Clifton Park Divorce Lawyer
The process of divorce can be stressful and filled with conflict. If you are contemplating divorce, you probably have questions and concerns about the next steps. The decisions you make can impact your life for decades, especially when children are involved. A seasoned Clifton Park divorce lawyer knows how difficult this time is, and we are here to help.
From property division to custody issues, you may want to have a skilled advocate help you through the process. You want to get through this journey with the best interest of your family in mind, and we are here to assist in the process. Let a knowledgeable family law attorney advocate on your behalf and help you seek a favorable outcome.
Divorce and Equitable Distribution in New York
The two significant areas of divorce settlement involve asset distribution and child custody and support issues. If a marriage is irretrievably broken for six months, a party can file for a no-fault divorce. Fault grounds include allegations like adultery, abandonment, and cruel and unusual treatment. After filing the complaint, a skilled divorce lawyer can begin gathering the facts to support property distribution and custody issues.
The marital estate includes property accumulated by the couple from the date of the marriage. This means personal property, real estate, financial assets, and retirement accounts. The court will distribute these assets fairly, based on a list of factors. For example, the length of the marriage, earning capacity, and whether one spouse stayed home with the children will influence the distribution of both assets and debts. It is crucial to remember that even if a court assigns the marital debt to one party, divorce decrees do not bind credit card companies, and individuals can remain liable.
Separate property that does not get divided includes inheritance and real estate that one spouse owns before the marriage in most cases. Still, living in a house owned by one spouse might eventually transform that residence into marital property under the law. These are the kinds of essential and subtle distinction a seasoned Clifton Park divorce lawyer understands. The court will incorporate the final written agreement between the parties into the final judgment of divorce, giving it the weight of a court order. Expert legal guidance is crucial for this reason, as well as the fact that the final judgment of divorce may influence a party’s life for decades.
Child Custody, Support, and Visitation Arrangements
The other major area covered by the final judgment of divorce includes all issues relating to children. Courts prefer that parents create a parenting plan that sets out the parameters for custody and visitation. However, absent an agreement, the court will create an arrangement based on the best interests of the children.
In New York, there is both legal and residential (or physical) custody of children.
Courts have no parent preference and will examine a myriad of factors when determining custody. Legal custody refers to decision-making authority around a child’s educational, medical, and religious needs. Residential custody means where the child primarily resides. The parent of alternate resident usually owes child support to the parent of primary physical custody.
Child support guidelines govern the allocation of weekly child support. The guidelines provide a calculation based on how much time the child spends with each parent, the parents’ income and earning capacity, the child’s needs, and other factors. Once a court sets the amount of child support, it can be modified only upon a showing of changed circumstances.
Finally, the parent of alternate residence generally has a legal right to visitation with their children. Again, courts encourage parental consent in creating a visitation schedule, but they will make sure a parent gets to exercise that right. If the court finds a parent unfit, it might deny custody or require supervised visitation. Being considered unfit can include evidence of substance abuse, mental illness, violence, or incarceration.
Reach Out to a Clifton Park Divorce Lawyer for Assistance Today
It is easy to see how complicated divorce can be when there are assets, debts, and children involved. Before feeling overwhelmed, reach out to our team of Clifton Park divorce lawyers for legal support through this process. We will advocate for you and your family and guide you through the legal process as you transition into life after divorce. Call today to discuss your legal rights and options.