New York Contested Divorce Lawyer
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In a country where more than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, the ideal way to handle the dissolution of marriages would be for both parties to agree on a fair distribution of property and amicably go their separate ways. While this ideal case does happen in the real world, all too often, those seeking divorce end up in bitter disputes involving child custody, money and assets. When a divorce turns contentious, nothing is more important than having the right legal team at your side. Our experienced and talented lawyers have successfully defended clients in hundreds of divorce proceedings, protecting their property, liquid assets and parental rights.
When equitable distribution isn’t so equitable
Over 70 percent of divorces are initiated by the spouse who makes the least money. This fact alone should give anyone who is thinking of tying the knot serious pause. It is even worse when one looks at the ground-level data. A plurality of those marriages are initiated by a spouse who effectively makes no material contribution to the household income. This becomes even more problematic when we consider the two doctrines of controlling law that guide the process of asset division in a divorces in the state of New York.
The first thing to understand about New York divorce law is that it is a no-fault divorce state. This means, essentially, that either spouse can effectively end the marriage for any reason or no reason at all. While there are some technical requirements, pertaining to documentation, to do this, they are little more than formalities. This means that, at any time and for any reason, the spouse who makes nothing can take away half or more of the productive spouse’s assets. This brings us to so-called equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution sounds good and even looks good on paper. But in practice, it often results in spouses who have not made any material contribution to a marriage hitting what amounts to the matrimonial lottery. Under equitable distribution, spouses can expect to get at least a third of the couple’s assets, no matter what they have actually contributed. This begins to created seriously noxious incentives as a couple acquires more wealth.
For example, a spouse who is part of a couple that has accumulated a net worth of $5 million dollars can reasonably expect to get at least $1.5 million dollars in a divorce. For a 40 year old with little education and minimal job experience, that is more money than they could reasonably expect to make, if they worked 40 hours a week for the rest of their lives. Thus, that spouse has serious incentive to initiate a divorce. And there’s a good chance they could get up to half of the couples assets too.
If it isn’t clear by now, the best move a productive spouse who is facing a divorce initiated by their significant other is to contact an experienced lawyer with proven results. We have both the expertise and the proven track record to ensure that our clients don’t get railroaded by wealth-seeking spouses. Many of our cases are settled through mediation, before they ever have a chance to go in front of a judge. We can protect you, your children and your property.