Divorce is the last thing couples would expect to be the definitive chapter in their love story. It can be long, challenging, and leave deep emotional scars. Divorce shatters dreams, ambitions, and life plans. Both parties struggle with making decisions that protect their interests while also considering the children (if any). It is best to take a well-structured approach when handling a divorce.
That is why Douglas Family Law Group is here for you, to help you find an experienced and dependable Bronxville, NY divorce lawyer because there is a lot at stake and we know from experience that there are no real winners in these legal proceedings. We listen to you during the initial consultation and address any concerns about the process. Your lawyer will develop a custom-tailored legal strategy that improves the odds of success.
What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New York?
Under New York State laws, the legally acceptable grounds or reasons for divorce include inhuman treatment, the relationship being irretrievably broken in 6 months, adultery, imprisonment for three or more years, abandonment, and separation via a court judgment or signed agreement between the couple.
What Is Equitable Division, How Does It Work?
It is the distribution of marital assets depending on a case-by-case basis and is subject to negotiations between the involved parties and the judge’s discretion. The equitable division strives to do what is fair to both parties. Hence, it considers assets acquired as marital property and separate property while also factoring in each spouse’s needs.
What Does Contested Divorce Mean?
A contested divorce is often heated because both parties can’t agree on some divorce-related issues like child custody and support, property division, debts, and maintenance or spousal support. Therefore, the matter ends up in court. We often advise couples to consider the legal process’s cost and time when having a contested divorce.
Divorce can be tough and complicated if both parties cannot agree on different divorce-related issues. But our divorce attorney and the legal team at Douglas Family Law Group will ensure that the process is less complicated. We take you through the ground for filing for divorce and help with property division and other issues while pushing for an uncontested divorce.
Call 914-615-9058 to know more about how we can help you with your divorce proceedings.
What Is Spousal Support and Spousal Maintenance?
Spousal maintenance is paid by one party to financially support his/her ex when a couple is divorced. In an uncontested divorce, the terms for maintenance are up to the divorcing couple. Maintenance is decided in the New York Supreme Court during a contested divorce case.
If the divorce isn’t official yet, the New York Family Court may order one party to pay spousal support.
How Is Maintenance Determined?
Spousal maintenance is usually only ever awarded if a former spouse is unable to meet their own reasonable financial needs without the other spouse’s income or assets. It is also awarded if a former spouse cannot maintain the same standard of living enjoyed during the marriage without the other spouse’s income or assets.
New York law requires courts to use a formula to calculate a suggested amount of maintenance. But judges can award a different amount than the guidelines if they feel that is more fair.
When Can I Stop Paying Maintenance?
Maintenance in New York can be either “durational” or “non-durational” depending on circumstances. The court typically orders durational maintenance for a fixed period, often in instances where the recipient spouse can become self-supporting after a few years.
How long durational maintenance last generally depends on how long you were married. Non-durational marriage ends when your ex dies or remarries.
You can file a motion for termination if there are changes in circumstances, such as your ex cohabitating with another partner.
Medical emergencies, job loss, or other life events that make it impossible to honor the payments can also be considered when trying to stop paying maintenance. It is best to note that default on maintenance or spousal support can see you face criminal charges or a prison sentence.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
It arises when both parties agree to all issues related to the divorce, including child support, property division, and spousal maintenance. Subsequently, the divorce process will not be subject to a court decision since the couple agrees on the divorce and terms of separation, which means they save time and money.
Nonetheless, uncontested divorce proceedings are never ideal when one or both parties cannot seat and talk without fighting. You also must take time to learn and understand the different legal requirements involved, including financial disclosure forms that each party is expected to fill out.
What Are the Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce?
Typically, both parties will sign a written agreement, contractually stating they resolved all issues that might lead to disputes between them regarding the divorce. Both parties must prepare the required documents for initiating the separation process. It will be a divorce petition accompanied by other paperwork stating that all parties are aware of the desire to part ways and will participate to ensure the case ends within a short time and with fewer legal costs.
