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FAQ

HOW LONG WILL THE DIVORCE PROCESS TAKE?

Depending upon the complexity of your case, a divorce can take anywhere from a few months to over a year from start to finish. Whether there are contested issues is also a factor that determines the length of time the process will take.

HOW IS MAINTENANCE (ALIMONY) DETERMINED?

There are many factors that contribute to a judge’s calculation of maintenance including the length of the marriage, the spouse’s earning potential, the health conditions of both spouses, the presence of children, and anything else the judge deems relevant, including a statutory calculation guideline. Temporary maintenance is generally awarded as the case proceeds to the lower income spouse depending upon a specific formula used in New York State.

WHAT IS JOINT CUSTODY?

Joint custody means that both parents will share in the decision making concerning their child(ren). Joint physical or shared physical custody can also mean that the child will spend 50% of their time with each parent. If a child spends less than 50% of their time with a parent, they are generally known as the “non-custodial parent” and is obligated to pay child support to the custodial parent.

HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATED?

According to New York State law, child support is based upon the income of the non-custodial parent and may be distributed weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or bimonthly.

WILL MY CASE GO TO TRIAL?

Depending upon whether the action is contested, and the number of issues that arise, your case could go to trial. However, many divorces are negotiated by way of settlement agreement and can avoid litigation.

WHAT IS SEPARATION?

Some couples wish to remain married, but live apart. By entering into a separation agreement, they can assert binding terms for all of their marital concerns including their children and financial arrangement. You may also file for a legal separation which is very similar to divorce but does not constitute severance of the marriage. One year after filing a separation agreement, either party may petition the court to convert the separation agreement into a divorce judgment.

WHEN CAN I RESUME USING MY MAIDEN NAME?

The divorce judgment should state that you will resume using your maiden name. Following the filing of your divorce decree, you should reinstate your maiden name at your local social security office.

CAN I KEEP MY ENGAGEMENT RING?

In deciding whether property is separate or marital property, look to the time frame in which the property was given. Engagement rings given before marriage are considered to be separate property because there was no legally binding marriage at the time of transfer.

IS GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE EXPENSIVE?

The answer to this question varies based on the cooperation between the two spouses. Generally, the shorter the duration of the divorce, the less expensive it will be. The reason behind this is that when divorce proceedings are shorter in length, the soon to be ex-spouses are in agreement over the major issues. If parties are contesting fundamental issues, such as child custody and support or maintenance, litigation may become necessary.

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