OVER 50 YEAR OF EXPERIENCE. BEST LONG ISLAND / NYC DIVORCE LAWYERS
Spodek Law Group, is a premier divorce law firm based out of NYC. We recognize that divorce is one of the most stressful situations anyone can be involved in. We empathize, and realize that in stressful times like this – you don’t just need a divorce lawyer in NYC and Long Island– you need someone who believes in you, and you’re right to a future. That future begins with a successful divorce, where you get everything you want and need. Whether it be your kids, your share of the marital assets, or simply – a pain free divorce. That’s where the attorneys at Spodek Law Group, come into the picture. Divorce is an expensive process inherently, and if you don’t have the right attorney – it may end in a manner unfavorable to you, and your children. Our firm has over 50 years of combined experience helping families get through divorce, child custody disputes, determining child alimony, and more. As former Prosecutors in New York, we have the experience, the know-how, and the passion – to be as aggressive as possible when helping our clients get the outcome they rightfully deserve. Regardless of the difficulty of your case, we bring the same dedication and passion to each and every case.
Not only can our divorce attorneys in NYC and Long Island help with divorce proceedings, and other legal affairs arising from divorce cases, we can also help clients with less confrontational methods of divorce – such as mediation. With divorce mediation, our divorce lawyers can negotiate, and settle, our clients cases outside of the courtroom with our team. Clients who elect for divorce meditation can get our help reaching a fair settlement with their spouse – without the costly expenses involved in a divorce. Our NYC divorce lawyers believe this is the best way to resolve a divorce quickly and affordably, without having to go to court. At the end of the day, our job is to get you the best possible solution. Our attorneys have experience representing clients all over New York, ranging from NYC to Long Island, and Nassau/Suffolk County. We’ve helped clients with issues ranging from simple divorces, to child custody disputes, child support, and more. Our team of divorce lawyers is respected not only by judges, but other divorce lawyers as well for our expertise and seriousness. That means, they know not to second guess our passion – and not to low-ball or take advantage of our clients.
Why Spodek Law Group
Our NYCdivorce law firm was founded by two former prosecutors. We bring this expertise to each and every case we handle.
Our divorce law firm takes on fewer clients than other law firms. We offer a risk free consultation 24/7.
We’re trusted and rated highly by leading organizations like Avvo, Super Lawyers, and many others.
TOP RATED LAWYERS
24/7 CUSTOMER SERVICE
50 YEARS EXPERIENCE
99% SUCCESS RATE
About Our Divorce Law Firm
We make recommendations that will work for the entire family. That’s why you can trust us, and trust that we’re looking out for your best interests and your family. Give us an opportunity to help you today. Our teams at our three locations, are available to service your case 24/7. Thanks to our diverse resources, you have an entire divorce law firm whose standing besides you at all aspects of your case. When you work with us, you’ll have direct 24/7 access to the matrimonial attorney whose assigned to your case. Our attorneys understand what to do at every step of the case, and what to do. Not only can we help you with issues pertaining to your divorce case, we can also help with indirect issues – like tax implications, and other issues, that may arise from your divorce proceedings.
If you want to get started, call right now or fill out the contact form on our website. During the initial consultation, you can speak to one of our attorneys and learn more about our law firm. Our firm is frequently featured on international news outlets like FOX News, CNN, NYPOST, and many other. We provide remarkable customer service, and have great results for each and every client.
Our law firm consists of some of the top rated attorneys in the state of New York. Our team works tirelessly, from our numerous locations in New York – to get our clients the best results possible. We advise our clients on all possible scenarios that may arise from their divorce. We are aggressive, unflinching, and when necessary – uncompromising – in order to get our clients what they deserve. We never stop doing what’s necessary to get our clients get what they rightfully deserve – regardless of how aggressive the other side is. As your NYC divorce law firm, we will always keep you aware of what’s going on. You will be aware of everything going on, and can reach us 24/7.
If you’re going through a divorce, then you need a team of attorneys who not only empathize, but understand how stressful this process is – and how you need an attorney who is on your side. Our NYC matrimonial attorneys understand both the emotional and financial burden associated with a divorce case. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. Regardless of where you live, our attorneys can help. With over 50 years of combined experience, we have seen virtually every type of divorce case. We understand the law, not only from it’s direct implications – but also indirect implications it may have on your life. Our divorce attorneys in NYC and Long Island look at the full picture, when advising you, and making recommendations. Our goal is not just to win – it’s to come up with a solution that works for you and your family. We care about your children, their future, and your future.
