Divorce Attorneys in Brewster, New York Provide Trustworthy Advice to New York Clients
Divorce Lawyers Serving the people of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties and New York City (including Manhattan)
The New York divorce attorneys at the Brewster office of Needle | Cuda understand that divorce is a stressful prospect and will help make the process as easy for you as the circumstances permit, giving you personalized attention and clear answers to your questions.
The core framework for a NY divorce decree requires resolution between the parties of three basic components:
- Determination of Spousal Maintenance (aka Alimony) and Child Support;
- Equitable distribution of marital property;
- Child Custody;
Residency Requirements for the parties of a New York Divorce
The following residency requirements for the parties must be met in order to file for divorce in the state:
- Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of New York for a continuous period of at least two (2) years before the divorce case is started. This means that you must have lived in New York for two (2) years prior to filing for divorce.
- Either you or your spouse have been living in New York State continuously for at least one year before the divorce case is started, and:
- You got married in New York State, or;
- You lived in New York State as a married couple, or;
- The grounds for your divorce happened in New York State;
- Both you and your spouse are residents of New York State on the day the divorce is started and the grounds for your divorce happened in New York State.
Residency of the Grounds for Divorce
There are seven (7) grounds, legally acceptable reasons, required to support a divorce action in New York State:
- Physical abandonment of at least one (1) year, or “constructive” abandonment (the refusal to have sex);
- Cruelty that endangers your physical and/or mental well-being (safety);
- Imprisonment for at least three years during your marriage;
- Divorce after a legal separation of at least one (1) year;
- Divorce after a judgment of separation follow by a one (1) year period of livng apart (seldom used);
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage lasting for at least six months;
Most New York divorces are based on one of these last three grounds also know as “No-Fault” grounds.
How to file for divorce in New York: key elements in a divorce action
A New York divorce begins when the plaintiff files either a summons with notice, which states the grounds for your divorce, or a summons and verified complaint, which sets forth the facts justifying your divorce in more detail. [The complaint is required if the divorce is contested, but the summons and notice may be sufficient if your divorce is uncontested.]
Either the summons with notice or verified complaint may contain additional requests for relief, including the following:
- Child custody — Child custody involves both the physical and legal relationships between children and parents. Our firm handles all kinds of child custody disputes, including ones involving parenting time, education, travel, religious upbringing and healthcare, and we can skillfully negotiate and define an enforceable, long-term custody agreement that works for you, your children and your life.
- Property (asset and liability) Distribution — New York law views marriage as both an economic and a social partnership. Judges are required to divide property as fairly as possible.
New York recognized two types of property:
- “Separate Property” –Property acquired by an individual prior to marriage; and,
- “Martial Property” – Property that, in the absence of a prenuptial agreement, is acquired by one or both of the spouse during the marriage.
- Involving an experienced attorney to advise you with the determination of marital vs. separate property is always prudent, as the related NY Statutes are extremely nuanced and compounded a variety of exceptions which allow for the acquisition of “separate property” during a marriage. Once marital property has been appropriately determined, a detailed accounting of marital assets must be produced that describes and values said property. This accounting becomes the basis to negotiate an agreement for its equitable distribution with opposing counsel or for presentation to the court for distribution of the property that is fairest to you.
- It is also important to note that, marital property in a New York divorce is divided according to the concept of “Equitable Distribution.” [Further note: Equitable Distribution does not mean “equal” or 50/50, but rather fair.]
- Child support — Child support is often pretty straight-forward, as its rules and amounts are subject to state guidelines based on both of the spouses’ incomes. However, courts may depart from those guidelines in appropriate cases, such as when your spouse is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed–or in instances with qualified special needs children.
- Spousal Maintenance — A court is not required to award spousal maintenance, but when it does, calculating temporary alimony is formulaic. Post-divorce alimony is often more complicated, requiring a weighing of various factors on a case-to-case basis;
At our initial consultation meeting with you, we will get a firm grasp of your situation so we can give you a full explanation of the process, present you with your options, help you reach a conclusion as to how you should proceed and advocate for the fairest result.
Needle | Cuda’s New York practice serves clients in Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Larchmont, Pound Ridge, Armonk, Rye, Bronxville, Briarcliff Manor, Bedford, Harrison, and Tarrytown.
Contact our NY divorce lawyers for savvy and straightforward legal counsel
If you are going through a divorce in Dutchess, Putnam or Westchester County, or New York City (including Manhattan), Needle | Cuda is ready to help. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To arrange a consultation, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact us online.