Rochester Divorce Lawyer

Rochester Divorce Lawyer

Rochester Divorce Attorney

Ending a marriage is an emotionally challenging process, and divorce proceedings also often pose difficult financial questions to the parties involved. From determining the division of your assets to understanding the impacts of child custody and visitation, the decisions made while finalizing a divorce are ones that will last a lifetime. Whether you agree with the divorce or not, a Rochester divorce lawyer can represent your interests in any divorce case.

Attorney Jonathan Trotto and the team at the Trotto Law Firm, P.C., have years of experience guiding our clients through complex divorces. We understand that the emotional aspects can make it very challenging to make objective decisions about the practical aspects of divorce. Therefore, our goal is to help you understand the full scope of your legal options for your dissolution proceedings and assist you in making informed decisions about your divorce.

rochester divorce attorney

Why Do I Need a Rochester, NY, Divorce Attorney?

You might assume that you can handle your divorce case on your own, saving money on legal fees. Unfortunately, divorce is likely to pose significant financial hurdles for the next several years of your life, and the thought of taking on additional economic strain in the form of attorney’s fees can be difficult to justify. However, it is vital to understand that you stand to lose more than you could gain by foregoing legal counsel. Divorce proceedings are more complex than many people realize, and it’s crucial to enter your divorce case armed with legal counsel you can trust.

Working with an experienced Rochester, NY, divorce lawyer can lead to a more positive outcome to your divorce than you could have managed alone. You can also approach the situation with peace of mind and greater confidence when you have an experienced legal team handling your divorce proceedings on your behalf. In addition, you can rely on the team at the Trotto Law Firm, P.C., to provide ongoing support through every stage of your case, ultimately helping you reach the most favorable divorce terms possible under New York law.

rochester divorce attorney

What Does Divorce Entail?

The divorce process is more than just ending a marriage contract. You and your spouse must also resolve property division and settle custody rights over your children if you have any. You can rely on your Rochester, NY, divorce attorney to guide you through the various stages of your divorce case, including:

  • Property division. New York follows an equitable distribution law. This means property is not always divided equally, but on what is fair to the spouses. For example, each spouse can keep separate property, such as assets owned before marriage and inheritance. It’s possible to resolve property division through litigation or privately with collaborative law. We can help you through this process without court intervention.
  • Spousal maintenance/alimony). If one spouse is financially dependent on the other, divorce may require a spousal support arrangement that allows the supported spouse to retain a reasonable standard of living after divorce. This spousal maintenance hinges on the difference in income between the spouses. The timeframe that payments must continue depends on how long the marriage lasted.
  • Child custody. Perhaps the most emotionally challenging aspect of divorce is determining custody rights over the couple’s children. The Rochester, NY, family court system must verify that the child custody determination suits the child’s best interests. The judge overseeing the case will evaluate numerous factors to decide what type of custody arrangement would be best for the divorcing parents’ children.

In This Situation, You Can:

  • Reach a private agreement regarding custody without the intervention of the court or attorneys.
  • Go to court. The judge must determine what is in the children’s best interest.
  • The Collaborative Process. Collaborative Law is a great way for parties to reach an agreement on custody without the court
  • Child support. When one parent is the primary residence of their children in divorce, or when parents have shared residency arrangements, child support becomes a necessity. One parent will pay basic child support to the other every month to help cover the cost of the child’s basic needs. However, the payment of basic support may vary depending on the residency schedule. Both parents are expected to contribute toward the financial cost of raising their child on a prorated basis by contributing to the cost of the children’s health insurance, medical expenses, daycare and childcare costs, and higher education.

Your impending divorce case can require consideration of all these issues and others, depending on the unique variables in play in your case. For example, some divorce cases must address spousal abuse and other forms of domestic violence, often leading to protective orders and very carefully defined custody and visitation terms.

Types of Divorce in New York

Outside of an annulment, which is limited to specific circumstances, there are three options for divorce in New York. These include:

  • Uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree that the divorce should occur and are able to amicably come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce settlement. This is often one of the quickest ways to get a divorce because there is no need for a mediation process or court intervention. It often saves money on attorney fees as well.
  • Contested divorce. This is the opposite of an uncontested divorce. Both parties are unable to come to an agreement on the terms of the divorce, or one feels that the divorce should not occur. In a contested divorce, there is much more involvement from attorneys, and it can be a much lengthier process. Both parties may attempt to go through mediation or arbitration to reach an agreement of terms, but most contested divorces go through litigation.
  • Summary divorce. This is a less common form of divorce in New York that is only available to couples who have been married for less than 10 years, share no children, and have little assets or debts. This is a more informal process than other types of divorces, but it can be settled quickly.

For many divorcing couples, an uncontested divorce is a preference because it means a quick settlement with minimal attorney fees. However, some couples soon realize that what begins as an amicable process can quickly become contentious. No matter which type of divorce you are facing, having an attorney there to help guide you can keep you focused on a resolution rather than a dispute.

Fault vs. At-Fault Divorce

A divorce in New York can be either a fault divorce or an at-fault divorce:

  • No-fault divorce. This is one of the grounds for divorce that could be either contested or uncontested. In this, the filing party states that the marriage has irreconcilably broken down. This is the most common grounds for divorce and does not require any evidence or proof of fault.
  • Fault-based divorce. In this type of divorce, one spouse claims that the other has broken the marriage contract through some means such as adultery, abandonment, physical or emotional cruelty, or imprisonment. Also having the ability to be contested or uncontested, this type of divorce, if proven through evidence, may have more ramifications in the divorce settlement for the at-fault party.

