Divorce

At the Hong Law Firm, we understand that divorce can be a terrifying and emotional experience.  From our free initial consultation to the final decree, we will help guide you through the legal maze of divorce.  We will strive to help you understand every step of the process and seek to protect the most important things in your life.

 

We offer a variety payment options to our divorce clients.  Please contact our offices at (718) 395-8891 or at james@hongcounsel.com to arrange a free consultation.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What are the residency requirements to obtain a divorce in the State of New York?

A spouse may maintain an action for divorce in New York under one of the following conditions:

1.  Husband and wife were married in New York and one spouse has resided in New York for a continuous period of One (1) year.

2.  Husband and wife have resided in New York as husband and wife and  either spouse maintains a residence in New York when the action for divorce is commenced.

3.  The reason(s) the husband and wife are getting divorced (cause of action) occurred in New York and both husband and wife reside in New York.

4.  The reason(s) the husband and wife are getting divorced (cause of action) occurred in New York and either spouse has resided in New York for a continuous period of one year prior to the commencement of the action.

5.  Either spouse has resided in New York a continuous period of Two (2) years prior to the commencement of the action.

 

2.  What are the grounds for getting a divorce in New York?

In New York, an action for divorce may be maintained on any of the following grounds:

1. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment.  Defendant has treated the plaintiff in such a manner as to endanger the physical or mental well-being of the plaintiff as to render it unsafe for the plaintiff to cohabitate with the defendant.

2. Abandonment.  Defendant has abandoned Plaintiff for a period of One (1) or more years;

3. Constructive Abandonment. Defendant refuses to have sexual relations with Plaintiff  for a continuous period of One (1) or more years despite Plaintiff’s repeated requests;

4. Imprisonment.  Defendant spouse has been confined in prison for a period of Three (3) or more consecutive years after the date of the marriage;

5. Separation Judgment.  Husband and wife have lived apart for a period of One (1) or more years pursuant to a decree or judgment of separation;

6. Separation Agreement.  Husband and wife have lived separate and apart pursuant to the terms of a separation agreement for a period of one or more years;

7. Adultery.  The commission of an act of adultery by Defendant.

 

3. How are the parties’ property/assets divided?

All property acquired during the marriage to the date of the commencement of an action for divorce or the date of a valid separation agreement is considered the marital estate and subject to equitable distribution.  Equitable distribution is the principle by which the courts of New York seek to equally divide the marital estate in consideration of the circumstances of the case and of the respective parties.  The circumstances considered by the Courts include, but are not limited to, the following:

1.  The income and property of each party at the time of the marriage and at the time of the commencement of the action;

2.  The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;

3.  The need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects;

4.  The loss of inheritance and pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage;

5.  The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage;

6.  Any award of maintenance;

7.  Any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of such marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforst or expenditures and contributions and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;

8.  Liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property;

9.  The probable future financial circumstances of each party;

10.  The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component, asset or any interest in a business, corporation or profession, and the economic desirability of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;

11.  The tax consequences of each party;

12.  The wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse;

13.  Any transfer or encumberance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration;

14.  Any other facts which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper.

 

4.  What property is not subject to equitable distribution?

Property that is not subject to equitable distribution is defined in DRL Sec. 236 B as:

1.  Property acquired before marriage or property acquired by bequest, devise, or descent, or gift from a party other than the spouse;

2.  Compensation for personal injuries;

3.  Property acquired in exchange for or the increase in value of separate property, except to the extent that such appreciation is due in part to the contributions or efforts of the other spouse; and/or

4.  Property described as separate property by written agreement of the parties.

 

5.  What do the Courts consider in determining an award of child custody?

In awarding custody, the Courts seek to determine the child’s best interest.  To determine the child’s best interests, the Courts look at a number of factors including, but not limited to, the child’s wishes, the child’s primary caretaker, the parent’s wishes, findings of abuse and/or neglect, stability of parents, domestic violence, mental and physical health of the parents, the willingness of each parent to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent, etc.