Divorce can be one of the most stressful times in any person’s life. The Columbia County attorneys of the Colwell Law Group are here to offer legal support during this crucial turning point, which will most likely leave a large and lasting impact on your future. During divorce, asset division, child custody, child support, and marital support are all determined, and it is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side that will advocate for your best interests and ensure that the other party does not walk away with something that they should not.

Asset Division in Columbia County

New York divorces divide property by equitable division, meaning that property is not divided down the middle, necessarily. This system has been in place since 1980, and “sought to eradicate financial inequities suffered by divorcing women by distributing marital assets without regard to which spouse held title,” according to “The Evolution of Equitable Distribution in New York” published in the NYU Annual Survey of American Law. In this system, each spouse owns the income, property, and real property that they acquire during the marriage. However, the court may divide assets fairly, not equally, meaning that the lower or non-earning spouse may be given some, half of, or more of the property than they “owned” during the marriage.

Determining who gets what is based on the following considerations, among others:

  • The length of the marriage;
  • The contributions that each spouse made to the marriage, including income, homemaking, and other contributions; and
  • Whether or not the lower or non-earning spouse gave up their own career aspirations in order to support the education or career of the other.

The non-marital property will not be divided. Non-marital property is the property that was acquired before the marriage, or personal injury awards, inheritance, or gifts specifically given to one spouse.

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Child Support, Child Custody, and Spousal Support

Child custody is based on the child’s best interests. Usually, the court believes, along with modern research, that children do the best when they spend time with both parents. However, this may not always be the case. The non-custodial parent may be asked to provide child support, which may be enforced by a child support order. Child support is based on the child’s needs and the non-custodial parent’s ability to provide. Similarly, a higher earning spouse may need to pay spousal support, whether there are children in the marriage or not. Spousal support, also called alimony, is paid during while the couple is still married, usually during the divorce process, and is called “maintenance” after the divorce has been finalized, according to New York Courts.  Maintenance is usually just for a brief period of time, either months or a few years, though can be extended or even permanent.  

Call a Columbia County Divorce Lawyer For Assistance

Even if you may have a friendly relationship with your current spouse and there is an understanding between the two of you, it is important to work with an attorney so that you and your property remain protected in case tempers flare or minds get changed. Contact the Columbia County divorce attorneys at the Colwell Law Group today for assistance.

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