P.O. Box 778 / 5338 Rt. 23 Windham,  N.Y. 12496  (518) 965-1077 Tel.  (518) 966-7045 Fax.

Experience. Integrity. Dedication.  Results.

Columbia, Schoharie, Delaware, Ulster, and Greene County New York divorce lawyer

By combining personal attention with a practical approach, New York divorce lawyer Heidi Cochrane addresses both your immediate divorce or separation needs and the long-term effects of a marital dissolution or family court matter on your particular circumstances. Not only do we provide the legal counsel you need to assist you in protecting yourself financially, but our representation is designed to help you to develop long-range plans that advance your personal and financial objectives as you look toward the future.

While many couples hope for an uncontested or no-fault divorce, it often happens that one spouse is in disagreement about the terms of dissolution. In some cases, these differences may be resolved through mediation or minor negotiations. In many others, the situation is far more contentious, the divorce becomes contested, and more complicated strategies or even complex supreme court or family court litigation may be necessary to achieve the goals of the divorcing parties.

Whether in Columbia County, Delaware County, Ulster County, Schoharie County, or Greene County, NY divorce lawyer Heidi Cochrane handles all aspects of your legal separation, divorce, or family court matter, including:

  • contested or uncontested divorces under New York's no-fault legislation

  • separation, settlement, and marital property agreements

  • debt allocation

  • prenuptial and postnuptial (antenuptial) agreements

  • child custody and visitation

  • child support

  • out-of-state / interstate / international custody

  • spousal maintenance and support (alimony)

  • high net worth divorce

  • business asset division

  • modification of divorce decrees, judgments, and family court order

  • enforcement of Family Court or Supreme Court orders and judgments

  • adoption

  • domestic violence and Child Protective Services

Apart from equitable distribution, or the ultimate division of assets, spousal support or maintenance is often the most contentious issue in any divorce. Whether you are facing a contested or uncontested divorce, this issue will need to be addressed. Your divorce lawyer will play a key role in the outcome of this, which is why it is so important to choose an attorney whose experience and dedication will best serve you during negotiations or in court.

In New York State, the court can award maintenance to one spouse. Maintenance, which can alternatively be called "alimony” or “spousal support”, is a monetary payment from one spouse to another. Either spouse, male or female, can be ordered to pay maintenance to the other spouse by the court. The monetary payment can be awarded as a lump sum or over time. If you are facing a divorce, and support is an issue, our law offices are experienced in assisting clients with spousal support cases, and together, we will develop the legal strategy you need to help you win your case.

When facing a contested divorce or uncontested divorce in New York State, property distribution must either be agreed upon by both parties or ruled upon by the Court. In New York State, equitable distribution is the process which is used to allocate the division of property between spouses. Although there are laws laid out to this effect in New York, determining what is marital property and what is separate property can be extremely complex and difficult, and requires the expertise of a seasoned divorce attorney to navigate.

Equitable distribution refers to the process for dispersing property acquired by or owned by either spouse upon the termination of the marriage. When a marriage is dissolved, the courts must make decisions regarding the distribution of property. There are a number of factors that the court must consider before the property is divided.

Marital Property in New York Divorces and Legal Separations

In New York State, marital property is defined as property acquired during the marriage, property acquired before the execution of a separation agreement or judgment, or property acquired by either party prior to the commencement of a divorce action.

Businesses, degrees, and licenses can all be considered property subject to equitable distribution. If one spouse’s business was formed during the marriage, then it is considered marital property under New York State equitable distribution. If the business was created prior to the marriage, but continued to exist during marriage, then the other spouse has an interest in any increase in the value of the business. If one spouse obtained any kind of degree during the marriage, the increased earnings as a result of the license may be subject to equitable distribution. Any law, medical, accounting or financial planning licenses and MBAs acquired during the marriage are also subject to New York State equitable distribution laws.

Marital debt must also be divided when considering a separation agreement. If the debt occurred during the marriage, it is marital debt. It does not matter if that debt is in your name or your spouse's name.

Regardless of the specific property you and your partner have which may be subject to equitable distribution, a seasoned divorce lawyer is invaluable in helping you keep the property that is yours and in claiming part of any property that should be shared.

In New York State marital property distribution, the courts will sort out what is to be considered separate property and what is to be considered marital property, with an eye to the arguments presented by either side. Separate property usually remains separate, and marital property is distributed equitably between both spouses. The courts will also take into consideration the individual circumstances surrounding the case and the circumstances of both parties. Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side will assist you in obtaining the outcome that will be most beneficial to your future, with regard to property distribution. Our law offices understand what may be considered marital property, what may be personal property, and the information and evidence required by the court to make a determination in accordance with your legal rights.

