If you live in New York, then you may think that the divorce process for you will be messier than for people who live in other states. This may be due to misconceptions you have about the process, because there is misinformation about the divorce process all over the place. If you are worried about any of the following myths about getting a divorce in New York, then read on to find out the truth about divorce laws in your state that are often misconstrued by the media and the public.
1. Your Spouse Must Agree to a Divorce
Despite what you've heard, you can complete a divorce even when a spouse is uncooperative and won't agree to sign or fill out any legal paperwork. Instead you can take advantage of a process called a "default divorce." This process requires your spouse to do nothing at all other than be present when one document is served to them. If your spouse attempts to "hide out" to keep from being served this document, they can be served at work or even in a public place you know they frequent regularly, such as a grocery store or coffee shop.
The first step is filing a verified complaint for divorce and a couple of other documents that you can complete on your own or with the help of a divorce attorney. Once these documents are filed, your spouse must be served with a court summons by you or a court official. You must request that a court official deliver the document if you are unable to do so yourself. You must then file proof that your spouse was served, and he or she has up to 30 days to respond to the summons.
Once 30 days have passed, you do have to wait an additional 45 days to file for a default divorce. Once you file this final document, you must simply show up to court (your spouse does not have to) and your divorce will likely be granted.
While the process can take a few days longer than in some other states, this process does not require your spouse to agree to a divorce at all or even take any action in the process other than being present when the initial court summons is served to them.
2. Your Spouse is Entitled to Half of What You Earn from a Degree Obtained During Your Marriage
If you have heard about this New York divorce law, then you may be extremely hesitant to file for a divorce, since you may think that all the hard work you put into earning a degree will be thrown down the drain if you do. While a degree earned by you during your marriage is considered marital property, the belief that your spouse will be entitled to half of all all of your earnings based on a career obtained from this degree is a myth. This law is very complicated, and in the end, your spouse may be entitled to a small amount of your future earnings or even nothing at all depending on what took place during your marriage.
First, it is important to know that during a divorce in New York, marital property is not automatically split 50/50 between spouses. When deciding a fair distribution of assets, there are many factors taken into consideration. There are thirteen factors, including the length of your marriage and any "waste" of property or cash during the divorce (an example would be a spouse with a bad spending habit).
However, the most important factor that comes into consideration when deciding how much alimony your partner would receive based on your professional degree is how much that partner contributed to your ability to obtain your degree. Did your partner help pay for your schooling to obtain the degree? Did he or she pay all household bills while you took time off from the work-world to attend school full time? If the answer to these questions is "yes," then they may be entitled to a small percentage of your future earnings due to those factors. On the other hand, if your spouse contributed very little monetarily to help you earn this degree, then they may receive very little to nothing extra in the settlement based on your earnings from your degree.
If there are myths that keep you from obtaining a much-needed divorce from your partner who you simply cannot get along with anymore or has committed wrong-doing during your marriage, then realize that what you hear is not always correct. For specific answers to your concerns about a potential divorce, contact a law firm like Hart Law Offices, PC to know whether what you have heard is really correct or not and help you end your unhappy marriage.