Divorce Law

New York Divorce Law is a complex and ever changing field which requires the assistance of a competent and experienced Matrimonial Attorney. Even if a matter is contested, our office strives to reach an amicable settlement of your case, if that is reasonably possible. If it is not, our experienced and compassionate attorneys and staff will assist you in litigating the best possible resolution of your matter.

Dissolution of Marriage-Grounds

An action for divorce may be maintained on any of the following grounds:

(1) The cruel and inhuman treatment of the plaintiff by the defendant such that the conduct of the defendant so endangers the physical or mental well-being of the plaintiff as renders it unsafe or improper for the plaintiff to cohabit with the defendant.

(2) The abandonment of the plaintiff by the defendant for a period of one or more years.

(3) The confinement of the defendant in prison for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage of plaintiff and defendant.

(4) The commission of an act of adultery, provided that adultery for the purposes of articles ten, eleven, and eleven-A of this chapter, is hereby defined as the commission of an act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct, voluntarily performed by the defendant, with a person other than the plaintiff after the marriage of plaintiff and defendant. Oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct include, but are not limited to, sexual conduct as defined in subdivision two of section 130.00 and subdivision three of section 130.20 of the penal law.

(5) The husband and wife have lived apart pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation for a period of one or more years after the granting of such decree or judgment, and satisfactory proof has been submitted by the plaintiff that he or she has substantially performed all the terms and conditions of such decree or judgment.

(6) The husband and wife have lived separate and apart pursuant to a written agreement of separation, subscribed by the parties thereto and acknowledged or proved in the form required to entitle a deed to be recorded, for a period of one or more years after the execution of such agreement and satisfactory proof has been submitted by the plaintiff that he or she has substantially performed all the terms and conditions of such agreement. Such agreement shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county wherein either party resides. In lieu of filing such agreement, either party to such agreement may file a memorandum of such agreement, which memorandum shall be similarly subscribed and acknowledged or proved as was the agreement of separation and shall contain the following information: (a) the names and addresses of each of the parties, (b) the date of marriage of the parties, (c) the date of the agreement of separation and (d) the date of this subscription and acknowledgment or proof of such agreement of separation.

(7) The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath. No judgment of divorce shall be granted under this subdivision unless and until the economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts' fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the infant children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce.

Since it’s introduction to New York Divorce Law, DRL 170(7) has become the most commonly used grounds for divorce for the simple reason that it is easy to prove, requires no corroborating evidence and is New York’s No Fault Divorce Law. Even when a party alleges other grounds for divorce, it is common for the parties to settle on DRL 170(7) Irretrievable Breakdown of the Marriage. Under those grounds however, the statute requires that all other issues be resolved, such as attorney fees and distribution of assets and debts. Therefore, a Court generally will not grant a divorce on DRL 170(7) grounds on default. This is why it is important to consult with a competent New York Divorce Lawyer to make sure your action for divorce will be granted and your marriage can be dissolved under New York Divorce Law.

CustodyChild SupportSpousal Support/Maintenance

Equitable Distribution

Figuring out how to divide assets and debts in a divorce case can be stressful and overwhelming. It is important to have an experienced New York Divorce Lawyer who can explain the process and protect your rights. The law defines what is considered marital property and what is considered a party’s separate property, but sometimes the lines can become blurry, especially in the case of a long term marriage. A good example is when a party, or both parties contribute separate money toward the purchase of what becomes a marital asset, such as the Marital Residence. An experienced Divorce Attorney is needed to assist in working out who gets what in the event of a dissolution of a marriage. In Long Island, it is not unusual for parties to have more debt than assets. Again, this debt must be categorized and then allocated upon divorce. Your New York Divorce Attorney can assist you by directing you to resources, and insuring that you do not leave the marriage with more debt than you should. Retirement accounts require special consideration with respect to tax ramifications, timing of distribution and proper drafting of court orders to divide and allocate upon divorce. Our office will explain these matters and make sure you are directed to the proper resources to guide you through the division of your Retirement Accounts upon Divorce.

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