Divorce Law

Monticello Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a difficult process – both emotionally and legally. The divorce attorneys at Scott Russell Law are well-familiar with Sullivan County family courts and can assist you through this challenging time. Attorney Russell is a highly experienced Monticello divorce lawyer who can handle any legal matter surrounding your divorce.

Divorce Requirements in New York

In order to obtain a divorce in New York, you must establish residency and “grounds.” Under the residency requirement, you and/or your spouse must show that you have lived in New York state for a specific period of time. You must also have a “legally acceptable reason” for divorce. Those include:

  • Cruel and inhumane treatment, such as mental or physical abuse
  • Abandonment, meaning your spouse left the home without reason for one year or longer, locked you out of the house for a year or longer, or refused to have sexual relations with you
  • Confinement in prison (for three or more consecutive years)
  • Adultery
  • Separate living arrangements pursuant to a separation judgment, agreement, or decree
  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months

A divorce is “contested” when parties disagree about the grounds for divorce, when one party does not want a divorce, or when parties disagree about finances, custody, and/or property. Some grounds, such as abandonment, may require that you have to file for divorce through a different process, such as “divorce by publication.” The attorneys at Scott Russell Law can guide you through these complexities.

Child Custody

Custody of children is often the most important aspect of a divorce proceeding. In New York, there are two types of child custody: legal and physical custody. As Womenslaw.org states, “Legal custody is the right and responsibility to make major decisions about your child” (such as where the child goes to school), while physical custody “is the actual physical care and supervision of your child.” Typically, the child resides with the parent who has physical custody; however, the other parent may still have visitation rights. If parents cannot agree on a visitation schedule, a judge may schedule visitation times based on the child’s best interests.

Spousal Support

Spousal support, or alimony, is awarded to make the spouse financially independent. When determining if spousal support should be awarded, New York divorce courts consider “the standard of living established during the marriage, whether one spouse does not have enough property and income to provide for the spouse’s reasonable needs, and whether the other spouse has enough property or income to provide for the reasonable needs of the other spouse,” per the New York City Bar.

To calculate the amount, the court reviews a number of factors, including how long the couple was married, each party’s age and health, each spouse’s earning capacity, and whether one spouse will have to incur education or training expenses. The Monticello divorce attorneys at Scott Russell Law can help you navigate New York’s spousal support process, including potential temporary maintenance, which may be awarded while your case is pending.

If you have questions about filing for divorce in New York, contact Scott Russell, highly experienced Monticello Divorce Lawyer and our team of Sullivan County attorneys today for a free consultation.