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Frequently Asked Questions

Long Island, The City of New York, & Westchester County Divorce Attorney Answers Your Family Law Questions

If you are seeking divorce, it is likely that you have a multitude of questions that need answered. For many individuals, this may be the most difficult experience of their life and an area of law that they have never previously been a part of prior to being served papers or filing for divorce. Even those who have past experience in divorce or other family law matters may feel unprepared for the road ahead. If you are looking for answers to be answered by a qualified Long Island, The City of New York, & Westchester County divorce attorney from our firm, there is no need to look further than Jeffrey S. Schecter & Associates, P.C..

What are the grounds for divorce in New York?
In the state of New York, there are seven grounds for divorce, including fault grounds and no-fault grounds. The grounds for divorce are:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment for a period of one or more years
  • Imprisonment for three or more years
  • Adultery
  • Living apart under a judgment of separation for a period of one or more years from the date of judgment
  • Living apart under a written separation agreement for a period of one or more years from the date of the agreement
  • Relationship that has been irretrievably broken for a period of six months or more

What are the residency requirements to seek a divorce in the State of New York?
In order for the State of New York to have jurisdiction over a divorce, the parties must meet statutory residency requirements. An action for divorce can be maintained in this State where either: (1) the parties were married in the state and either party is a resident of the State when the action for divorce is commencement and has been a resident of the State of a continuous period of one year immediately preceding; or (2) the parties have resided in this State as a married couple and either party is a resident of the State as of the date the action for divorce is commenced and has been such a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding; or (3) the ground for divorce occurred in the State and either party has been a resident of the State for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding commencement of the divorce proceeding; or (4) the cause of action occurred in the state and both parties are residents thereof at the time of the commencement of the divorce proceeding; or (5) either party has been a resident of the state for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the commencement of the divorce proceeding.

What rights does a father have in a New York divorce?
When it comes to financial support, such as child support and spousal support, the laws are gender neutral. The laws are also gender neutral when it comes to custody determinations. There is no presumption in law that one parent should have custody over the other parent. A court's determination of custody will be determined by what is in the child's best interests, not the gender of the parent.

What terms can be included in a marital agreement if there is a settlement?
Marital agreements can be drafted to resolve a host of issues dependent on your particular situations. Those issues include property distribution, allocation of marital debt, spousal support, child support and child custody and visitation. The agreement should be carefully tailored to address the unique facts and circumstances of each case. There are different types of marital agreements. The type of agreement that is prepared will be dependent on your situation. If you are settling a divorce proceeding, you may enter into a Stipulation of Settlement whose terms will be incorporated in your Judgment of Divorce. If you are seeking to stay married but enter into an agreement to resolve issues in the event of a divorce, a separation agreement or postnuptial agreement may be better suited for your situation. A couple intended to marry may wish to enter into a prenuptial agreement which would define the rights and obligations of each party in the event of a divorce.

How will the Court address the issue of counsel fees in a divorce proceeding?

The court has the authority to direct one party to make payment toward the other party's counsel fees during the pendency of a divorce proceeding. In October 2010, the law in New York was changed to provide that there is a rebuttable presumption - an assumption made by the court - that the monied spouse should be responsible for an award of counsel fees on behalf of the less monied spouse. The amount of any award is within the sole discretion of the court. When an application is made for counsel fees, the court takes several different factors into consideration, such as the complexity of the litigation, the financial circumstances of each individual and the nature of the legal services rendered by counsel. The court may also consider the merits of the parties' respective positions during the divorce proceeding in its determination.

Are the terms of my Judgment of Divorce final or can they be modified?

Child support, spousal support, custody and visitation which are set forth in a Judgment of Divorce can be subject to modification if the circumstances dictate. A party seeking a post-judgment modification has the burden to prove why a modification is necessary. What must be proven to obtain a modification is directly dependent on what you are seeking to modify. Determinations property distribution, however, are not subject to future modification.

My former spouse is not complying with the terms of our Judgment of Divorce. What rights do I have to seek enforcement?

If your spouse is not complying with the terms of your Judgment of Divorce, you have the right to go to court to seek enforcement of the obligations that are in default. There are a variety of remedies that the Court can grant to you to compel compliance with the obligations in default.

Obtain Answers to Your Questions

If you are interested in learning more about divorce or family law and have further questions, feel free to contact our firm at your earliest convenience. We have the answers you need to take the next step in your divorce, child support, custody, or post-judgment case, or pre- or post-nuptial agreement. Developing a substantial knowledge of your divorce and all the details involved is an important step that our firm will take to help you obtain a successful result. We provide each client with the time and attention needed to get all of their questions answered and then follow through with excellent, aggressive representation. Contact us today to learn more and speak with a Long Island, The City of New York, & Westchester County divorce lawyer!