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Avoid Mistakes at the Start of Your Long Island, NY Divorce

by | Apr 11, 2023 | Divorce Long Island, NY

The early stages of getting a divorce in New York are often the most tumultuous and emotionally draining. You’re just finding out that your marriage is ending and are suddenly living on your own, taking care of your children, and if you stayed home to take care of the children, maybe even going back to work or working more hours after a significant period of time.

It’s during this time that some of the most critical mistakes in the divorce process can be made, so it’s important to be aware of what they are and what you can do to avoid them. Here’s what you need to know and how to get the legal assistance you need for your Long Island divorce.

Not Checking the Paperwork for Errors

Errors on your divorce paperwork can lead to significant delays in the divorce process or even result in expensive legal fees. Make sure you review all of your divorce paperwork carefully before signing anything. If your spouse seems rushed or pressures you to sign quickly before having your lawyer check the papers, this may be an indication that something is amiss.

Always take your time to review documents before signing anything in case something is incorrect or misrepresented. When you sign, you’re essentially agreeing to any errors or untrue facts that may have been presented by your spouse.

Spending Too Much Money Post-Divorce

Many people make the mistake of using their newfound financial freedom to splurge on expensive vacations, cars, and other luxury items, particularly if they’re awarded a large divorce settlement. While it’s okay to take a break or treat yourself after the stress a divorce, it’s important to be mindful of your financial situation and make smart choices about how you spend your money.

Your divorce settlement money and any spousal support or alimony you receive are intended to help you survive while you get back on your feet and can provide for yourself. It’s wise to create a budget and try to keep your spending in check so you can ensure you have enough money to cover your basic needs and any future expenses. Remember, this is the start of the rest of your life and you don’t want to put yourself in a hole before you’ve even begun.

Leaving The Marital Home Too Soon

Another costly mistake is leaving the marital home too soon during the divorce. While you may be anxious to get away from your spouse, and the tension living with them inevitably creates, you could be forfeiting some of your rights if you choose to leave your home.

For example, if you leave the marital home where your children live, and your spouse is left to primarily take care of them, this could be used in court to make a strong case for your spouse to receive custody. Or, you could be forfeiting your right to the equity you’ve built by essentially leaving it with someone else.

Not Getting Specialized Support

While it may be tempting to try to handle everything on your own, it’s important to remember that divorce is a legal process with many complex aspects. You need adequate support to help you get through the obstacles ahead. You may be lucky enough to have what appears to be a smooth uncontested divorce, but this does not mean experienced legal counsel is not necessary to protect your rights and assets. Friends and family can be an invaluable resource, but they often just don’t have the resources or knowledge to provide you with the care and representation you need during a divorce.

Make sure to seek the support of professional counselors, therapists, or support groups designed specifically for divorcing or divorced people. These professionals can provide you with the tools to make the process as manageable as possible and help you build a strong foundation for your new life.

Not Getting Legal Help Soon Enough

Many people delay getting legal help when faced with a divorce. This may be due to lack of funds or even just the common belief that you don’t need a lawyer until later on in the process. However, it’s actually in your best interests to consult with an attorney as soon as you make the decision to divorce, or even before you finalize your decision, if you want to explore your legal options first.

At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we have the experience, expertise and track record of success needed to provide you with zealous, comprehensive family legal representation when you need it most. Contact us today to learn more about New York divorce laws or to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our veteran Long Island, NY divorce attorneys. Call now by dialing 631-923-1910 or complete our short contact form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.

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About the Author

Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., Founding Partner, Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.

  • Over 20 years practicing matrimonial law
  • Over 1,000 cases successfully resolved
  • Founder and Partner of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C.
  • Experienced and compassionate Long Island Divorce Attorney, Family Law Attorney, and Divorce Mediator
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association member
  • Nassau County Bar Association member
  • Suffolk County Bar Association member
  • “Super Lawyer” Metro Rising Star
  • Nominated Best of Long Island Divorce Attorney four consecutive years
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Contributor
  • Collaborative Law Association of New York – Former Director
  • Martindale Hubbell Distinguished Designation
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 5%
  • Lead Counsel Rated – Divorce Law
  • American Institute of Family Law Attorneys 10 Best
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Graduate of Hofstra University School of Law
  • Double Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Politics & Law and History from SUNY Binghamton University
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.
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