If you have family law concerns, consult with a Syracuse family lawyer who understands the law and can help explain how it affects you and your family. With over 300 years of combined experience, we know how to handle domestic and family legal troubles with compassion and care—and have done so successfully for thousands of families.

Terminating a Marriage

When a Syracuse couple decides not to remain together, they have three legal options for formally terminating their relationship: annulment, legal separation, or divorce.

An annulment is a legal filing that dissolves the marriage as if it never happened. Guaranteed by Article 9 of New York Domestic Relations Law, this is generally an appropriate option if one or both spouses is under the age of eighteen, one or both spouses are mentally incapacitated in some way, or if one spouse originally entered the marriage by way of coercion, duress, or fraud.

A couple may alternatively request a court ruling under NYDRL §200 that affirms their decision to live apart in what is known as a legal separation. Sometimes this arrangement is used as a preliminary step to divorce, but regardless a separation agreement should set guidelines for the rights and responsibilities of each spouse while they are living apart. Issues such as spousal and child support, child custody, and division of property are usually addressed in the agreement.

Finally, divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. Under NYDRL §170, a couple in Syracuse may file for a “no-fault divorce” based on “irreconcilable differences,” which means there is no hope of reconciliation between the spouses and the legal marriage needs to end. Otherwise, a fault divorce must name some specific grounds for divorce, which may include adultery, treatment that is cruel and inhumane, imprisonment for three or more consecutive years, and abandonment or legal separation for at least one year.

Support During and After Dissolution of Marriage

Alimony—or spousal maintenance, as it is called in Syracuse—is a court-sanctioned payment from one spouse to the other to cover basic needs and provide support until the receiving spouse can become self-supporting. Typically, the higher wage-earning spouse will make payments to the lower wage-earning spouse.

Spousal maintenance after a divorce concludes may be periodic or permanent, according to NYDRL §236(B)(6). Periodic maintenance is for a set time frame to allow a spouse to obtain training or education to become self-supporting. Permanent maintenance may be ordered after a long-term marriage in which one spouse did not earn wages for most of the marriage, or if age or illness precludes them reentering the workforce.

Other Potential Issues a Lawyer Could Help With

In addition to problems related to marriage and divorce, a family lawyer in Syracuse could help you with any legal issue or concern that you and your family may have. If necessary, an attorney could also help affirm the paternity—or a lack thereof—of your child. An Albany family law attorney could also assist you with adding a new member to your family. Whether your adoption is public or private, directly from another family or through an agency, qualified legal help could make all the difference in streamlining the process, especially in cases involving adoptions from other states or countries.

Compassionate Help from an Experienced Syracuse Family Attorney

If you are facing a family law issue, call a knowledgeable Syracuse family lawyer to assist in your needs. Our team of legal professionals at Tully Rinckey PLLC are experienced in handling all areas of family law and are available to help you address any legal issues you and your family encounter. Call our Syracuse office at (315) 492-4700, or get in touch via email at info@tullylegal.com.

Featured Attorneys


When you choose Tully Rinckey PLLC, you aren’t just assigned an attorney. Your legal matter will be cared for by our entire legal team and support staff. With offices throughout the country, coast to coast, we make sure you receive legal counsel and representation you can trust.

Commitment to Our Clients

Our team-oriented philosophy encourages open and ongoing communication with every attorney, paralegal, and other support staff working with each client ensures we understand their goals. Our commitment to you means meeting your objectives, working attentively and persistently toward your success, and efficiently adjusting to your changing needs.

Commitment to Quality

At Tully Rinckey PLLC, our commitment to quality never ends. We listen to your legal concerns, counsel you on your legal issues and represent you in legal proceedings. Our already knowledgeable attorneys are continually learning more, developing their resources and honing their skills. We make ourselves accessible to you at every turn, committing to be your long-term legal partner.

Proud Veterans

Tully Rinckey PLLC is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned law firm founded by military veterans Mathew B. Tully and Greg T. Rinckey, and now employs attorneys who are veterans of the Armed Forces. The military ranks and roles of our attorneys range from a Brigadier General, former Judge Advocates of all Officer ranks, and attorneys who have served as enlisted and Non-Commissioned Officers. The principles of the U.S. military carry over into how we operate our firm. These include leadership, character, technical and tactical proficiency, strong communication skills, seeking and taking responsibility, understanding assignments, choosing the right people for the job, and teamwork.


“How does one even begin to say thank you to someone that applied her uncommon professional and interpersonal skills, and took the human interest to “hold my hand”, and guide me through unfamiliar and emotionally loaded waters. So often you were called upon to do the work of two attorneys (given the circumstances), and you did so repeatedly, comporting yourself each time with class, ethics and professionalism that are just a natural part of you. The caring, class and finesse often required in this case seem to come to you as naturally as breathing. While you may not fully appreciate your value, those of us that have been fortunate enough to have retained your services must surely walk away with a sense of gratitude (if not awe), equal to mine.”

J.A. on Partner Barbara King, Esq.

“Let me begin with my continued respect and heartfelt thanks for all you did for me when a “simple divorce” spiraled out of control. As wounded as I was, I was painfully aware of the emotional toll the litigation was taking on you too. It was that empathy, accompanied by your phenomenal legal skills that kept me together during what was perhaps the most traumatic chapter of my life. I hope I am able to convey an impression of the depth of gratitude I have for you.”

G.H. on Partner Barbara King, Esq.

“I retained Tully Rinckey PLLC for a child support modification, which became necessary following domestic violence incidents, my own disability as a result, and my children’s increased needs. Tully Rinckey PLLC is professional, proactive and, most importantly, does not suffer fools. They focused on the legal arguments of the case and applied appellate decisions which were directly related. Most importantly to me, they took my case personally. As one who has seen many people promised the sun, moon and stars by attorneys who then treat them as a number, Tully Rinckey PLLC was invested in my case from the beginning. They were able to go directly to the heart of the matter without needing to “destroy” the other party. They kept the focus on my children’s needs and, when the other party refused to settle and hired an attorney, Tully Rinckey PLLC went into overdrive making sure my children would get a fair hearing of the facts in court. They kept the main thing the main thing and her arguments on point. They also ensured that my disability accommodations were honored and was sensitive to the needs my disability created, which was incredibly important for my testimony. I have already recommended Tully Rinckey PLLC several times and will continue to do so.”

L.H. on Tully Rinckey PLLC.

“This was the first time that I needed to hire a lawyer for a family court case and I was understandably nervous. Looking online I found Tully Rinckey and I will forever be grateful for their help, professionalism and support. When I spoke with them and eventually met in person; I knew that I was dealing with professionals who had my best interest in mind. Through their professional conduct and work we were able to settle the case outside of court.”

J.B. on Mario D. Cometti, Esq.

“Thank you it was a pleasure doing business with you. Honestly, you made this experience painless. Much appreciated happy customer.”

J. A. on Partner Barbara King, Esq.

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The nationally recognized attorneys in the Syracuse office of Tully Rinckey PLLC serve individuals, families, and businesses throughout Central New York. Opened in 2012 in Syracuse, the Central New York office of Tully Rinckey PLLC offers clients a professional support staff and nationally recognized attorneys in the areas of law we practice. We offer counsel and representation in numerous legal areas, including appellate law, criminal law, family and matrimonial law, immigration law, litigation, military law, and many others. We protect your interests and help you realize the outcomes you want with aggressive appellate representation at the state, federal, and U.S. Supreme Court level.

To schedule a consultation at our Syracuse office, call 3154924700 or email info@tullylegal.com.

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