Our law firm takes on fewer clients than other firms. We believe by working with fewer clients, we can provide more service and better results.
Flexible Payment Plans
We are one of the fewer law firms that offer flexible payment programs. That means you can work with our attorneys without having to worry about money, or paying us. We believe money should never get in the way of working the attorney you want.
Over 30 – 5 Star Google Reviews
Spodek Law Group is one of the few NYC divorce law firms that has dozen’s of 5 star reviews, in addition to being recognized by the top lawyer ranking services – like Avvo, Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers, Yelp, Google Places, and other websites.
Our New York divorce lawyers are available 24/7, regardless of when, and where, you need our help. We can help you with your divorce and matrimonial situation. You can speak to one of our attorneys, regardless of whether it’s at our Mineola, NYC, or Suffolk County office location.
Reason Clients Hire Us
Spodek Law Group, is a top rated NYC divorce law firm that has over 50 years of combined experience. Based out of NYC, our firm is one of the oldest divorce law firms in the city. We have an immense amount of experience handling tough, complicated, and complex cases. We have an inside track of the legal justice system - and we know when, and how, to be aggressive. By working with us, you have an advantage that few other firms can offer.
Our Philosophy and Who We Are
Top Notch Litigators
Our attorneys have all been recognized as top rated, by ranking services like Avvo, National Trial Lawyers Organization, SUPER Lawyers, and many others.
We’re Dedicated To You
We are passionate about one thing: helping our clients get the best outcome. We don’t focus on billable hours – like other firms. We only care about providing the best possible solution.
We’re your ally. We’re your guiding hand.
Your spouse, or his/her attorney, will try to take advantage of you. We understand this – and we make sure to keep you balances. We’ve seen spouses use children, and emotions, in an attempt to blackmail you. We prevent that from succeeding. We use the rules, and our experience in matrimony cases, to help prevent mistakes and potential compromises that could hurt you. We treat like you family – you can trust.
What is an uncontested divorce
As divorce lawyers, we uniquely understand what is a uncontested divorce. Generally, this type of divorce is one, in which both parties are in agreement. Our lawyers can help couples find settlement terms, without going to trial, and result in a “uncontested,” ending. In simple terms, it means the spouses reached an agreement without ever going to court/having a judge resolve the issues. These types of divorces proceed much faster through the court system, and are less expensive. It allows spouses to move on with their lives, a lot quicker.
Aggressive and Unyielding
As a law firm founded by 2 former New York Prosecutors – we are aggressive, and extremely resourceful. We get each client the results he, or she, deserves.
We Are Selective About How Many Clients We Help Each Month
Each month, our attorneys are selective on how many cases we take. We limit our caseload so we can give as much attention as possible to each and every client we accept. We prefer working with less clients, in order to get better results for all of our clients. Unlike many other attorneys, we don’t assign paralegals and non-attorneys to handle the bulk of our work. Our dedicated NYC divorce lawyers do the majority of the work on your case. When you hire us, you have our lawyers expertise on your case. Our divorce firm understands that the lawyer you hire – can be more important than the divorce itself. We recognize a divorce is a turning point in your life. We treat your case, as if it were our own case – we give it the same level of attention to detail.
Risk Free Consultation
Our divorce lawyers in NYC offer a free consultation, in person or over the phone. During this consultation you can ask us virtually anything about your case. We explain your legal rights, what your next moves should be. By taking this consultation, you have no obligation to work with us. If you take this consultation, we firmly believe you’ll get the no-nonsense advice you’re looking for. In order to start working with us, give us a call – or fill out the contact form. Our law firm has 3 convenient locations in: NYC, Nassau County, or Suffolk County. We can meet you at whichever location you’d like. Once you sign up with us as a client, we can meet you even at your place of business – if that’s easier. Our team of NYC divorce attorneys has immense experience handling tough, and complex, cases. We have over 50 years of combined experience, and during this time we’ve seen some of the toughest, most litigious, and most shocking divorce situations. The one thing that’s remained the same – is our dedication and the great results we’ve gotten in each case. Our divorce lawyers are frequently interviews by the media, and we’re extremely well respected by judges, and other attorneys alike. As a firm founded by 2 former New York Prosecutors, we bring an aggressive and unyielding approach to each case we handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Individuals who have a high net worth are often in a unique situation – which requires divorce lawyers with a lot of skills, knowledge, and deep understanding. High Net Worth individuals often have many personal and business assets, in order to financial portfolios, and other lifestyle choices and decisions which must be accounted for – when considering an amicable divorce. We give you our pledge – we get it, and we will look out for you on every single level, when handling your divorce. Our lawyers have handled numerous high net worth divorce cases. When looking for the best lawyers, you need to choose attorneys who have the training, and experience, to properly handle these cases. Our team lawyers has years of experience – not only in handling, but successfully resolving and litigating high net worth situations.
