Divorce can impact your life for many years to come, affecting your family relationships, your finances, and can be a source of distress, worry, and antagonism between you and your spouse. Because of the difficulties involved in ending such an intimate relationship and the complexities of divorce law, you should enter the divorce process armed with a basic understanding of how it will change your life and the lives of all those involved, including your children. Having a competent and caring attorney providing you with the practical and legal knowledge you need so that you can make informed decisions is invaluable. That is the service our firm provides to all of our clients.
There are many options to consider when obtaining a divorce. Even if you think you and your spouse can come to an agreement, you must meet with our knowledgeable divorce attorneys to discuss how the process works. This will ensure that things are done properly. If you and your spouse have issues which must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized, then you will need the counsel of an experienced attorney.
You may want to consider divorce mediation to work out your differences with your spouse concerning such matters as child support, child custody and visitation, the division of marital debts and property, spousal support, and other details. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method which is done outside the courtroom, saving you the time, expense, and stress of hostile divorce litigation. Our firm offers this service to divorce clients.
It should be noted, that the Supreme Court of the State of New York is the only court that can legally grant you a divorce. Within the context of an action for divorce, the Supreme Court has the power to determine all marital issues, such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support or maintenance, equitable distribution of marital assets, and the responsibility of the parties for providing and paying for health insurance, uncovered medical expenses, life insurance, daycare expenses, children's educational expenses and attorney fees.
It should be made aware that there are eligibility requirements when seeking a divorce. In order to be eligible for a divorce, you and / or your spouse must have resided in the State of New York for a specified and continuous period of time, usually for one year.
New York law provides for both contested and uncontested divorces. Contested divorces consist of cases where the parties are in dispute over the divorce or its surrounding issues, such as child custody, distribution of marital property, and other issues that may arise as a result of dissolving a marriage. If there is any issue that cannot be resolved outside of the court system, no matter what the reason or whose fault it is, then your case is considered a contested divorce.
The contested divorce occurs when the spouses cannot arrive at an agreement on one or more key issues in order to conclusively end their marriage. When spouses cannot arrive at an agreement, even with the assistance of their attorney, they must approach a court to settle their dispute. Contested divorces are quite commonplace now, especially since there are so many different issues to resolve during the course of ending their marriage. The most common hot button issues required during a contested divorce include such sensitive topics child custody, child support, property division, asset distribution, settlement of marital debts, alimony, and visitation.
All too often, divorce cases proceed contested and require judicial intervention. Sometimes when your spouse is being difficult or spiteful over a particular issue, then court intervention is a good thing. You can take comfort in knowing that even though your case may start out as a contested divorce, nearly 95 percent of divorces settle without having to go to trial.
Our experienced firm has the knowledge and experience to get you started on the right foot. When a case proceeds contested, the first months of your case are at a critical stage. Positions are taken, and the court forms opinions of the parties. Regardless if you feel your position is right, you can rest assured that your spouse feels that their position is right.
This is why you need to make the right choice from the beginning. Having a powerful voice stand up for your rights, along with the legal experience and knowledge required to navigate the complexities of the court system means that your contested divorce matter will get the attention it deserves. More importantly, you will be confident knowing that you will be putting your best foot forward in presenting your case. Don't rely on the statistics that most cases settle. You will need a skilled and experienced attorney to ensure that if your case does in fact settle, the terms of that settlement will be most beneficial and advantageous to you.
In order to obtain a divorce in the State of New York, you must have "grounds" or a basis for your divorce. There are two types of grounds, fault grounds and no fault grounds. To obtain a divorce
On one of the fault grounds, a spouse must prove certain facts to the Court. The fault grounds are:
Cruel and inhuman treatment, consisting of conduct that so endangers the physical or mental well-being of the complaining party as renders it unsafe or improper for that party to continue to cohabit with his or her spouse.
Abandonment of the complaining party by his or her spouse for a period of one or more years.
Confinement of one spouse in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage.
Commission of an act of adultery.
The no fault grounds for divorce do not require the complaining party to prove any misconduct by his or her spouse. The no-fault grounds are:
The husband and wife have lived apart pursuant to a judgment of separation for one or more years after the judgment was granted, and the person seeking the divorce satisfactorily proves his or her substantial performance of all of the terms and conditions of the judgment.
The husband and wife have lived apart pursuant to a written Agreement of Separation for one or more years, provided the Agreement is signed with certain legal formalities and filed in the Office of the Clerk of the County where either the husband or wife resides.
The relationship between the husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that either the husband or the wife so states under oath. This final no fault ground for divorce, which has been available in New York State since October 20l0, requires only that the husband or wife state under oath that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. No defenses are available to the other spouse to prevent a divorce on that ground.