Connecting You to Great Lawyers in New York State

Going through a divorce or separation is without a doubt one of the toughest things that anyone can personally go through. It is a crisis that many view as arduous and difficult as a death in the family. With 52% of all marriages in the Unites States ending in divorce it is a statistic that is staggering and quite voluminous in the courts. Having a highly skilled matrimonial (divorce) lawyer is a necessity to best protect your personal interests and that of your children’s.

There are many attorneys that say they handle divorces and even some that say that they are divorce specialists. In order to insure that the attorney that you are considering are indeed serious about helping those who are considering a divorce and not a “Jack of all Trades” type of lawyer (commonly known as a General Practitioner) it is essential to look at their history, accreditations and continued learning on matrimonial laws. The matrimonial attorneys that you find on are highly skilled in matrimonial law and have a dedication to this one category of law.

Divorce in New York State

New York has six grounds (or reasons) for divorce. Four of the “grounds” are based on the “fault” of one of the spouses. These are:

  1. Cruel and Inhuman Treatment
  2. Abandonment
  3. Imprisonment
  4. Adultery

The two other grounds enable you to obtain a “no-fault” divorce.

  1. One year of living apart under a separation judgment granted by a Court.
  2. Or under a separation agreement signed by the parties.

Getting Started

In order to file for a divorce in New York, residency requirements must be met for the court to accept the case. If the court discovers it does not have jurisdictional rights to hear the case it will not be accepted or it will eventually be dismissed. An action for divorce, separation or annulment is started by filing a Summons or Summons and Complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Thereafter, the Summons must be served personally on your spouse and an affidavit of personal service must be filed in court within 120 days after the Summons is served. Having a Highly Skilled Lawyer by your side guiding you through this process is a must in order to assure the best possible result.

Spousal Support

Spousal Support is also called Maintenance and was formerly called “Alimony.” The way that maintenance is calculated is the Court must consider the standard of living of both spouses that was established during the marriage, the circumstances of the case and of the parties, whether the spouse who is getting the award lacks sufficient property and income to provide for his/her reasonable needs and whether the party paying the maintenance has sufficient property and income to provide for the other’s reasonable needs.

Child Support

Child support requires the courts to issue fair, adequate and standardized support awards for all New York children. With that in mind, child support is based on the gross annual income of both parents and is paid by the non-custodial parent

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • no less than 35% for five or more children

all new or newly modified child support orders require that payments be immediately withheld from the wages or other income of the obligated parent, unless other arrangements have been made by the parties.

Tax Refund and Lottery Interception

The CSEU can intercept a parent’s federal and/or state income tax refund checks as well as lottery winnings of $600 or more for failing to pay child support.

License Suspension

If support is four or more months late, the CSEU can suspend the driver’s license of the parent. The court can also suspend professional, business and recreational licenses of the obligated parent.

Notifying Credit Bureaus

If the obligated parent has failed to pay $1,000 or two months in support, the CSEU can notify the major credit rating agencies to prevent extension of credit.

Making the Obligated Parent Post a Bond

If the custodial parent convinces the court that other enforcement methods will not work, the court can order the obligated parent to deposit a sum of money, or bond, with the CSEU or a private attorney. Then support payments can be deducted from the money whenever there is a default.

Getting a Money Judgment

If the custodial parent keeps accurate records of the amount owed, the courts can issue a money judgment. A judgment is very important because without it, there could be a problem collecting support. It’s good for 20 years, and even if the parent doesn’t have any money when it is issued, it can still be enforced if he or she has money in the future.

Seizing Assets or Placing Property Liens

The CSEU can freeze the obligated parent’s bank account, IRA, or other financial assets and seize the amount of money owed. The CSEU can also place a lien on real estate or personal property, like cars or boats, after four months of failing to pay support.


A court can impose a jail sentence for willful refusal to pay if they believe no other method of enforcement will be effective.