This is a question for the parents. Custody is normally divided into two components: physical and legal. Physical custody in divorces refers to where the children live. Legal custody refers to who will make important decisions for the child, i.e. health, education, etc. Both of these custodies can be either joint or sole. In New York, there are laws to calculate child support payments. The payment amount is normally based on each parent’s income, which gets taken into account in a mathematical formula. If there is a judge presiding over your divorce proceedings, the judge has the ultimate authority on child support decisions. The judge can deviate from guidelines as they desire.
Alimony can be ordered by a judge under certain circumstances. If a spouse is going to face hardships without financial support, spousal support will be considered by the judge, and probably requested by the spouse as well. The deciding factor for spousal support in NYC/Long Island is whether or not your spouse will be able to maintain her/himself, at his/her customary standard of living. In other word, the law makes it clear that a husband/wife, shouldn’t be forced to live at a level below what was enjoyed during the marriage.
No divorce is final, until outstanding issues like assets, debt, spousal support, alimony, etc, are handled. In the event you, and your spouse, don’t agree on a settlement for these issues – you’ll have to resolve these matters. Sometimes, couples are unable to agree on these issues – outside of court, and thus it becomes a contested divorce. If these aren’t resolved, a judge will decide on them for you. These are typically the tougher cases most people think about, when thinking about divorce. The good thing is, we can help you with these tough cases. Our family law attorneys are proficient, and competent, in handling all types of cases – even contested divorces. We have many trial lawyers who work with us – and our firm has a strong reputation in courts. We firmly believe that success, in the legal arena – comes from being both aggressive, and passive. Fire and ice. Our contested divorce lawyers know when to be aggressive, fiery, and fierce – and in addition, know when to back off. No case is too hard – we use the right strategy, at the right time – in order to get you results. If the opposing party isn’t being cooperative, we aren’t afraid of taking a tough stance, and being aggressive. Our attorneys in NYC have the skills, experience, dedication, and enthusiasm necessary to protect your rights inside – and outside – the legal arena.
Many spouses look at divorce as a contentious issue. They immediately act like they are at war. Contrary to popular belief, divorce mediation can work. While many divorces in NY are contested; it’s possible to avoid legal fees with an uncontested divorce in New York. Mediation is a great way to avoid emotional and financial hurdles, that arise in divorce. Lawyers will tell you that it’s always a good idea – to keep a divorce drama free. If you engage in divorce mediation, you can get legally divorced – with a fraction of the cost. We highly recommend doing mediation, instead of going to war – since it’s emotionally and financially better. Our lawyers are trained to handle voluntary, and court-mandated, mediations. Our job as your advocate, is to help you take advantage of this chance to avoid litigation, and to work out your issues in a peaceful manner. We can help you engage in divorce mediation, before the the court orders mediation to begin – and before it becomes contentious. Our family lawyers help clients make the most of their mediation. We help clients get an out-of-court settlement to help avoid future litigation. We can do this before the situation escalates.
