FAQ’s About the Divorce Process: From a Divorce Lawyer
(1) Infidelity is expensive
A popular impetus for the initial consultation with a divorce lawyer in Brooklyn is often the discovery, by one spouse, of the other spouse’s infidelity. Often that spouse is, understandably, still angry and emotional about the discovered infidelity when they start the divorce process. As such, I speak to a lot of people who want to know: how can the fact that (he)(she) cheated on me help me in my divorce?
New York is a “no fault” state. Essentially this means that anyone who meets the jurisdictional requirements can sue their spouse for divorce without first having to prove that their spouse is “guilty” of, for example, infidelity. In a legal sense, therefore, it is irrelevant that a spouse may have been “unfaithful” to the bounds of matrimony.
There is another legal concept, however, called “marital waste” that I see as a divorce lawyer in Brooklyn. If, for example, the cheating spouse were to take his or her paramour on extravagant vacations totaling thousands of dollars from the marital funds, this would be an improper use of marital funds to which the non-cheating spouse might be entitled a credit.
… but, is it worth it?
Though marital waste claims can be made by either party, it’s worth considering whether the legal fees associated with litigating such claims are worth it in the long run.
(2) Emotional baggage prolongs the process.
It is often the spouse who doesn’t want the relationship to end who turns down otherwise reasonable settlement offers because they’re not emotionally ready for the relationship to end. Unfortunately, “emotion,” though natural and normal in the divorce process, can act in direct conflict with “logic” and “reason,” and can hinder or prolong the divorce process.
Take it from a divorce lawyer in Brooklyn – spouses whose egos have been bruised by infidelity are a prime example. To some, it becomes more important to make their unfaithful spouse “suffer” by prolonging the litigation process, hoping that the experience will somehow be cathartic.
(3) Money isn’t everything.
High-asset divorce cases generally last longer than cases with fewer assets. However, some couples end up spending thousands of dollars in legal fees arguing over how to split the limited pot of marital assets. My advice as a divorce lawyer in Brooklyn: before pursuing a divorce, be sure to assess your actual attachment to your assets, as sometimes emotional closure, more quickly achieved, is more valuable than standing to gain a few extra bucks in the end.
… which brings us to our next point …
(4) The true meaning of “settlement” and the importance of tempering your expectations.
There seems to be a misconception as to what it means to “settle” a case. For many, the idea of “settling” for anything less than “The American Dream” has been widely stigmatized. Quite to the contrary, however, many attorneys looking out for their clients’ best interests will encourage settlement, and from a judicial standpoint, a court will always look more favorably on litigants who choose to take their future into their own hands and reach an amicable settlement arrangement.
… and finally …
(5) Don’t forget to consider the impact your divorce is having on your children.