Divorce Lawyer Rockland County, NY
Divorce affects families and individuals in more ways than can be counted. Decisions made in time of conflict and high emotion will continue to impact relationships and finances for what could be many years to come. Making the decision to hire a skilled and committed New York or New Jersey divorce attorney can better position you to make choices that will protect your rights and those of your children.
The divorce lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. are eminently qualified to represent individuals and families in New Jersey and New York. With decades of service in family law matters and full-service law offices in Bergen County and Rockland County, we are prepared to put you and your children first.
What is the divorce process?
The divorce process varies based on the jurisdiction; specific requirements in New Jersey will be different from the specific requirements in New York. In general, though, the process for divorce will go something like this:
- Petitioner must meet residency requirement in the state where they plan to file.
- Petitioner files complaint stating the grounds for divorce, along with any other required paperwork and filing fee.
- Respondent is served with the complaint and then files a response which can involve a counterclaim.
- The petitioner responds to any counterclaim filed by the respondent.
- The parties exchange documents and file any motions relevant to their cases.
- The parties may reach a settlement on their own or be ordered to attend a mediation.
- If the parties do not reach an agreement, the case proceeds to trial.
Filing for divorce in NY and NJ
Filing for divorce in New York and New Jersey involves similar steps but they are not identical. The residency requirements and grounds for filing differ by state.
Filing for divorce in New York
There are several ways to meet the residency requirement. If you or your spouse have resided in New York State for at least two years before filing, then the requirement is satisfied. Alternatively, if either of you lived in the state continuously for at least one year and you either (1) got married in New York State or (2) lived in the state as a married couple or (3) the grounds for divorce took place in the state, you qualify. Residency is also met if you and your spouse are both residents of the state on the date the divorce is filed and the grounds for divorce took place here.
There are seven grounds for divorce:
- No fault: Irretrievable breakdown in relationship that lasts at least six months
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Imprisonment of 3 years or more in a row
- Divorce after legal separation agreement of at least one year
- Divorce after judgment of separation
Filing for divorce in New Jersey
To file for divorce, either spouse must have lived in New Jersey for at least one year. In the case of adultery, however, a spouse may file in New Jersey so long as one spouse is a resident.
There are nine grounds for divorce in New Jersey. The first two are “no fault” and the rest are fault-based.
- Separation of at least 18 months
- Irreconcilable differences ongoing for at least six months
- Abandonment for at least 12 months
- Addiction for at least 12 months
- Extreme cruelty
- Deviant sexual conduct
- Imprisonment leading to at least 18 months of living apart
Do I need a divorce attorney?
Studies show that as many as 85% of family law cases involve at least one party not represented by a lawyer. Bar associations across the nation have expressed concern that these parties are at a disadvantage because they are not equipped to protect their rights. While many self-represented litigants are primarily concerned about the cost of divorce, this plan can backfire; pro se parties can face longer proceedings, which are often dragged out unnecessarily when a party is not familiar with court rules. An experienced divorce attorney can help focus the issues to resolve the case more quickly while understanding the long-term impact of proposed resolutions.
It is especially important to consult a divorce lawyer if there are any complicating factors involved in the marriage, including children, property, or a business. Also be aware that divorce can have an unanticipated impact on unexpected areas, including:
- Estate planning changes
- Retirement benefits
- Immigration issues
Even if you are considering an uncontested divorce, it is helpful to consult a New Jersey or New York divorce lawyer. The divorce lawyers at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. have handled complex and routine family law matters for decades and understand how these may impact your life.
Legal issues that can arise in divorce
As a client-focused divorce attorney in NJ and NY, Paul B. Goldhamer works relentlessly to safeguard the interests of individuals and families in matrimonial law matters. He advises clients to follow his Ten Commandments of Matrimonial Law while guiding them through a number of related issues including:
- Child Custody & Visitation Rights
- Division of Marital Assets
- Alimony & Child Support
- Parental Relocation
- Post-Divorce Modifications
- Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Questions about divorce in NY or NJ?
At Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C., our lawyers’ experience and versatility allows them to effectuate an amicable divorce settlement in many cases, and to aggressively protect your rights in highly contested proceedings that continue to trial. We see the big picture without losing sight of your here and now.
If you have questions about filing for divorce in New York or New Jersey, do not hesitate to speak with Paul B. Goldhamer and our team of divorce attorneys.With offices in Bergen County and Rockland County, we offer flexibility to accommodate your needs.