Our family law attorneys understand the importance of a prenuptial, or postnuptial, agreement. This agreement is a contract, that we can help negotiate, between the various parties – in order to prevent future litigation, and financial exposure from either one party, or another. When you hire our matrimonial attorneys to help, you are able to lower the chances of future financial, or emotional, problems – due to prior planning. When you have a prenup, or postnup, in place – you’re able to draft a marital agreement which forecasts what will happen – financially, and personally, in the event a divorce or legal separation takes place. In the absence of a marital agreement, it is a good idea to have an experienced prenuptial agreement lawyers in place, to help you negotiate and execute a prenup or postnup agreement. Often, having one of these in place – can save you 10’s of thousands of dollars later. Our attorneys have significant experience helping individuals of all net worth’s – get a proper agreement in place that protects them on every level. Our NYC divorce lawyers have significant experience creating “ironclad” prenup agreements, based on our firms years of experience drafting and protecting, prenup/postnup agreements. Our divorce attorneys are always following the latest trends in the law, concerning marital contracts. We always update our methodologies to ensure that prenups and postnups are enforceable and are going to be upheld by the courts. Prenups and marital agreements aren’t 1 size fit all – they have to be customized to meet the financial and personal needs of the party. We help you understand how a prenup can protect you – and potentially save you thousands of dollars in legal fees later.
Getting married is a great thing – but it’s equally important to protect yourself. It’s crucial you protect yourself, and all of your assets – present, and future, from the uncertainties of divorce. If you’re looking to get married, we encourage you to speak to one of our prenup agreement attorneys, who can advise you on what assets you can protect – and the best method of protecting them. We help you use the law – to protect yourself from future divorce related litigation. Each client has unique circumstances – our attorneys job is to help prepare you for the worst. We can help facilitate the dialogue you should have with your spouse, when considering a prenup agreement. We are confident, and comfortable, that premarital consulting with our attorneys is the smart choice.
Your retirement savings are the most important component of your financial security. Divorce can throw a huge wrench in all of your retirement plans. As a result, it’s best if you consider pension plans, and 401(k)’s – when handling your divorce. Raiser & Kenniff, PC’s team of aggressive attorneys fight tooth and nail to help ensure you get your fair share of all retirement savings. Under New York’s Domestic Relations Law, it is law that the dependent spouse is entitled to a fair share of the retirement plan’s proceeds. In the case a couple was married after a 401(k) or retirement fund was created, the dependent spouse cannot claim an interest in the fund’s assets before the marriage.
One of the things our firm can do – is help you plan out the 401(k), from a tax point of view. Cashing out early can expose you to tax liabilities. As a result, we can negotiate a settlement that allows you to gain ownership in the fund – without being liable for any immediate taxes.
There are many advantages to settling a divorce out of court. You can save time, money, and the emotional pain. Sometimes though, if you settle out of court – it can be on subpar terms. That can cost you money in the long run. At Spodek Law Group, we want you to get the results you want from your case. You should never have buyer’s remorse when settling your case. Our New York divorce attorneys negotiate in a firm manner, and protect your interests. We never compromise – and do everything possible to take your issue to court – and get you results. We realize a divorce can be a long process – but don’t recommend settling your case prematurely. You can trust our lawyers to fight for you at every stage.
There are many paths to getting an uncontested divorce settlement. Some couples will try to negotiate a settlement before either party files for divorce. Other will finalize it during the divorce mediation process. Other spouses will try to settle the case during the trial. The process can vary, depending on the variables of the case:
Are spouses cooperating: Some spouses retain a level of civility – and negotiate in good faith. Some spouses have difficulty controlling their emotions. Some will deliberately drag out proceedings, in order to deliberately raise the cost of the divorce – in order to hurt the other spouse.
Agreements about children: Child custody is one of the most common reasons for divorces to be dragged on. If you and your spouse can agree on this, it’s probably going to be easier to settle out of court. The quicker parents agree on all of the issues pertaining to their children – the easier it is to settle out of court.
Existing marital agreements: If you have an existing prenup, or postnup, then it may end up settling the numerous marital issues. If you have an agreement like this already in place, it “ends,” all the negotiations which would normally take place. This is because the prenup/postnup is a written agreement which states what happens in the event the marriage dissolves.
Do you have representation: If you have legal representation, then it can expedite things. If you have a competent lawyer on your side – you can keep the ball rolling. If you’re trying to do the divorce on your own, it can be more difficult – since your personal feelings might interfere with the divorce proceedings.
While it’s possible to settle a divorce before it gets to court – it’s extremely important you understand this isn’t typical. Often, spouses have differences – and this can create friction when attempting to negotiate a divorce settlement. We recommend you never negotiate a divorce settlement with having legal representation.
