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Divorce Attorney in Poughkeepsie, New York

Ending a marriage can be one of the most challenging experiences you'll face in life. From dividing assets to determining child custody—divorce affects every aspect of your present and future. As a seasoned divorce lawyer, I provide skilled and compassionate legal representation to guide you through this life chapter with confidence and clarity.  

With decades of experience serving clients in the Poughkeepsie area, I have a thorough understanding of New York divorce laws and procedures. Whether you've been served with divorce papers or are seeking to separate from a dangerous spouse, I'm here to help you navigate the legal process and protect your best interests.  

Reach out to the Law Office of Fred Clarke today to learn how I can ease the burdens you are facing. I proudly serve families in Fairview, Arlington, Spackenkill, Highland, Haviland, Pleasant Valley, Crown Heights, Milton, Clintondale, and beyond. 

Options for Divorce in New York

If you're getting divorced, you don't have to fight with your partner. With the help of an experienced divorce attorney from the Law Office Of Fred Clarke, you can increase your chances of reaching an amicable agreement.

When you go about the process maturely and fairly, both you and your partner will save time, money, and energy because there will be less back-and-forth arguing. 

In New York, couples have several paths they can take when seeking to dissolve their marriage, each with its own procedures and outcomes.  

Uncontested Divorce 

An uncontested divorce is often the most straightforward and amicable option. In this scenario, both parties agree on all major issues, including asset division, child custody, alimony, and debt allocation. Since there's mutual agreement, these cases usually move through the courts more quickly and with fewer expenses than contested divorces.  

Contested Divorce 

On the other hand, a contested divorce (the most common type of divorce) occurs when the spouses cannot agree on one or more critical issues. This type of divorce can involve extensive litigation, including trials and hearings, which can prolong the process and increase costs. Contested divorces often require extensive negotiation and legal acumen to navigate effectively. 

Other Paths 

There are also alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative divorce. Mediation involves a neutral third-party mediator who helps the spouses negotiate a settlement, while collaborative divorce engages both parties and their attorneys to work out a mutually beneficial agreement outside the courtroom.

These methods can provide a less adversarial and more cost-effective solution for many couples. No matter which path you choose, having knowledgeable legal representation can make all the difference. 

Speak With a Dedicated Attorney

How My Firm Can Assist You

If you're considering divorce, having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference. I am committed to helping you achieve a fair and sustainable outcome, allowing you to rebuild your life on stable ground.

Together, we will devise a strategic plan tailored to your specific situation, ensuring that your best interests are represented at every stage of the process. 

Grounds for Divorce

New York recognizes both "no-fault" and "fault" grounds for divorce. 

A no-fault divorce allows a couple to dissolve their marriage without needing to prove one spouse is at fault. This type of divorce focuses on the legal dissolution of the marriage without delving into the reasons why it broke down, making the process potentially quicker and less contentious. 

In a fault divorce, one spouse alleges that the other is responsible for the failure of the marriage based on specific grounds defined by state law. There are seven legally acceptable reasons to file for divorce in New York

  1. Irretrievable breakdown: Also known as a no-fault ground, this is the most commonly used basis for divorce in New York. This ground requires that the relationship has been broken irretrievably for at least six months, and all economic issues such as property division, child support, and spousal maintenance have been resolved. 

  1. Cruel and inhuman treatment: This ground requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant's behavior endangered their physical or mental well-being to the point where it is unsafe or improper to continue living together. Examples include physical abuse, emotional abuse, and other forms of misconduct. 

  1. Abandonment: To file for divorce on this ground, the plaintiff must show that the defendant has abandoned them for at least one year. Abandonment can be physical, where the defendant leaves the home without intention to return, or constructive, where they refuse to engage in marital relations. 

  1. Adultery: This involves one spouse engaging in a sexual relationship with someone outside the marriage. Proving adultery can be challenging, requiring credible evidence such as eyewitness testimony, photographs, or an admission of guilt. 

  1. Imprisonment: If one spouse is sentenced to imprisonment for three or more consecutive years after the marriage, the other spouse has the right to file for divorce based on this ground. The plaintiff must prove the term of imprisonment to use this ground successfully. 

  1. Living separate and apart under a separation judgment or decree: Couples can file for divorce if they have lived apart for at least one year based on a court-ordered judgment of separation. Documentation proving compliance with the separation decree is necessary. 

  1. Living separate and apart under a separation agreement: Similar to the previous ground, this requires the couple to have lived separately for at least one year, but it is based on a written agreement rather than a court order. The agreement must be duly acknowledged and filed with the county clerk. 

Proving fault can complicate the divorce proceedings, often resulting in more extended court battles and higher legal costs. However, it may also impact the division of assets and alimony arrangements. 

As your dedicated family law attorney, I will help you determine the grounds that best fit your circumstances and guide you through the necessary legal requirements and procedures. After we finalize the divorce, you can count on us to assist with any modifications to your child support agreement. 

Division of Assets and Debts

New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning assets and debts acquired during the marriage are divided in a manner deemed fair, but not necessarily equal. Factors influencing this division include the length of the marriage, each partner's income and assets, and contributions to the marital property.  

Equitably dividing marital property is often one of the most contentious aspects of divorce, especially in cases where significant assets are at stake. As your attorney, I will provide relentless representation to protect your best financial interests. I do not stand for bullies, and I'm prepared to fight for what is rightfully yours. 

Spousal Support

Spousal support, also known as alimony and spousal maintenance, may be awarded to provide financial stability during and after a divorce. The court considers several factors when determining spousal support, including (but not limited to):  

  • The length of the marriage

  • The age and health of both parties

  • Each spouse's earning capacity and contributions to the household

Whether you're seeking spousal support or are required to pay it, I will advocate for a fair and reasonable arrangement. 

Child Custody and Support

In New York, custody and support decisions are made in the child’s best interest. When approving or finalizing your arrangement, the court will take into account various factors such as:  

  • Each parent's ability to provide care

  • The child's preferences

  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse

I will help you understand your rights and work towards a parenting plan that's in the best interest of your child. When children are involved in divorce cases, my goal is to minimize any potential impacts on their well-being. 

Divorce Attorney Serving Poughkeepsie, New York

I understand that the financial and emotional strain of divorce can be overwhelming. My commitment is to provide cost-effective legal services that prioritize your well-being and the best interests of your family. With fair rates and flexible payment plans, I am here to support you through this difficult time. If you're considering a divorce in Poughkeepsie, New York, or the surrounding areas, contact my firm today to schedule a consultation.