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Divorce and Family Law FAQ

Frequently Asked Divorce Questions in New York

Answers from experienced Brooklyn family law attorneys

The breakup of a marriage affects every part of one’s life. At Goldberg Sager & Associates, we deliver compassionate and thorough counsel to safeguard your legal interests as you seek a fresh start. If you’re considering divorce, you’re likely to have questions. We’ve provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive from clients who are contemplating divorce:

Call today to schedule a meeting with a New York City family law firm

For direct answers to your divorce questions or questions concerning any family law issue, call Goldberg Sager & Associates at 718-514-9516 or contact us online.  From our Brooklyn office, we serve people in all five boroughs and throughout the New York metropolitan area, including Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

What are the grounds for divorce in New York?

New Yorkers seeking to end their marriage have several filing options, including:

  • Irretrievable breakdown — Also known as no-fault divorce, this is now legal in New York for couples whose marital relationship has been over for at least six months.
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment — This includes physical abuse and other types of abuse.
  • Imprisonment — Spouses may file on this ground when a partner has been incarcerated for at least three years.
  • Adultery — Even when adultery exists, proving it can be difficult and costly. Sometimes, a no-fault divorce is a better option.
  • Abandonment — This can be alleged when a spouse leaves the marital home for at least one year without the other spouse’s consent and without good cause.

Goldberg Sager can explain the specific elements of each claim and the divorce process for you.

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What will a divorce cost me?

Though legal fees always depend on the specific circumstances involved, we can explain options such as uncontested divorce that might save you money. Our goal at Goldberg Sager is to put you in the best position going forward once your marriage ends. That’s why we’ll try to negotiate a settlement that averts trial costs and aggravation.

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What is the difference between a divorce and an annulment? Do I qualify for both?

While divorce ends a marriage, an annulment declares it null and void, due to a fundamental deficiency in the union. Legal annulment grounds are:

  • A spouse that was not of legal age (18 in New York) at the time of the marriage
  • Mental incapacity of a spouse when the marriage occurred
  • A spouse’s incurable mental illness lasting at least five years
  • Inability of a spouse to engage in sexual intercourse
  • Evidence that the marriage was obtained through coercion, duress or fraud

Annulment does not affect child custody or support designations, but if you believe you have grounds for an annulment, you must act promptly.

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What if my spouse does not want to divorce?

Even if your partner wants to remain married, you can file for divorce against them. This process has become much easier since the enactment of no-fault divorce in 2010. We will help you through the required procedures and paperwork.

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When and how will child custody be decided?

As a divorce is finalized, New York law requires judges to make child custody determinations based on what they determine to be in the best interests of the child. In most cases, legal decision-making authority will be shared by the parents. For physical custody, courts look at each case on its own merits. Factors may include living environment, disruption to the child’s daily schedule, and the wishes of an older child.

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When and how can I modify a custody agreement?

Significant changes in circumstances can persuade a judge to alter the terms of a child custody arrangement. These can include allegations of abuse, major financial changes, or a parent who is moving due to a new marriage or job.

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  • Brooklyn Office
    1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677