NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Val Kleyman, Esq., a New York divorce lawyer and principal of The Kleyman Law Firm, announced that Beatrice Leong, Esq. has joined the firm as an associate divorce attorney. Ms. Leong is an experienced NYC divorce lawyer who currently serves as the Membership Director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York. She is an active member of the Chinese-American community and speaks Cantonese fluently.

“We are very excited about Ms. Leong joining our team. She is a great divorce attorney and an asset to her community,” Kleyman said.

According to Leong, Chinese people place great value on marriage, with a focus on expanding the family with children. Divorce was certainly taboo in the East in the 20th Century. Divorced women were considered undesirable partners and oftentimes divorced women would be shunned from the community. If there were children of the marriage, and the wife wanted a divorce, men would retain custody of the children due to the patriarchal institution. The only time that divorce was approved was if the wife was a victim of severe domestic violence. Most couples would stay married to spouses they were no longer happy with to keep up appearances.

“Due to the unique Chinese marriage traditions, divorces amongst Chinese couples are handled differently than Western divorces. For example, while it is common to have a gift registry for a bride and groom for American weddings, Chinese couples receive cash or gold jewelry that is oftentimes passed down through generations and becomes the subject of contested divorce litigation,” says Leong.

Today, there is an increase in the divorce rate in the Chinese community of New York that could be attributed to changing attitudes among women, who are growing more independent due to their education and careers and less willing to stay in unhappy marriages.

“As a previously divorced Chinese-American woman and a divorce attorney myself, I’m able to understand the issues that clients face in our culture today, as I have lived through them myself. Chinese divorces require a unique approach and I am very happy to have joined the Kleyman Law Firm that will allow me to continue working hard as a divorce lawyer in NYC and serve the needs of my community and beyond,” said Leong.