Brian D. Perskin & Associates

Is a Lump Sum Alimony Payment Right for You?

What is Lump Sum Alimony?

Alimony is one of the most fought over parts of divorce in New York.  Whether you’re receiving support, or you have to pay your ex, you likely have some strong views on the subject. A hot topic of contention is lump sum alimony payments vs. monthly payments.

What are Lump Sum Alimony Payments?

Lump sum alimony is a form of spousal support that is paid in one single payment, instead of period payments over a certain amount of time. The person receiving the lump sum payment, known as the dependent spouse, can receive this in two ways: via money transfer, or through the division of marital property.

There are pros and cons to lump sum alimony, both for the giver, and the receiver. What are they, and is this method right for your divorce case?

Benefits of Lump Sum Alimony

Let’s assume that you are being awarded a lump sum alimony payment. By receiving your alimony payment in one lump sum, you can rest assured knowing that your ex won’t miss any future payments. Since you’ll have immediate access to your full alimony payment, you can use the money to purchase a home, or pay off divorce related debts. A number of people use their spousal support to further their education, as well.

There are numerous benefits for the paying party, as well. Agreeing to pay alimony in one lump sum payment means that your ex-spouse will be free of any continued financial support. This will be useful if they ever become unemployed, or face other financial hardships. Your ex can immediately begin rebuilding their financial cushion when they don’t have to worry about monthly payments.

Lump Sum Pitfalls

As great as lump sum support payments may be, there are major financial pitfalls associated with this practice. Receiving a large sum of money can be risky if you do not know how to handle it. Properly investing and managing a big alimony payment is tricky, so you need to consider speaking to a financial advisor. You also need to keep in mind that you might experience some tax complications if you receive a lump sum support payment.

Acquiring the funds to pay you a lump sum is the biggest challenge your ex faces. They may have to sell assets, tap into their retirement plan, or take out a loan. They will also be unable to request an alimony deduction the future, since they won’t be making multiple payments. In some cases, your ex will also have tax complications.

Is This Right for You?

Whether or not lump sum alimony is right for you depends on a number of factors. What makes sense for one case, doesn’t necessarily make sense for another. You need to make sure that you hire an attorney who has experience handling divorces with sensitive financial issues.

The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes is complex divorce cases, with a focus on contested and high net worth actions. Our team of attorneys have represented thousands of New Yorkers in all five boroughs, as well as Westchester and Nassau Counties. Get the help and guidance you need- contact us at 718-875-7584 to schedule your free consultation today!

Valentine’s Day during Divorce

Valentine's Day

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The most romantic day of the year. A time for couples to shower each other with love and affection. But what about those people who aren’t so lucky in love?

Valentine’s Day is notoriously hard for those going through a divorce. What are the dos and don’ts of surviving Valentine’s Day during divorce?

Don’t Contact Your Ex

The one thing you want to make sure you don’t do during your first Valentine’s Day during divorce?

Contact your ex-spouse.

No good will come from this. It’s okay to feel sad on V-Day, because you’re mourning the loss of your marriage. Using your sadness as an excuse to reach out to your ex will likely backfire and create unnecessary drama (especially if you have an Order of Protection).

Do See Other Loved Ones

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples to shower each other with grand romantic gestures. Alternative celebrations, such as Galentine’s Day, are growing in popularity. Planning a group activity with friends, such as a spa day or dinner and a movie, can be incredibly therapeutic. Even spending time with family members and your children can make your first Valentine’s Day during divorce easier.

Don’t Go on Social Media

While there is no doubt that social media plays a pivotal role in our society (it can even be used as evidence in divorce cases), you should avoid it on Valentine’s Day. There are two main reasons why you shouldn’t log in on February 14th:

  1. Your newsfeed will be overrun with photos of flowers, chocolates, and proposals
  2. You will be tempted to do a deep dive into your ex’s profiles

It’s tough to see reminders of the happiness you once had when you’re going through a divorce. It is best to avoid social media on Valentine’s Day during divorce.

