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Divorce on Long Island

Grounds for Divorce

Before you can file for divorce on Long Island, you must be able to demonstrate that you have legal grounds to do so. New York was the final state in the country to enact legislation which makes it possible for couples to pursue a "no-fault" divorce, so now all that is necessary is for you and your spouse to get the process started by affirming that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for a period of at least six months. There are, however, still fault-based grounds, and it may be useful to employ one of these if you are expecting to have to engage in adversarial litigation with your spouse over matters such as child custody and spousal maintenance.

The fault-based grounds include:

  • Cruel and Inhuman Treatment
  • Abandonment (actually leaving the home, forcing you out of the home or constructive abandonment, which consists of refusal to engage in sexual relations for at least a year)
  • Three Consecutive Years of Imprisonment
  • Adultery

    By proving that your spouse caused the failure of the relationship through any of these actions, you can demonstrate that he or she is at fault in the divorce.

    Who Gets the House in a Divorce in New York?

    The New York Domestic Relations Law says that all property and assets acquired during a marriage are marital property, regardless of whether the property is held in the names of both spouses and in the name of one spouse. A spouse must identify and provide a specific value for the marital property before the Court can make a determination of equitable distribution. If a spouse requests a share of property that is held in the other spouse’s name, he or she must prove that it is "marital property" and what the value of that property is. Only then can the court can determine equitable distribution of that marital asset. So you must state that the house is marital property when purchasing a home.

    How Child Custody Is Decided

    When the family law judge is called upon to decided matters of child custody and visitation, the guiding principle that is used is the Best Interests of the Children.

    Factors that are considered in determining what type of parenting arrangement will best achieve this end include:

    • Each parent's lifestyle
    • Allegations of child abuse
    • Each parent's existing relationship with the children
    • Each parent's mental and physical health
    • How well each parent will foster a relationship between the children and the other parent

      Given that these questions are largely at the discretion of the judge, it is in your best interests to have a skilled Long Island family lawyer who is capable of making a compelling case on your behalf.

      Minimizing Stress in Your Divorce

      If you are anxious to avoid courtroom litigation and keep the stress in your divorce to an absolute minimum, an attorney from The Law Office of Michael J. Brescia, P.C. may be able to help you by guiding you and your spouse towards an uncontested divorce. Provided that you and your spouse are capable of constructive and respectful communication and are both committed to working out a mutually beneficial settlement, you can conclude the vast majority of your divorce before you ever set foot in the courtroom. We also represent clients in adversarial litigation during contested divorces, and are willing to work tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

      Contact The Law Office of Michael J. Brescia, P.C. now for an initial consultation to learn about the process and to take the first actions in your case.

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