(Great Neck, N.Y.)- New York State may be the most expensive place on the planet to get divorced. This can be attributed to New York being the only remaining state still requiring grounds for divorce, or the fact that New York’s custody laws seem to encourage litigation, or the fact that licenses and degrees are classified as marital assets, which promotes even more litigation.
Lloyd Rosen, an associate attorney at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates P.C. will be offering a SMART DIVORCE workshop on January 28th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at our office at no cost. This is a workshop designed to help a person considering a divorce to make it more affordable.
Wisselman, Harounian & Associates PC has begun offering mediation as one of its matrimonial and family law areas of practice. Wisselman, Harounian & Associates offers a free consultation in our office and one of the discussion points will be whether mediation may be a road a divorcing couple should explore based on their circumstances. For those who are unsure about whether to proceed or not because of financial reasons, this discussion may provide helpful pros and cons for mediation.
The Smart Divorce (whether seeking mediation or not) should be the goal for every couple facing the end of their marriage in today’s economic climate. In every net worth category and income level, families today are faced with declining home equity, shrinking 401k investments and depleting college savings. They are faced with job losses, loss of overtime income, and looming credit card debts. Just about everyone is concerned about saving money and assets during a divorce.
There are some conditions necessary in order to have a successful A Smart Divorce:
the most important one is a commitment by both parties to give their full efforts to negotiate out of court settlement with the assistance of their attorneys. Litigation should never be an initial strategy, but a last resort. Grounds for divorce should be agreed to from the outset.
Secondly, parties should devote their efforts to reaching a custody and visitation agreement which provides the least disruption to the children. Joint custody and joint parenting should be explored. With most households having two working parents, shared parenting is often in the best interests of the children, and attorneys can help their clients create a customized schedule to meet the needs of the whole family.
As to financial issues, it is extremely important for parties to be realistic about their expectations, and to follow the advice of their attorneys. This includes being up front about assets and income, and producing necessary documentation in a timely manner. With fewer resources at their disposal and a gloomy economic forecast, Alifestyle@ expenses such as vacations, private schools, tutors and camps must be looked at carefully and with a view to compromise. It is important to realize that many issues related to the children, including support and visitation are not Awritten in stone@, but may in fact be modifiable in Court after the divorce is settled, based upon a change of circumstances.
Regrettably, in some cases, an amicably settled divorce is simply not possible and litigation cannot be avoided. These include cases where there is abuse, domestic violence, mental illness, drug and alcohol issues, hidden assets or income, paternity issues, a family business, or separate property issues. It is also a challenge to settle a case when one party has completely unrealistic demands, anger, or a vindictive streak that gets in the way of negotiations.
The law firm of Wisselman, Harounian and Associates was established in 1976 and is dedicated to serving Long Island, Queens and Metro New York clients and the community on legal matters that arise during the course of raising a family and growing a business. It is the firm’s purpose to help protect clients’ legal interests throughout the many phases of their family lives. This can include handling matrimonial or family law concerns, buying or selling a home, running a business, and estate planning.
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