Do Something that Makes You Happy

The best way to beat the divorce blues is to do something that makes you happy. Treat yourself to a guilty indulgence. Take the day off of work. Stay home and binge watch Netflix in your pajamas, or get dressed up and hit the town. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you find joy in doing it.

Don’t Rush into a Relationship

Rushing into a new relationship after you file for divorce is risky, especially around Valentine’s Day. Society puts a lot of pressure on people to have a significant other to celebrate with, and scrambling to fulfil that need isn’t necessarily a good idea. Don’t put yourself out there until you are ready, whenever that may be!

Do Seek Help

We cannot repeat this enough: mourning the end of your marriage is normal. Divorce is a major life change, and it can take a while to cope and adjust. Sadness won’t end once Valentine’s Day passes.

The coping period varies from person to person, but if your divorce is negatively effecting your everyday life, you need to seek professional help. A therapist can help you work through your feelings, prescribe medication, and help you come to terms with your divorce. (Children benefit from therapy during divorce, too.)

 

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Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is a New York City based divorce and family law firm. Their team of dedicated attorneys specialize in complex divorce cases, and represent clients in all five boroughs. For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

Rules for Divorce in New York

Rules for divorce

Last week, we provided insider tips for what you should know before you file for divorce. While that information is great, your divorce cases involves much more. In fact, there are rules for divorce that you must follow to help guarantee a successful case.

What are the top 4 rules for divorce, and how can they help you?

Always Hire an Attorney

The #1 rule for divorce is that you should always hire an attorney. Divorce and family court cases are very complex matters, and require the attention of an experienced attorney. Even if your case is uncontested, you will still benefit from hiring a lawyer.

Divorce lawyers specialize in matrimonial and family law, and are familiar with the intricacies of the system. Your attorney should be an expert in this very niche kind of law, so be wary of general practitioners. A family law attorney can help you build a winning divorce strategy, and keep your family and assets intact.

Obey All Court Orders

One of the most important rules for divorce involves court orders. You will have many court orders throughout your case, including ones for child custody, visitation, and spousal support. You may even have an Order of Protection.

You must follow a court order, regardless of whether or not you agree with it. Failing to abide by the terms listed in an order can land you in serious trouble. In extreme cases, you will be found to be in contempt of court, and serve jail time. Remember: it is easier to ask the court to modify an order, than it is to explain to a judge why you intentionally disobeyed one.

Put Your Kids First

Imagine how hard it is for you to cope with your divorce. Now, multiply that by ten. That’s how difficult it is for your kids. It is imperative that both parents work together to make the situation easier and less stressful for your children. How can you do this?

  • Learn how to co-parent during divorce
  • Encourage your kids to ask questions
  • Avoid talking badly about your ex
  • Create consistency between households
  • Consider the benefits of child therapy during divorce

Take Time to Focus on Yourself

The divorce process is stressful, overwhelming, and can feel never-ending. This is why one of the rules for divorce is to focus on yourself. Taking time to relax and recharge can make a huge difference. De-stressing during the most difficult times of your case can help you clear your head, and focus on the matter at hand. Many people find that writing in a divorce journal is therapeutic, while others prefer to hit the gym, see friends, or practice a hobby. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. This is your time!

 

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Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is a New York City based divorce and family law firm. Their team of dedicated attorneys specialize in complex divorce cases, and represent clients in all five boroughs. For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

7 Things to Know Before You File for Divorce

7 Things to Know Before You File for Divorce

Filing for a divorce is a major undertaking. Your case will likely have many twists and turns, and you will face roadblocks before you’re officially divorced. How can you prepare for these challenges, and what are the top things you should know before you file for divorce?

1. Know What Kind of Case You Have

This may sound obvious, but you need to know what kind of divorce you have before you file. Is your divorce contested, or uncontested? Will child custody be an issue? What about marital assets?

The type of divorce you have will determine how your case plays out. Uncontested cases are resolved easily and quickly, whereas contested matters are longer and more complex.

2. Hire an Attorney before You File

Divorce is one of the biggest battles you will ever face, and you need to be prepared. Hiring an experienced divorce and family law attorney is the best way to do this. Attorneys are a dime a dozen, and some are more qualified than others. Make sure you consult with 3 to 4 lawyers before making your final selection.

