Divorce Attorneys in Albany
Protecting Your Rights & Fighting for Your Best Interests
If you are getting divorced, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The divorce process is complex and confusing, especially for people who are unfamiliar with it. Also, there is typically much at stake, such as your property, custody of your children, your money, and other assets. A skilled lawyer can guide you every step of the way while defending your rights and helping you make well-informed decisions.
At O’Brien & Wood, our divorce attorneys in Albany have more than 25 years of combined experience in this practice area. As a result, our firm has successfully helped many individuals achieve their goals, and we can assist you, too. We can create a personalized case strategy for you which will aim to help you retain your assets and come out of your divorce in a favorable position. You can rely on us for effective legal services and relentless representation.
New York Divorce Laws
New York is a no-fault divorce state. This means that either party can file for divorce if there has been an irretrievable break down in the marriage for at least six months. However, you may be able to file for fault-based divorce, as well. Potential reasons for a fault-based divorce include adultery, abandonment, cruel and inhuman treatment, and three consecutive years of imprisonment. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means marital assets will be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between both parties. Marital assets are those which were acquired during the marriage, such as income, retirement benefits, and physical property.
When dividing property, the court will consider the following, and more:
- Whether either party made occupational sacrifices during the marriage
- The property and income of each party at the time of marriage
- The probable future financial situations of both parties
- Any tax consequences to each party
- Any award of spousal maintenance
- The health and age of both parties
- The length of the marriage
Diving Property in Divorce
At O’Brien & Wood Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help couples going through a divorce make it through rough patches like these. We can help you navigate the best way to start dividing the items in your house and what to take into consideration when doing so.
Each different type of property is handled differently. They are as follows:
Personal Properties: Personal properties are defined as belongings that exclusively belong to one individual. This will be any of your personal belongings that you brought to the marriage and anything that you purchased fully. This will also go for any items that are fully in one person’s name or it is obvious that they were theirs before the relationship.
Shared Properties: These types of properties are often difficult to separate because they take into consideration both parties' financial interest and usually amount to the most money. Two of the most common items we deal with are the family's house and car.
More often than not, these types of items require more than one signer to purchase, but they also have varying amounts of money from each party contributed to the payment. These types of cases are some of the most challenging ones to sort out on your own, so skip that step entirely and allow for a professional to take the reigns.
Emotional Properties: This type of property is extremely difficult to define exactly, as it truly differs for everyone. Examples include pets or items that are unique and special to the house. These items also take some time to separate because they are so difficult to put a monetary value or ownership title on.
The Process for Separating Property
Step 1: List Properties Out:
You should begin by listing all of the items you need to separate. Even if it’s very obvious who will be getting it, make sure you write it out so that a written agreement exists in case you do need to go to court. At that point, you can also appraise some of the items on the list that are not immediately suspected to go to one person.
Step 2: Use Some Logic
As you go through and try to separate the items that you’ve put on your list, really put some thought and logic into what makes the most sense. There are times where there is truly one individual that will make more sense when it comes to owning the process.
We recommend considering various forms of agreements, such as flipping a coin for disputed items, agreeing to let one spouse keep an item that was given as a gift, agreeing to have one party pay out half of an item if it was purchased together, etc.
.When ownership of pets is at stake, it’s always better to take this decision into your own hands and leave it out of the court’s hands. Take into consideration what is best for the pet and if any children are affected by the decision. Likewise with other emotional items, do your best to make decisions together; however, you can seek professional help if needed.
Step 4: Get It Approved
Conclude by finalizing the property division agreement by having both parties' lawyers review and approve the plan. This is crucial to finalizing the agreement and ensuring that moving forward, there is no disagreement or argument in regards to the items that were split up.
If issues or disagreements arose on how items will be split up, you may need to set up a mediation event with both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and both lawyers. At this point, we can work through the issues and items and come to an agreement on how to best divvy up the items.
The judge, for the most part, will agree upon any type of agreement that both parties are happy with, but if one party has more than the other, and does not have a lawyer, the judge may intervene and ask some questions just to ensure that all parties are being taken care of fairly and that there truly is full agreement on the choices that have been made.
In order to truly take care of your belongings and get them separated the right way, you’re going to need legal assistance. Contact O’Brien & Wood Law and schedule a consultation for your case. We can dig deeper into your belongings and finances and determine just what needs to be done in order for you to be taken care of for good.
To learn more about your situation and how our Albany divorce lawyers can help you, call us today at (518) 240-9992 and schedule your consultation.