Going through a divorce is always difficult; in New York, divorce is historically more challenging than it is in many other states. Until October 12, 2010, a married person seeking a divorce could only obtain one if he or she alleged that the other party was at fault for the dissolution. In an “at fault” divorce, the filing party must show that the other spouse had physically or constructively abandoned the marriage, been imprisoned for three consecutive years, committed adultery, or been cruel and inhumane. The requirement to show fault was very likely to lead to a contested divorce.
Married people in New York may now unilaterally file for divorce on either a no-fault ground or a fault-based ground; some states only allow marriages to be dissolved on a no-fault basis. When a person anticipates an alimony or a child support dispute, he or she will often resort to brutal tactics in an attempt to “win.” Attacking and fighting during a divorce is even more tempting when it is possible to allege the other spouse’s “fault.”
Even when no fault is asserted, people may still be tempted to pull out all stops in order to get the most money from their spouses or sole custody of their children. What divorcing couples may not realize is that a divorce attorney would be put to better use if the parties would stop trying to right all the time. In an attempt to make things “fair” in a financial dispute, it is possible to end up spending more money on attorneys’ fees than the amount that was actually at stake.
Divorce is contentious, but the divorce proceedings do not have to be a constant battle. A prudent divorce attorney may help you arrive at an outcome or an agreement that optimizes both your economic and your emotional well being.
Source: Women’s Law, “Divorce,” October 29, 2012
Source: Huffington Post, “Do You Want To Be Right Or Do You Want To Be Happy?“, Debbi Dickinson, June 18, 2013