For many people considering divorce, one of the worst parts is not really knowing what’s going to happen. Despite its prevalence in modern society, divorce remains a process shrouded in mystery and misunderstood by most. Myths and rumors prevail, leading people to put off filing even when in the most miserable of marriages out of fear for how divorce will affect them.
Although it isn’t pleasant, divorce is almost always a better option than staying in an unhappy marriage indefinitely. For most people considering divorce, the two biggest concerns are how the courts will split up their possessions and what will happen with the custody of their children. If you learn a little bit about these two areas of divorce law, it may make you feel more confident about the process in general.
New York is an equitable distribution state
New York is one of many states in our country that has equitable distribution laws for asset division. Generally, that means that the courts will look at your family’s circumstances and finances before finding the most fair and reasonable way to divide your assets.
Almost everything you acquired during marriage will be a marital asset that the courts can divide between you and your spouse. Unless the item in question is part of an inheritance or you have a prenuptial agreement, even assets held in only one person’s name can still get divided by the courts in a New York divorce.
How the courts divide those assets will vary based on the length of your marriage and your economic prospects. In other words, it is impossible to predict accurately the outcome of a divorce unless there is a prenuptial agreement on record.
What will happen with the custody of your children?
If you have kids, their custody is likely your biggest concern. Many people hear terrible stories where good parents wind up alienated from their children by a vengeful ex. Although these things can happen, the courts don’t ignore when one parent alienates the other.
In fact, New York family courts expect both parents to act in the best interest of the children. That is also the guiding principle they use for splitting up custody. Custody will then directly impact how they handle child support.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances such as substance abuse or a history of physical violence in the house, the courts tend to prefer shared parenting arrangements that preserve the relationships the children have with both parents after a divorce.
A lawyer can help you make more informed decisions
Since the courts take so many variables into consideration when developing custody arrangements and asset division solutions, speaking with an attorney who has experience in family law cases can help you better understand what will happen. That conversation could also potentially give you the courage to move forward with filing divorce and getting a fresh start for your family in Buffalo.