Orange County Divorce Lawyer
Marriage dissolution procedure in New York has changed a lot since 2009. Lawmakers have approved a no-fault law. A judge may grant a divorce if the marriage has been irretrievably broken down for at least six months or the spouses have been separated for at least a year. These pre-filing waiting periods are the only ones that apply. There’s no longer a post-filing waiting period in New York.
However, the issues in a divorce haven’t changed. In most cases, the judge must split parenting time in a manner consistent with the best interests of the children and equitably divide the marital estate. That includes debts and assets.
At The Law Office of Robert Sunshine, our diligent Orange County divorce lawyer stays on the cutting edge of legal changes in family law, to resolve these disputes as efficiently as possible. At the same time, we rely on proven methods to uphold your legal and financial rights in these matters. These methods include hard work every day, commitment to our clients, and open communication at all times.
Divorces are usually emotional for the spouses. Even if they don’t grieve the loss of a marriage, they grieve the loss of what might have been. We aren’t psychologists, but we know how to help spouses process these emotions.
Parenting time and child custody is a much more complicated emotional issue. The judge bases both decisions on a number of factors, such as:
- Child’s Preference: Contrary to popular myth, children cannot “choose” which parent they live with after a divorce. They may express a preference, and the judge will consider it, especially if the child is over 13. But the judge has the final say.
- Parent’s Preference: Similarly, parents cannot unilaterally make these decisions. However, their preference is highly relevant. Some parents expressly state a preference during the legal proceedings. Other parents, who showed little interest in a child’s activities during the marriage, indirectly express a preference.
- Parent’s Abilities: Frequently, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Often through no fault of their own, parents have emotional, physical, or other disabilities which impede their child-rearing abilities. Onset or removal of disability is a very common basis for modification.
- Child’s Relationship with Stepsiblings and Stepparents: Not all blended families mesh together like The Brady Bunch. That’s natural. However, if significant issues exist, the child custody order should reflect these issues.
To protect their rights, many parents hire bulldog Orange County divorce lawyers who contest every minor decision. This approach usually backfires. Combative parents are usually poor co-parents.
Child support, a related issue, is often straightforward in New York. The child support formula, which accounts for things like the proportionate income of both parents and the parenting time division, is presumptively reasonable. Judges may deviate from the guideline amount in some situations.
Property division, which includes spousal support, is different. As mentioned, this division must be equitable. That’s not necessarily the same thing as equal. Instead, assets and debts must be divided so that the divorce isn’t an unfair financial burden on either spouse.
Similar to child custody, Orange County family law judges apply a number of factors to equitably divide the marital estate. These factors include the length of the marriage, custody of minor children, noneconomic contributions to the marriage, and the relative future earning ability of each spouse.
Connect With a Hard-Working Clarkstown Attorney
Family law matters almost always involve emotional and financial issues. For a confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County divorce lawyer, contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. We routinely handle matters throughout the Empire State.