Frequently Asked Questions
P. Scott Micho, Esq is pleased to provide answers to some of the questions that are most frequently asked of his practice.
- If I divorce will my spouse have a claim to my employment benefits?
- If my husband and I can’t agree on the division of personally important household items, will we have to go to court?
- My ex-wife and I would like to change some of the provisions in our divorce decree. Can we do so ourselves by agreement?
- After divorcing, will I be responsible for my spouse’s school loans?
- What should I do if I am arrested?
- What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
- How expensive and difficult is it to probate a will?
- Do I really need a will?
- If I am injured in an auto crash or other accident, should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer’s help?
- If I sue over an injury, will I have to go to trial to recover damages?
Experience matters in a time of stress
Being involved in a lawsuit can be a stressful experience. Experienced legal representation can help you obtain the best results at the least emotional cost.
If you need legal representation in Syracuse or the Central New York area, call P. Scott Micho, Esq. at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 315-382-0530 or contact him online.
Your initial consultation with Mr. Micho is free.
If I divorce will my spouse have a claim to my employment benefits?
In most cases, the benefits you have accumulated through your employment during the time you were married are subject to division in a divorce. Your spouse may be entitled to one-half of the value added to your pension and 401(k) from the date of marriage until the date of separation or divorce. A divorce attorney can inform you about the details of your situation.
If my husband and I can’t agree on the division of personally important household items, will we have to go to court?
While it is possible to force such a dispute into court, most divorce court judges and lawyers try to prevent people from litigating the division of household items because it can cost more in legal expenses than the items are worth. If you cannot agree, a judge may divide the items in a manner that neither of you likes.
My ex-wife and I would like to change some of the provisions in our divorce decree. Can we do so ourselves by agreement?
After your divorce, you might find it necessary or desirable to modify one or more of the stipulations in your divorce decree, property settlement, or custody and support arrangements. You must follow procedures set by state law if you want the modification to be valid. An experienced family law attorney can work with you to ensure your desired changes become effective.
After divorcing, will I be responsible for my spouse’s school loans?
Generally, a court will divide marital debt ”equitably,” in the same way marital assets are divided. If the school loans were made during the marriage and you both benefited from them—for example, some of the loan money was used to buy food or pay rent—you might have to repay some of the loans.
If you are arrested, answer all questions about your identification—such as name, address, and birth date—truthfully. Beyond that, exercise your constitutional right to remain silent and do not answer any questions until you consult with a lawyer. Contact a lawyer immediately.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
The difference is the severity of the crime and potential punishment. Generally, a misdemeanor is a crime for which the maximum penalty is one year or less in prison, while a felony sentence may be more than a year. A felony conviction can also have other serious legal repercussions. A qualified criminal defense attorney can often help you to be charged only with a lesser offense. To minimize the charges you may face, contact a lawyer immediately upon being arrested, or if you believe you are at risk of arrest.
How expensive and difficult is it to probate a will?
This depends very much on the terms of the will and the quality of estate plan of the decedent. When your will is properly drafted and updated as part of a well-designed estate plan, the cost of probate can be modest. But if a will is obsolete, necessary documents are missing, or little planning has gone into how to pass assets to heirs, probate may be much more costly and complicated. Consulting with an attorney to review your will and estate planning documents today may save your family a great deal later on.
Do I really need a will?
If you die without a will your assets will pass to heirs as directed by state law, and your estate will be managed by a court-appointed administrator instead of by an executor selected by you. Your assets may be distributed in a manner contrary to what you would wish, and at a higher cost to your estate.
If I am injured in an auto crash or other accident, should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer’s help?
It is in your best interests to provide only your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more important it is to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.