"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
A divorce is the legal remedy to terminate a couple’s marriage. When getting a divorce, the parties must be prepared to discuss property division (assets and liabilities), child support, child custody and parenting plans, alimony, health and life insurance, and many other issues. A LS’s divorce attorney has the experience and information you need about your choices and what results may realistically be achieved, so that you can move forward in your life.
The Divorce Process
The divorce lawyers in the Levitt Law Group are all experienced in the various approaches to divorce. Your divorce attorney can help you decide which avenue is best for you and your family. Out of court processes, such as mediation and collaborative law, tend to be quicker and less costly. However, if the divorce is contested and the parties cannot come to an agreement, then the divorce will need to go through litigation in the courts.
If the parties file for an uncontested divorce, they will work together with their divorce attorneys to reach an agreement on all of the necessary issues. The parties will only have to appear at family court once, to file all the necessary paperwork and appear before the judge to have their agreement approved. Uncontested divorces are often the result of out of court processes such as mediation and collaborative law, or litigation cases where the parties and their lawyers work cooperatively together to reach a settlement.
If the divorce is contested, or if the parties cannot come to an agreement, the family court will assign dates for various hearings, including a trial if the parties cannot reach an agreement before that date. Most cases even when contested result in settlement without the need for trial, but litigated cases are often lengthier in time and more costly than out of court settlement processes such as mediation and collaborative law.
Contact LS’s lawyers today to discuss any issue related to divorce in New York.
A legal separation is an order of the Court for financial support for a spouse or children while the parties are living apart, when there is some justifiable reason for living apart or one spouse has abandoned the other without providing for their financial support. Legal separation is accomplished through a Complaint for Separate Support which is filed with the Court. In a proceeding for Separate Support, the Court can also address the issues of custody and parenting of children. However, the Court cannot divide any property under a Complaint for Separate Support, as it does not have the same finality as a divorce. The parties can divide their own property, but that division could be subject to reallocation by the Court if the case does become a divorce case later in time.
A Complaint for Separate Support is often appropriate for individuals who do not want to proceed to divorce and either want a trial separation or are considering the possibility of reconciliation, or for individuals who might have moral or religious reasons related to divorce. A legal separation may also be appropriate in other circumstances.
Legal custody means a parent has the ability to make major decisions on behalf of a child, such as those related to major medical, educational, or other important life issues. If the parents share legal custody, they must be able to communicate regarding their child and make these major decisions together. If one parent has sole legal custody, that parent makes all the major decisions. It is more common for parents to share legal custody, but it is not appropriate in some circumstances. Legal custody does not necessarily affect the actual parenting plan, just decision making about major issues related to the child.
Physical custody refers to the amount of time a child physically resides with each parent. During any period that a parent has physical custody of a child, they are responsible for the physical care of the child and the responsibility for day to day decisions relating to the child. A child can reside more with one parent than the other such that one parent has primary physical custody of the child. If the parents share physical custody, the child may physically reside with each parent for an equal amount of time. Regardless of whether physical custody is primary with one parent or shared, the parties or the court will determine a parenting plan so that the child can spend quality time with each parent. The physical custody of a child may also affect child support.
Visitation refers to the parenting plan or schedule for the child, which usually addresses weekday and weekend time, school year and summer vacation schedules, holidays, and other matters of importance to the parties as they relate to the child.
Our lawyers can help you decide whether a legal separation is the right solution for you. Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation