Winkler Kurtz LLP – Local Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer Near Me
A divorce is likely to be one of the greatest challenges you will ever face. You will be called upon to make life-altering decisions regarding finances, property division, and your children’s upbringing all at once, and amid a time when emotions are running at their highest. For assistance, we ask that you contact a Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer near me at Winkler Kurtz LLP.
Although every divorce is difficult, having a knowledgeable and compassionate legal advisor to guide you through the process will help to ease stress and make your case as straightforward and inexpensive as possible.
Understanding the Divorce Process and Your Rights
Divorce laws vary from state to state. With extensive family law experience, James R. Winkler and Lindsey M. Albinski are your trusted allies in understanding New York divorce law.
Grounds For Divorce
In a no-fault divorce, a divorce is obtained on the basis of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and neither party is held responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. Certain states, including New York, permit fault divorces, where one spouse is held responsible for the divorce. If your spouse has been abusive, adulterous, or imprisoned, you may qualify for a fault divorce.
Property Division in New York Divorces
State laws determine how property is divided in a divorce. New York is an equitable distribution state. Equitable distribution means that the property will be divided in a fair and equitable manner, as determined by the court.
Keep in mind that what the court deems equitable may not be a 50/50 split. Factors that may influence the division of property include the relative earning potential of both spouses and whether one spouse stayed at home or raised children.
In many aspects, a divorce is an even more significant life change than the marriage that came before it. With an experienced divorce attorney representing you, you will receive expert assistance navigating these new life changes, learning about your legal rights and options, getting answers to all the tough questions about divorce, and quickly resolving difficult divorce-related issues. These issues may include child custody and visitation, divorce mediation, equitable distribution, child support, orders of protection, spousal support, and wills, trusts, and estates.
New York State Divorce Statistics
With 7.5 marriages per 1,000 residents, New York State boasts one of the highest marriage rates in the country. Only 11 U.S. states have higher rates of marriage (Nevada ranks the highest, at 28.4 marriages per 1,000 residents). The state also has one of the lowest divorce rates; at 2.7 divorces per 1,000 residents, New York ranks 41st in the nation.
Even though divorce rates continue to decline, over one million Americans still divorce each year. Among first marriages, 41% will divorce, and the odds of marital bliss drop with every successive remarriage: 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. The statistics, while sobering, do not stop most Americans from retying the knot. Over half of Americans age 35 and older will remarry after being divorced or widowed, with people aged 55 to 64 the most likely to tie the knot a second time at 67%.
After the first decade of marriage, the odds decrease that the marriage will end in divorce. Out of 1,000 married individuals, 21 will divorce in the first 0-9 years, 17 will divorce in 10-19 years, 13 will divorce in 20-29 years, 9 will divorce in 30-39 years, and 4 will divorce after 40 years.
Contacting an Experienced Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer Near Me
The law offices of Winkler Kurtz, LLP, understand that you are not a statistic. Suffolk County divorce and family law attorneys James R. Winkler and Lindsey M. Albinski have the expertise and resources to handle New York divorce cases of any size and complexity.
Rest assured that you will receive personalized, courteous, and professional representation when you choose to work with us. If you are considering a divorce, let us put our over 30 years of experience to work for you—contact us or call (631) 928-8000 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Child Custody Lawyers Are Available At Winkler Kurtz LLP
When children are involved in a divorce, the divorce judgment must resolve several key issues regarding child custody. Like all decisions in divorce, such as the division of property and assets, decisions surrounding child custody may be made either through mediation or by a family court judge.
Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody
Two types of legal custody may be ordered for a child. In a sole custody arrangement, only one parent is granted the authority to make decisions about the child’s health, education, and general upbringing. In a joint custody arrangement, both parents share decision-making responsibilities and must come to an agreement when determining what is in the best interests of their child.
Physical Custody and Visitation
Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child lives. Family courts in New York begin with the presumption that in the majority of cases, it is in a child’s best interest to maintain contact with both parents. Therefore, most physical custody orders will also include a visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent. In some cases, divorcing parents may decide to share equal custody in an arrangement where the child spends the same amount of time with each parent.
Over one quarter (27%) of children in the United States have a parent who lives outside the home. This amounts to approximately 22.4 million children. Visitation arrangements vary widely among fathers who do not live with their children. Only 22% of noncustodial fathers see their children more than once a week. A slightly larger subset of noncustodial fathers (29%) see children one to four times a month. For 21% of noncustodial fathers, visits occur a few times a year. Finally, 27% of noncustodial fathers don’t visit their children at all.
