Worried About Getting a Divorce? Talk to a Lawyer to Get the Facts

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You’re unhappy in your marriage but not sure whether to get a divorce. While you can read all about divorce online, it’s not the same as getting one-on-one information about what you should expect in your divorce. Most people wait to talk to a divorce lawyer until they are ready to file for divorce or their spouse served them with papers. However, talking with a lawyer when you are considering, but not sure about divorce can help you make a final decision. A good attorney will give you the facts, not try to sway your decision either way.

Learn About the Divorce Process

A divorce lawyer can answer your questions about the divorce process from filing for divorce through discovery, court proceedings, negotiations, settlement and/or trial. These discussions can help you understand the time and money that may be needed to resolve your divorce through settlement or mediation versus litigation. You can also start considering your priorities and where you may be willing to compromise in the interest of expediting your case.

Understand Financial Issues in Divorce

After filing for divorce, both parties must disclose financial information regarding their income, assets and debt. This is necessary to determine division of property, spousal support and child support when applicable. There are methods for obtaining this information if your spouse refuses to provide it.

New York courts determine spousal and child support using a statutory formula although the parties can also choose to negotiate the amount of support. Similarly, there are rules that govern the equitable distribution of marital property although parties are free to divide the marital assets as they agree. Importantly, no party will receive 100% of the assets. Instead, if the parties are unable to agree on asset division, the court will make the determination based on a list of statutory factors. 

While an attorney won’t be able to precisely tell you what you will get financially in divorce, he or she can explain how these formulas and statutory factors work so you get a general idea of what to expect. An attorney can also point out special rules that apply to certain assets that you or your spouse may have, such as a business, stock options or difficult-to-value property. 

Get the Facts About Child Custody and Parenting Time

A parent’s biggest fear in divorce is losing time with their children. New York law favors joint custody and strongly encourages parents to resolve their disputes on their own. Judges employ several tactics to urge parents to negotiate, such as appointing an attorney for their children, bringing in a forensic psychologist and involving a parenting coordinator to resolve custodial issues. 

If you have concerns about custody and parenting time, meeting with an attorney is an opportunity to learn how the law and courts typically address such issues particularly if you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse.

Weigh the Pros and Cons of Divorce

Only you know whether it is better to stay married or separate. However, by talking to a divorce lawyer, you can ensure that you have the right information about divorce laws and how the process works. In doing so, you can focus on the personal issues in your marriage without unnecessarily worrying about the legal side of it.

If you are considering divorce, contact us for a consultation to discuss what path may be right for you.

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