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Buffalo New York Law Firm

Welcome – my name is Bob Friedman. Along with my partner Mike Ranzenhofer, we manage the Buffalo, New York Law Firm of Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC.

My father founded this law firm in 1955, and for over 58 years, this firm has been assisting Buffalo area residents with their legal issues. In fact, we’ve been a fixture in WNY for so long, I would imagine we’ve helped a family member, friend or co-worker of yours in the past.

Currently, we have 7 law offices throughout Western New York. They are located in Akron, Batavia, Buffalo, Clarence-Williamsville, Niagara Falls, Rochester and West Seneca. If you require legal assistance from a Buffalo Attorney, you will find a convenient location near your home or place of work. If necessary, we will call on you in your home as well as make hospital visits. Here is some additional information concerning our 7 Buffalo Area Law Offices

Michael and I have more than 69 years of combined experience covering a wide area of legal skills needed in this day-and-age – and we would welcome the opportunity to help you.

The links just below will take you to a web page that can answer many of the questions you might have. You may also find answers to legal issues you might not have considered. Or….look just to the right. You’ll see a search box where you can type in a question, then hit enter. If we have an answer to your question, you’ll find it there.

If we don’t have your answer here, or if you’d like to speak with us, feel free to call and arrange a free consultation – either on the phone or in-person.

We can be reached at 716-542-5444, or if the call is long distance, please call 1-800-729-4571.

Remaining in the marital home with minimal disruption to the children is a popular choice that many of our clients make.

It doesn’t just help the children, either. In the current real estate market, it may just make sense to wait to sell until conditions improve, possibly several years down the road.

By retaining the asset, either jointly or separately, you can help protect its value and decide whether you want to sell it when conditions improve.

In the meantime, all of these sorts of decisions can be made as part of your divorce settlement.

You can certainly benefit from the informed guidance of experienced Rochester divorce and child custody attorneys who’ve helped countless clients navigate these issues successfully.

Call the attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation.

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Do We Have To Sell Our House As Part Of The Divorce?

No, you certainly don’t have to sell your house, but it’s an option.

New York requires only the “equitable distribution” of assets, but how you arrive at equitable is largely up to you and your spouse.

If you want to retain your home and your spouse doesn’t, you can arrange a financial settlement that pays your spouse a so-called equalization payment, effectively buying out their equity in the house.

Another option, if you and your spouse have a relatively positive relationship, is to retain the house and use it as a rental property.

You would be co-landlords, splitting the expenses and profits of the home over time.

For some couples, especially when so many homes are “underwater” and not sellable these days, this and other non-sale solutions can be a way to preserve the value of the asset until such a time as it makes sense to sell.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer have been helping clients find the smartest way of distributing marital assets for years.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 and learn how we can help you make the best out of your divorce situation.

Generally, child support is calculated as a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income.

Among high earning families, or families where one parent earns the lion’s share of income, the court has discretion in how it calculates the child’s needs.

For instance, in a situation where a non-custodial parent earns about $50,000 a year, as does the custodial parent, child support is based on an expectation of 17% of the non-custodial parent’s income for a single child, or $8500 a year, spread out over 12 months.

This money is used for food, clothing, educational expenses, and whatever other costs are associated with raising the child.

But say that instead of $50,000, the non-custodial parent earns $250,000 a year.

As a flat percentage of income, the courts would be ordering the parent to fork over more than $40,000 in child support.

In those cases, the courts believe it is wiser to drill down and look at what it costs to raise your child, then base support on that.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you achieve a fair child support agreement that protects you and gives your child the best future possible.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 to learn how we can help.

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How Do We Divide Personal Property?

New York courts use a concept known as “equitable distribution” when it comes to dividing assets at the end of a marriage.

But there are some things to know before you start divvying up property.

If you came into the marriage with assets like real estate or other goods, those are considered “separate property,” and not subject to distribution.

This also goes for personal inheritances and earnings from legal awards. Those are separate assets that belong to you solely, and you don’t have to divide them for the settlement.

In general, things that you purchased while married, even if you purchased them as an individual using your own money, are considered marital assets that must be equitably divided.

For instance, if you purchased a vacation home with your own money during the marriage, even if your name alone is on the title, it is a marital asset.

You may choose to sell the vacation house and split the proceeds, or you can be creative and become co-landlords of your vacation rental with your former spouse.

There are plenty of ways to ensure equitable distribution of marital assets, particularly if your divorce is relatively amicable.

The attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can help you protect your assets and your bottom line.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation with an experienced Buffalo divorce attorney.

Grounds for divorce used to play a much more significant role in the final settlement, but today, the courts are less interested in adjudicating which party in a divorce action was worse at being a spouse.