Who Can Ask for Custody of a Child?
The legal father and mother both have an equal right to request custody. In certain extraordinary circumstances where the legal parents are deemed unfit or unable to care for the child, relatives or friends of the child may request custody.
Factors Courts Consider When Determining Child Custody
Although courts are no longer biased in favor of the mother obtaining custody, many more mothers than fathers win primary custody of their children in divorces. Four out of every five custodial parents are mothers, and fathers make up only one in five custodial parents. However, the number of custodial fathers has been steadily increasing. Why is this? Family courts review a number of factors when determining which parent is best suited for primary custody, including:
Who Was the Primary Caregiver in the Marriage?
This standard aims to discern which parent has been responsible for attending to the children’s daily needs, such as feeding, dressing, and bathing them, taking them to school and doctor appointments, and putting them to bed.
Which Parent Has a Closer Emotional Bond with the Child?
Most young children have a closer bond with their mother than their father, due in large part to continuing disparities between parents in time spent engaging in the daily tasks of the child’s upbringing. Although fathers are more involved in childcare than ever before, mothers still spend, on average, twice as much time caring for their kids.
Get Help from an Experienced Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer Near Me
We understand that when it comes to your kids, there is a lot at stake. If there is any doubt about who will take care of the children after the divorce, hiring experienced child custody and visitation attorney to represent you will give you the best chances of a positive outcome.
For a personalized evaluation of your situation, contact us or call (631) 928-8000 to schedule a complimentary consultation with the experienced family law attorneys at the offices of Winkler Kurtz, LLP. With over 30 years of experience practicing family law in Suffolk County, we can help you understand your options and put together your strongest possible custody case. We look forward to your call.
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Yes, You Can Raise Happy Children After Divorce
For many parents, the prospect of divorce brings up fears of how it will impact the kids. There is often a sense that parents should not get divorced until their kids are grown because it will simply be too hard on them. Yet research shows that most kids adjust well over time to a divorce.
This is particularly true when parents can minimize conflict both during and after a divorce. When parents are dedicated to working together to make sure that their children adjust well, it is possible to raise happy children after a divorce.
One way to accomplish this goal is through working with a Long Island divorce lawyer who offers more cooperative forms of resolving divorces, such as mediation. This process allows couples to save both time and money — and focus on what truly matters: their children.
How a Divorce Mediation Can Help
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party helps a couple reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. With mediation, each party retains greater control in the decision-making process, while saving time, money and stress.
Divorce mediation is designed to allow the parties to cooperate and communicate about the core subjects of a divorce, such as property division, child custody and support, and alimony. It has significant benefits over litigating a divorce, particularly when it comes to resolving a divorce in a cost-effective, low stress manner.
By its very nature, litigation is adversarial. In contrast, mediation is focused on cooperation. This can help couples stay focused on what they have in common, like love for their children and a desire to do what is best for them. This can help parents build a stronger co-parenting relationship and develop a custody arrangement that meets the needs of all involved.
Perhaps most importantly, mediation generally reduces the hostility that can be present in a divorce process. When couples are focused on communicating and working together to achieve a settlement, they are less likely to carry anger towards the other parent after the divorce.
Tips for Successful Co-Parenting After a Divorce
After a divorce has been finalized, parents enter in a new world: co-parenting. This can be challenging for any parent, regardless of how amicable the divorce process was. However, there are some ways that parents can work together to help their children grow up happy and healthy after a divorce.
First, parents should focus on lessons learned in divorce mediation: cooperation and communication are key. Conflict between parents is incredibly damaging to children after a divorce. By working together to reduce disputes as much as possible, parents can help their kids adapt to life after divorce.
Second, each parent should establish new routines for their separate households. The kids will have to get used to new schedules and perhaps even a school change. Give kids stability by creating structure at each of your new homes.
Third, each parent can now focus on becoming better at parenting based on their personal strengths — and consider how their ex brings their own unique assets to parenting. For example, when you were married, you may have hated how your spouse would make a mess while cooking in the kitchen with the kids. Now your kids get to learn how to cook — and you aren’t responsible for clean up! At the same time, think about ways that you can become a better parent now that you no longer are stressed about your relationship with your former partner.
Fourth, find ways to create positive moments for your kids! Being a single (or solo) parent does not meet that your kids cannot have memorable experiences. Do outings with friends or family, and think about ways that you can all come together to create special times for your children.
Fifth, make sure that you take time for yourself. Now that you are a single parent, you may have less time for yourself. It’s important to prioritize self-care so that you can be present and available for your children.
