One of the most stressful things about divorce is how unpredictable the process is. Only those capable of negotiating a settlement with their spouse before they file or who had the foresight to sign a marital agreement know what the outcome will be.
Most everyone else will have to wait for a judge to review their situation. While you may not be able to predict the ruling the judge will enter, if you understand the two most basic rules in a New York divorce, you can at least plan for the most likely and reasonable outcome.
How will the courts divide your property?
The one question that almost every couple has to worry about in a divorce is what will happen to the assets they share. New York has equitable distribution laws which require that a judge looks at a family’s circumstances and tries to enter a fair ruling for the division of property.
Factors like spousal health and earning potential can strongly influence the approach that a judge employs. Most anything you earned or purchased during your marriage, as well as debt accrued while married, will be marital property that the courts will consider during the property division process.
What is the New York approach to custody during a divorce?
While not every divorcing couple has kids, custody issues are often the biggest concern for couples with minor children. Many parents worry that their ex will be able to shut them out of the life of the children out of spite.
Thankfully, the New York courts want to do what is in the best interests of the children. Shared custody is often the default in contentious divorces because children benefit from having two involved parents. However, if one spouse can show that the other has a history of abuse, addiction or neglect toward the children, it could alter the ruling.
Shared custody and a division of most marital resources will be the likely outcome. Still, there is plenty of gray area within these basic guidelines for couples to advocate for unique solutions during their upcoming New York divorce.