Our divorce attorney will take you through the necessary steps involved and ensure you understand the impact of what you are agreeing to before signing the document and confirming you agree to the terms.
What Are the Differences Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce?
When one party files for divorce, they file a petition with the family law court in New York, and their partner receives the complaint for divorce, listing what the petitioner believes opens grounds for seeking a legal separation.
The process is considered uncontested if both parties lay out their terms and neither objects to the stipulated issues. Conversely, the divorce will be considered contested with the spouses disagree on one or more divorce-related issues.
We guarantee to provide the best legal counsel and representation whether your divorce hits a snug because your partner disagrees with one or more of the things you stipulated. We also will present to ensure all works out even when the process is uncontested and you and your partner hold no grudges and desire an amicable separation.
What Does a High Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer Do?
Dealing with high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth divorces can be challenging because such separations are rarely straightforward. They often involve company valuations, asset acquisition, jurisdiction disputes, and other aspects with a significant financial impact associated with one spouse’s worth exceeding a million dollars.
Therefore, you need a divorce lawyer with experience in handling high and ultra-high net worth to help reach a fair resolution.
How Do I Know I Need a High Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer?
If you are battling with questions like, Am I going to be financially okay after the separation, what will I part with and be entitled to in the divorce, it is best to consider hiring an attorney specializing in high net worth divorces. The lawyer will provide a roadmap to help you know what you could be entitled to in the separation to eliminate any concerns regarding your financial future after petitioning for separation.
How Can Douglas Family Law Group Help Me With My High Net-Worth Divorce?
If might consider yourself among the lucky few who become financially successful during their marriage. The riches can be earned through hard work, gifting, or inheritance. So, people are never quick to welcome the possibility of facing financial uncertainties after divorcing. They feel they have a stake in what they acquired during their marriage.
As we mentioned earlier, divorce proceedings have no real winners or losers. Nevertheless, we fight aggressively to ensure that your rights and interests are upheld while also striving for fairness in the proceedings. Some of the key areas we focus on to ensure you get what you deserve include:
- Correctly identify assets to ensure that you know what you can have or keep.
- Properly value assets to help you understand the financial implication of what you are entitled to and their significance in shaping your life after the divorce.
- Help to avoid emotionally charged decisions by providing professional financial guidance as you evaluate what to keep or let go as you part ways with your partner.
You worked hard to achieve the assets shared in your marriage; thus, seeking to dissolve the marriage and separating from your spouse should not take away all your efforts and gains. Similarly, do not let the mistake of working with the wrong attorney who has no experience in high net-worth divorces lead to such outcomes.
Call us today at 914-615-9058 to find a seasoned lawyer who will fight aggressively for your rights and interests in a high or ultra-high-net-worth divorce.
What Is a Valuation Lawyer and What Do They Do?
If you and your partner owned a business or the divorce case includes one, then expect a valuation. Ownership will be a primary concern when evaluating the company, whether it is large or small.
You will need a valuation lawyer to help you know the estimate of the business’s current worth. The attorney works closely with other professionals to determine a company’s projected future earnings, current and future market value, capital structure, market dynamics, competitive advantage, and more.
How to Value a Business During Divorce
Often, the process requires our team and valuation experts to refer to a statute and case law to inform the standard of value applicable to handling business valuations in divorce cases. At Douglas Family Law Group, we leave no stone unturned to ensure you get what you deserve. The team handling your case can use the following valuation strategies:
The Income Approach
It determines the company’s worth based on the present value of its projected future income potential. It is possible to do this by analyzing the business’s annual income over a forecasted period or capitalizing its income over a specific period using an expected return rate.
The Assets Approach
It focuses on the business assets and liabilities as reflected in the company’s ledgers then deducts potential depreciation, appreciation, and adjustments that impact the company’s value
The Market Approach
The valuation process focuses on a business’s worth if an investor or buyer would purchase it while also including factors like its future earning capacity.
