Since 2010, New York has amended the Domestic Relation Law to permit no fault divorce, which requires a showing that the relationship between the parties has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. While the previous grounds for a divorce still do exist, such as adultery or cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment, or incarceration for three consecutive years after marriage; the advent of a no-fault divorce expedites the divorce process.
A divorce may be achieved either through a contested divorce proceeding or an uncontested divorce proceeding. When a divorce action is uncontested, it typically means that the parties are able to resolve the material components of the finances and family dynamic without judicial intervention, which is memorialized in a signed agreement: referred to as a Stipulation of Settlement. The Stipulation of Settlement, along with other mandated documents, is filed with the Court for its review and ordering. Like other agreements, the Stipulation of Settlement is governed by the freedom of contract principle, and therefore the parties have much latitude as to what they decide, except for child support, which provides statutory presumptions. The Court can reject the Stipulation of Settlement; should the Stipulation be construed as inadequate to meet the needs of the children of the marriage. An attorney can assist you in understanding the presumptive amount of child support and factors that would permit a deviation over a mandated amount. Even if you believe that you are able to proceed with an uncontested divorce, it is always advisable to meet with an attorney to assess your individual circumstances so that you know your options. Often times, issues concerning equitable distribution and maintenance are misunderstood by one or both spouses.
Divorce * Uncontested Divorce * Contested Divorce * Custody & Child Visitation Rights * Child Support
Equitable Distribution * Prenuptial Agreement * Postnuptial Agreement * Order of Protection
Separation Agreements * Alimony & Maintenance * Spousal Support * Appellate Practice * Adoption
When a divorce action is contested, meaning the spouses are unable to agree as to the division of assets, support, and the establishment of a new family dynamic; then the matter proceeds before a judge. A skilled and experienced attorney can advise you of your options, and guide you toward transforming your contested divorce to an uncontested divorce. The contested divorce process is not only expensive, it usually also has an even greater adverse affect on the parties’ relationship, and incidentally the children who inevitably become involved no matter how intentioned the parents are at insulating the children. With that said, it is always best to work toward an out-of-court resolution if possible. At times, however, this is not possible, and in such situations you need an experienced litigator to advocate your position and achieve your objectives.
Our divorce attorneys at Rubinstein, Zeh and Associates are experienced in discerning potential outcomes should your matter be heard and decided by a judge, and we will assist you in resolving contentious issues through negotiation when possible to avoid the cost of litigation. Where negotiation is not possible, our divorce attorneys are adept litigators and will advocate your position vigorously before the court to reach your objectives. We represent clients in resolving contested divorces in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Bronx County, Westchester County, Richmond County, Manhattan and Brooklyn Kings County New York.
Call today 1-800-960-1529.
A divorce in New York does not have to be a complicated process, but it does mean that you and your spouse or partner will need to make some decisions about the way your life will change. One of the best ways to get advice about these decisions and to understand exactly what options are available to you, for your situation, is to discuss your situation with a qualified divorce attorney. You need an attorney that is strong in protecting your legal rights with your divorce and an attorney that understands family law is key in the decision making process and the protection of your family’s assets. Our attorneys at Rubinstein, Zeh and Associates, are not only trained in handling simple divorce issues and legal family matters, we take care of complex divorce litigation in the event of a contested divorce in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, Bronx County, Westchester County, Richmond County, Manhattan and Brooklyn Kings County New York.
Prior to meeting with an attorney, it might make you feel more comfortable to do a little research online so that you have a basic background in the options that you have under New York law. Your lawyer will help you understand what your legal options are in regards to how the New York law applies to your specific case and situation.
DIVORCE IS NOT ALWAYS THE OPTIMAL SOLUTION FOR SPOUSES DESIRING TO SEPARATE
When it comes to ending a marriage in New York, most people will think of divorce first. However, there are other ways to separate from your spouse or partner.
Unlike divorce, a legal separation leaves two spouses still legally married so that they are not free to marry another person. However, in many other aspects, a legal separation is similar to a divorce. The legal separation agreement can set out the division of the spouses’ property, set an amount for spousal and child support (subject to the Child Support Standards Act), devise a parenting schedule, and resolve other specific issues impacting the spouses’ lives.
There are many reasons why a couple might choose a legal separation over a divorce. Some may avoid divorce for religious reasons, or to keep health and medical insurance benefits in place. Others choose to legally separate because of financial hardship or numerous other economic situations. Some couples may simply not be ready to finalize a divorce yet, so they option for a legal separation instead.
Subsequent to the filing of the Separation Agreement, the parties may use the Separation Agreement as a basis to obtain a divorce should they choose to do so, which will often times expedite the divorce process to the extent that the Separation Agreement resolves the material components subject to the divorce action, i.e., equitable distribution, child custody, and support.
UNDER NEW YORK LAW, A DIVORCE MAY NOT BE NECESSARY
An annulment is another way to end a marriage. Unlike a divorce, which ends a marriage, an annulment renders the entire marriage invalid, as if it had never existed at all. There are only certain circumstances in which a couple can dissolve their marriage annulment. Usually, annulments happen relatively quickly after the beginning of the marriage.
