Put Our Firm In Your Corner
Providing the Capital Region and Upstate New York with Exceptional Legal Services in Matrimonial Matters since 2005
Facing up to the reality of a failed marriage is a very difficult task. It is emotionally taxing and it often affects the ones closest to you as well. On top of that, the legal process is complicated. For those who are not cautious or uneducated, dangers and traps are all around. It is a monumental task to have to deal with the pain and hurt of a marriage that is ending, negotiate the legal process to dissolve the bonds of that marriage while at the same time craft plans for your post-divorce future life. Unfortunately, if you or your spouse is contemplating a divorce you will have to deal with these challenges simultaneously.
Dividing Your Assets
In a divorce, the couple’s marital assets must be divided between the partners. Marital assets are all assets that were obtained during the marriage other than those received as a gift or through inheritance to one partner. Assets that either partner had before entering the marriage are singly-held assets. A married couple’s pool of assets may include some or all of the following:
- A home and other real estate properties;
- Personal items like vehicles, art, jewelry, and furniture;
- Savings and checking accounts;
- Investment portfolios;
- Interest in a business or professional practice; and
- Retirement accounts.
In New York, assets are divided according to the rule of equitable distribution. This means that the court considers each partner’s personal and financial needs when dividing a couple’s property, rather than making a blanket distribution by cutting the asset pool in half. It may consider the tax obligation of each asset as well as each partner’s circumstances following the divorce regarding child custody and earning capacity.
Determining Your Child Custody And Child Support Orders
If you are a parent, a child custody order will be part of your divorce settlement. A child support order will also likely be part of the settlement. This is money paid from one parent to the other to help with the expenses of raising a child.
There are two types of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to the house where the child resides. Legal custody is the right to make decisions on the child’s behalf, such as those relating to the child’s religious upbringing or medical care. You may be ordered to have joint or sole custody in either or both categories. When a child spends more than 50 percent of his or her time with one parent, the other parent may have visitation with the child.
Spousal Maintenance After Your Divorce
Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is money paid to one’s former spouse to prevent him or her from suffering financially after the divorce. One goal of spousal maintenance is to continue to provide the receiving spouse with the standard of living he or she enjoyed during the marriage, but this is often a secondary goal. In most modern spousal maintenance arrangements, maintenance is paid for a limited amount of time, giving the receiving spouse time to complete an education or vocational program that will allow him or her to enter the workforce.
The court considers various factors about a couple’s marriage and each partner as an individual when determining an appropriate spousal maintenance amount. These factors include:
- The length of the marriage;
- The parent with whom the children reside;
- Each partner’s age and health status;
- Whether the partner seeking maintenance reduced his or her earning capacity by foregoing or delaying education or certain career opportunities for the benefit of the home and children;
- The tax obligation spousal maintenance will have for each party;
- How the couple’s assets were divided; and
- Any other factor the court deems to be relevant.
At The Colwell Law Group we strive to provide skilled, client-centered representation in divorce and family law matters. Beginning with the initial consultation and throughout the case, we look to accomplish the following:
- Listen closely to determine your needs and goals
- Craft an appropriate legal strategy to achieve your goals
- Maintain an open line of communication with you and provide updates on progress and problems throughout the case
- Work as a team both in Court and out of Court to achieve your stated goals
Divorce is something that stays with both parties long after the initial agreement is finalized. Therefore, we also provide the following post-judgement services in divorce matters:
- modification of spousal support
- modification of custody or child support
- Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO)
- sale of marital residence
Get The Best Outcome For Your ChildrenLearn how to help your kids cope with your divorce with our free guide for parents who are getting divorced or separated in New York.
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Mary was sensitive and helpful in guiding me through a mediated separation and subsequent divorce...-PHIL
I retained Kevin Colwell during what was for me, the worst period of my life to date...-STEVE
When I first became separated, I hired a pitbull attorney so I could get back at my ex, who had wronged me...-ALAN
Attorney Kevin Colwell (Kevin) and his firm helped my wife and I sell our house. It had been 9 years since I had sold a house so I needed to be guided through the entire process from the contract through to sale.-A REAL ESTATE CLIENT
Mary Colwell was recommended through a friend who had recently just gone through a divorce...-ROGER
A divorce is not a great process for anyone. This was the most difficult time for me to go through...-A DIVORCE CLIENT
I have hired Mary for multiple purposes in the past few years for everything from family law issues to traffic violations...-A ROBERTS
Mary drafted a prenuptial agreement for my husband and me that was fair and agreeable to both of us...-BETH