Separate Property in New York Divorces and Legal Separations

Separate property in New York State matrimonial matters is defined as: property acquired before marriage; property acquired as inheritance or gifts from a person other than the spouse; personal injury compensation; property acquired in exchange for the increase in value of separate property considered separate according to a written agreement between the spouses.

To claim separate property, one spouse must provide proof that the property is indeed separate.  Our law offices provide you with the advantage you need to prevail. Working with accountants in complex scenarios, we assist you in separate property determinations involving:

  • real property

  • bank accounts

  • investment accounts

  • retirement accounts; and

  • any other asset that has value.

Equitable distribution can raise numerous questions that we are prepared to address. For skilled legal representation that will get you results, contact our law offices today.

Spousal Support Payments and Duration in New York Divorces, Legal Separations, and Family Court matters.

The supreme and family courts in New York State have broad discretion to award any amount of money necessary to support the recipient spouse, provided the court’s decision is based on the facts and the circumstances existing at the time the award is granted. The facts are essential and carefully reviewed. With our legal support, the judge in your supreme court or family court case will be presented with the necessary information and facts you need to reach the goals you are seeking in regards to maintenance payments. Prior to awarding spousal support, the supreme court or family court judge will examine:

  • The length of the marriage

  • The conduct of the parties during the marriage

  • The age and health of the parties

  • The occupations of the parties and their incomes

  • The sources of income

  • The vocational skills and employability of the spouses

  • The assets and debts of the parties

  • Any special needs of the parties

  • The opportunity of the parties to acquire future income and assets.

Furthermore, in New York State, the supreme or family court judge may consider three types of spousal support: permanent, rehabilitative, and restitutional.

  • Permanent Alimony is a payment for daily requirements such as the food, housing, clothing of a spouse. A spouse who requests permanent alimony must prove the need for support. Permanent alimony, once awarded by the supreme or family court, is in effect indefinitely, or until there is a change in circumstances, upon which there may be a review of the arrangement.

  • Rehabilitative Alimony is a payment intended to provide the support necessary for a spouse to refresh or develop job skills that will allow him or her to secure a vocation (or job). This is a common form of temporary alimony awarded by the New York supreme or family court to allow a spouse to "get back on their feet."

  • Restitutional Alimony is a repayment of support given to one spouse by the other while he or she was pursuing educational opportunities or enhancing vocational skills. Supreme or family court restitutional alimony awards are temporary.

Supreme or family court spousal support matters are frequently the most contested situations to deal with in the divorce process, because they affect both the current and future lifestyles of both spouses, as neither wants to be financially handicapped by a crippling payment or the lack of alimony. If you are encountering problems with spousal support, contact us today for experienced legal representation and the determination to fight for the spousal maintenance or support that provides you with your fair share.

Columbia County, Schoharie County, Delaware County, Ulster County, and Greene County New York divorce lawyer and spousal support attorney Heidi T. Cochrane represents divorce, separation, child custody, child support, and spousal support clients in cities and towns throughout the Catskills and the Hudson Valley, including Ashland, Athens, Athens, Cairo, Catskill, Coxsackie, Durham, Greenville, Halcott, Hunter, Jefferson Heights, Jewett, Leeds, Lexington, New Baltimore, Palenville, Prattsville, Tannersville, Windham, Ancram, Austerlitz, Canaan, Chatham, Claverack, Clermont, Copake Lake, Copake, Gallatin, Germantown, Ghent, Greenport, Hillsdale, Hudson, Kinderhook, Livingston, Lorenz Park, New Lebanon, Niverville, Philmont, Stockport, Stottville, Stuyvesant, Taghkanic, Valatie, Denning, Ellenville, Esopus, Gardiner, Hardenburgh, Hurley, Kingston, Katrine, Lloyd, Marbletown, Marlborough, Milton, New Paltz, Olive, Plattekill, Rochester, Rosendale, Saugerties, Shandaken, Shawangunk, Ulster, Wawarsing, Woodstock, Andes, Bovina, Colchester, Davenport, Delhi, Deposit, Downsville, Fleischmanns, Franklin, Hamden, Hancock, Harpersfield, Hobart, Kortright, Margaretville, Masonville, Meredith, Middletown, Roxbury, Sidney, Stamford, Tompkins, Walton, Blenheim, Broome, Carlisle, Cobleskill, Conesville, Esperance, Fulton, Gilboa, Jefferson, Seward, Sharon, Summit, Wright, Middleburgh, Richmondville, Schoharie, and Sharon Springs.

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