Compassionate & Experienced Albany, New York Divorce Lawyers
Our team has over 100 years of combined experience practicing law to secure positive legal outcomes for our family clients. Whether you’re seeking an uncontested or contested divorce, we’re ready to help. Our team serves families throughout the Capital Region, including Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Columbia, Warren, Schoharie, and Greene counties. We’ve represented clients in these courts for over 25 years and are highly regarded in each county’s courts.
Understanding Albany, NY Divorce Laws
To obtain a divorce in New York, at least one party must have maintained continuous residence in the state for one year, and the parties must either have been married in New York or lived in the state as a married couple. If not, at least one party must be living in New York for two years.
An “uncontested” divorce is when both parties want a divorce, and they agree about what will happen to their finances and property after the divorce.
You can use this program if:
- You and your spouse are over 18 years old,
- You and your spouse have no “children” under 21 years old,
- Your marriage has been over for at least six months, and your relationship cannot be saved, AND
- All marital property issues, including debt, have been settled.
Even if you cannot meet these criteria, a “no-fault” divorce is possible if the parties have been living apart for one year under a separation agreement that was filed in the County Clerk’s office.
Grounds for a Contested “At-Fault” Divorce
A contested divorce occurs when the spouses do not agree to divorce or the terms for a divorce, including property, debt, child custody, or support.
If the parties cannot agree to divorce, either spouse can seek an “at fault” divorce. This requires proving in court that the other spouse has committed certain misconduct or failed to engage in other conduct consistent with an ongoing marriage. Among the main grounds for an “at fault” divorce are the following:
- Cruel and Inhuman Treatment
This requires a high showing of physical or mental cruelty during the last five years making it unsafe for the parties to live together
If a spouse has for a year physically moved out with no intent to return or “constructively” abandoned their spouse such as by refusing to have sex.
If a spouse is imprisoned after the marriage for three or more years.
If third party testimony supports a claim of adultery during the marriage.
If the parties cannot agree, a court will also decide property allocation and support issues.
Property Division in Albany, New York
New York is an equitable distribution state. If the parties cannot agree to property division, the court will divide marital property equitably. This does not mean a 50-50 split. Instead, the judge will strive for a fair outcome, considering 15 statutory criteria. These include:
- Each spouse’s income and property when they married and filed for divorce
- Probable future financial circumstances of each party
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Duration of the marriage
- Whether either spouse has an equitable claim to marital property based on that spouse’s contribution of labor, money, or efforts as a spouse, parent, or homemaker
- Whether the court has awarded alimony (maintenance or spousal support)
- Any other factor the court expressly finds to be a just and proper consideration
New York courts only divide marital property. Spouses get to keep their separate property. Marital property is property (including wages and income) obtained during the marriage. Separate property includes assets each spouse brought into the marriage, property they inherit, or other items as stated in a valid prenuptial agreement.
How Long Does a Divorce Take and How Much Does It Cost?
The average time to complete a divorce is several months to over a year. A contested divorce will take longer and cost more than an uncontested divorce. Contested issues such as alimony, custody, child support and visitation rights, marital property, and debt division, can increase costs. Mediation can help reduce those costs.
Filing for a no-fault divorce with an existing separation agreement that you’ve filed and lived apart under for one year will shorten the process and save on costs. Contested divorces alleging fault are the longest in time and most expensive.
Our Albany Divorce Lawyers Can Help You
Our experienced and insightful Albany divorce lawyers at Tully Rinckey PLLC handle every situation with the utmost diligence and care. Our practice leader, Barbara King, has over 30 years of experience managing family law issues, and partner Michael Belsky has extensive experience in court proceedings involving divorce and equitable distribution of property. Our team is here for you to protect your rights and achieve your goals. Contact us today. To schedule an initial local divorce consultation with a member of our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 8885294543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you struggling with child custody issues? We have dedicated experts that will help you in the fight. Learn more about our child custody and child support services.