If you had an affair and your spouse knows about it, it’s likely that it’ll come up. Whether it impacts the settlement has a lot to do with how you conducted the affair.

If you lavished expensive gifts on your lover, or paid for trips or housing or other big-ticket items, you will be expected to “reimburse” the marriage for the marital funds you allocated to your adultery.

Fundamentally, New York is an equitable distribution state, and the biggest concern of the court is that marital assets and debts be allocated in an equitable way between the spouses.

Adultery doesn’t typically play a large role in that calculation, but we strongly recommend you take steps to protect yourself just in case.

The attorneys at Freidman & Ranzenhofer can protect you during your divorce.

Call us today at 716-542-5444 and learn how to get the best outcome for your situation.

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Can I Move Out Of State With My Kids?

A common, and usually very emotional piece of custody agreements post-divorce is when the custodial spouse has an opportunity to move away from New York for a better life.

This may take the form of a job offer, a new marriage, or being closer to family, but the result is the same: The non-custodial parent must make a decision to work with you and make this arrangement work, or to fight you in an effort to sabotage your plans.

At Friedman & Ranzenhofer, we represent our clients with great diligence, and in situations like this, we know that means that we have an obligation to work closely with our client’s former spouse.

We work to identify terms that reflect the best interest of your child, and to the greatest extent possible, make both parents comfortable with the outcome.

If you have opportunities outside of New York that just make sense to pursue, call the child custody attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation today.

Whether you’ll have to appear in court at all has everything to do with how you and your spouse are approaching your divorce.

If your divorce is uncontested and filed on irretrievable breakdown grounds, you’ll probably never have to make an appearance in a court room in Rochester.

If you and your spouse can’t negotiate resolutions to issues related to your finances, your assets and debts, your kids, and support and maintenance matters, you may spend a lot of time in court rooms over the next months or even years.

The Rochester divorce attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer know that divorce is one of the hardest things anyone ever does, and we’re beside you all the way.

We’ll help you have the easiest divorce you can, but will defend your interests rigorously to ensure that you can start fresh at the end of your marriage.

Call us today at 585-377-5504 for a free consultation with Rochester’s divorce attorneys.

When couples with children divorce, the court considers two forms of child custody that have to be established.

The parent who has Physical Custody of the children lives with the children full time and provides for their day-to-day care giving. The other parent may have visitation, and is often referred to as the “non-custodial parent.”

The parent who has Legal Custody is in charge of making a minor child’s life decisions, things like where they go to school, what faith they are raised in, and how to handle major medical decisions.

For some couples, sharing one or both of these roles is entirely feasible.

For others, especially in cases where a spouse has a history of violence or substance abuse, it may be important for the safety and wellbeing of the children to award legal and physical custody of the children to just one parent.

If your children need protection from your former spouse, you need strong advocates who can clearly articulate the problems to the court.

Call the experienced Buffalo child custody attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation.

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What If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?

New York allows for unilateral divorce through Irretrievable Breakdown grounds, but what happens when your spouse can’t be served because you can’t locate them?

If your spouse has been out of the picture and you don’t know how to locate them, you may be able to utilize a process called Publication Divorce.

In a publication divorce, you’ll have to perform a thorough search through public records, the internet, and by tracking down people who may know where your spouse is, but if you still can’t find them, the court can authorize you to publish your intent to divorce your spouse in the paper of record in the jurisdiction where you live.

After a short period where your spouse is permitted to respond to your published notice, the court will grant your divorce if your spouse remains absent.

Publication divorces require thorough documentation of your exhaustive search, and we have the staff and expertise to help you track down a missing spouse – or affirm for the court that your spouse has gone off the grid.

Call the Buffalo divorce attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer today at 716-542-5444 for a free Publication Divorce consultation.

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Does It Matter If My Spouse Files For Divorce First?

No, it really doesn’t matter who files first in a divorce.

If your spouse puts the paperwork in, that doesn’t create any perception that they have a greater need to be free of the union than you do. Whoever files first, the court will do a few things.

First, it will issue automatic orders that will protect marital assets from destruction, liquidation, or needless spending on accounts.

It will also require that both parties maintain things like health and life insurance policies that already exist, providing coverage for the other spouse and children.

Second, the court will await your response to the complaint.

If you are the lower-earning spouse, we will request an immediate order for temporary support so that you are able to stay afloat, whether you or your spouse files first.

When you and your spouse are talking about divorce, protect yourself.

The experienced Buffalo divorce attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer can make sure you have all the tools you need to move on confidently when your marriage ends. Call us today at 716-542-5444 for a free consultation.