FAQS ON DIVORCE

FAQs ON DIVORCE

Is my divorce contested or uncontested?
Only those cases in which the spouses are in complete agreement are considered uncontested. They are generally those involving a marriage of limited duration, without infant children and limited marital assets. Uncontested matters may not require a court appearance, but require filing of affidavits, court documents and the payment of filing fees and expenses. All other matters are considered contested divorces.

How long will the divorce process take?
Uncontested divorces may be processed in as little as several months. However, it is difficult to estimate the amount of time required to complete a contested divorces, as time requirements vary based upon the complexity of the issues presented.

Do I have grounds (cause) for divorce?
New York State is a grounds state and, in some cases, you must prove abandonment (actual or constructive), cruel & inhuman treatment, adultery, imprisonment for at least three years or living separate and apart pursuant to a written separation agreement.

What are my rights and obligations with regard to my children?
These are perhaps the most sensitive issues dealt with in the dissolution of a marriage and are to be determined, based upon the needs and desires of the parents and the best interest of the child(ren). Custody and visitation may be agreed upon by the parties or determined by the Court and basic child support is determined by a formula set forth in the Child Support Standards Act.

What are my rights with regard to marital and non-marital assets?
Marital property/assets are distributed equitably and not necessarily equally. Marital assets, generally, are those acquired by the parties during the course of the marriage and may include, but are not limited to, the marital residence, bank and brokerage accounts, automobiles, pensions or other forms of deferred compensations, the value of businesses, professional degrees or licenses, vacation homes or income properties. Non-marital assets, not included in equitable distribution may include gifts, inheritance and properties of any kind acquired prior to the marriage.

How much will my divorce cost?
These processes are time-consuming, stress producing and require a high degree of professional knowledge and skill. We render professional services in the most cost-effective manner possible. However, each case presents unique facts and circumstances that make it difficult to estimate the amount of time, effort and energy required to bring you closure. Fees for services rendered are charged on an hourly basis and a retainer will be discussed during your initial consultation.

My spouse is employed and/or controls the marital assets. Can I afford a divorce?
Yes. An application for counsel fees may be made, in appropriate circumstances, in order to “level the playing field” in your litigation.