What Types Of Information Will Be Looked At To Determine Value?
At Douglas Family Law Group, our Bronxville family law attorneys never downplay asset ownership and fight aggressively to ensure our client’s interests are honored. We work with expert valuators to review the family business or any company you and your partner own or run.
Knowing its value help you decide if it is worth fighting for or letting go as focusing on other assets. Some of the issues we examine when analyzing a business involved in a divorce to determine its value include:
- What The Business Owns – Factoring tangible assets like equipment, machinery, inventory, and intangible assets like market share, patents, goodwill, and trademarks.
- What The Business Owes – Considers the liabilities and responsibilities the company owes and ensures they are fairly distributed between the spouses during the valuation.
- Profitability of The Business – It is done by comparing the company’s profitability and expenses by compiling its expenditure and weighing it against its returns or income.
Every business has value and it is best to know what that value is if you and your partner run or own a company and involve in a divorce. Our Bronxville, NY divorce lawyer will team with top valuators in New York to ensure the business valuation is done correctly.
What Is Property Division In New York?
Under state laws, courts in New York divide marital property fairly, even though that does not necessarily mean that assets are split equally (50/50). The property disbursement is done according to the equitable distribution rule as codified in the Domestic Relations Law.
How Does a Marital Property Division Lawyer Determine the Property Value?
Determining the property’s value is paramount when trying to ensure there is a fair distribution of marital assets. The team handling your divorce will consider the following elements when determining the property value:
- Future financial circumstances
- Your partner’s health
- Years you stayed married
- Expended (wasted) property by you or your partner
- Lost insurance benefits
- Property assignation tax consequences
- Market value at the separation period
- Income and assets each partner own
- Business ownership and interests
- Either partner’s contributions to the other property
- Child support, maintenance, and other court-ordered maintenance
What Is the Process of Dividing the Property?
Property division in a divorce process entails four steps. Moreover, both parties can negotiate the division process before finalizing the divorce and they must be separated for the equitable distribution of their marital property to proceed.
Identification of Assets and Debts
The first step is the identification of assets and debts as of the separation date. They can be jointly or individually held, but both spouses are legally expected to disclose or declare what they own. The assets and debts can include real estate, investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, vehicles, loans, mortgages, artwork, furnishings, annuities, tax debts, pensions, and patents.
Classification of Assets and Debts
Next debts and assets are classified as “separate” or “marital” (subject to division). All assets are assumed to be marital and hence subject to division unless owners prove they are separate, meaning they owned them before getting married. As for debts like credit card loans, they must have a marital purpose to qualify for equitable distribution.
The third step is the valuation of the marital assets and debts as of the divorce date. We can arrange for an appraisal of things like the family house or business if you and your partner cannot agree on their value.
Distribution is done after the identification, classification, and valuation of marital and divisible debts and assets. The process is done while observing equity; however, the court might consider certain economic factors that can result in one party getting more of the distributed estate.
Get in Touch to Find the Best Divorce Attorney
Divorce proceedings can get messy, especially when both parties cite irreconcilable differences. It often can turn into a stressful process if you do not hire the right legal representation. Parting ways with your spouse should not be a nightmare even when you disagree on one or more divorce-related issues. At Douglas Family Law Group, we are committed to helping our clients overcome the challenges of pursuing a divorce.
While the best approach is to ensure that both parties agree on all issues related to their separation, sometimes disagreements might arise leading to a contested divorce. However, our Bronxville, NY divorce lawyer will ensure that we fight for your rights and interests.
So, we can take the matter before a judge if the process is contested and ensure you are kept up to date on everything. We understand the impact divorce has on spouses and their families. Get in touch with us today at 914-615-9058 to get unrivaled representation and be treated with care, compassion, and respect.
The attorney representing you will develop a legal strategy tailored to your needs. Call to schedule a case evaluation and learn more about how we can help.