When a marriage ends, the process of divorce can be overwhelming because of the number of issues that need to be considered. Regardless of the specific circumstances within a divorce, ending a marriage can be complex. Even if both spouses are in agreement on dissolving a union, reaching consensus on all issues can be difficult.
With important divorce aspects like child custody arrangements and property division hanging in the balance it’s important to get reliable legal advice. An attorney can keep you informed on what path is right for you and your family.
When a family breaks apart, the ones that often suffer the most are the children. This is especially true if the children are young and unable to comprehend why mom and dad are no longer living together. Fortunately, constructing a solid plan with the other parent on all child-related matters can help ease the transition. As parents, it’s important to work together to make arrangements that are in the best interests of the children.
Child custody in Brooklyn, New York, as elsewhere in the state, can either be legal or physical in nature. In either type, custody can be sole or joint, making four possible outcomes. In legal custody, parents are granted the right to make important decisions concerning children, such as their education or religious upbringing. Physical custody specifies the residence in which the children live. The New York court system prefers joint custody as children generally benefit from the presence of both parents.
The court will deny custody in instances, however, where a home environment endangers the welfare of children. Some examples include illegal drug use, unlawful behavior or neglect.
Every parent is financially responsible for his or her children. In New York, child support is calculated using a basic formula. By using the state calculator, it’s possible to get an approximate payment amount that will be due each month for support. Some of the factors that contribute to child support include:
- The gross annual income of each parent
- The number of children
- The amount of parenting time of each spouse
Every child support case is different. A family judge also considers the medical care costs of the children and other caregiving expenses when determining support payments.
Like child custody issues, property allocation can quickly become a contentious area. Regardless of whether the split is amicable, when emotions are high, every decision can lead to opposition from the other person. In New York, property is dispersed following equitable allocation laws. Property can either be classified as marital or separate. Under equitable property distribution, all debts and assets acquired during the marriage belong to both parties.
Division Of Property
While equitable property division means allocating items in a fair and reasonable fashion, the outcome will not necessarily be a 50/50 split. The court assesses the financial needs of each spouse and the tax consequences of dispersing certain items when dividing property. Other aspects that are commonly considered include:
- The type of property
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- The earning potential of each person
- The contribution of each spouse in acquiring the asset
Property defined as separate items are not divided in a divorce. Several examples of separate property include a gift, an inheritance or an asset protected under a prenuptial agreement.
Couples ending a marriage in New York can choose between no-fault or fault divorce. In order to pursue a fault divorce, spouses must prove that a certain condition existed, such as abandonment or adultery. Filing for no-fault divorce only requires that parties agree that the relationship has been broken for at least six months. As alternatives to divorce, individuals can also legally separate or seek an annulment.
While a legal separation divides assets, grants child custody and deals with many of the same issues of a divorce, parties remain married. In New York, there are no residency time limits to pursue a legal separation, as long as both spouses are citizens of the state at the start of the filing process. In order to be eligible for legal separation in New York, one of these grounds must exist:
- Cruel and inhumane treatment
- Failure to support the other spouse
- Imprisonment for three consecutive years
When an annulment is granted, the court treats the union as though it never legally occurred. In order to annul a marriage, however, it is necessary to prove that certain conditions exist, such as:
- Close family relation
- Force or fraud
- Incurable insanity
- Inability to consummate the marriage
Because the success of getting an annulment rests on supplying the court with ample evidence, it’s wise to seek the services of a skilled divorce lawyer. A legal professional can inform you on the types of proof needed and help with any investigative efforts.
The process of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can assist spouses in reaching a divorce settlement through the use of a mediator. In this method, couples meet with a neutral third party and work through all divorce issues. Some of the advantages to ADR include that it:
- Saves time
- Saves money
- Preserves spousal relationships
- Allows couples more control over the outcome
Dissolving a marriage is a significant event that requires careful planning. With the legal and financial ramifications, there is a great deal at stake. An experienced divorce attorney can offer advice on what choices are appropriate for the situation, assist in preparing official documents and help in reaching desired goals. Whether there are questions on dividing marital property or concerns about child-related issues, getting answers from a skilled Brooklyn divorce lawyer can make a difference.
When you hire an attorney with experience helping families in Brooklyn, New York, you stand a greater chance of obtaining your objectives. It’s important to select a legal professional with a focus on family law. Only a divorce lawyer understands the particular New York statutes that are relevant in your case and how to help you protect your best interests.
To begin the divorce process or learn more about the legal options available to you, fill out the care review form to speak with with a experienced local divorce attorney in Brooklyn, NY.