What is the Process of a Contested Divorce in New York?

Many couples face changes in their life that lead them to divorce. When this happens, there are times in which the spouses are unable to come to conclusions regarding the future of their marital issues. In these situations, couples may find themselves going through a contested divorce. This can be difficult, which is why it is important to retain the services of an experienced New York divorce attorney for help with your case.

What is Equitable Distribution?

Spouses who cannot agree on how to divide their assets hand over the right to make these decisions to the court. This often happens when one spouse believes they are entitled to more of their marital property than the other spouse. When this happens, New York courts do so based on the concept of equitable distribution. Often times, people believe this means an equal split of marital property between both spouses. However, it is actually the fair and just division of these assets. 

How are Child Custody and Support Determined?

Matters involving children during a divorce become very sensitive. This is because parents want to remain with their children at all costs. However, when parents are unable to agree to these terms, the court steps in to determine child custody. It is important to understand that these decisions are made based on what is in the child’s best interest, not what the parents want. In order to decide what is best for the child, the judge will consider a variety of factors regarding the needs and wants of the child as well as their relationship with each parent. The majority of the time, the court wants both parents to stay involved in their child’s life. It is because of this that they try to come to an agreement that allows this as long as neither parent poses a threat to the child’s safety.

Both parents of a child are required to financially support their child until they are emancipated. This is where child support comes into play. Even if a parent does not have custody of their child, they are required to pay child support. The amount that is owed in support is determined by the New York Child Support Standards Act. The base pay is determined by a percentage of the combined parental income. The amount that is owed is as follows:

  • One child- 17%
  • Two children- 25%
  • Three children- 29%
  • Four children- 31%
  • Five or more children- no less than 35%

How is Spousal Support Determined?

When spouses go through a harsh divorce, they often do not want to continue to support each other financially after a divorce. Even so, the court may order spousal support in some situations. This is often seen when one spouse is dependent on the other for financial stability. This may be the case if they do not have a job or have a lower income. In these cases, the independent spouse may owe spousal support until the dependent spouse can support themselves.

Contact our Firm

Divorce is complex. Fortunately, our firm is here to address any questions and concerns you may have regarding your rights, assets, and future. When you choose our firm to represent your best interests, we address each of your concerns and answer all of your questions to help you rest assured knowing you have a compassionate, skilled firm fighting in your corner. We leave no stone unturned. No matter your legal situation, if you need us, we are here. We pride ourselves on providing sympathetic service and aggressive representation to clients all over Suffolk County. Do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. for a consultation.