What is the Process of a Contested Divorce in New York?

What is the Process of a Contested Divorce in New York?

Spouses rarely ever consider the idea of divorce when they first become married. However, changes happen in life that can lead them to this point. When couples reach filing for divorce, there are many cases in which they do not agree on their marital issues. This can include matters of child support, child custody, visitation, the division of assets, spousal support, and more. In the event of this, spouses may find themselves in a contested divorce. During this time, it is best to retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney for assistance. 

What is Equitable Distribution?

It is important for spouses going through a contested divorce to know the concept of equitable distribution. When spouses are unable to agree on how to divide their marital assets, the court can do so for them. This is done with equitable distribution. Despite popular belief, this does not always mean the assets are divided equally. Instead, it is divided in a fair and just way based upon the facts of the relationship in question. These decisions are made by the court instead of the spouses, as most times one spouse believes they are entitled to more than the other. 

How are Child Custody and Support Determined?

For most divorce cases, the most sensitive subjects are child custody and child support. Parents who cannot agree on other marital issues often cannot establish an arrangement on these issues as well. When this happens, the court is given the right to determine the custody of the child. It is important to know that these decisions are made based upon what is in the best interest of the child, not what either parent desires. This is established by considering various factors relating to the child and their relationship with both parents. Usually, the court wants both parents to remain in the child’s life as long as neither one poses a threat to the child.

When settling matters of child support, the state of New York requires both parents to financially support their child. This must be done until the child is considered to be emancipated. It is important to know that child support is owed even if a parent does not have custody of their child. The amount that is owed is determined by the Child Support Standards Act. A percentage of the combined parental income is used to determine the base pay. The amount that is owed is as follows:

  • One child- 17%
  • Two children- 25%
  • Three children- 29%
  • Four children- 31%
  • Five or more children- no less than 35%

How is Alimony Determined?

When a divorce is messy and spouses cannot agree to certain terms, the court steps in to determine if alimony is necessary. This is because, under these circumstances, one spouse may not want to support the other after their divorce. Regardless, alimony payments can be ordered by the court. This may be if one spouse is dependent upon the other for financial stability. In these situations, the independent spouse may be ordered to pay alimony until the dependent spouse can provide for themselves.

Contact our Firm

Zimmet Law Group, P.C. is an experienced team of attorneys guiding clients through matters of estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, real estate, commercial litigation, business law, bankruptcy, and landlord-tenant law. If you require the services of an effective New York City attorney, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.

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