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Divorce Law – What You Need to Know

Divorce laws vary by state, but most follow the equitable distribution model. JDB Law, PLLC says that the parties divide marital property and debt equally. However, separate property that a party brings into the marriage or receives from third parties is not usually divided.


Fault was once relevant to a divorce decree but is now irrelevant to issues such as child custody and property divisions. However, still be relevant to spousal support and visitation rights.

No-fault divorces allow a couple to end their marriage without proving specific types of misconduct. In these types of divorces, a sworn statement that the marriage has broken down is enough for the court to grant a divorce. No-fault divorces are popular, as they are cheaper, simpler, and more likely to result in a settlement that both parties can agree upon. In addition, no-fault divorces are not as emotionally charged as at-fault divorces.

Faults in a divorce can impact the outcome of many different issues, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. However, these claims must be made in a way that is fair and reasonable. If you bring a fault divorce claim, having an experienced matrimonial attorney by your side is important.

While most states have shifted toward no-fault divorce, a few still recognize fault as grounds for divorce. Most of these states require that couples have been separated for a certain amount before they can file for a divorce. Some states also require that the parties prove wrongdoing, such as adultery or domestic abuse.

The vast majority of divorces, however, are filed on a no-fault basis. New York is a no-fault state, and you can file for a divorce after six months of separation. If you have children, you must have a legal separation agreement that resolves all of the important issues in the marriage.

Some argue that no-fault divorces make it too easy to dissolve a marriage. They believe that proving a spouse committed wrongdoing is important for a family’s health and that having a two-parent household is important. Others believe that fault-based divorces are more equitable, as they ensure that both spouses are held accountable for the breakdown of their marriage.

Regardless of which type of divorce you pursue, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. A matrimonial law firm can help you navigate all of the complicated issues involved in divorce. They can assist you with filings, negotiations, and, if necessary, trial.

You must go to trial if you and your spouse cannot agree on all the issues in your divorce through mediation or settlement options. Divorce trials can be lengthy and costly but are necessary to protect your rights. Understanding what to expect before your problem starts is important so you can prepare accordingly.

Before the trial begins, you and your attorney will work together to gather evidence that supports your case. This may include depositions, emails, business records, mortgage bills, and other financial documents. Depending on the facts of your case, you might also need to collect medical records, psychological examinations, or other documentation related to your topic.

Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, your attorney will file your case with the court. The papers will ask that your marriage be dissolved and request any relief you seek, such as spousal support, child custody, or property division. If your state recognizes fault grounds for divorce, these will also be spelled out in the filing. You will also need to serve your spouse with the divorce papers using the methods your state law allows. This usually means that a sheriff or professional process server will personally deliver the documents to your spouse at home, work, or elsewhere. If your spouse tries to avoid service, you may need to check with the clerk’s office of your supreme court for alternative ways to serve them.

During the trial, both parties will have the opportunity to call witnesses and present evidence. Your attorney will then question each witness through direct examination and cross-examination. After each party has called all of their witnesses, they will rest. At this point, the judge will take the matter under advisement.

While a divorce trial can be emotionally draining, staying calm and remaining professional throughout the process is essential. In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid making any major life changes during this time. It’s also good to seek emotional support from friends, family, or a therapist.

When a marriage ends, the property acquired by the couple during their time together must be fairly divided. This can be a complicated process and is one of the main reasons couples hire a divorce attorney. New York law is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the court will consider various factors when dividing up the spouses’ assets. These include the contribution of each spouse to acquiring the marital property, the length of the marriage, and the living standard enjoyed by both during the relationship.

During a divorce, it is important to make a complete list of all your assets. It is also important to have all of the assets valued. This can be done by having a professional appraiser help you determine the fair market value of each asset. Typically, you will want to start with the home. Then, you must assign values to other investments, including retirement accounts or business ownership interests.

A couple can often work out their property division arrangement without going through the courts. Legal fees can save both parties a lot of time and money. However, the court will still need to approve any agreement before it is finalized. If there is a significant discrepancy between the values of assets, the judge may be reluctant to approve the settlement.

Before a divorce is finalized, it is also important to clarify which assets are separate and which are marital property. Marital property includes any purchases either spouse made during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the title. Individual property consists of any assets you owned before the wedding and any gifts or inheritances that were given to you during the marriage.

If you have a prenuptial agreement, this will also govern which assets are subject to property division. It is illegal to conceal valuable assets from your spouse, so you should always be open and honest with your spouse about all your purchases. Failure to disclose any assets can lead to reopening the case and the reevaluation of the property division.

Child custody is one of the most important issues to resolve in a divorce case. It determines who will decide about a child’s health care, education, and welfare. It also determines who a child will live with. Sometimes, parents can agree on a parenting plan that works for them and their children. In other cases, they must go to court to have a judge decide on their best arrangement. Child custody decisions remain in effect until a child turns 18.

There are two types of custody: legal and physical. A judge may award both to a parent or grant sole custody to one parent. If both parents have joint legal control, they share equal rights and responsibilities for making major decisions about a child’s upbringing. This is the preferred type of custody for courts.

However, some judges may not award joint custody if they believe the parents cannot cooperate well or if one parent has been negligent or abusive towards the child. A judge may also refuse to award joint custody if a parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse or is incarcerated for a criminal offense. In these cases, the judge will award sole custody to one parent.

A judge may also award joint physical custody. This means that a child will spend much time with each parent. The amount of time might not be equal, but it will be close to it. For example, a child might spend two days with one parent and five days with the other each week.

In this type of custody, a judge will decide the best living arrangements for a child. The judge will consider various factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, the home environment each parent provides, and the child’s preference. The judge will also evaluate each parent’s ability to give the child a safe, healthy, and stable home.

Custody decisions are usually made after a trial and will become part of the final divorce judgment. This will include a parenting plan detailing the time the child will spend with each parent. It will also have visitation rights, which can be supervised or unsupervised.