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Divorce and Separation

In New York State you may not get a divorce just because you do not get along anymore.

There are only certain reasons which are acceptable; if they do not apply to you, you cannot get a divorce.

The grounds are: cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment for more than one year, imprisonment for more than three years, adultery, living apart under a court separation decree, living apart more than one year per a separation agreement.
Additionally, if your spouse has been missing for more than five years and you believe him/her dead, you may obtain a divorce.

What Is Equitable Distribution?
The New York law provides for equitable distribution. The law classifies two types of property: marital and separate. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage, except inheritances, gifts from others, personal injury compensation, and property acquired after the start of the divorce. Marital property is divided between the parties on an equitable basis during a divorce.

Can I Get Maintenance & Child Support?
Either party may receive spousal support which is based on a number of factors including: the marital standard of living, present & future earnings capacity of the parties, ability of the person seeking support to become self supporting, and others. Such an award may be for a certain number of years, or indefinitely, or until the happening of a specified event.

Child support has largely been standardized. Usually the basic child support obligation which the non-custodial parent has to pay is based on the combined parental income with a possible cap at $80,000. For one child it is 17%, 2 children 25%, etc.

The non-custodial parent pays his proportionate share. Additionally, there may be obligations for medical coverage, child care expenses, school education and others. There are exceptions to the standard child support obligation which the court can consider.

Who Will Get the Children?
In making a determination of which parent will get custody, the primary factor is what is in the best interest of the child. This will include many factors, a small portion of which are: which parent has been the primary caregiver, which parent is more stable, which parent is better able to raise the child, and others.

Alternatives to divorce also exist, they are mediation, annulment or separation. Ask your attorney about these options.

 



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This website provides general information. Due to complexities and constant changes in the law, exceptions to general principles of law, and variations of state laws, seek professional legal advice before acting on any matter!

Some of the information on this website only pertains to certain states. Accordingly seek professional legal advice before acting on any matter.