Frequently Asked Questions

Based in Brooklyn and serving New York City and Nassau County, the Law Office of Melanie M. Marmer is a criminal and civil litigation practice with expertise in the areas of criminal defense, family law, and estates and wills. Below we answer some frequently asked questions about hiring an attorney after an arrest, when facing divorce, planning an estate, or handling probate.

 How should I select a criminal defense attorney?

First and foremost, you should feel you can trust your attorney. In criminal cases, your lawyer needs to know all of the facts in order to prepare your strongest defense. This means that you need to be able to talk to your attorney openly and honestly, knowing that he or she has your best interests at heart. To find the right lawyer, it is important to meet with several different criminal law attorneys, selecting the one that instills confidence in you, and makes you feel comfortable. Also, look for experience-specifically, trial experience. You need to know that your attorney can support you and stand by you, whatever lies ahead. Ms. Marmer brings 25 years of experience as a trial lawyer to her criminal defense practice.

Do I need a lawyer for my divorce?

The time of divorce is frequently very emotional, yet you must make important decisions for yourself and your family that will likely affect you for a lifetime. To make these decisions properly, you need to understand your legal rights. However, the laws in New York concerning child custody, child support, alimony, division of marital assets and debts, and other critical issues are very complex. Attempting to proceed without obtaining legal advice is extremely hazardous and oftentimes will only lead to delays and difficulties. It is especially important to consult with an attorney if you have children, own real estate, have a disparity in income, brought significant assets into the marriage, have a disability or health issues, have incurred substantial debt, or have been married for more than a few years. Divorce is generally not a time to cut costs, as money that you may think you are saving now could cost you a great deal more in the future.

Does everyone need a will?

A will is a useful tool that provides you with the ability to control how your estate is divided upon your death. Without a will, your property will be distributed based on state inheritance laws, which may not reflect your actual wishes. With a will, however, you may leave property to a charity, give certain items to certain people, or disqualify someone who would otherwise inherit from you based upon heirship. Also, you may appoint a specific person to handle the administration of your estate.

Do I need an attorney to probate a will?

 While New York law does not require you to hire an attorney to handle probate, it is almost always helpful to do so. There are two different parts to probating a will. First, you must prove the validity of the will, and second, you must execute its terms. Either step can involve considerable administrative paperwork, and even litigation. The complexity of an estate can also demand the expertise of a probate lawyer. At The Law Office of Melanie M. Marmer, we emphasize working toward a timely estate administration. By walking clients through the probate process, we are able to identify and avoid many issues that can slow down proceedings.

How can I learn more?

 If you or a loved one needs help with criminal charges, divorce, support, custody, estate planning or probate, please contact the Law Office of Melanie M. Marmer in Brooklyn to schedule a consultation. We can provide the advice and representation you need to handle any legal issues you have with confidence.