To annul a marriage, one party needs to prove that at least one of the following is true.
• A party is of “unsound mind”.
• A party was forced into the marriage.
• A party was already in a marriage.
• A party was under 18 at the time that the marriage or domestic partnership began.
• A party was deceived upon entering the marriage, for example a fraudulent marriage to obtain
• A party was physically incapacitated, or unable to consummate the marriage, and the physical
incapacitation is incurable.
At Rubinstein, Zeh and Associates, our attorneys are equipped to advise you as to whether the facts and circumstances, which led to your marriage, render annulment as an option.
WHAT DOES A NEW YORK DIVORCE ENTAIL?
During your divorce, you will need to determine several things:
• A child custody and visitation schedule.
• How child support will be paid; who will pay child support and how much.
• How to divide your community property and debts.
• Whether spousal support is necessary; who will pay spousal support it and how much.
• There may be other factors that need to be determined depending on the specifics of your situation,
family and divorce.
The answers to these questions, and the details surrounding the answers, will impact the terms of your divorce agreement or the court’s order on these matters.
HOW CAN I SET THE TERMS OF MY DIVORCE IN NEW YORK?
How You Can Set the Terms of Your Divorce in New York?
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Depending on your relationship with your spouse as your divorce proceeding approaches, you may choose to set the terms of your divorce. Almost all terms of your divorce are negotiable except for child support, which is governed by statute.
If you are on good terms with your spouse, and you wish to discuss the terms of your divorce outside of court, you have that option.
If you are looking for a little more guidance than a simple conversation with your spouse, consider a form of alternative dispute resolution. Divorce mediation and collaborative divorce mediation both offer options for supervised and guided discussions with the assistance of a professional, and they allow you to work toward making your own decisions about your divorce instead of leaving these decisions up to a judge who does not know you, your spouse, or your family.
Mediation allows you and your spouse or partner to sit down with a trained mediator, who acts as a neutral third party. The mediator may have a legal background in family law and divorce or mental health credentials. Because many divorce mediators in New York are actually retired lawyers or judges, they possess an understanding of the range of outcomes; had you decided to litigate your divorce matter. Mediators typically obtain special training, and have learned to facilitate productive conversations between couples, which may not be possible without the intervention of an independent third party. While neither party is allowed to have their own divorce lawyer present during mediation, it is advised that both parties at least consult a divorce and family law attorney prior to signing any agreement that is created during a divorce mediation proceeding.
Similarly, collaborative divorce mediation permits both parties to discuss their issues in a guided situation outside of the courtroom before a mediator, but with each party represented by counsel. Like with a divorce mediation, the parties’ have more control over the outcome of the divorce matter.
Following either divorce mediation, or collaborative divorce mediation, an attorney will be required to draft a Stipulation of Settlement memorializing the understanding between the parties struck during the mediation or collaboration mediation process. After both parties sign the agreement, it is submitted to the judge for approval along with other mandated documents required to complete the divorce process. If approved, the Stipulation of Settlement is typically incorporated by reference in the Judgment of Divorce and ostensibly becomes an order of the court.
While some couples are able to work through some issues outside of the courtroom, some issues may not be resolved. In this situation, judicial intervention may be required to resolve the outstanding issues. It is possible, therefore, to set some of the terms of your divorce agreement on your own, outside of the courtroom, and leave unresolved issues up to the judge.
Sometimes it is necessary to leave everything up to a judge. Unfortunately, a judge does not know you or your spouse, and he or she does not have as much time to get to know you as your attorney does. If your divorce will be settled in court, it is in your best interest to have a quality divorce lawyer on your side. Your lawyer should take the time to get to know you and understand what you want from your divorce, and he or she should be able to present your case to the judge in a way that lets the judge know both what you want, and why what you are asking for in your divorce should be granted.
CONTACT A NEW YORK DIVORCE ATTORNEY TODAY. Call the Divorce Law Attorneys and, Family Law Attorneys at the law offices of Rubinstein, Zeh and Associates today for a free Divorce case review!
Having the right quality lawyer on your side can make a world of difference in a divorce case in New York. Although it requires you to make a lot of decisions that will have a huge effect on the rest of your life as it changes, finding a lawyer who will work with you, understand your wants and needs, and help you understand how the law can work in your favor can lead to positive results with your divorce.
If you are ready to discuss your upcoming divorce with an attorney in New York, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Rubinstein, Zeh and Associates today. We offer free initial divorce law and family law consultations, and we are here to help you through this transitional time.
We are dedicated to your success — so contact us. Speak with one of our knowledgeable Long Island Divorce lawyers, family law attorneys, and contested divorce or uncontested divorce attorneys today from wherever you live in New York in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Brooklyn, Kings County and Queens County, on Long Island and all New York City boroughs including Bronx, Westchester, Richmond County, and Manhattan New York.
Call 1-800-961-1529 today.
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