Getting Started With A Legal Separation in Binghamton, NY
Divorce proceedings are complicated. An uncontested or “no-fault” divorce is always preferable to a contested, litigated “at-fault” proceeding. In New York, spouses who agree on what will happen to their finances and property after the divorce have two options for obtaining an uncontested divorce.
A separation agreement can be a precursor to a divorce. The parties can file a separation agreement in the County Clerk’s office, wait one year, and then convert the separation agreement into a divorce judgment. To do this, the separation agreement must contain certain provisions and resolve all financial and custodial issues, including the division of debts and property, alimony, custody, and child support.
Our Binghamton team are experts in handling no-fault divorces and writing the necessary separation agreements and divorce judgments to handle no-fault divorces in a speedy, cost-effective manner. Our attorneys also work in divorce mediation to resolve differences and develop solutions that lead to consensual agreements.
Understanding Binghamton, New York Divorce Laws
In New York State, an action for divorce may be maintained only when one of the following residency requirements are met:
- The husband and wife were married in New York, and either party is a resident of New York for at least one year prior to the initial filing for divorce.
- The parties have resided in New York as husband and wife, and either of them is a resident of New York for at least one year prior to filling.
- The grounds for divorce occurred in New York, and either party has been a resident of New York for at least one year prior to filing.
- The grounds for divorce occurred in New York, and both parties are residents of New York at the time of filing.
- Either spouse has been a resident of New York for at least two years prior to filling.
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
A spouse must show specific acts of cruelty by the other spouse that happened in the last five years. The cruelty standard is high. The spouse claiming cruelty must show that he or she is in physical or mental danger and it is unsafe for the parties to live together.
A spouse can assert that the other spouse abandoned them for one year or longer. Abandonment includes actual abandonment when a spouse physically leaves the home without intending to return or constructive abandonment such as when a spouse refuses to have sex with the other spouse.
This requires a spouse to be imprisoned for three years or longer. The spouse must have been imprisoned after the marriage began. The other spouse can use this ground while their spouse is in prison or up to five years after their spouse was released.
A spouse must show that their spouse committed adultery during the marriage. Evidence from a third party is needed to make this showing.
If the parties cannot agree to property division or support, a court will resolve these contested issues as well.
Property Division in Binghamton, New York
New York courts divide marital property in an equitable manner seeking a fair and just result. There are 15 statutory criteria a judge may apply. 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 finds to be a just and proper consideration
Marital property is property each spouse acquired during the marriage except for separate property (assets each spouse achieved prior to the marriage or inherited). A valid prenuptial agreement can also designate specific assets as separate property.
How Long Will My Legal Separation Take?
Separation involves negotiating a separation agreement that requires specific terms, some of which may be complicated. The process can take several months to complete. Our Binghamton Separation Lawyers are experts in quickly resolving separation issues and reaching agreements that will meet your needs.
On average, a divorce takes several months to over a year to finalize. An uncontested or no-fault divorce will take less time than a contested divorce. Contested issues such as alimony, custody, child support, visitation rights, marital property, and debt division, increase the time to a year or longer. Divorce mediation can reduce the time to final resolution. Our Binghamton Divorce lawyers are experienced, passionate, and creative advocates in divorce mediation.
Our Binghamton Divorce Lawyers Can Help You
For any separation or divorce issues you face, the respectful, knowledgeable, and experienced attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC handle your legal representation with sensitivity and care. Even if you have already filed paperwork for a separation or divorce, we can help you. Filing paperwork is not the end of all marriage problems. In fact, it’s often just the first step.
Our Binghamton Divorce lawyers can draft a clear, unambiguous, and legally correct marital and child custody settlement or review one you have made yourself. The language used in legal documents can be technically challenging, so it’s best to get help.
At Tully Rinckey PLLC Binghamton, our compassionate attorneys are here to fight for you. Partners Patrick J. Kilker and Christian J. Root, and Senior Counsel Richard R. Jennings bring decades of family and matrimonial law experience to our Binghamton clients. Our team is perfectly equipped to help you through this difficult time.
If you are considering or are involved in a separation or divorce,contact us.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 (888) 529-4543 or firstname.lastname@example.org.