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The Law Offices of Alan L. Finkel.

A: If you do not have any qualms with paying to see a doctor when you become ill, despite the cost, you should not have any qualms about going to see an experienced divorce attorney in Commack, NY when you need a divorce. Your matrimonial attorney can help you negotiate with your spouse and put the issues of your divorce on your own terms instead of having the fate of you and your children decided by a judge.

By law, you are allowed to represent yourself in your divorce case, but it is not the way to go because will not end up with everything that you are entitled to. Representing yourself in your divorce is not worth the risk. You will be grateful that you invested in an experienced Commack, NY divorce attorney. If you are facing a divorce and don’t know where to turn, contact the compassionate attorney and staff at The Law Offices of Alan L. Finkel today. Put our attorney’s decades of experience to work for you.

A: New York is not a community property state; your assets will most likely not be divided in half. Instead, the court will have the goal of making things fair to both parties using the equitable distribution of your marital property. All of this property, which includes any pensions, retirement accounts, and any other benefits, is subject to being divided in any way that the court finds fit.

If you and your spouse happen to have very accumulated similar retirement or employment benefits, then there is a possibility that the family law judge will decide to just award each of you your own financial accounts. However, if there is a glaring disparity in income or employment benefits, the judge may instead divide your property in a way that is meant to even out that inequality. When you are deciding on how to divide all of the assets you’ve worked to earn in Commack, New York, you must speak with a skilled matrimonial attorney.

A: Family law in New York does not require any minimum waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. However, this in no way guarantees that your divorce will be handled in a short period of time. While an uncontested divorce may be completed in as little as three months, if any of the issues, such as child custody, are contested, even working with an experienced Commack, NY custody lawyer, a trial may be required, which could drag on in court for over a year. As far as how much money you could potentially pay for your divorce, the cost completely depends on how many issues you and your spouse were able to agree upon when dividing your finances and custody of your children. The average total cost of a divorce in California is about $17,100, including fees paid to your Commack, NY divorce attorney.
A: Divorce settlements and property division are not determined by gender. New York is an equitable distribution state, which looks different for each couple. The court will take each party’s contributions to the marriage into consideration, as well as their income and earning protentional, when dividing marital property. The court will seek to make the divorce as fair as possible, rather than equal. The judge may also order one party to pay temporary or long-term spousal maintenance to the other party, based on the same factors. If one of the spouses makes significantly more money than the other one, they likely will end up paying spousal support and will see a more than equal share of property divided in the other party’s favor to make up the difference. This holds true whether the spouse who makes less money is the husband or the wife, or a party in a same-sex marriage.

A: A very common mistake people make when involved in a separation is speaking to too many people about their situation. For most people, nearly everyone they know has been to through a divorce or knows someone who has. If you begin to advertise the fact that you are getting a divorce, you will open yourself up to various horror stories and loads of unqualified and potentially harmful legal advice. This is always a mistake, which could end up with you committing legal errors that will have consequences for years to come.

It is also important, if you have children, to continue to encourage those children to foster a positive relationship with their other parent during your separation. If your divorce case ends up being litigated at some point, the judge will not look kindly upon behavior that drives a wedge between and child and a parent. Do not withhold time with the child or speak badly to the child about the other parent.

A: Contrary to what you may have heard from various divorce horror stories, your spouse cannot simply take everything from you in a divorce. It is common to hear divorced people complain about losing everything, but those statements are generally exaggerated and one-sided. No court is going to award all of a couple’s property to one party; the court must follow certain considerations when it is deciding who will keep what property.

Before considerations are taken, the couple’s property must be classified to determine which items are eligible for property division. This process will involve the court determining whether or not each asset was owned by one spouse prior to the date of marriage or by both spouses after the marriage took place. This will determine whether the asset is marital property or separate property. Most property that was owned before the marriage will not be subject to division. Property acquired after the marriage is subject.

Once all the property is classified, the court must apply a list of equitable factors in order to determine how to fairly divide the assets. Equitable distribution of property must take into consideration both spouse’s contributions to the marriage, which can include homemaking and childcare activities as well as monetary contributions.

A: A divorce case can be resolved in a matter of a few months, or it could take years. It is nearly impossible to predict exactly how long a particular divorce case will take, unless the parties choose to come together, negotiate the issues, and settle the case without any need for litigation. The amount of time you will spend completing your divorce case, as with any type of litigation, depends upon many different factors in each case, some of which will be out of the control of the parties or their attorneys. In many divorce cases, it makes a lot more sense for everyone involved for the parties to create their own settlement agreement, even if they are each slightly unhappy with some of the issues, rather than spend many thousands of dollars litigating the case. There is no guarantee that taking the case to trial will end up in a more favorable position than litigating would. In fact, it is likely that you will be even more unhappy with the judge’s decisions than you would be with negotiating, since the judge is only concerned with what appears to be fair and does not know your situation personally. Divorce courts in New York are concerned with equity, not equality.

A: Divorce litigation is the most formal of all the methods of dispute resolution. This legal process involves presenting the issues of your divorce case to a family court judge in order to resolve them when you and your spouse cannot agree. Most couples will only choose litigation if they absolutely cannot reach an agreement on the issues, even using other dispute resolution processes, such as mediation. While many divorces end up involving litigation at some point, it is far from the only way to settle a divorce. If possible, it makes sense for the parties to try to avoid taking their divorce into court because of the associated costs. Not only are there court costs, but attorney’s fees are usually increased for litigation as well. Going to court can also be more stressful and upsetting to the parties and their children.

Alan Finkel

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“individual or as a couple”