3. Know the Truth about Divorce

The unfortunate truth about divorce is that it is unpredictable. Working with an attorney to create a winning divorce strategy is great, but it isn’t full proof. Things will happen during your divorce that can throw a wrench in your plans. Keep an open mind, and trust that your lawyer is working to get your case back on track.

4. No Two Cases are Alike

Each and every divorce case is different. These are very personal matters, and the details of your case will depend on many different factors. The length of your marriage, the amount of assets, and whether or not you have children, all have an impact.

We encourage all of our clients to turn to friends and family members for emotional support during their divorce. With that being said, be cautious when it comes to taking their advice. It is likely you know someone who has gone through a divorce, and they may be willing to pass on words of wisdom. Just remember that their case is different than yours, and what worked for them may not be best for you.

5. You Won’t Be Divorced in a Month

The timeline for a divorce in New York varies. An uncontested divorce can take anywhere between 4 to 6 months to be signed by a judge, after all papers are submitted. Contested cases have been known to last years.

New York State does process expedited divorce cases, however, you must meet special requirements in order to get one. Some of the most common reasons people apply for an expedited divorce include military service, pregnancy, and issues surrounding immigration. Meet with an attorney before you file to determine if you can get an expedited divorce.

6. Co-Parenting Takes a Lot of Work

One of the hardest parts of divorce is co-parenting. Learning how to co-parent with your ex takes a lot of work, and doesn’t always come naturally. Figuring out successful co-parenting strategy involves trial and error, but it is worth it.

There are a lot of methods and tools to help make the co-parenting transition easier. You can try alternative forms of co-parenting, like parallel parenting. Depending on the kind of relationship you have with your ex, you may even decide to live together after divorce.

7. You Will Lose Friends

Divorce is an upheaval. It has the possibility to shake the foundation of your life. It is not uncommon for parties to lose the support system of their friends and in-laws. Your friends will feel forced to take sides, or they may even walk away altogether.

As disheartening as this reality is, it does have a silver lining. Divorce allows you to see who your true friends are, and opens you up to having new experiences and meeting new people. It’s sad to lose so many people you care about as a result of your divorce, but you’ll get through it.

 

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Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is a New York City based divorce and family law firm. Their team of dedicated attorneys specialize in complex divorce cases, and represent clients in all five boroughs. For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

The Financial Benefit of Divorce

Hidden financial benefit of divorce

It comes as no surprise that divorce can be a costly endeavor. Legal fees, becoming a single income household, and support payments can do major damage to your wallet. As awful and scary as that all sounds, there is a financial benefit to divorce.

Fresh Start for Financial Responsibilities

You face a big lifestyle change when you go through a divorce, and there is a financial benefit to this. When your lifestyle changes, you have the opportunity to revise your current financial responsibilities. For instance, a big adjustment, like selling the marital home and downsizing, can be great for your financial future.

Financial Benefit for Kids

An often overlooked financial benefit of divorce involves your children and their college expenses. The cost of a Bachelor’s degree continues to rise, and many families turn to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) to help offset tuition costs. FASFA only requires that the custodial parent provide their financial information, which they use to determine the amount of aid a student will receive. This means that your children can get a larger amount of educational aid, which is a huge financial benefit.

Paying Less Taxes

Your taxes will be impacted in a couple of different ways when you get a divorce. Two of the major financial benefits surround your filing status and tax deductions. Your filing status will change from “married, filing jointly” to “single”, which may place you in a lower tax bracket.

The biggest financial benefit during tax season involves your deductions. You may end up paying less for standard deductions, such as medical expenses, but you may be on the hook for support payments. Double check your divorce agreement, and contact your attorney if you have any questions.

Better Returns on Investments

Divorce won’t necessarily make your investments more lucrative, but it can help you make better investment choices. When you get divorced, and are forced to reevaluate your finances, and in doing so, you will become more educated and informed. Knowledge is power, especially when it has such a big financial benefit.

The Right Attorney Can Help

Divorce has the power to wreak havoc on your finances. The right divorce attorney can help make that financial blow a little softer.

At Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., we specialize in divorces with complex financial components. We strive to provide expert representation, with an emphasis on securing your financial future. For more information on New York divorce, or to schedule your free consultation, contact us at 718-875-7584 today!

Rules for Living with Your Ex during Divorce

Living with Your Ex

Filing for divorce can be expensive, and many litigants don’t realize that they are responsible for more than just their legal fees. To help combat the financial blow, you can take steps to save money during divorce. An unusual, but increasingly common, way to keep costs low is living with your ex during divorce.

Living with your ex during divorce is unconventional, but it can save you thousands of dollars in rent, moving, and household expenses. Your children may have an easier time coping with the news of your divorce, as well.

Living with your ex during divorce is risky, so it is best to set ground rules to help ensure that this arrangement goes as smoothly as possible.  Breaking these rules can be devastating.

Rule 1: Develop a Plan for Divorce

You need to develop a plan before entering into this kind of arrangement. Sit down with your ex, and create a rough timeline for your divorce. When will you tell your children? Who should file for the divorce? When will one spouse move out? Setting small markers for your divorce will help keep your plan on track.

Rule 2: Establish a Routine and Be Civil

Contested divorce cases are full of conflict, and this can create a lot stress for your children. The best way to make living with your ex easier on them, is to establish a routine. For instance, you may handle morning responsibilities, while your ex takes care of the evening schedule. This system may even help you develop a co-parenting and custody arrangement later on.

When you cross paths with your ex, do your best to remain civil. Constantly arguing in front of your children is harmful, and can do long term damage.

Rule 3: Don’t Start Dating

You should avoid starting a new romantic relationship until one of you moves out. Dating someone new while living with your ex during divorce is a recipe for disaster. Avoid the awkwardness and drama by putting your love life on hold. Remember: you don’t always share a roof with your ex. This is not permanent.

Rule 4: Prepare for the Long Haul

You need to prepare for the long haul if you suspect you and your ex will live together for the duration of your divorce case. A good way to do this is to see a counselor with your ex. The counselor can help the two of you develop ways to address conflict and other coping techniques.

Creating individual safe spaces to help with grieving is another great way to prepare for living with your ex during divorce. You should also be open with your needs during this tough transitional time. Living with your ex is not easy, and the only way to handle this is to be open, honest, and prepared.

Get Help with Your Divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences you will face. Living with your ex during this time can make the situation much harder. Hiring an experienced New York City divorce attorney can help.

The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in divorce and child custody matters. Our team of attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience, and have successfully represented thousands of New Yorkers just like you.

For more information on divorce and family law, or to schedule your free consultation, call us at 718-875-7584 today!

Should You File for Divorce during the Holiday Season?

Holiday Season Divorce

The decision to divorce your spouse is a big one, especially if made during the holiday season. This time of year, while usually joyous, can become stressful when coupled with a divorce filing. Should you wait to file for divorce until after the holiday season?

Holiday Season Interruptions

The holiday season is chock full of celebrations and tradition. These will be interrupted if you file for divorce during the holidays. Family gatherings will become a breeding ground for nosy relatives, asking what happened and offering unsolicited advice.

There is a lot of tension involved in divorce, and it makes keeping up with holiday traditions difficult. Will filing for a divorce in November or December will put a damper on the holidays for your children? Every child copes with divorce differently, but if you do file, there are ways to make the holidays easier for your kids.

Holding Out Hope

Many couples refrain from filing for a divorce until January, hoping that the holidays will reignite the spark they once had. This isn’t always the best idea. The holiday season is stressful enough, without having a strained marriage thrown into the mix.

Your relationship may feel stronger after the New Year, but it is unlikely it was actually repaired. The warm, fuzzy feelings you have after the holidays may be masking the underlying issues that made you want to file for divorce in the first place.

Financial Perks to Waiting

There are financial benefits to waiting to file for divorce until after the holidays. In New York, any income or assets earned before the filing date are considered to be marital assets. This means that they are subject to equitable distribution during your divorce case. Year-end bonuses may count during your divorce.

