Understanding Divorce and Litigation: Part 1
You may have recently finished reading the collection of guide blog posts created by Mr Darren Shapiro that explore the topic of divorce mediation. This page on the other hand is a summary of this office’s blog and web pages about divorce litigation from over the years. As a certified mediator that is also a litigation attorney, Mr. Shapiro has a lot of useful insights to deliver in this area. However, divorce mediation may be the right choice for a lot of couples who want to maintain some semblance of a relationship after their marriage has ended – but it isn’t always the best choice for everyone.
There are plenty of other kinds of divorce available, including the most common option: litigation. As well as acting as a mediator for his clients, Darren Shapiro is also an experienced divorce attorney and family law lawyer, which means that he can offer a wide range of strategies for those pursuing divorce and separation. The following series of bullet point guides will help you to understand a little more about how divorce litigation works.Divorce and Distribution Laws: The Basics
One of the most common issues that need to be addressed when a couple chooses to get divorced, is how assets and debts are going to be distributed.
- The federal tax laws introduced on the 31st of December 2018 has pushed many divorce lawyers like Mr Darren Shapiro to consider changes to the way that taxes are paid on maintenance and support. Tax deductions that could be acquired by the person paying maintenance used to make asking for support a lot easier. Now, there are often more complicated arguments at play when determining how maintenance should be pursued.
- When distributing both debts and assets in a divorce, Mr Shapiro also asks his clients to remember that all debts that exist at the time of filing for a divorce are usually considered. However, debts taken on after the divorce has been filed don’t usually get the same consideration. There are exceptions to this rule if one side can show that debts incurred were marital in nature. Lawyers like Darren Shapiro can often assist with this.
- Defining debts as individual or marital isn’t always simple. In some cases, you may need to use your divorce lawyer or Darren Shapiro’s services to argue that you didn’t agree to the debt in the first place, or that the money had no benefit for you during the marriage.
As mentioned above, there are many different kinds of divorce processes available, ranging from mediation to divorce litigation. Usually, when someone visits Mr. Darren Shapiro’s office for their initial thirty-minute consultation (free of charge), they can discuss the different options that are available to them. But, if a couple is interested in using Mr. Shapiro as their divorce mediator, the initial consultation is done with the couple together.
- Some people will want to take advantage of the impact of filing for a divorce with an attorney, and this will require them to work with Mr Shapiro to serve the other spouse with papers. After papers have been served, it’s possible to continue with litigation as your divorce strategy or consider other options like mediation and collaborative law, if both sides are willing to try some form of alternative dispute resolution.
- You may need to consider whether you want to file for divorce first or pursue issues with things like child and spousal support. Some family courts may not be able to deal with both issues at the same time. The family court has the discretion to determine whether a petition should be heard on an issue of support while divorce cases are still pending.
- There are some cases wherein the family court might decide that rulings are necessary on support cases that happen before matrimonial cases start. It’s best to discuss which cases need to be addressed first with your attorney.
There are times when the decisions a court makes about your divorce case won’t align with the outcomes that you were hoping for. This can be a common problem in parenting time and child custody cases, where both parents are often keen to get as much time with their children as possible.
- It is possible to argue against the decision made in a child custody case by taking the issue to the appellate court. However, it’s unlikely that the appellate courts will interfere with parenting time and visitation right cases that have already been approved by the courts unless a significant change of circumstances take place.
- Any decision made about child custody or parenting time, whether in the family court, supreme court, or appellate court will always be made with the best interests of the child in mind. If you’re concerned about arguing your case in the court room, then Mr Shapiro can help to talk you through how the courts define the best interests standard. Often, it will include considering which parent can give the best support and stability to each child.
- Mr Shapiro is always transparent about the complexity involved in making decisions about custody and parenting time in the best interests of the child. There must be a substantial change of circumstances in most cases to be able to modify, in the future any decision or agreed upon child custody order made by the courts.
To learn more about the issues addressed in this page, or to discuss the circumstances of your own divorce case, contact Mr. Darren Shapiro today at (516) 333-6555 to schedule a time.