While life after divorce isn’t always easy, concentrating on how you can help your children adjust can help you build a strong co-parenting relationship with your ex. In doing so, you can help your kids become part of the 80% of children who adapt well after divorce.
Work with a Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer Near Me
The decision to divorce can be a difficult one, particularly if children are involved. Fortunately, there are options other than a high conflict divorce that can be hard on both the parents and children.
For more than 25 years, Winkler Kurtz, LLP has served families throughout Long Island with a range of family law services, including divorce mediation. Call our office at 631-928-8000 or contact us online anytime to schedule a consultation with a Long Island divorce lawyer.
Overcoming Depression After Divorce
For most people, divorce is a last option. Few (if any) people go into marriage with the expectation that it won’t last. It isn’t surprising, then, that many people become depressed after a divorce.
A divorce is a major stressor in life. Regardless of how amicable your divorce may have been, your life will significantly change after you divorce. Managing these feelings can be a challenge, particularly as you navigate other adjustments that you have had to make after your divorce.
According to a Long Island divorce attorney, it isn’t unusual to feel depressed after a divorce. Understanding how to cope with depression — and how to overcome it — is critical to moving forward with your life.
How to Manage Depression Post-Divorce
The adjustment period after a divorce can be lengthy, depending on a number of factors, such as the length of time that you were married and what occurred during your marriage. For example, if traumatic events happened such as abuse, it may be more difficult to adapt after a divorce. Similarly, if you were married for 15 years, it may be more of a challenge to get back to normal after a divorce.
The American Psychiatry Association (APA) defines depression as a common medical illness that negatively impacts how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It can cause feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in the activities that you once enjoyed. Depression can also lead to emotional and physical problems, and may even limit a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
According to the APA, symptoms of depression may include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
These symptoms can be mild or severe, and must last for at least two weeks in order to be diagnosed with depression. Importantly, if you are having suicidal thoughts, you should call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Depression is not uncommon after a divorce. Fortunately, depression is treatable. Medication can help, as can therapy. There are also things that you can do to overcome depression on your own.
If you feel depressed, be sure to seek help. This could be from a medical professional, but also from friends and family members. Talking about how you are feeling can help you process your thoughts. It may also lead to you getting the kind of professional help that you might need, such as medication. Accept help when offered.
It is often tempting when you are depressed to eat comfort foods, abuse drugs and alcohol, and stay home. Doing this may feel good in the moment, but it won’t help you manage your depression. Instead, exercise daily. Just getting outside can help to ease the symptoms of depression. Eat healthy foods, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Treating yourself well can be a first step in overcoming depression.
Next, be sure to take time for self-care. Again, when you are overwhelmed with sadness, you may not want to devote any time to yourself. Spending just a bit of time on yourself — soaking in a bath, getting a massage, or even just going to the movies — can help you feel much better.
You should also try to get plenty of sleep. Depression often makes it hard to sleep, which can then increase feelings of depression. Start a nightly routine that will help you fall asleep at night (such as a meditation or having a cup of herbal tea). Doing these things to relax will allow you to ease into sleep.
Divorce Mediation With A Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer Near Me As a Way to Reduce Conflict
By its very nature, the process of divorce involves conflict. It is often incredibly stressful for the parties involved, particularly when children are involved. While any type of divorce can lead to post-divorce depression, minimizing conflict in a divorce can often lead to more favorable outcomes.
Divorce mediation involves using a neutral third party to help a couple work through the issues in a divorce to help them reach an agreement. It is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is often less expensive, less time-consuming and less stressful than litigation. Because the parties are working together to achieve a common goal, the focus is generally on communication and cooperation — not on who “wins” and who “loses.”
For individuals seeking a divorce, one of the primary benefits of a divorce mediation is that it is generally less difficult emotionally than litigation. This form of resolving a divorce also gives the couple greater control over the outcome, which often leads to both parties getting more of what they wanted in the divorce.
Finally, because divorce mediation tends to cost far less than a trial, there is less financial pressure on the parties after a divorce. This can ease feelings of depression due to having to pay a significant amount of money to attorneys for a trial — and help both parties move forward into their new lives without hostility.
How a Miller Place NY Divorce Lawyer Near Me Can Help
Divorce is never easy, but there are steps that can be taken to make the process easier for all involved — including the couple and any children who may be involved. Divorce mediation is one such option.
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we understand that divorce can be challenging for our clients in many ways. We work collaboratively with our clients to help them achieve their goals. Call us today at 631-928-8000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Long Island divorce attorney.