Ancillery Issues

We offer assistance and representation for divorce/separation related issues including child support and custody, property, spousal support, name changes and more.


Children

When there are children in a divorce case, issues of custody, visitation, and child support must be worked out before the Judge will sign the Judgment.

This does not apply to all children but only to "children of the marriage." Children of the marriage is a legal term that refers to any children who are 20 years old or younger and born or adopted by both you and your spouse before or during the marriage.

  • For all children of the marriage, child support must be decided before the divorce is granted.
  • For all children of the marriage 17 years old or younger, custody and visitation must be decided before the divorce is granted.
  • Custody, visitation, and child support can be handled as part of the divorce case itself. These issues will be decided as part of the divorce Judgment and may take some time.

Property

Equitable distribution is the law in New York that determines the division of property at the end of a marriage. The court examines thirteen factors in determining the fair division of the property that was accumulated during the marriage and the debts of the parties. The courts have routinely held that equal distribution is the norm except in cases of egregious misconduct, or when dealing with businesses, professional licenses, and college & advanced degrees.

Spousal Support

Today alimony is known as "maintenance" or "spousal support." Unlike child support, there is a set formula to calculate spousal support pendente lite (pending the litigation), but there is no post judgment formula. A grant of spousal support depends on the facts of the case, such as the disparity between the income of the parties, the duration of the marriage, the health of the parties, and the presence of very young children. In New York spousal support is rarely granted on a permanent basis, except in cases of physical or mental disability or when the parties are elderly (about 60 years old or older). Generally, it is granted for a set period of time so the other party can get back on their feet after the termination of the marriage. The length of time depends on the facts of the case as the judge sees fit to award.

Legal Fees

When one party to a divorce is unable to afford an attorney that party is allowed to request the court to order the spouse with the greater income or assets to pay all or part of the other spouse's legal fees. These awards can be on a temporary basis at the beginning of the suit or at the end, as the judge sees fit in each case.

Name Change

A spouse in a divorce often wants to use his or her birth name or a prior name if he or she has changed his or her name before the marriage sought to be dissolved and wants to keep that name after divorce. The court routinely grants the right to such a name change in the final divorce decree.