NYC Divorce Lawyers
In any state, divorce takes up a significant amount of time in family courts, but that doesn’t mean it’s a simple matter. It also doesn’t mean any couple can just head to court and get a divorce. Each state has different requirements that couples must meet in order for a request for divorce to be granted. In New York, there are a few factors that will allow a couple to divorce, but it’s still a necessarily complex process.
Exploring the Grounds for Divorce in New York
There are two primary methods for pursuing a divorce in New York. You can choose a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce. Additionally, some couples have special circumstances in which they may petition for a divorce, if they have been separated for a significant period of time. They must have been separated for 12 months or longer and, in that case, the divorce may be more easily obtained. In terms of filing for a fault divorce, this option is usually pursued, when there’s an issue of child custody. An adversarial court battle often relies on placing blame for the breakdown of the family, so showing the other party to be at fault is necessary.
New York, like every state, permits no fault divorces to proceed. These are divorces that don’t require spouses to show that their partners did anything wrong. However, this doesn’t mean that the spouse doesn’t need a reason to end the marriage. They must have some motivation for requesting the divorce, even if it’s just that they can’t make their relationship work. In those cases, a spouse can simply cite “irreconcilable differences,” which New York courts will usually accept.
Conversely, New York is one of a handful of states that allows fault divorces, which requires one spouse to show why the divorce is the fault of the other. In a fault divorce, there are specific grounds upon which the divorce petition must be based. Cruelty is the most commonly cited reason for divorce and it involves causing physical or emotional harm or pain. Adultery is the second most common reason for filing a fault divorce. Additionally, a divorce may be granted, when one spouse deserted another or spent a significant amount of time in prison. There’s also a stipulation that allows for a spouse to file for divorce, if one spouse is unable to engage in sexual intercourse and never disclosed that condition prior to the marriage.
The Division of Property and Child Custody Issues
Divorce isn’t just about ending a relationship. It also involves dividing up the life that the couple created together. As such, decisions must be made about how property will be divided. If the couple can come together in a civilized manner and negotiate the division of property, they may not need to pursue a bitter and lengthy court proceeding. Mediation is an acceptable alternative and it allows the couple to work out their own equitable arrangements.
However, in many cases, couples can’t agree and need the judge to make these determinations for them. While you may hold property solely in your name in a marriage, a judge may or may not allow you to retain that property through this process. The division of property is to be fair and impartial, so a judge may order property turned over to the other spouse or he may order the property sold and the proceeds divided up between both parties.
Child custody is another concern for a divorcing couples and, like the division of property, can either be mediated or determined by a judge in a custody hearing. When it’s left to a family court judge to decide, he or she will make a decision based on what’s best for the child. New York courts try to keep the family together as much as possible, so shared custody is the ideal situation.
In some cases, joint custody that’s equally shared between both parents may not be possible, so the judge will determine the best suitable arrangement. While the judge wants to treat the parents fairly, the top priority is to act in the best interests of the child. This sometimes means arrangements that are less favorable to one parent.
Child support is also an issue and is related to the physical custody of the child. For instance, if the child spends more time with one parent, the other parent will have to pay support. How much support will be required to be paid will be determined by the income and debts of each parent, the costs of raising the child, and the custody arrangement.
Divorce is a complex process that must address multiple issues, concerning the dissolution of the union. For that reason, it’s important for each party to consult an attorney. Even when mediation is possible, you will want to ensure your rights are protected through the process. An attorney experienced in family law can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.