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7 Questions to Ask Your New York Divorce Attorney

No divorce is easy. There are many details that must be worked out according to the law while both parties struggle through an emotional time. A high net-worth individual with numerous, intricate assets will need an experienced Long Island divorce attorney with an in-depth knowledge of New York divorce lawyers to guide him/her.

The relationship you have with your divorce attorney begins with the initial consultation. During this meeting, you will have the opportunity to ask pertinent questions and get a feel for whether a firm is a right choice for you. Take a list of questions to ask, including those that are related to the conditions of your divorce and about the attorneys who will represent you.

  1. Do you concentrate on complex divorces? Many law firms handle divorce cases as one part of their legal practice. You never want to put your financial future into the hands of an attorney who doesn't understand all the options available to his clients. It takes a great deal more experience and expertise to get the best possible outcome from a complex divorce.
  2. Who else will be working on my case? In many cases, you will be hiring a law firm and not a single attorney to represent you. Find out the qualifications of everyone who will take part in your case.
  3. What is the process for filing for divorce in New York? Every state has laws about the proper procedure for filing for divorce. Some of the actions you and your attorney will take will depend on the circumstances of your current living arrangement.
  4. Will you help me make the best decisions to reduce my tax debt? The transfer of assets during a high net-worth divorce may result in significant tax consequences. Any negotiations should include consultation with an accountant or financial expert to understand your tax liability.
  5. What is my potential alimony obligation? There are many factors that will determine how to get alimony in NY and which spouse may be obligated to pay. The spouse with a higher income may have a significant obligation to pay alimony if the other spouse needs financial support. Other factors that may go into the final decision include whether one spouse has been spending more (marital waste), the length of the marriage, and the receiving spouse's standard of living prior to the divorce.
  6. What can I do to improve my odds of getting custody of the children? An experienced divorce attorney knows the laws that affect child custody. They also know that judges will take certain factors into consideration when making their decisions about what will be best for the children. It will be better for you and your children to know your options from the start and which issues to challenge going forward.
  7. Will we have to sell our business? Although the law in NY demands that anything considered marital property must be divided fairly, that doesn't always mean that every asset will be split equally. If one spouse has devoted a lot of time to building a business that is a major source of income to the family, the court may give the business to that spouse and award other assets to the other spouse to compensate, such as the family home.

Robert H. Montefusco and Meaghan E. Howard are experienced divorce lawyers in Suffolk County who know how important it is for clients to know their rights and options as they start the divorce process. Contact Montefusco Law Group. at (631) 801-0007 to schedule your free initial consultation and discuss your legal concerns without any obligation.