No matter the exact details within a divorce, the process can be challenging. There are many issues to consider, such as how to divide property and settle on appropriate custody arrangements for the children. Regardless of whether a divorce is amicable, coming to a settlement with the other person can become contentious.
The outcome of a divorce can impact individuals for years to come. Enlisting an experienced divorce lawyer can help to minimize the potential fallout of ending a marriage.
Protecting children from a divorce proceeding is often a goal for parents. Proper legal planning can aid in the effort to make the process smoother for the children. In New York, the courts strongly encourage parents to construct a parenting plan which will outline all aspects of being caregivers after the divorce. Settling on child custody and support for the children are two areas that need to be resolved when dissolving a marriage.
New York custody cases have two arrangements: legal and physical. Each of these types can be sole or joint. When parents can agree on the ideal situation for their children, a judge is more likely to grant those wishes as long as the arrangement is in the best interests of the dependents. In some cases, parents are unable to agree on visitation and the decision will be made by a judge.
Child custody mediation can help parents deal with objections from the other spouse and arrive at a mutually agreeable result. A mediator can help to promote healthy communication between couples in order to find an appropriate child custody plan.
Child support is calculated based on a basic formula that uses several pertinent factors. Parents can get an estimate of the child support they will be obligated to pay by using the state calculator. At any time, a judge can increase or decrease the amount of child support by factoring in extenuating circumstances of the case. Some of the factors that contribute to the amount of child support include:
- The gross annual income of each parent
- Alimony paid to a previous spouse
- The number of children
- All child-related costs
- The amount of parenting time of each spouse
Many aspects are considered when a family judge decides on child support. Other areas that could impact support payments include taxes, union dues, health premiums and financial obligations to children from a different marriage.
The thought of dispersing property with the other spouse can be overwhelming as it can easily lead to disagreements. Property division in New York follows equitable allocation laws. Property can either be classified as marital or separate. Couples ending a marriage in Bronx, New York, as well as in the rest of the state, will divide all debts and assets acquired during the marriage.
Division Of Property
It’s important to know that when spouses agree to property division, decisions remain with the parties rather than with the court. Equitable property division doesn’t mean creating equal halves, but rather allocating property in a fair and reasonable manner.
Many factors play a role in deciding who gets which property items, such as the financial stability and earning power of each spouse. For example, if a spouse contributed to the family as a homemaker and raised the children, he or she could receive more assets. Separate property items that are typically not divided in a divorce include:
- Compensation for personal injury
- Gifts received by others, not including ones given by the spouse
- An inheritance
- Property owned before the marriage
In New York, couples have the option of filing for no-fault or fault divorce. In order to pursue a no-fault divorce, spouses must prove that the relationship has been broken for at least six months and one individual is required to be a resident of New York for a year prior to filing. Aside from divorce, parties can also get legally separated or file an annulment.
Legal separation is a formal process where couples divide assets, determine child custody and deal with many of the same issues of a divorce. In a legal separation, however, the marriage is not dissolved and you can’t remarry until further legal action is taken. In New York, acceptable grounds to legally separate include:
- Cruel and inhumane treatment
- Failure to support the other spouse
- Imprisonment for three consecutive years
The court defines a marriage that has been annulled as “void” or “invalid.” Certain grounds for a New York annulment need to exist, such as:
- Close family relation
- Force or fraud
- Underage spouse
- Incurable insanity
- Inability to consummate the marriage
Annulments are complicated in nature due to the amount of proof required for the court. An experienced attorney can help in the effort to obtain an annulled marriage.
When resolving divorce issues, many couples turn to alternative dispute resolution. In this method, spouses meet with a neutral third party to reach a settlement to which both parties can agree. This process can save time and money by helping a couple to avoid a trial. However, ADR only works for couples that volunteer their financial records, are willing to cooperate and can remain calm.
One thing that many may not realize is that it’s possible to hire an attorney to help with certain segments of the divorce process. In mediation, it could be invaluable to hire a consulting attorney to help with the negotiations or review any final agreements.
Having trusted legal advice during the challenging divorce process can help to prevent undesirable outcomes. Whether there are questions on dividing a pension or concerns about child support determinations, an experienced attorney can help you understand the best course for the situation. A divorce lawyer can assist you before you sign a legally binding contract and check to see if it’s in your best interests.
The attorney you chose can make a difference in your case. Rather than select a legal professional with a general law practice, it’s a wise decision to choose one with a focus in divorce. When you hire an attorney with experience helping families in Bronx, New York, you gain the support to handle the details in your situation. Only a skilled divorce lawyer understands the particular nuances of family law.
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 Staten Island.