Divorce significantly changes the lives of couples and their children. Making the best decisions often depends on understanding legal options. Spouses should discuss the following with their divorce attorneys:
* Children. Parents must agree on child custody and support issues to reach an out-of-court settlement. Courts always view what is in the child’s best interests and take family circumstances into consideration when approving custody arrangements or awarding custody. Spouses must consider whether sole or joint custody is best for their children, which involves decisions about primary residence, daily care, education/schooling, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Courts base child support on New York Child Support Guidelines, calculating support based on both parents’ gross incomes and a percentage related to the number of children involved.
* Marital property division. New York Domestic Relations Law Section 236B bases marital property division on equitable distribution. Attorneys help spouses characterize marital property (property acquired during the marriage) and separate property (property owned prior to marriage, gifts, inheritances, etc.) Marital property often includes real estate, stocks, retirement accounts, bank accounts, business investments, and the family home. Couples also must deal with marital debts, such as credit card debt. Commingling separate and marital property can make characterization challenging, and attorneys must prove whether property is marital or separate. Property division requires compulsory financial disclosure and spouses may not dispose of property during divorce. Because the courts consider many factors when determining equitable distribution, spouses should provide their attorneys with information about marriage duration, state of health, whether loss of inheritance, pension rights, or health insurance occurs with divorce, a need for the custodial parent to occupy the house, and other details.
* Spousal maintenance. Whether or not to seek spousal maintenance is another important topic. Courts consider the spouse’s ability to earn income and be self-supportive along with the quality of life both spouses maintained together when married. Maintenance can be for a limited time or indefinite, depending on a variety of circumstances.
Get legal help from an experienced New York divorce lawyer
The experienced divorced lawyer in Buffalo, Randy S. Margulis, serves clients in the Buffalo metropolitan and Western New York areas from his office in Buffalo. Randy Margulis offers 28 years of experience and has handled numerous divorce cases. Call 716.886.9600 or contact our Buffalo divorce law firm online to schedule an appointment to discuss important details about your divorce.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 28 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is a Senior Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She primarily practices in the areas of matrimonial and family law, including divorce, child custody, and child support. Alexandra is a practicing matrimonial and family law attorney as…