Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer in Rochester, NY
Dedicated Rochester Divorce Lawyer Helping Domestic Partners Navigate Same-Sex Divorce in New York
When you said, “I do,” you thought it would be forever. You put all you could into your marriage, but now, you realize that it is not going to work. You’re nervous about the divorce process and require the best representation for your needs. The Cimino Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience handling divorce cases in New York. That includes same-sex divorce cases since marriage equality became the law of the land in 2011.
Over the years, we have helped our clients navigate the difficult emotions they experience while protecting their interests. From filing for divorce to helping with child custody, child support, and the division of assets, we will be by your side every step of the way.
What Are The Grounds for Divorce in New York?
You can file for a no-fault or fault same-sex divorce in New York. If you are unsure of which option to choose, The Cimino Law Firm can help.
Many of our clients file for a no-fault same-sex divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. With a no-fault divorce, no one has to place or take the blame. The union did not work out, and that is the reason it is ending.
The court will grant a no-fault divorce when two conditions have been met. First, the marriage must have been broken for at least six months. Second, the couple must determine child custody, visitation, spousal and child support, and visitation rights beforehand. The division of debts also must be settled.
If your marriage has broken down, settling the aspects of the divorce can be difficult. Fortunately, The Cimino Law Firm can handle the negotiations on your behalf. We can work with your spouse’s lawyer or mediate the proceedings.
Divorce After Separating – The Earlier Version of the No-fault divorce
New York only started offering the no-fault divorce option in 2010. Before that, it had two options that were similar to no-fault divorces, and both options are still available today. You can get divorced one year after creating a legal separation agreement or one year after a judgment of separation. While both are valid ways to get divorced, few people use these methods any longer now that they can get a no-fault divorce within six months of the marriage breaking down.
While no-fault divorce is the easiest on couples, fault divorces are a viable option for many spouses. If one spouse has committed egregious behavior, the other spouse could get more in alimony. It can also help with child custody, the division of assets, and other issues.
The grounds for fault divorces in New York are:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
Child custody often takes center stage during the same-sex divorce. Children are often brought into these relationships through surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, or adoption. Even if one partner carried the child or donated sperm, New York recognizes both persons as legal parents.
However, sometimes, one partner has a child from a previous relationship and brings that child into the marriage. The other person may have parented that child for years, but will not be viewed as a legal parent unless he or she adopted the child. The person might still be eligible for visitation rights, though.
In all cases of child custody, the court determines the “best interest of the child.” That often means the parents split custody. The Cimino Law Firm can fight for your child custody rights during your same-sex divorce. We can also mediate a settlement between you and your partner. During mediation, you will have the chance to complete a child custody agreement that will please both of you.
How Is Child Support Handled in a Same-sex Divorce Case?
Once child custody is determined, it is time to consider child support. The custodial parent is entitled to child support to help raise the child. In the case when the earnings are similar, and the parents have shared custody, child support will not likely be part of the same-sex divorce process. However, when one parent makes considerably less money or has the child more often, he or she will be entitled to child support.
The courts use a formula to determine child support. It begins by combining the income of both parents. Then the income is multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children the couple share. The salary multiplied by the percentage is the annual cost of raising the children. If the noncustodial parent makes 70 percent of the shared income, he or she will pay 70 percent of the yearly cost of raising the child.
Parents aren’t always pleased with the court’s formula for determining child support. Many choose to go through mediation to create an agreement. The Cimino Law Firm can help in court or with the mediation process.
How is Division of Property and Assets Handled in a Same-sex Divorce Case?
Property and asset division is another factor in the same-sex divorce. New York did not legalize same-sex marriage until June 24, 2011. Many couples lived together before this date. While some couples bought property in both names, others bought property individually while living with their partners. Any property purchased in a single name before the marriage is considered separate. All property and assets gathered after the wedding are considered marital property and will be divided during the divorce.
New York divides property based on the equitable division protocol. Note that fair is not the same as equal. While the court might split the property 50-50, that is not always the case. Various factors are taken into consideration, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Debt obligations
- Mental and physical health of the spouses
- Separate property of each spouse
- Separate income of each spouse
What is Spousal Support?
One spouse might be eligible for alimony. The court looks at the following when determining eligibility and amount for alimony:
- Length of the marriage
- Spousal contributions to homemaking duties
- Earning potential
- Reduced earning abilities
- Mental and physical health
Alimony can be temporary or permanent. Some spouses receive alimony before the divorce is final and then get permanent spousal maintenance once it is finalized. Spouses can also be entitled to rehabilitative or restitutional alimony. If you are unsure if you are entitled to alimony, contact The Cimino Law Firm.
The Cimino Law Firm – Your Advocate During a Same-sex Divorce
Going through any divorce is difficult, but a same-sex divorce can be harder than most. Not only are you worried about the aspects of the divorce, such as child custody and the division of property, but you are also concerned about discrimination. You want to choose a lawyer who truly supports you, and you will find that at The Cimino Law Firm.
You will feel welcome as soon as you walk through the doors at our Webster and Rochester, NY offices. Also, you will realize that you have an advocate who will do everything possible to help you through this difficult time.
You also might be concerned about paying money upfront. The Cimino Law Firm offers a free phone consultation, so you don’t have to pay any money upfront. Call us today to go over the information related to your divorce. Then we can move forward with mediation, negotiation, or filing for divorce.
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