The cost of a divorce is determined by the complexity of each individual case. The more issues in dispute and the more complex the case, the higher the cost. At the Law Offices of Timothy A. Green, we endeavor to resolve your divorce in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.
Legal separation is a circumstance where the parties have decided, for a variety of reasons, to live separate and apart from one another. A legal separation offers many of the same benefits and protections as divorce, such as child custody agreements and support, spousal maintenance and asset distribution. A legal separation may be advisable if the parties are not certain they want a divorce or there are extensive financial or property issues which need to be resolved. One year after a separation agreement is signed by both spouses, either party can file for a divorce, if the spouses followed the terms of the agreement pertaining to living separate and apart.
Child support is determined based on a formula set out by statute. In order to determine the amount of child support appropriate in your case, this formula will be applied using a number of factors including the number of minor children, income of both mother and father, amount of necessary out-of-pocket expenses to provide health insurance for the children, cost of daycare, and other factors. If one parent has custody or residential custody, the law assumes the residential parent is contributing to the child’s needs and directs the other parent to pay a percentage of his/her income to the custodial parent. The statutory guideline percentages in New York are 17% of income after mandatory deductions if there is one child; 25% if there are two children; 29% if there are three children; and 31% if there are four children; and no less than 35% for five or more children (to be determined by the court).
The court can modify the amount of child support at any time if one parent experiences a “substantial” change in circumstances. The court will determine if a change of circumstances has occurred and, if it has, the appropriate new amount of support.
There are several ways to enforce a child support order: income execution (also known as a wage garnishment); an agreement or order for child support payments to be made through the Office of Child Support Enforcement or a further motion to the court to compel such payment and to punish the spouse for violating the support order.
Is each spouse entitled to half of their property?
Equal division is not required, although that is the outcome in most cases.
Generally, marital property is: (a) real property held as tenants by the entirety, unless excluded by valid agreement; (b) any property acquired by one or both parties during marriage, and typically does not include any property (1) acquired before the marriage, (2) acquired by inheritance or gift from a third party, (3) excluded by valid agreement, or (4) directly traceable to any of these sources.
Usually, the owner of nonmarital property retains it following the divorce. However, in considering a monetary award, and in deciding spousal support, a court will consider all of the financial circumstances and resources of each of the parties, including any nonmarital property. If a judgment is entered against someone for a monetary award, nothing prohibits the party entitled to the monetary award from pursuing nonmarital property to collect it.
Spousal support is determined by taking a number of factors into consideration, including the age and income of the parties, duration of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, relative earning abilities of the parties and any other factor that the court expressly finds relevant and equitable.
Retirement and pension benefits accumulated during the marriage, like real estate and bank accounts, are considered to be marital assets. You are entitled to an equitable division of any pension/retirement benefits earned during the marriage.
A prenuptial agreement (also known as a “prenup”) is a contract between prospective spouses settling alimony and/or property rights of parties upon divorce. A prenuptial agreement may also include provisions concerning distribution of a deceased spouse’s property.