The Hudson Valley Family Law Center

At the Family Law Center in Chester, New York, clients will find a comfortable, private space to meet with a caring and compassionate attorney. We are well prepared to handle any divorce issue, no matter how complex. 

From determining which spouse should live in the marital residence to ensuring that a parent has enough time with his or her child without undue — or excessive — interference from the other parent, property division of business interests to interstate custody battles, we have the experience you need to get results in negotiations, mediation or court.

Uncontested And Contested Divorce

There has been a significant change in New York divorce law, and couples may now file for a no-fault divorce, whereby you no longer need to cite one of the previously mandated grounds as a basis for your divorce action.

It's possible to still file if the other party has not agreed or file based upon one of the grounds allowable for a New York divorce, which include:

  • Cruelty
  • Abandonment
  • Mental illness
  • Imprisonment

Additionally, you may file for a legal separation in lieu of a divorce proceeding until one party is ready to file a complaint to commence a divorce.

Same-Sex Marriage And Dissolution

On June 24, 2011, the New York legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act, which now allows same-sex couples to marry legally. This bill signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo went into effect on July 24, 2011. Since same-sex couples now can enjoy all the benefits and legal protections that come with marriage, they also can avail themselves to all the legal rights and protections that current divorce law allows. We can help you dissolve your marriage using these remedies.

Commencing A Divorce

When the attorneys at our firm, Gary Greenwald & Partners P.C., file a complaint with the court to begin the process of getting a divorce, we may, at the same time, ask for a motion of relief in the form of temporary court orders. You may ask the judge for temporary spousal support or child support, or for an award of temporary child custody, including a determination of who will keep the home and how the bills will be paid during the period from the filing date until your divorce is final.

We will also ask that the court order your former spouse not to transfer monies from your account, not to sell assets and not run up credit card debt (in other words, not to waste your assets) during this period.

Property Distribution In New York Divorce

Property rights and how marital property is divided is a big area of confusion for many people. New York is an "equitable distribution" state. When you get married, both parties will have rights to the most types of assets accumulated during the marriage. When a marriage ends, however, how those assets are divided will depend on the length of the marriage and how allocating each asset would be the most fair or equitable for each party.

Take, for example, a home. If it was purchased during the time of the marriage, it is a marital asset even if only one person paid for it and only one person's name is on the deed. Income earned during the marriage is a joint asset. The same holds true for pension funds, IRAs and 401(k)s. Even if your name is not on the pension, the interest earned on it during the marriage is marital property and will be divided.

While you may be happy or unhappy about how some assets are divided, you can also easily find yourself very frustrated at how difficult other assets are to divide. It can be challenging to get your name taken off the mortgage for a home you no longer have. It may require that the spouse who keeps the home refinance it, which can be difficult if there is not enough equity in the home. In order to obtain an accurate assessment of the value of your house, an appraisal may be necessary.

Wrapping Up Loose Ends

There are a lot of details that need to be wrapped up at the completion of a divorce. One detail that many people do not think about — but we do — is the need to update your estate plan. If you have a will or a health care proxy, you probably do not intend for your ex-spouse to inherit your assets or to make end-of-life medical decisions for you. We will ensure your estate planning documents are changed.

We also help with enforcement of court orders and contempt of court motions if the other party has failed to live up to his or her part of the agreement in child custody, property division, or payment of spousal or child support.

Get Knowledgeable Advice Today

To learn how we can help you, please fill out our contact form online or call us at 845-477-5692 to speak to a lawyer at any of our three offices in Chester, Wurtsboro or Poughkeepsie. Se habla español.