We always recommend hiring a lawyer whose on your side. Negotiating an agreement without experienced legal assistance is a mistake waiting to happen. Once you make the mistake, you can’t take it back. Writing your own settlement agreement is the #1 way spouses make mistakes. Legal language has consequences, and you need to have it written correctly.
New Yorker’s who have significant assets need legal representation, more than anyone else – when it comes to divorce. Due to the large number of assets, your financial future can be at risk. Your financial future depends on getting a fair allocation of your joint marital property. Asset division is something which can also impact future alimony payments. If you want to maintain your existing lifestyle, and your existing standard of living – then you need a lawyer who is ready to fight on your behalf. Spodek Law is that firm. We have the resources, and passion, to fight for you and win. We are NYC’s largest law firm. Clients trust us to take care of their financial future. If you are worried about losing a significant portion of your property – then you should contact us. We can help ensure you get a fair share of your wealth. We can also help ensure you won’t get stuck with significant debt that your spouse may have generated.
New York is an equitable distribution state. It means the courts divide all assets and obligations in a fair manner – but not necessarily equal manner. That means that the court will try to be fair. All assets aren’t 50/50 split. That means the court will look at all of your assets, like: assets from inheritance, businesses, car, cash assets, debt, house + real estate, 401(k), pensions, retirement savings, stocks, and bonds.
There are four steps in the process of dividing your assets.
Identification – In this stage, all spouses are required to disclose all available assets and debts. This is where some spouses try to hide assets. During this phase, we’ll uncover all of the hidden assets your spouse may have. We have experience finding assets, that a spouse may not disclose – and which most attorneys would not discover. We can identify exactly how, and where, a spouse is hiding your assets. We look out for unreported income, that our client has a right to know about.
Categorization – Once all of the assets, and debts, are revealed – the court will decide whether the property is separate or marital. There is a rule followed – which is that anything owned prior to the marriage is separate. Any wealth, or debt, which was accumulated during the marriage goes into a marital estate – which will be divided eventually. There are certain exceptions. Gifts, and inheritances, which are received during the marriage are considered separate property by the court. These gifts are considered separate – as long as they were intended for only one of the spouses, and the funds weren’t commingled during the marriage. In addition, many couples have prenuptials and postnuptial agreements – which make it possible for certain property to be designed as separate or marital. This is a crucial stage – because this is where courts often strip rights to certain property. You need an New York attorney to protect your interests during this stage.
Valuation – Once all of the assets are discovered and placed in the marital pool – the court must assign a monetary value to them. Certain assets, like stock options, real estate, and businesses, are difficult to assign a fixed dollar value. Based on the value of your assets, alimony payments will be determined. During this stage, we enlist the help of financial experts – who can assess the value of your holdings and determine the correct valuation of them.
Allocation – During this stage, the court will decide who gets what, and how much. Equal distribution doesn’t mean even split. So, during this stage – the courts will look at numerous factors – in order to determine a fair distribution. For example, a 401(k) is easy to divide. But the real issue is dividing assets like the house, or other businesses, which is non-liquid. If one spouse gets the house, then our attorneys will try to balance it – and give the other spouse something to balance it.
At the end of the day – your financial security depends on a fair distribution of assets. We recommend having an experienced team of New York divorce lawyers, like ourselves, to help
Our matrimonial lawyers focus exclusively on the best resolution for you, and your family. We don’t push into what we think is right exclusively. We give you our input, but ultimately – negotiate, and strategize, around YOUR goals. We create tailor made solutions, designed to focus on you. Our New York family law attorneys are by your side, and understand your unique circumstances. We firmly believe that the key to 99% of matrimonial cases in NYC – is listening to the family members. We listen to you, and focus on the resolution you need, and want.
Many matrimonial attorneys are unfair – because they know that as a result, they can create “problems,” for which they can then bill you to fix. We find this unethical. We work in a fair, and balanced manner – which ensures that the outcome you want will happen. Everything we do, revolves around being fair, yet protecting your rights – and ensuring that we are able to negotiate amicably with the other side. Regardless of whether you use one of our matrimonial lawyers in nyc or long island, rest assured – we’re focused on getting the best possible resolution on every issue important to you – without drawing out the process longer than it needs to be.
