Sharon Stern Gerstman’s Answers

Sharon Stern Gerstman

Buffalo Mediation Attorney.

Contributor Level 6
  1. Can someone clarify this clause in a marital agreement- taxes and alimony

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    2. Marc J. Miles
    3. Jessica Ann Grace
    4. Henry Daniel Lively
    4 lawyer answers

    IRC Section 71 allows for private ordering. That is, even if it is alimony, the parties may designate that it is non-taxable to the recipient and non-deductible to the payor. I think your attorney was saying it is treated the same as a property settlement, even though the agreement calls it alimony. As to whether the phrase you quoted complies with Section 71's private ordering requirements, it would be necessary to see the whole agreement, but it sounds like that is what the parties are...

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  2. I wrote my will with software several years ago, Is it valid

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. Richard Albert Luthmann
    2. Brad Michael Micklin
    3. Paul A. Smolinski
    4. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    5. James P. Frederick
    5 lawyer answers

    You are asking several questions: First, is your will valid--- different jurisdictions have different rules regarding the number of witnesses required. For example, in New York there must be two witnesses. If you did not comply with the signing requirements in your state, then your will might be invalid. Second, does your will dispose of your estate in the manner you would wish? Here, the answer is probably not. Your life circumstances have changed, and your will needs to be updated....

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Will my opponent finally answer my complaint or file an appeal?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Aaron M. Goldsmith
    2. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    3. Eric Edward Rothstein
    4. Pamela Koslyn
    4 lawyer answers

    If you presented an order, which was signed by the judge, filed and served with notice of entry on the defendant, the time of the service begins two time periods. The first is the time in which to comply with the order. If the judge did not specify a time period for the answer, the CPLR requires an answer within 10 days; if the judge did specify a time period, then that time period would control. The defendant could seek an extension of whatever time period controls, but would have to supply...

  4. Am I liable if my wife had unreported income even though I did not know about it and we filed married, filing jointly?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. David Guy Carter
    2. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    2 lawyer answers

    There is a particular kind of "innocent spouse" relief for spouses who are divorced. Under this section, IRC 6015(c) and (d), you are permitted to "separate" your income, which would allocate any unreported income she earned to her. In the event that the IRS comes after you, you should immediately file your petition for this type of relief, which you will get, unless the IRS (they have the burden of proof, here) can show that you had actual knowledge of the income she earned and failed to...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. Is there any recourse against what I feel it Mediator abuse?

    Answered almost 3 years ago.

    1. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    1 lawyer answer

    A mediator's role is to get the parties to agree. You note that "they stipped custody from me." Who is "they"? Was it your lawyer and the lawyer for your ex partner? A stipulation has to be on the consent of all parties, so either you consented, or your attorney consented on your behalf, or there is no stipulation. Something is missing from your story.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  6. Divorcing and selling home. Who is responsible for taxes?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    2. Donald C. Darnell
    3 lawyer answers

    I answered your question, but I just noticed that you live in a community property state. That does complicate the case a little, as even if you are not titled on the property, you may still be considered an owner if the property is part of your community property. So, the answer is not quite as simple as I originally answered.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. Divorcing and selling home. Who is responsible for taxes?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    2. Donald C. Darnell
    3 lawyer answers

    I assume that you share title on the house. The easiest way to accomplish what you want to do is for you to transfer all of your title to the house as part of your divorce. You can do this by way of a "quit claim" deed. Once he is solely in title, he would be responsible for any capital gains taxes. Your transfer to him as part of the divorce is tax free. If you do not transfer the property to him, and you are still a co-owner when the house is sold, you are liable for your half of any...

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  8. I am sure it is not common but am I allowed for part of the mediation to ask my attorney to leave the room?

    Answered almost 2 years ago.

    1. John George Ducey
    2. Bernard Weiss
    3. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    3 lawyer answers

    You are permitted to request this of the mediator, but it is possible that the mediator will want to confer with your attorney before deciding whether to talk to you. You do not state the reason you wish your attorney to not be present. If you are unhappy with your lawyer, there is a larger problem you should deal with before starting the mediation.

  9. What do I need to do to be emancipated?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    1 lawyer answer

    Requirements for emancipation vary from state to state. Usually, it requires that you be totally self-supporting (it sounds as if you are not self-supporting, but are dependent on your aunt and uncle) or married or in the military service. I would not recommend that you marry solely to emancipate from your parents, as you would be trading a lot of problems for the ones you have now. If you are happy staying with your aunt and uncle, try to establish a more permanent arrangement with them....

  10. How long does a judge have to make a ruling?

    Answered about 3 years ago.

    1. Jeffrey Twersky
    2. Michael S. Haber
    3. Sharon Stern Gerstman
    3 lawyer answers

    Most states have rules as to how long a judge may take to issue a decision. For example, in New York, a judge has 60 days from the last submission. While there may be rules which are generally followed, if a judge takes longer than the allotted time, there really is no recourse which will force the judge to issue a ruling. All you may be doing in pursuing it is angering the judge, which will not be helpful to the ultimate relief you are seeking. My advice is to be patient. Summers are...