Your taxes will be effected regardless of when you file for divorce, however, when you file will impact your filing status. There are countless tax implications that are associated with divorce, so it is crucial you discuss your situation with an experienced divorce attorney prior to filing. For instance, any child support or alimony payments you may receive will impact your taxes, as well as any refund you may receive.

Beat the Rush by Filing Now

Many New Yorkers wait until after the first of the year to file for divorce. This is why January is known as Divorce Month. You can beat the rush by filing for divorce during the holiday season, however, it is important to stress that you will not be divorced by the end of the year.

There is no right or wrong answer asking whether or not you should file divorce during the holiday season. It depends on what is best for your family. If you get along well with your spouse, you may want to wait until January to move forward. Alternatively, if you are in an unhealthy or abusive marriage, you need to file for divorce as soon as possible.

For more information on New York divorce cases, contact the family firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. With over forty years of combined experience, our team of attorneys have extensive experience handling complex divorce matters, and are eager to help you. Call 718-875-7584 to schedule your free consultation today!

Telling Your Children You’re Getting a Divorce

Telling Your Children

The only thing harder than deciding to file for divorce, is telling your children. In fact, doing so is one of the aspects of divorce that parents dread the most.

Luckily, the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have drawn on their years of experience and put together the essential how to guide for telling your kids about divorce.

Plan and Prepare

Telling your children about your divorce is one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have. It is also one of the most important. It is crucial that you work with your ex to plan what you will say. Divorce is a traumatic time for children, and you can make it easier by remaining a united front.

Before sitting down with your kids, you and your ex need to agree on what you are going to tell your children. They will ask why you are divorcing, but you don’t have to discuss the intimate details. You and your ex can prepare for the talk by discussing living arrangements, visitation, and how the divorce will impact your children’s lives. Having answers for common questions will help put your children’s minds at ease.

Have Age Appropriate Conversations

How you approach telling your children about your divorce will make a difference in how they cope. A good rule of thumb is to tailor the conversation to their age. Younger children have harder time comprehending what a divorce means, whereas adolescents will have a better understanding.

When telling younger children about your divorce, use simple terms and concepts. Young kids can develop inaccurate ideas about divorce, so it is important to let them ask any questions they may have. Always stress that the divorce is not their fault, and the decision for Mom and Dad to live separately does not mean that they aren’t loved.

Adolescents and teens have a better understanding of their surroundings, and it is likely they have figured out that you are getting a divorce before you tell them. You can have a more open and honest talk with older kids, but keep in mind that they won’t let their fears show as easily as their younger siblings. Once again, it is important to stress that the divorce is not their fault, and that they are still loved.

Tips for Telling Your Children

The internet is full of dos and don’ts for telling your children about your divorce. Each discussion and experience will be different, but it is important to create a safe and calm environment. Set aside enough time to have a thorough discussion with your kids, and make sure you do it at home. Always encourage a dialogue, and be prepared to answer very painful questions. Your goal, as a parent, should be to make the divorce as easy as possible on your kids. This starts with how you tell them.

Never play the blame game during the talk, as it can lead to parental alienation later on down the road. Arguing with your spouse creates tension, and it does not help to foster a safe environment. Don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t have the type of reaction you thought they’d have. All kids process divorce news differently, and they may need time to process their emotions. Never, ever, force your child to pick sides during divorce.

An Attorney Makes Divorce Easier

Your divorce attorney cannot tell your children for you. They can, however, make the divorce process easier for you and your family. With their guidance and representation, you can focus your attention on your children and make sure that they are coping with the divorce. Your kids need to be your #1 priority during divorce, and the only way to do this is to hire a lawyer.

The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of New York City’s most experienced divorce powerhouses. The dedicated attorneys have represented thousands of New Yorkers, successfully advocating on their behalf both in, and out, of the court room.

For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

Top 5 Reasons You May Get Divorced

op 5 Reasons You'll Get Divorced

Statistics show that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Why is this? Are small habits and annoyances to blame, or is it something big that causes couples to get divorced? While the exact cause for divorce varies, here, we discuss the Top 5 reasons couples call it quits:

Financial Issues

Money impacts every part of your life, especially your marriage. Issues surrounding income, marital debt, and spending habits, can cause major headaches. A strong marriage needs to have a solid foundation, and having the same money goals as your spouse is a crucial part of that foundation.