Many attorneys refuse to work with the opposing attorney, and create unnecessary problems. We firmly believe litigation is stressful, and time consuming. We believe in helping our clients get the outcome they want. We try getting them this, by embracing a collaborative approach – which means treating all parties with respect, and helping forge a common approach. This philosophy of ours means that we consistently charge less than other matrimonial law firms, and it also means you get the best results possible – because we’re not focused on charging you more money, we’re focused on giving you the best results!
We believe in getting you the outcome you want. Sometimes, being fair and balanced doesn’t work – when the other side isn’t cooperating. If needed, we’re prepared and experienced – and can go to trial on your behalf. Sometimes, the only way to protect your rights, is by litigating in court. The key to winning in court is having experience – and knowing what works, and doesn’t work. Our NYC matrimonial lawyers can help build your case, and represent you – regardless of the time, or place.
Regardless of the difficult of your case, our team can handle it. We’ve handled some of the most complex divorce, family law, asset distribution, cases in New York. Whether it be a case involving child custody, alimony, support, or even a spouse hiding assets – we can help. Our extremely knowledgable team will handle every single aspect of your case. We leave NOTHING to chance, and thoroughly protect your rights. If you need an extremely well versed matrimonial law firm, hire Raiser & Kenniff.
When you are potentially going to trial – you want a matrimonial lawyer in NYC who knows judges, court staff, and opposing counsels. The familiarity makes it easier to get things done, and means you’re working with a trustworthy law firm. Both of our founding partners, are former prosecutors, and bring their years of experience to every single case. We understand how to speak to judges, and opposing counsel – and how to squash their attempts to dismiss your rights. Our trained NYC lawyers know the matrimonial/family courts of New York – and are well known, and trusted, for their strong advocacy for our clients.
When you hire a matrimonial law firm, you want to know that you’re hiring the best. You want someone who can get to the finish line – with plenty to spare! Our divorce and family team consists of highly trained lawyers, in addition to paralegals, assistants, and an entire support staff to ensure your case gets the attention it deserves. Unlike solo attorneys – we have an entire team ready to help your case – and give it the attention you deserve. It’s how we ensure each client gets the best results possible.
All divorce and family law matters aren’t the same. There are many ways to approach a case, and handle it. Having an experienced matrimonial attorney on your side, can be the key to success. When we take on a new case, we strategize all the possible ways we can get our clients what they need. Our attorneys work with you, to ensure that our suggested approach fits your needs, and the needs of your family.
On average, there’s a 1-6 month waiting period after the initial divorce petition is filed, and served on the other spouse – before it becomes final. The divorce order will take effect immediately, after the judge makes a final ruing.
Based on our experience handling divorces in Long Island and New York City, if a divorce is uncontested, and a marital settlement agreement is filed, then you may not even need to go court. In this instance, all the legal documents will be filed with the court, and the judgement will be automatically sent to you. However, there can be exceptions where the court requests a formal/informal hearing. At an informal hearing, the judge may ask you questions about facts that are mentioned in the papers filed. At a formal hearing, the divorce case must be presented from the very beginning.Disputes pertaining to the division of assets, child custody, and spousal support, or other terms that do not REQUIRE court intervention, do not require you to go to court. Normally, these situations can be resolved through arbitration, mediation, or through simply your attorneys negotiating.
On average, there’s a 1-6 month waiting period after the initial divorce petition is filed, and served on the other spouse – before it becomes final. The divorce order will take effect immediately, after the judge makes a final ruing.
A lawyer will negotiate the equal division of property and assets and complete all the necessary documents for the diverse arrangements of the asset divisions. This will assure your future financial security and peace of mind.
Experienced divorce attorneys in NYC know that discussing the details of your case with you will let them know exactly what your concerns and goals are and what you wish to achieve with your divorce. You will have a better chance of getting what you want by hiring a law firm.
Professional attorneys will make the proceedings less painful for you by saving you the mental suffering and anguish caused by fighting in court with your spouse over children and property.
A lawyer has the expertise of knowing divorce law and is current with changes in divorce law. Attorneys know how to file motions and petitions and when it is best to file them. NY lawyers are familiar with local court procedures, and they are acquainted with the judges and attorneys.
Even if you file a divorce, it can be dismissed at any time after the papers have been filed —- assuming the judgement has not been entered yet. All you have to do is request a dismissal form from the county clerk. If no response has been filed, the petitioner alone is allowed to file the dismissal form. If a response has been filed, then the signature of both spouses is necessary in order to sign the dismissal form.