Ending your marriage might be one of the hardest things you will do during your lifetime, but you know it is for the best. You just have to get through it. When first considering divorce, you are likely to have a million questions to which you need answers.
How does divorce work and how can I start on the process? How does asset division work? Who will get the kids? Who will pay support? These are just a few of the most commonly asked questions. The list really can go on and on. Lucky for you, basic information about divorce in New York is readily available.
Question one: How does divorce work and how do I get the process started?
Divorce simply is the legal process to end a marriage. There are several ways to approach the dissolution process. Some people may choose an uncontested divorce. This is where each spouse agrees to terms, they file papers in court, and the court issues the divorce. Then there is the contested divorce. This is where both parties cannot come to terms on their dissolution settlement, and they need to go to court to have a judge decide the final terms.
There are individuals who want to avoid court and try to figure things out through negotiations or some other alternative dispute resolution method -- such as mediation. At the end of the day, you have to choose the divorce method that you feel will work best in your given situation. No matter how you go about it, the divorce process begins with one spouse filing the initial divorce petition.
Question two: How are assets divided in New York?
New York is an equitable distribution state. This means that you and your spouse should both be able to walk away from the marriage with a fair share of assets. This does not mean that all shared assets are subject to a 50/50 split. It just means that the value of the assets each party receives in the end will be about the same. Any assets deemed separate property are not subject to division.
Question three: Who will get the kids?
Most states, New York included, prefer to grant shared or joint custody. This would give each parent access to their children. All parties will need to figure out the particulars of how that will work, and put it in writing. If joint custody will not serve the best interests of the children, awarding sole custody to one parent with visitation to the other may be possible.
Question four: Which parent will have to pay child support?
The parent not considered the primary custody holder is usually the one who will have to make child support payments. The amount this individual has to pay will depend on:
- The income of both parents
- The number of children requiring support
- Any special needs the children have
Legal counsel can help you figure out how much child support you may owe or receive.
Have more questions?
Whether you are just looking into divorce options or you are ready to file, it is normal to have questions. Legal counsel is ready to answer your questions and assist you through the dissolution process.