Divorce Law, Equitable Distribution and Property Division
In a contested divorce, there are many questions that must be answered, and they depend on the couple’s specific needs. If children are involved, many questions of family law will be incorporated into the final divorce judgment. Additionally, some couples have real estate and real property, pensions—IRA’s, 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, retirement plans etc., bank accounts, brokerage accounts, other assets and debts that must be split in the process. Even though the law provides rules for dividing assets and debts, many couples negotiate until they reach a fair agreement or receive a judge’s order dividing their property and debts.
At Eskin & Eskin, PC, we recognize that it can be difficult to divide certain property acquired during a marriage. We use our years of experience to our advantage when reviewing financial statements and financial documents. If your case goes to trial, then we will walk you through every step of the way, from a deposition to the courtroom procedure. We are committed to ensuring that no property, bank account or debt is overlooked in a divorce agreement.
Not all divorce cases are so complex, however. When the parties agree to the terms of the divorce, an uncontested divorce is prepared. Both parties will sign their respective divorce papers and the document will be submitted to court for a judge to review. In general, someone who chooses an uncontested does not have marital property or children with his or her divorce, or they are already in agreement as to the terms relating to their marital property or children. If a spouse does not agree to the terms of the divorce, then the divorce will become contested.
An uncontested divorce may be obtained without a spouse’s signature under a specific circumstance. If divorce papers are served to your spouse and your spouse does not sign the papers or submit an answer to the papers within a specific time period, then, because the spouse was notified of the divorce proceeding, the papers can be submitted to the court for a divorce without the spouses’ signature. However, in order to serve your spouse, you must know his or her address of work or residence.
A divorce must be filed according to certain grounds, or reasons for a divorce. Some are adultery or abandonment for a period of at least one year. A common ground in New York State is called irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, defined as: “The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that one party has so stated under oath.” (DRL §170(7))