Divorce & Separation Attorney Albany, NY

An Albany Divorce Lawyer That Cares

We can all agree that Divorce can be one of the most challenging times in ones life. It’s in these times that the experience and dedication of Albany, NY divorce lawyer Max Smelyansky can help make the process a little easier to bare.

Despite popular belief, you have to “apply” for a divorce. There are specific procedures that must be followed in order to lawfully file for and be granted divorce in the State of New York, and an experienced family law attorney at our firm can help you navigate this unnecessarily time-consuming, frustrating process.

In New York, a divorce can be based on fault or no fault. A fault-based divorce may include the occurrence of proven adultery, physical or mental abuse, abandonment of the marital home for longer than a year, an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship, or several other reasons listed under the applicable New York law. “No fault” divorce simply means the divorce is not occurring due to a particular incident or situation, but rather, that the parties have been unable to come to an amicable resolution of staying together. Both types of divorce, fault-based and no fault-based, require a court order entering the decree of divorce, which can only be accomplished after the appropriate paperwork is filed, signed off on by the parties, and heard before a judge.

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These formalities must be met even if the divorce is “uncontested”, that is, agreed upon by both divorcing parties. At this time, the parties must enter into a divorce settlement, where the assets, property, and belongings are divided as amicably and fairly as possible. Everything obtained during the course of the marriage—income, assets, pensions, real property, personal property—even if the property was only in one of the spouse’s names, is considered “marital property” during a divorce. Both parties have a claim to marital property and it will be divided among them as part of the divorce settlement.

Division of Assets

This division of assets can become particularly tricky when the married couples are business owners, business shareholders, or wish to maintain the property they own together. This is another area where help of an experienced divorce lawyer can be key. One party may even have assets the other does not know about (“hidden assets”), that only an experienced divorce attorney knows how to uncover and ensure that those assets become part of the settlement agreement.

Once the amounts at issue are determined, the court will consider a series of factors to determine how the property should be divided between the parties. These considerations can be viewed here. Once the judge has considered the factors listed under the statute, a decision is made regarding how the marital property should be divided.

Divorce With Children in Albany

While any divorce is deeply emotional on the parties involved, divorces involving children can be particularly taxing. With children, there are two immediate concerns:

  1. Child Custody
  2. Child support

Child Custody in New York

Custody is the determination of where any marital children will live after the divorce is finalized. Joint custody is probably the most common and amicable form of custody, where time with the children is shared by both parents, usually on alternating weeks or weekends. Full custody may be given in situations where one parent does not wish to continue a relationship with the child or if there are safety concerns (physical, verbal abuse, etc.) with one of the parents maintaining a long-term, unsupervised relationship with the children. Supervised visits may be warranted in certain joint custody situations; these determinations are largely determined by the reasons underlying divorce and any concerns that may come up during the proceedings.

Child support is monetary support that will be paid from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help cover educational, medical, and day-to-day expenses. These arrangements are dependent upon:

  • Whether there is joint custody;
  • Whether the children spend significantly more time at one parent’s house than another;
  • Whether there are certain medical costs due to a condition of the children or child; and
  • Whether there is otherwise an agreement regarding what will be done in the event of an unexpected financial expenditure (catastrophic injury, etc.).

Child Support in New York

The child support arrangement is made as part of the divorce settlement and will remain in place until the children turn 18. While these arrangements can be altered in the event of significant financial change on behalf of either party, the amount that is to be paid in child support is fixed and must be timely done each month. If your spouse fails to pay child support on time or in the full amount ordered, you may seek a contempt of court order, which may allow you to collect by garnishing (taking) your ex-spouse’s work wages, placing liens on property, intercepting income tax refunds and possibly collecting attorney’s fees incurred in enforcing the collection of these debts.

Divorce Settlements and Resolution

In addition to filing for divorce, determining the division of marital property and an appropriate arrangement regarding any marital children, there is also the matter of spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance, previously known as “alimony”, is the payment of money from one of the spouses to another to account for any discrepancy in earning capacity after the divorce.

People are entitled to reasonably maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during the course of the marriage and have some financial security in the event they must return to college or vocational school to pursue a career outside of the marriage. Though a person is not entitled to spousal maintenance, it is often awarded in cases where there was a disparity in earning capacity between the parties. Spousal maintenance may be paid in a lump sum, but far more commonly, it is paid in installment payments similar to child support. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney that knows how to artfully negotiate spousal maintenance support payments will ensure that you receive the amount of support you are entitled to.

Max Smelyanksy, The Divorce Lawyer that’s Like Having a Friend With Benefits

At our firm, our team of legal professionals knows how to manage a divorce case from start to finish, whether you are merely considering divorce, in the middle of coming to terms of a settlement, or wishing to appeal or edit a previously entered order. We understand that when we’re dealing with something as important as your family, you will have questions, concerns, and need to trust the lawyers that are representing you.

Why Hire Our Firm to Represent You in Your Divorce Case

We pride ourselves upon our availability for our clients, and the time we take to ensure that our clients know what is going on at every stage of their divorce. Contact Albany divorce lawyer Max Smelyansky today to learn more about how to protect your finances, children, and future today.