Nassau & Suffolk County Divorce Lawyers

Our dedicated team empowers clients with strategic advocacy, ensuring fair outcomes in complex divorce cases. Trust us for compassionate guidance and expert representation, securing your future with confidence and peace of mind.

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Taking On Many Types of Divorce Cases

Going through a divorce is never easy, even when both spouses can agree on what’s best for the family. Every divorce case is different, and with the best divorce lawyers Suffolk County, NY has to offer with our attorneys here at Picarello & Saciolo, PLLC. we make sure that all of our clients’ cases are handled with care and personal attention. Our legal team will guide you through all the facets of your dissolution of marriage, including:

Uncontested Divorce

Picarello & Saciolo, PLLC. can assist you in the negotiation of a settlement agreement and filing the necessary paperwork to obtain a judgment of divorce without the need to ever see the inside of a courtroom. In many situations, you may not even need to come into our office. Everything can be done via email and on the telephone.

Same-Sex Divorce

New York law does not distinguish between heterosexual and same-sex couples in legal separation or divorce. Typical divorce concerns such as equitable distribution, alimony/ spousal support, child support, and child custody and visitation are handled through negotiation or trial.

The experienced attorneys at Picarello & Saciolo, PLLC. will help you understand the specifics of your particular situation and work with you to set achievable goals. Our objective in same-sex divorce is the same as in any other case — to help you resolve your legal problems quickly and affordably so you can begin the next chapter of your life.

If you are thinking of filing for divorce, contact us today for a free consultation. We will make sure to educate you on every option you have and make certain that your rights are honored and upheld.

Equitable Distribution Generally

New York uses an equitable distribution system to divide marital property. This method attempts to divide the property fairly between the spouses. That doesn’t mean equally. The goal is to achieve an equitable, or fair, distribution.

Equitable distribution has three steps:

  • Categorizing property as marital or separate assets
  • Evaluating the property
  • Distributing it to each spouse

Timing is often the most important element in the determination of marital assets. Usually, anything acquired from the date of the marriage through the date of separation will be included in the marital estate from which assets will be distributed.

Courts generally favor increasing the marital estate; therefore, any spouse claiming the existence of separate property needs clear evidence to support their position. Usually, separate property includes:

  • The property each spouse had before the marriage
  • The property acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance
  • Personal injury damage awards

In order to establish that something is separate property, it must have stayed within exclusive ownership and control of one spouse. This can be very difficult to prove. If the separate property is combined with joint property, a court may include that property among the other property divided upon divorce.

There are several factors the court uses to determine how to arrive at an equitable distribution of the property. These include:

  • Relative earning power of each spouse: A spouse with a lower-earning power may receive a higher percentage of marital assets.
  • Actual earnings: When one spouse was more responsible for the creation of marital assets, courts may look to compensate that spouse in some way for the value of the assets created, particularly in awarding ownership of family-owned businesses.
  • Homemaker services: Courts now recognize the value that a stay-at-home parent brings to a marriage and seek to reward that contribution at marital termination.
  • Waste of assets: If one spouse has consumed or wasted more money during the marriage, a court may assign an “economic fault” to that spouse upon marital dissolution.

Other considerations include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age and health of the two spouses
  • Tax consequences on property division
  • The terms of any premarital agreements

Property to Be Divided

Certain kinds of property often generate the most controversy at divorce. Divorcing couples need to be aware of these assets and the issues their division may present.

1. Family Home

The primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is often the marriage’s largest asset. Dealing with its division can be complicated, particularly when there are children involved.

Courts often favor allowing the custodial parent to retain the home. Doing so may require complicated arrangements to ensure that the spouse who leaves receives adequate compensation for the home’s value as well as provisions for ongoing mortgage payments, tax liabilities, and upkeep of the home.

When these issues cannot be resolved, the couple may be forced to sell the home and split the proceeds.

Today, oftentimes, the home is “underwater.” This means that the mortgage owed on the home is greater than the value, and therefore no proceeds will be gained from its sale. In fact, bankruptcy and foreclosure are often a result of divorce. At Picarello & Saciolo, P.C. we handle complex issues such as these. Contact us now for a free consultation, and speak to one of our attorneys about what your options may be regarding the financial consequences of divorce.

2. Pensions

Pensions often follow the family home as the second-largest marital asset. When there are other income sources sufficient to compensate the non-pension holder, courts may leave vested pension rights in the spouse who earned it. Otherwise, a court in a divorce case may enter a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) requiring the administrator of the pension to make payment to both the worker and their former spouse.

3. Family-Owned Businesses

When couples work together in a family-owned business, a division of the business presents complex allocation and valuation problems.

First, the couple or the court must decide who gets the business. Then, there must be a determination of its worth, which can require costly evaluation by outside experts. As with family homes, if there are not enough marital assets to adequately compensate the non-retaining spouse, there may be the necessity of a forced sale or long-term buy-out.

It is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney for assistance if you anticipate the division of property is likely to be an issue of controversy in your divorce. Contact us now for a free consultation.

Separation Agreements

The best way to work out the issues in a divorce is by the parties amicably negotiating a separation agreement through their attorneys . Separation agreements are handled out of court. Usually, the parties meet on several occasions with their respective attorneys to discuss the various issues in the divorce.

The issues dealt with in a separation agreement involve child support, spousal maintenance, custody of the children, visitation with the children, equitable distribution of marital property, division of assets, who gets the home, who pays for college, and all other issues involving the marital relationship and the children.

A separation agreement (or settlement agreement), if properly prepared and executed, is legally binding. Most separation agreements deal with over 30 issues involving the parties to a divorce.

Separation agreements must be in writing, signed by the parties, and acknowledged before a notary public at the end. New York has very specific requirements as to the wording and material that must be included in a separation agreement. The separation agreement should settle all issues between spouses.

The parties can live pursuant to the terms of the separation agreement for as long as they want. After one year, either party to a separation agreement may bring an action to convert the separation agreement into a divorce. This type of divorce is called a Conversion Divorce.

Individuals having marital difficulties should not try to draft these documents on their own. Separation agreements are technical documents that are fact and law specific and include terms of art. Misdrafting these documents or improper execution can lead to their being set aside and declared invalid by the court.

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(631) 392-4949

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