Whenever people get divorced, it is an emotional and stressful period in their lives. It will likely be one of the lowest points of their lives emotionally. A long and heated court battle over property division can make matters even worse.

Although there are exceptions, under New York law each spouse is typically entitled to approximately 50% of the marital assets, which are broadly defined as any assets acquired during the marriage. This could potentially include money in bank accounts, investments, real estate, vehicles, etc.

Lawyers with experience in divorce proceedings know that when a spouse is courteous and respectful to the other spouse, it will substantially shorten the legal battle. The parties, with advice from their respective attorneys, can often divide all of the marital assets amicably outside of court.

One tactic I find particularly useful is to hold a conference with both spouses and their lawyers in attendance. Frequently, the parties will be able to discuss, compromise and divide every marital asset at the conference. With everyone at the meeting, if there is a problem with a specific asset, or questions, or even hurt feelings, it usually can be resolved at that time through mutual communication. Regardless, if a divorce action requires the court to decide the terms of divorce, one of the first things the court will require is a preliminary conference. The preliminary conference is an official meeting between the parties and their attorneys designed to evaluate and streamline the issues that are contested. The point here is that this meeting can be simulated ahead of time, if both parties are in agreement, and lead to an expedited resolution of the divorce action.

Although it is not always possible, it is very important to get along with your spouse during the divorce process. It will make things run faster and it will make the process more cost-effective.

New York Divorce Law is complicated so you should meet with an experienced divorce lawyer - even if you think your divorce will be easy or straightforward. The Underwood Law Firm is one of the few firms in the Syracuse area that offers free consultations on Divorce & Family Law so that everyone has an opportunity to speak with an experienced attorney about their case.

The Underwood Law Firm handles all aspects of family law including child custody, child support, separation, adoption and divorce cases in the following areas: Syracuse, Utica, Albany, Watertown, Oswego, Binghamton; Onondaga County and Madison County, including the towns, cities and villages of: Fayetteville, Manlius, DeWitt, Morrisville, Cicero, Liverpool, East Syracuse, Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Camillus, Clay, Fabius, Elbridge, Geddes, Jordan, Lafayette, Lysander, Marcellus, Minoa, North Syracuse, Otisco, Pompey, Salina, Skaneateles, Spafford, Tully, Van Buren, Eaton, Cazenovia, Canastota, Brewerton, Solvay, Central Square, Cato, Chittenango, Oneida and many other areas.

Updated: 9/05/16

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