Infidelity

It should come as no surprise that infidelity is a common reason why couples get divorced. Extramarital affairs put a lot of stress on a relationship, and destroy the trust couples have for each other. Divorce papers often follow an affair.

Lack of Communication

Not being able to communicate well with your spouse can lead to divorce. Constant disagreements and bickering can lead to miscommunication- or a breakdown of communication all together. This can create a lot of tension in your relationship.

Addictive Behaviors

Addiction often results divorce, and we’re not just talking about substance abuse problems. Addiction can manifest in a variety of ways, including in your work, and in your desire to maintain a certain image or lifestyle. Some addictions are so strong that they become the focal point of your relationship, and will lead to divorce.

Incompatibility

Sometimes, regardless of how much your love your spouse, the two of you just aren’t compatible. While this is unfortunate, it is common. Differences surround religion, the desire to start a family, or where you want to live, can result in a marital breakdown. Getting divorced because of incompatibility doesn’t mean you don’t love your spouse. It just means that the two of you care enough about the other to let them have a chance at true happiness.

Are You Getting Divorced?

Hiring a family law attorney to represent you during a divorce is always recommended. Retaining a lawyer has tremendous benefits, regardless of the reason why you want to file for divorce. Because of how complicated the process is, and it is far too risky to try to represent yourself.

The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. has helped thousands of New Yorkers navigate their divorce and family law cases. We strongly believe that knowledge is power, especially when it comes to divorce. This is why our attorneys off free, no obligation, consultations for all NYC residents. Call us at 718-875-7584 to speak to one of our dedicated professionals today!

High Net Worth Divorce in NYC

High Net Worth Divorce

All divorce cases have challenges, but high net worth cases are more complex and present additional obstacles. Assets must be addressed during these unique cases. What key things should you know if you’re facing a high net worth divorce?

Handling Assets

High net worth divorce cases often involve a great deal of assets. Assets can range from financial accounts, to homes, cars, and collectibles. New York State uses a concept called Equitable Distribution to help divide assets during all divorce cases. Given the increased number of assets that high net worth cases have, you are faced with a prolonged discovery process.

To help keep you organized during your divorce, we suggest you create an index of all assets. This includes balances in financial accounts, loan amounts, mortgages, leases, and insurance documents. Streamline and organize your high net worth divorce with Brian D. Perskin & Associate’s free Assets and Liabilities Checklist.

Mixing Business with Divorce

A concern facing many litigants is that a high net worth divorce will effect their small business. Unfortunately, there is a good chance it may be. Your business will be subject to equitable distribution if it was created, or grew, during your marriage.

Your business is an asset, and needs to be valuated during your divorce. A Judge will issue a court order that assigns a third party company to evaluate your business. This complicated process requires the attention that only an experienced divorce attorney can provide. For more information on how to handle your business during a divorce, click here.

Other High Net Worth Concerns

High net worth divorce cases can contested, or uncontested. Even if you are in agreement with your ex-spouse regarding the distribution of assets, you still need to address custody, child support, and alimony. Court intervention is needed when divorcing parents are unable to reach a child custody agreement on their own.

Hidden assets are a major concern in high net worth divorce cases. Hiding, or trying to siphon off, assets is a very serious matter and will impact alimony and child support. Litigants often try to transfer their assets to a family member in an attempt to make the court believe they have a lower net worth. You can help your attorney recognize hidden assets by keeping an index of marital property, especially smaller items like jewelry and collectibles.

The High Net Worth Experts

With over forty years of combined experience, the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have represented countless New Yorkers in their high net worth cases. The knowledgeable attorneys are well versed in matrimonial law and the discovery process. Their keen eye for discrepancies have helped protect the net worth of residents in all five boroughs.

For more information on high net worth divorce cases in New York City, contact Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 today. (Don’t forget to schedule your free consultation online!)