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Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 06:53 pm
Your Guide to Finding the Best New York Divorce Lawyer
Going through a divorce in New York? I feel you, friend – it’s a tricky time filled with complicated legal stuff. But having an experienced New York divorce attorney in your corner makes a huge difference. This article will walk you through everything you need to know about finding and working with the best divorce lawyer for you in New York.
Why You Really Need a Divorce Lawyer in New York
Some folks think about trying to save money by handling their divorce without a lawyer. I get it, but don’t do it! Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is so key for a few big reasons:
- They know all the local laws and court processes inside out
- They’ll give you pro tips on the best legal strategies for your unique case
- A good lawyer handles all the complicated paperwork and filings for you
- They can negotiate and mediate wisely with your spouse’s attorney
- You’ll get a much better settlement with their expertise
Having that legal knowledge in your corner makes a huge difference in getting a fair divorce settlement. The investment in lawyer fees pays off in the long run through better outcomes.
How to Pick the Best Divorce Lawyer in New York for You
Finding the right divorce lawyer takes some savvy research. Here are a few must-have criteria to look for:
- Find lawyers who specialize specifically in family law
- Make sure they have extensive local experience in New York courts
- Look at their negotiation skills and litigation track record
- Choose someone you feel comfortable with and who listens to you
- Discuss their fees up front – many offer free consultations
Some of the top divorce and family law attorneys in New York to consider:
- Cohen & Gresser LLP – Highly experienced Manhattan firm.
- Wisselman & Harounian – Top rated Long Island divorce lawyers.
- Tully Rinckey PLLC – Leading Capital Region family law firm.
Set up consultations with a few of the top-rated New York divorce lawyers before deciding who’s the best fit. This is a big decision, so take your time researching!
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in New York?
The cost of a divorce lawyer can vary quite a bit based on factors like:
- How complex your divorce case is
- Whether you settle out of court or end up going to trial
- Your lawyer’s experience level and rates
- How much negotiation is required to reach settlement
- The number of court motions and appearances needed
On average, total legal fees for a divorce in New York range from $10,000-$20,000. High net worth or highly contested cases can sometimes end up costing upwards of $25,000+.
It’s not cheap, but a good lawyer can earn that investment back many times over through the favorable settlement they obtain. Many firms offer payment plans to make the cost more affordable too.
Documents You’ll Need for Your New York Divorce
To hit the ground running, your divorce lawyer will need you to provide some key documents. Gather these together before your first meeting:
- Photo ID
- Proof of residency like utility bills
- Marriage certificate
- Records of all assets, debts, income sources, etc.
- Recent tax returns
- Retirement plans and life insurance info
- Existing wills, trusts, or prenups
Your lawyer can request some documents directly as well. But having your financial paperwork organized up front helps speed the process along.
How the Divorce Process Works in New York
The divorce process in New York generally follows these key steps:
- Filing the petition – This formally starts the divorce proceedings.
- Serving your spouse – They must be notified of the petition.
- Discovery – Financial documents are exchanged.
- Negotiations – Most cases settle out of court during this phase.
- Trial – If you can’t agree, the judge will decide on things like asset division.
- Final judgement – The divorce is finalized by the court.
The process takes 9-12 months on average. It can be faster if you agree on key issues upfront. Your lawyer will walk you through what to expect at each step.
Key Issues to Resolve in a New York Divorce
Some of the major things to work out in your divorce settlement agreement include:
- Child custody – Physical and legal custody arrangements
- Child support – Guidelines based on income and custody splits
- Spousal support – Also called alimony or maintenance
- Property division – Splitting real estate, financial assets, businesses, etc.
- Debt allocation – Dividing mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc.
Your lawyer will advise you on your different options and rights around each issue based on the details of your situation.
How to Have an Amicable Divorce in New York
An acrimonious divorce usually means much higher legal fees and worse outcomes all around. Here are some tips to help foster an amicable split:
- Be open to compromise and willing to negotiate
- Stay calm and professional in meetings and court
- Get counseling to process difficult emotions
- Use a mediator if you get stuck on certain issues
- Focus discussions on business, not personal issues
- Be transparent with finances and paperwork
- Make decisions with your kids’ best interests in mind
It takes real effort, but an amicable divorce is definitely better for you, your former partner, and your children. Your lawyer can help guide you in taking this constructive approach.
Some Final Tips for Your New York Divorce
As you navigate this process, a few final pointers:
- Know your rights – Consult your lawyer before signing anything
- Stay cooperative when possible – It creates goodwill
- Avoid venting about the divorce on social media
- Make self-care a priority – Lean on friends, eat healthy, stay active
Going through a divorce is tough. But finding the right legal support makes a big difference. Wishing you all the best moving forward!
Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and is not intended as legal advice.
 Justia – New York City Divorce Lawyers
Find A Divorce Lawyer – NYC – New York City Bar Association
New York State Family Law & Divorce Help for Men – Cordell & Cordell
NYC Divorce Lawyer | Paul E Rudder
New York Divorce Lawyer – Fast and Convenient
Best New York, NY Divorce Attorneys | Super Lawyers