FAQ: New York City Same-Sex Divorce

New York Divorce Lawyers Helping the LGBT Community

Do I need an attorney to represent me in divorce? Divorce is a high-stakes situation, and the final settlement will in many ways determine the course of your future for years to come, potentially affecting your financial stability and your relationship with your children. It is highly advisable to retain a New York City divorce attorney highly experienced in matrimonial and family law matters involving members of the LGBT community. Before taking any further action, meet with our firm, Hindin Deutsch, P.C., for a consultation and to learn more about how we can provide you with dynamic advocacy throughout the divorce process.

How is child custody decided? Child custody is determined according to what appears to be in the best interests of the children. Your attorney will argue for a parenting plan which allows you sole custody or joint custody. In a same-sex marriage, the one of the spouses is often the biological parent of the child, and the courts will tend to rule in favor of awarding custody to that party, unless you have legally adopted the child.

What are the grounds for divorce? You can file for divorce on several grounds, including cruel and inhuman treatment, adultery, or if your spouse has abandoned you for at least a year or has been in prison for over 3 years since you married, as well as if you have been legally separated for a year. It is also possible to obtain a no-fault divorce by claiming that your marriage has been irretrievably broken for at least 6 months.

Do I need a prenuptial agreement? Increasing numbers of couples are drafting prenuptial agreements to safeguard themselves against the possibility of an emotionally and financially draining contested divorce. While some view this action as a forecast that the relationship will end prematurely, others point to the fact that by clearly defining the property rights in the marriage, there is less potential for the types of tensions and conflicts which often lead to divorce.

Can I change the terms of child support? Only with the approval of the court. Whether you are seeking to pay less due to job loss or if you need to receive a higher payment, it is necessary to petition for a modification of court orders. Simply making new arrangements with your former spouse is insufficient, as it is legally unenforceable, and if you become delinquent in your payments your wages may be garnished, your driver's license can be suspended and you can be charged with contempt of court.

Do you work with same sex couples? We are proud to offer representation to same sex couples and we continually keep up to date with the changes that are being made in regards to same sex family law issues. It is important that you work with someone who is knowledgeable in this area and who will pursue the outcome you deserve. You can learn more about the services we provide by exploring the site.

What if I want to move with my child but the other parent is protesting? If you are the parent that has custody over the child you may at some point wish to move, whether it is for a job opportunity, to be closer to family or for other reasons. Even though a non-custodial parent doesn't have legal custody of the child, they can still have a say in this decision. What will need to be done is the court needs to be presented with the issue and they will decide if they allow for the relocation or not. If they do, then the move can be made in spite of the other parent's protests, but if they don't then you will either need to stay where you are or give custody rights to the other parent. This is a two sided case and our firm can represent both sides.

How long do I need to live in the state before I am eligible to file for divorce? There are a few reasons that you may be eligible to file for divorce in the state of New York and at least one of these must exist in your case. Either you or your spouse has resided in the state for a minimum of two years directly before divorce or you were residents at the beginning of the divorce and the grounds for divorce took place in the state. You may also be eligible if you were married in the state of New York and either of you have resided there for at least a year before the divorce or if both of you resided in the state while still together and then one of you were there for at least a year prior to filing.

Is my divorce public information? Unlike some areas of the court that are more open for public knowledge, matters of this nature are kept private by the state. This means that anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorneys is unable to view or copy the legal documents that you have filed.

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