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Divorce and Family Law Misunderstandings

Initiating a divorce or family court matter can be intimidating and confusing, especially when there are many misconceptions surrounding the process. At Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., we strive to make legal actions easier and less stressful for all New York City residents.

Below, please find five of the most common divorce and family law misconceptions. For more information, click here to schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Annulments are for Short Term Marriages

Many New Yorkers are under the impression that they can get an annulment if they have been married for under a year. This is simply not true. There are very specific grounds for annulments, and a short term union is not one of them.

As long as a couple has been married for a period of 6 months, they are eligible to file for an uncontested divorce. Because New York is a no-fault divorce state, uncontested actions are much simpler and less time consuming than annulments.

Venue for Divorce

In order to file for divorce in New York State, one party must meet certain residency requirements. If neither spouse is a resident of New York, then New York is not the appropriate venue for the divorce action. If this is the case, the action must be filed in whichever State or County the plaintiff resides in. Alternatively, the plaintiff may wait until they have established residency in New York.

The requirements for filing a child custody and support action in New York State are different from those for divorce. Family court cases must be filed in the county in which a child has resided in for a period of at least 6 months. For instance, if a child lives in Kings County, and custody or support proceeding would be filed in Brooklyn.

Cheating Spouse Pays

A common misconception about divorce has to do with infidelity. Adulterous behavior, both physical and emotional, can leave the cheated on spouse confused, hurt, and vengeful.

Given the emotional turmoil of adultery and divorce, spouses may be unable to think clearly and logically. They often believe that their soon-to-be ex should have to suffer for their behavior, and pay more money in alimony. However, this is just not true.

New York has very specific guidelines for matrimonial law, including formulas for determining spousal support, as well statutes for equitable distribution. While a judge may be sympathetic towards a particular party because of infidelity, they are not allowed to grant higher support awards. Divorcing couples may work out their own agreement regarding maintenance and equitable distribution, even if it differs from what a judge would order.

Claims to Spouse’s Inheritance

If one spouse receives an inheritance, whether it be a sum of money or a tangible asset (like a piece of property), is the other party entitled to a share of it during a divorce? The answer depends on whether or not the inheritance is subject to equitable distribution.

There are two main reasons why an inheritance will remain separate property during a divorce proceeding: 1) the will only listed one spouse as a recipient, and 2) the asset was never comingled. Once an inheritance is comingled, then it becomes marital property and is subject to equitable distribution.

How an inheritance becomes comingled depends on what kind of assets the inheritance consisted of. A cash inheritance will be no longer be considered separate property if it is deposited into a joint bank account, or an account that is used to pay for household or living expenses. Physical property, like a home, can become comingled if the other spouse’s name is added to the deed, or if they make any contributions to the home that results in an increase in value.

Divorces are Easy

Divorce can be an emotionally trying time for all parties involved. When going through a divorce, couples are forced to begin anew as single individuals, and develop a new way of life, while trying to cope with the end of their marriage. This alone can be an incredibly traumatic or stressful experience, and attempting to proceed with a trial without proper representation can make matters worse.

Hiring an experienced matrimonial and family law attorney should be a top priority. Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., a New York City based divorce law, firm has helped thousands of New Yorkers navigate their divorce or child custody cases, providing thorough guidance and representation. To learn how Brian and his team can best assist you, call 718-875-7584 to schedule a complimentary consultation today!

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