Frequently Asked Questions
Divorce and Family Law in the Bronx
If you are going through a
divorce or are considering taking legal action against a family member, you likely
have a number of questions about the process and your rights and options.
To better serve the people of our community, The Law Firm of Wayne F.
Crowe, Jr., P.C. is proud to present answers to some of the questions
we are often asked by our clients. Please read on for helpful information
or contact our team at your earliest convenience to learn more about your
Why do I need a divorce lawyer?
Divorces can be complicated, and you need an attorney who can navigate
the complexity of the New York family court system. While very few cases
of uncontested divorce can be simple matters of paperwork, many divorces
involve determining child custody, dividing assets and property, and in
some cases, establishing orders of protection. In these cases, you would
need an attorney who could address your individual needs and protect your rights.
The Law Firm of Wayne F. Crowe, Jr., P.C. offers
free case evaluations, so there is no initial cost or obligation to you.
Contact us today for more information!
What is a no-fault divorce?
A no-fault divorce is one which can be obtained by mutual consent on both
sides and without divorce grounds, such as adultery, abandonment, or cruel
and inhuman treatment. In a no-fault divorce, the divorce is granted due
to an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least 6 months. This
recent change in the law means that spouses are now able to divorce without
having to prove that one spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the
marriage. This allows for more amicable divorces and a much smoother and
easier legal process on both parties and their children.
Even in a no-fault divorce, however, issues such as child custody, child
support, and division of marital property must be resolved. A no-fault divorce law was passed in New York in August of 2010.
Will my ex-wife automatically win custody of our kids?
The family court is most concerned with the best interests of the children,
so when deciding which parent should be the children's primary custodian,
they will consider a number of factors rather than simply awarding custody
to the mother. The judge will consider such factors as the physical and
mental health of the children, their emotional and physical needs, each
parent's financial situation, the child's wishes, and the parents'
willingness to work together and encourage their children to have a relationship
with both parents.
An attorney from our firm can provide you with powerful advocacy during your
custody hearings and ensure your voice is heard.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties are in agreement about
the divorce and any of its related issues, such as those involving children,
marital property, and finances. In a case where the parties agree, the
divorce papers are submitted to the court for approval.
What should we do if we aren't sure we want to divorce?
If you and your spouse are having troubles in your marriage but are not
comfortable with ending your union,
legal separation may be a helpful solution. By separating rather than divorcing, you and
your spouse can have time apart to think through your issues and determine
whether you truly want to divorce, while still maintaining your marital
status and the benefits of being married.
An attorney can represent your interests when creating a separation agreement
to address such matters as the custody of your children and the division
of assets, and if you do decide to divorce, the agreement can easily be
carried over. There are certain legal implications to separation, however,
so it is important to first discuss your situation with an experienced
What can I do if I'm being denied visitation with my child?
As the noncustodial parent, the court ordered that you receive a certain
amount of time with your child, and if your former partner is keeping
the child from you, you can enforce your legal right to
visitation. Our firm can assist you in filing a petition for modification with the
court that requests that the terms of your visitation order be modified
or enforced so that you receive adequate time with your child. If your
relationship with your child is at risk, do not hesitate to contact our
firm to learn how you can enforce the court's orders.
What are "ancillary issues" in a divorce?
These are the issues must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized.
Where children are involved, these issues include child support, child
custody, and child visitation. Another ancillary issue is that of dividing
and distributing marital property and assets. Other ancillary issues involve
spousal support, legal fees, and the matter of a name change.
What is "equitable distribution"?
Equitable distribution is the law which governs how marital debts and property
will be divided when a marriage is ended. Courts must make as fair and
equitable a division as possible and will consider 13 factors in determining
this issue. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Diving marital
property can be quite complicated which is why the courts must examine
all the pertinent facts. Marital property consists of all the assets and
property that is accumulated by the couple during the marriage; separate
property is not divided.
What property is considered separate and not subject to equitable distribution?
Any property that is acquired by one of the spouses as a gift or through
an inheritance designated to them only, property acquired by either party
prior to the marriage, property that is excluded by agreement between
the two parties, and property acquired after a legal separation decree.