Rochester, New York, Divorce and Family Law Lawyer

Law Office of Alexander Korotkin, Esq.

Divorce

The most important issues in each divorce case are briefly outlined below, and typically involve grounds for divorce, custody, child support and/or maintenance, and equitable distribution. At the Law Office of Alexander Korotkin, Esq., we advocate on behalf of Rochester and Western New York residents who need sound legal advice to help them protect what matters through negotiation and litigation.

Grounds for Divorce

There are seven grounds for divorce in New York: adultery, one year abandonment, three years’ imprisonment, cruel and inhuman treatment, living separate and apart pursuant to a valid decree of separation, and living separate and apart pursuant to a valid separation agreement, and finally no-fault divorce.

No-fault divorce requires a statement from a party that the relationship between the parties has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months or longer. No-fault divorce became available in New York in 2010. Now, you can file a no-fault or at-fault divorce.

Before the court grants the divorce on no-fault grounds, you also need to settle:

Property
Debts
Child custody
Visitation
Spousal support
Child support

At the Law Office of Alexander Korotkin, Esq., we can help you negotiate these arraignments before filing for divorce. This is usually the most difficult and important part of divorce proceedings, so having an experienced Rochester divorce lawyer by your side is critical.

Custody and Visitation

Child custody and visitation decisions affect where your children will live, how important decisions about their upbringing will be made, and how much time each parent will spend with them. I will help you evaluate arrangements such as:

Joint custody — which means both parents will have a voice in decision-making, but does not necessarily imply equal time with both parents.

Sole custody — for one parent, with the other having specific, enforceable visitation rights, but more limited decision-making input.

Shared custody — a possibility when parents can agree on how to divide time between two homes and demonstrate the ability to cooperate.

Split custody is a situation involving more than one child, where one child’s primary residence is with one parent and another child’s is with the other parent.

Child Support

Once the issue of custody is resolved, the court can address the issues of child support and/or maintenance. In New York State, the non-primary residential parent is obligated, by law, to pay child support to the residential parent. Generally, pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act, the payments are 17% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, 31% for four and 35% for five or more children. These payments are based on the parent’s gross income less FICA and less payments being made on behalf of any other children or the payment of spousal maintenance pursuant to a valid Court Order or separation agreement. There are many other criteria which are significant in determining the exact amount of support, and in high income cases, the percentages may not always be strictly utilized. Child support typically, but not always terminates at the age of 21.

In addition to the above payments, day care, medical insurance, uninsured medical expenses and payment for education (especially post-high school education) are all issues of support which are considered by the Court.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, formerly referred to as alimony or spousal support, is the payment by one spouse to another to enable that spouse to survive economically. Generally, the longer the marriage and the greater disparity of incomes between the parties, the higher the amount of spousal maintenance and the longer period of time it will be paid for. Unlike child support, there is no standard formula utilized by the Courts in determining the amount of payments.

Equitable Distribution

The next most significant issue in most divorce actions is equitable distribution. Essentially, all “marital” property is subject to distribution. “Separate property” is not subject to distribution. Separate property is generally defined as inheritances, property owned prior to the marriage, gifts from non-spouses and income received in compensation for a personal injury. In addition, appreciation of separate property generally is considered separate property. However, extensive case law has abrogated this concept, so that a large portion of appreciated separate property can be subject to distribution.

Schedule a free divorce consultation with Rochester, New York, divorce attorney, Alexander Korotkin, Esq., by contacting us at:

Telephone (585) 662-4180
Fax (585) 502-1481

alex@korotkinlaw.com