Divorce is the final solution to an irreconcilable marriage. To get to that point, several issues require resolution. The most important of these include:
- The children (if applicable), including custody, visitation and child support
- Equitable Distribution of the Parties’ assets and debts as well as spousal support
In New York, child support is usually paid by the non-custodial parent for the support, maintenance and education of the children. Voluntary gifts, clothes, transportation, vacation expenses or rent for the benefit the child may not be considered “child support.” The custodial parent is not usually required to account for the child support in New York State. Child support stops when a child reaches the age of 21 or is earlier emancipated.
In addition to ordering the payment of child support, the Court can order the non-custodial parent to pay his/her pro rata share of the child’s future reasonable health care expenses not covered by insurance, and the reasonable child care expenses when the custodial parent is working or attending school.
To determine a spouse’s entitlement to the Equitable Distribution of marital property, the N.Y. courts will consider factors such as: Length of the Marriage; Conduct of the Parties during the Marriage; Age and Health of the Parties; Occupation of the Parties and their Respective Incomes and Sources of Income; Vocational Skills and Employability of the Spouses; Estate of the Spouses; Liabilities of the Spouses; Needs of the Spouses; and the Opportunity of the Spouses to Acquire Future Income and Capital Assets.
N.Y. courts realize that for many divorcing couples, there may be a need for temporary or even long-term lifetime support. Formerly called alimony, spousal maintenance provides a needy spouse the ability to provide for his or her financial needs during litigation as well as post-divorce. The court may consider income of both parties, standard of living during the marriage, the duration of the marriage, the presence of children and the ability of the supported spouse to become self-sufficient.
The grounds for a divorce also need resolution either through negotiation or litigation. The choices generally are adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment or constructive abandonment.
- Contested & Uncontested Divorce
- Separation Visitation/Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support/Maintenance Adoption
- Name Changes Property Rights
- Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements
- New York State Bar Association Family Law Section
- The Association of the Bar of the City of New York Matrimonial Law Committee
- New York State Certified Law Guardian