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Family Law & Divorce Questions

Answers from a New York Family Law Attorney

If you're considering a divorce, you probably have a lot of questions about your legal rights and options. At Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, our New York City divorce and family attorneys are committed to helping people like attain the fair divorce, family law, and child custody settlements that they deserve. To learn more about your rights during a divorce, continue reading to find the answers to common divorce and family law questions. If you need more information, contact our office today and ask for a comprehensive case evaluation.

Divorce Questions

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a growing area of family law that allows couples to avoid some of the tedious legal complications associated with high-conflict divorces. In order to pursue a collaborative divorce, each spouse must sign a written pledge promising to avoid seeking a divorce settlement in court. When handled correctly, collaborative divorce can save time and legal expenses.

Can I file for divorce without a lawyer?

The law does not require you to hire an attorney, but working with a lawyer improves your chances of a favorable divorce outcome. Divorce is emotionally and financially difficult. Without a legal advocate, you carry the risk of compromising your best interest during the divorce process. An attorney understands the ins and outs of the divorce process and can help you make an educated decision for your future and the future of your family.

What is a "flat fee" divorce?

A flat fee divorce is much like an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse generally agree on spousal support, child custody, property division, and other issues, a flat fee divorce may be the best option for you. To learn more about a flat fee ("fixed rate") divorce with Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, click here.

Child Custody Questions

How is child custody determined?

Child custody is determined by the "the best interest of the child." This concept takes the child's emotional wellbeing, physical health, education, medical needs, and other factors into consideration. In the end, the court will determine what is truly in the best interest of your child or children.

When can I modify my child custody agreement?

You can change your child custody agreement in the event of very specific circumstances. This might include parental relocation, a change in either parent's financial status, or a change in the child's needs.

Asset & Property Division Questions

What are my rights regarding property division during divorce?

New York is an "equitable distribution" state, which means that you are entitled to a fair portion of the marital property and assets. According to the law, fair and equal are not always the same; the court might decide that you are entitled to more or less than 50% of the assets.

How does the court calculate asset division?

A variety of factors determine your share of the marital assets. The duration of your marriage, your alimony agreement, child custody, your income, your spouse's income, and other variables can influence the division of your assets.

Does asset & property division include debt?

Like property division, debt division is contingent on other factors. If you or your spouse is in debt, the court will divide it along with your other finances (property and assets). If your spouse accumulated a significant amount of debt without your knowledge, you may be exempt from division.

Child Support Questions

How does the court determine child support?

The best interest of the child determines your child support agreement, much like a child custody agreement. Financial factors, such as your income and the child's financial needs, play important roles in your support settlement.

What if my ex refuses to pay child support?

The court does not take unpaid child support lightly. Unpaid child support can lead to property liens, driver's license revocation, and wage withholding.

Can I change my child support agreement?

Yes, you can file for a child support modification. However, the court only allows modifications under special circumstances. Common reasons for child support modification include job loss, unexpected medical costs, or a significant increase in one parent's income.

Mediation Questions

Is mediation right for me?

If you and your spouse are seeking a low-conflict divorce, mediation may be able to save you time and money during the divorce process. Mediation is handled by a qualified "mediator," who acts as a neutral party between each party of the divorce. Like a collaborative divorce, mediation is ideal for couples who are in general agreement about key issues related to their separation.

Will mediation save money?

Mediation usually takes less time than litigated divorce, which can save legal costs and attorney fees. Mediation only saves money if both parties are willing to work together. Without cooperation from the husband and wife, mediation can be very costly.

Fathers' Rights Questions

Do I need to establish paternity in order to seek child support?

Yes, unmarried parents must demonstrate paternity before seeking court-ordered child support. If the child's parents are married, paternity is assumed.

What are my rights as a father during divorce?

In the past, courts tended to favor mothers. Today, society has come to accept father's rights as an important part of family law. During a divorce, the court is obligated to show no partiality between fathers and mothers. Issues like child custody and support are determined by your involvement in the child's life, your relationship with the child, and many other factors.

How do I prove paternity?

Paternity testing is used to establish the biological father of a child. There are several forms of paternity testing, which can cost between $400 and $2,000.

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