain a divorce attorney to serve as a neutral mediator, who will then draft the settlement agreement. Each spouse is likely to trust the attorney if they meet and retain the attorney together, and then discuss with the attorney the agreed upon settlement terms.

When the attorney serves as a neutral mediator, he/she represents neither party, but rather remains neutral to facilitate a dialogue between the couple to help them finalize a settlement. The neutral mediator is in a position to share his/her thoughts about the settlement terms, so as to best meet the […]

Divorce Mediation and Saving the Marriage

Within the past year I served as the divorce mediator for a couple in which the wife was broken-hearted. Her husband had cheated on her and she confronted him with her proof: a shareholder certificate showing that the husband jointly owned a co-operative apartment with another woman who was unrelated to him.
The husband denied having any romantic relationship with the other woman. His explanation for the shareholder’s certificate, which he had tried to conceal from the wife, was the following:

1. he needed to make more money than he earned at his salaried job in order to pay for college for the couple’s two children and maintain the family’s middle-class lifestyle;
2. the other woman was a real estate broker who showed him the co-operative apartment, they jointly invested in it because it was such a golden opportunity, they never had sex or lived together, and she now lives in the mid-west;
3. the husband never told the wife about the broker and the co-operative apartment because he knew the wife would object to him making such an investment;

The Husband’s above explanation made the wife furious. She believed it was a total lie, and that […]


Probablemente usted tiene más experiencia tratando con doctores que con abogado de divorcio.

Si usted tiene problemas con su corazón, usted no llegaría a un ortopedista. Si tu objetivo es un acuerdo de divorcio bueno, entonces, ¿Por qué irse a un abogado litigante? Hace más sentido elegir a un abogado con competencias, preparación y experiencias a conseguir asentamientos buenos.

En la nuestra analogía médica, un proceso de divorcio es comparable a una cirugía. Una cirugía es peligrosa, estresante y costosa.

Usted no se somete a una cirugía salvo si es absolutamente necesario.

Un divorcio colaborativo es comparable a un enfoque medico a un problema. Cuando se trata una enfermedad, solitamente se recomienda el tratamiento meno riesgoso. Irse a juicio es riesgoso. Durante mi tratamiento como abogado de divorcio de más de treinta años, he dicho a numerosos clientes, “Que se cubra sus necesidades en un acuerdo. En juicio usted lanza el dado.”

Cuando se confronta con un divorcio, en primer lugar, piensa colaborativo- en la misma forma que usted pensaría a la medicina o fisioterapia ante de considerar cirugía. La Corte debería ser el último recurso.

Además, si se toma realmente en serio de evitar el riesgo de irse a la corte, ¡Que contrate un […]


Desconocido para muchas parejas divorciadas, es posible haber un divorcio con un solo abogado y sin corte, que es el divorcio más económico.

Si echo propiamente, estos divorcios con un solo abogado son también justos y razonables, y ejecutables.

Divorcio en la mesa de la cocina utilizando un mediador neutral

Un “divorcio en la mesa de la cocina”, o llamado “divorcio Starbucks”, ocurre cuando una pareja negocia los terminos del acuerdo de su proprio divorcio (cerca de la mesa de la cocina o a lo Starbucks) sin algún abogado involucrado , y luego un abogado es contratado para redactar el acuerdo de separación o acuerdo de asentamiento marital.

En mi opinión, la forma mejor para hacer este divorcio “en la mesa de la cocina” es para la pareja, después de sus negociaciones privadas, de llegar juntos y contratar un abogado de divorcio que puede servir como un mediador neutral, y que redactará luego el acuerdo de asentamiento marital. Es muy probable que cada esposo tenga confianza en el abogado si encuentra y contrata el abogado juntos, y después discute con el abogado el acuerdo según los términos establecidos.

Cuando el abogado sirve como mediador neutral, el/ella representa ninguna de las partes, pero permanece neutral […]


Hay una cierta confusión sobre las preferencias que concierne el proceso de divorcio que quiero clarificar. La mediación del divorcio y el divorcio colaborativo son las opciones mejores de considerar para muchas parejas que se están divorciando.

La mediación funciona fabulosamente para las parejas que tienen aproximativamente un equilibrio de poder igual en su relación, y es la más económica de las preferencias del proceso de divorcio. En la mediación del divorcio tradicional, cada esposo representa a si mismo en las negociaciones que son facilitadas para un mediador neutral de divorcio.

El divorcio colaborativo es una forma de mediación. Está orientado a casos más difíciles cuando hay un equilibrio de poder desigual en la relación de la pareja. Cada esposo tiene su propio abogado formado colaborativamente, que pueden capacitar, aconsejar y defender su cliente para corregir tal desequilibrio de poder, y negociar sobre un campo de nivelado,

En ambos la mediación y el divorcio colaborativo, es importante que cada esposo declara sus propias necesidades y intereses a la máxima extensión, en una forma respetable, y revela información financiaría relevante en buena fe.

Muchos abogados de divorcio no recomiendan la mediación o el divorcio colaborativo PORQUE NO PUEDEN GANAR CASI TAL DINERO HACIENDO DE […]

Support Guidelines: New York Divorce Mediator’s Best Friend

Why are the New York maintenance (alimony) and child support guidelines of the State of New York a divorce mediator’s best friend?

The New York State legislature created the maintenance and child support guidelines in order to make the amounts of support more uniform throughout New York State. This is a very good thing for a divorcing couple, their children, and society.

Many of my divorce lawyer colleagues are critical of these support guidelines. At a cocktail party they might tell me that such guidelines result in simple minded calculations that are unjust or unfair to one or both parties. The real reason they are so critical is that the guidelines help reduce divorce litigation and attorneys’ fees.

Another very good thing about the support guidelines is that in order to make a binding maintenance and child support agreement in New York, the guidelines calculations must be set forth in the agreement. Then the parties agree to either follow the guidelines calculations, or deviate from them, and if so, state the reasons for such deviation. This makes the divorcing couple think twice about agreeing to such a deviation.

My goal as a New York divorce mediator or collaborative divorce lawyer is to help […]

New York Divorce: Choose Your Divorce Lawyer Carefully

Are you a New York State resident considering a divorce? Buyer beware! As mentioned in my last blog, if your divorce is not a genuine emergency, avoid the Charon-like* divorce lawyer who will unnecessarily subject you to the tortures of the damned at your great expense.

The good news is that there are other New York divorce lawyers who take a different approach. At the initial consultation, they will explain all of the divorce process choices including mediation and collaborative law.

Instead of unnecessarily rushing off to divorce court, these peacemakers will help you make an out of court divorce settlement consistent with your reasonable needs and interests, and those of your children and spouse. Not only will such a divorce settlement save you tons of money, it will also greatly increase your chances of having a good aftermath to your divorce, which could be a priceless benefit. Think about this: how important is it for your children to know their parents do not hate each other when they attend graduations, weddings and births of grandchildren in the decades to come? How important is this for you?

Besides settling your divorce, a mediator or collaborative […]