Grounds for an At-Fault Divorce

If you or your spouse file an at-fault divorce, it must list the grounds on which that filing is based. New York is one of a few states that recognize at-fault divorces and define what qualifies and what does not. Reasons for an at-fault divorce can include:

  • Infidelity. This occurs when one spouse has an extramarital affair, which can impact some of the divorce settlement in terms of assets. If the at-fault spouse is proven to have spent marital funds on an extra-marital affair, they could lose out on assets that they would otherwise be entitled to or be instructed to reimburse those assets.
  • Cruel and inhumane treatment. If one spouse behaves or treats the other spouse in a way that leaves that spouse feeling afraid, threatened, or unsafe, it could result in more than a divorce. This could be grounds for a restraining order, and it could negatively impact either party’s claim to child custody or support.
  • Abandonment. If one spouse “deserts” the other or the family unit for one or more years, this could qualify for fault and potentially impact child custody or support.
  • Imprisonment. Not every criminal action is intentional but no matter how the conviction occurs, if one spouse is sent to prison for a period of three or more years, it can be grounds for divorce.
  • Incurable insanity. This is a rarer fault-based divorce, but there may be a circumstance where one spouse is diagnosed with insanity that is stated to be incurable. The period in which this can be used as grounds for divorce is a minimum of five years.

These are just a few examples of the grounds that can be considered in an at-fault divorce, though there are others. If you are accused of a fault leading to divorce, or you wish to file for an at-fault divorce, contact an attorney who can help you understand the process and the options available.

Preparing for Your Divorce in Rochester, NY

The right attorney can help you make more informed decisions about your divorce in Rochester, NY. For example, you may be able to avoid a large portion of litigation by pursuing alternative dispute resolution, as long as both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse agree to explore these options. In addition, many divorcing couples in Rochester, NY, are choosing collaborative law to resolve their divorce, as this process gives the parties total control over their divorce settlement.

In whatever way you decide to handle your divorce case, you must prepare for complex proceedings and extensive financial negotiations. Therefore, financial disclosure is an essential part of the divorce process.

Divorce requires full disclosure of all assets, debts, and income sources. You must prove your separate property if you make this claim. These financial disclosure statements will be essential for determining property division, spousal maintenance, and other aspects of the divorce, no matter how the couple chooses to handle their case.

It’s understandable to feel daunted, confused, and frustrated about your impending divorce proceedings, and you probably have lots of questions about preparing for this challenging process. The smartest thing you can do to prepare for your divorce is to consult an experienced Rochester, NY, divorce attorney. The sooner you secure legal representation, the easier it will be for you to develop your case and prepare for the difficult proceedings ahead of you.

Providing Optimal Solutions for Your Family Law Concerns

Family law covers many legal procedures, including divorce, child custody, parenting time and visitation schedules, maintenance/spousal support, property division, and adoption. At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., we help secure favorable results through our well-designed contracts and aggressive negotiation. Our legal team efficiently navigates complex processes, limiting the emotional strain that divorce, custody, or child support disputes can create. When personal matters require legal remedies, it is important that the resolution is both effective and efficient.

Our firm takes pride in the long-term solutions we provide in a timely fashion. We advocate on behalf of Rochester metro residents who need sound legal advice to help them protect what matters through litigation, negotiation, or collaboration. Our legal professionals are led by our award-winning attorney, Jonathan Trotto, commended by Super Lawyers and The Daily Record for his customized legal service and impressive record.

These accolades highlight our firm’s emphasis on providing outstanding representation to all our clients. We are compassionate and dedicated to effectively and efficiently resolving cases, but also strong and aggressive in our approach. At Trotto Law Firm, P.C., we fight for what’s right for our clients and in their best interests without being frivolous or petty.

Providing Knowledgeable Guidance for a Range of Concerns

Whether you need to change your marital status, our law firm can streamline this undertaking to help you focus on your family’s future and guide you through the divorce process.

Our New York law firm focuses primarily on family law. As a result, we offer comprehensive services for many matters, including:

In or out of court, we will advocate on your behalf. We offer both litigation and collaborative law services.

FAQs About Rochester, NY, Divorce Laws

How Much Is a Divorce Lawyer?

The circumstances of each divorce case will have an impact on the overall costs associated. Whether the divorce is contested or uncontested will determine the amount of time and resources that an attorney will need to invest in your case. On average, a divorce attorney in New York will cost approximately $350 per hour. Whether your attorney costs more or less could depend on the types of divorce cases they handle and their experience.

What Is a Wife Entitled to in a Divorce?

Divorces are nondiscriminatory in that, no matter what gender a spouse is, they are entitled to certain pieces of the divorce settlement. Both spouses may receive, among others: 

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Spousal maintenance
  • An equitable division of assets

The final divorce settlement is based not on gender but on other qualities of the spouses, such as:

  • Income
  • Living circumstances
  • Employment
  • Stability
  • Mental and physical health

How Long Do You Have to Be Separated to Get a Divorce?

Each divorce is unique, and the grounds of the divorce will determine the amount of separation that must take place prior to the final divorce settlement. In a no-fault divorce, the couple must be separated for at least one full year before moving forward. That year allows the couple to attempt a reconciliation or work on a means by which they agree to divorce terms without the necessity of court intervention.

Can You Date While Separated?

While the divorce process is occurring, there is nothing that makes dating illegal. However, there are challenges that can arise for those who choose to do so. The first of which is to remember that, during the process, you are still legally married to the other person. If the couple shares children, there could be complications in introducing someone new. If you are considering dating while separated, speak with your attorney.

Rochester Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a complicated process that is often filled with emotions. Navigating the process requires support from someone who can help keep your rights and entitlements in focus through any mediation, arbitration, or litigation. Although you may have a lot of questions, the team at Trotto Law Firm, P.C., has the answers. Contact our offices today and find out how we can help.

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