You hear about high profile divorces and breakups in the media quite often, which might lead you to believe that the divorce rate is quite high. Not so according to statistics on the New York divorce rate compiled by HomeSnacks, a site that gathers data from the US Census, the FBI, and other resources to present interesting information about communities across the nation. In the Empire State, just 5 percent of couples have completed the divorce process, compared to the US divorce rate of just under 11 percent.
Another misconception is that divorce is an acrimonious, heated proceeding that involves endless court hearings and bitter fighting. The truth is that many parties are able to work out the key issues in divorce by agreement, which can be facilitated by working with a skilled New York divorce attorney. If you’re considering divorce or have already filed, it’s important to know what you can agree on to make the process as smooth as possible.
Areas to Consider for Negotiations and Agreement in a New York Divorce: The advantage of working out a compromise in divorce is that you maintain control over the proceedings, rather than falling back on rigid statutes that can lead to dissatisfaction for BOTH parties. The laws regarding marital settlement agreements are relatively flexible, allowing the parties to reach a compromise on almost any topic that comes up in divorce. For example, you can enter into an agreement regarding:
- Property Division: As part of the divorce process, parties can reach an accord on how to distribute property they’ve acquired during the marriage. Where the lines are blurred, they can also agree upon what items are considered marital property as opposed to separate – since only marital assets are subject to equitable distribution.
- Alimony: Spousal support is often awarded by a court where one party would endure financial hardship without some financial contribution. You can enter an agreement on the amount and duration of alimony. If you can’t reach a full compromise on either topic, it’s still possible to agree on one or the other – and let the court decide remaining spousal support disputes.
- Issues Related to Minor Children: Divorcing parents can execute an agreement regarding custody, visitation, and support; however, this is one aspect of divorce that the court must review carefully before entering the details into the final divorce decree. A judge is required to scrutinize a parenting plan to ensure it complies with the child’s best interests, since these are paramount to anything the parents might agree.
Alternatives if You Cannot Reach a Compromise in Divorce: Even if you’re unable to agree on every minute detail of your divorce, don’t give up and assume litigation is the only option. You may be able to work through your conflicts through New York divorce mediation, in which you and your respective attorneys meet with a neutral third party. The mediation professional is specially trained to help facilitate productive conversations, so he or she is often able to help you reach agreement on even the most hotly contested issues.
Consult with a New York Divorce Attorney About Marital Settlement Agreements
If you’d like more information about the advantages of working out your divorce through compromise, please contact The Mandel Law Firm to set up a consultation right away. You can reach our Manhattan office by calling (646) 770-3868 or checking us out online. Marital settlement agreements aren’t appropriate in every case, but we’re prepared to advise you on your options once we have a chance to review your situation. We’ll also assist with negotiations, preparation of documents, and filing the necessary orders in court if an agreement does serve your best interests.