Determining Who Gets the Home In a NY Divorce
A Rockland County, NY divorce lawyer knows that one of the most hotly contested items in a divorce is likely to be the house. The home you both shared together is probably one of the most significant assets that will pop up in the divorce and if you want to keep the home then this may be a sticking point during the divorce. Whether your spouse also loves the home or they simply want to keep the home out of spite, you may find yourself in a battle to stay put. When you need help with your divorce proceedings and would like to keep your home, reach out to Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.
How does New York Divide Assets?
In New York, you get an equitable division of marital assets. This means that, if left up to a court, the division of your assets would be as fair as possible (though it does not necessarily mean an equal distribution of these assets). A court will examine a few things to determine what is equitable:
- How long you have been married
- What the standards of living are
- How much each person makes in their jobs
- Whether both spouses have jobs
- Whether one spouse is the custodial parent
- What the value of the marital property is
- What the value of separate property is
These are just a few of the things a court will look at. Additionally, a court will need to examine the types of property to determine if it is separate or marital property. This is where things with a home can become complicated. Say one spouse purchased the home prior to becoming married. The second spouse moved in after getting married and was the primary caretaker of the home, purchasing things to update it, renovate it, and maintain it on a regular basis. Although it may seem like the house is separate property because it was purchased prior to marriage, it can evolve into marital property. A Rockland County divorce lawyer can help you determine what kind of property your home is at the time of divorce.
What can be done if it is marital property?
If the home is marital property, there are a few things that may happen. A judge may opt to put the home up for sale and then split the sale proceeds between the spouses. If you have children and would like to keep your children in the same house they have grown up in, you may petition to keep the home so that you can keep your children there and allow them to stay in the same school. If you are up against a spouse who is bitter and will fight for the home, it is especially helpful to work with a lawyer who can fight for your rights.
Get Legal Help For Your Divorce
Getting a divorce is already difficult. If you are fighting to keep the home you love this can make things even harder. Call Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. to see how we can stand by you during this time and fight on your behalf. Speak with our Rockland County divorce lawyer now.
Choosing the best Rockland County, NY divorce lawyer for you is crucial to navigating what is already a complex and emotional process. It’s important to ask the right questions when searching for a lawyer who will effectively represent your interests and guide you through this challenging time. Here are key questions you should ask yourself when you are getting ready to hire a lawyer.
When considering a Rockland County divorce lawyer, you want to inquire about their past experience in handling divorce cases. Ask how many years they have been practicing family law and how many divorce cases they have handled. Inquire about their success rate and any specialized training or certifications they may have in family law. It’s imperative to choose a lawyer with extensive experience in divorce cases to ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to handle your specific situation.
Divorce proceedings can be contentious, and it’s important to understand the lawyer’s approach to conflict resolution. Ask about their philosophy on negotiation, mediation, and litigation. Inquire about their willingness to pursue alternative dispute resolution methods to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Understanding their approach will help you assess whether their style aligns with your goals and preferences for resolving conflicts during the divorce process.
Clear and effective communication is essential when working with a Rockland County divorce lawyer. Inquire about how the lawyer will communicate with you and how often you can expect updates on your case. Ask if they prefer phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings and their typical response time for client inquiries. Understanding their communication practices will help establish a strong working relationship and ensure you are kept informed about the progress of your case.
It’s important to discuss the lawyer’s strategy for protecting your interests and achieving a favorable outcome in your divorce case. Ask how they plan to approach issues such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support. Inquire about their experience in handling cases with similar complexities to yours and how they would address any unique challenges you may face. Understanding their strategy will give you insight into their ability to advocate for your rights and achieve your desired outcome.
Discussing the lawyer’s fee structures and billing practices is essential to avoid any surprises later on. Ask about their hourly rates, whether they charge a retainer fee, and how they bill for additional expenses such as court filings or expert consultations. Inquire about their expectations for upfront payments and any potential payment plans they offer. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the financial aspects of working with the lawyer to ensure it aligns with your budget and expectations.
A good divorce lawyer is passionate, dedicated, and ultimately working in your best interests for your future. Don’t hesitate to contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. today if you are ready to hire a lawyer.
Additional Divorce Attorney Resources:
- NY Courts, Divorce Basics, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/family/divorceBasics.shtml
- NY Courts, Residency and Grounds, https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/family/divorceRequirements.shtml
- WomensLaw.org, Divorce: New Jersey, http://www.womenslaw.org/laws_state_type.php?id=187&state_code=NJ
- Lewis & Clark University, The Growing Challenge of Pro Se Litigation, http://www.lclark.edu/live/files/777