As a Divorce Attorney and Divorce Mediator on Long Island, I meet with many individuals and couples who have no idea of the myriad of issues they will have to address in their divorce. Although every divorce is unique and has its own issues, there are a number of items that are common to all divorces. The following is a list of some of the major issues you and your spouse you will need to come to terms with in order to get a divorce on Long Island, New York.
Parenting: Child Custody, Primary Residence, Visitation,
If you have children, there will be a parenting section in your Divorce Agreement. The parenting section will define which parent has Legal Custody (Decision Making Authority) over the children, and will also identify the children’s primary residence. It will further outline the weekly residential and visitation schedule that applies to a typical week (accounting for school and work schedules, but not holidays). The holiday and school recess schedule will be discussed separately. Holidays will include everything from Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and family birthdays. You’ll have to agree on pick-up and drop-off times and decide which parent will be responsible for them. Responsibility for children’s school and extracurricular activities will also be addressed.
Of course, there must be some room for flexibility with visitation, as things always come up unexpectedly. For this reason, there are typically provisions for parental communication and understanding when it comes to making reasonable changes to the schedule for good reason. These provisions might say that you and your spouse will have to return to your divorce mediator to work through any disagreements that come up, or have some other method of resolving these disputes that you both agree upon at the time of your divorce.
You and your spouse will need to decide how often your parenting arrangements will need to be reviewed. This may be on an annual basis or upon the occurrence of certain events. These events may include the remarriage or cohabitation of either parent, change in employment status of one or both spouses, relocation of either spouse, disability of either parent, and even changes in the child’s wishes relating to the custody or visitation agreement.
Financial Issues: Marital Property Division and Debt, Spousal Maintenance
Of course, all the financial issues that come into play in divorce will also need to be addressed before your divorce can be finalized. Division of all of the marital property, which might include personal property, real property (including the marital home), pensions, annuities, retirement accounts, and social security. The division of marital debt, tax liabilities, and attorneys’ fees also need to be addressed. Whether there will be spousal maintenance (aka alimony) payments, and how much, will also need to be decided.
In addition to the distribution of property, you must also decide which parent will be responsible for covering the educational, medical, and other expenses of the children moving forward. The responsibility may be assigned to one parent or apportioned among the parents. Similarly, the responsibility of health insurance coverage will also be addressed, as well as life insurance coverage that would cover the parent’s financial responsibility in the event he or she passed away. Regular child support payments must also be addressed in your Long Island Divorce.
Other issues that you may want to address in your Long Island Divorce include issues of pet custody or visitation, grandparents’ rights, as well as the right to modify the agreement in the future.
Contact an Experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney
As you can see, there are many issues that you will need to address in your divorce agreement, and there may be other special circumstances that are unique to your Long Island divorce. Coming to an agreement on all of these issues with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not an easy task. It is important to have an experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney on your side to protect your interests. The Long Island Divorce Attorneys at the Office of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. can guide you through the challenges that arise in your divorce and ensure that your interests are protected. Contact our office today at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free initial divorce consultation.
For more information about Divorce on Long Island, visit this page: Divorce Lawyers Answer Questions about Long Island Divorce
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