Divorce is an emotionally-charged situation even in the most amicable situations. When resentment boils over or settlement seems impossible, one spouse may make claims or threats that sound intimidating, but he or she can’t back them up.
Your experienced Long Island divorce and family law attorney can help you understand how New York divorce law applies in your situation. Here are some of the most common “myths” about divorce that come out in a tense situation, and the “facts” behind them:
1. “Give me what I want, or I’ll make sure you never get a dime.”
This comment sounds intimidating, especially if the spouse making it seems to be in a position of power: for instance, if the spouse makes the lion’s share of the income. However, when a court decides how to divide property in a divorce, it focuses on a split that is “equitable,” based on the parties’ needs and available assets – not on who can shout the loudest.
The best way to protect yourself is to consult with an experienced family law attorney and ascertain your rights early in the process. The law in New York protects the less monied spouse; knowing your rights and how to effective use them is critical in protecting yourself. In most cases the probable outcome is far better than that being explained to you by your spouse. By hiring experienced counsel that are focusing solely on your needs and rights, your attorneys can be a powerful advocate on your behalf to achieve a fair and equitable outcome.
2. “I’ll quit my job before I’ll pay that kind of support.”
It is true that courts consider the supporting spouse’s wages and income, among other things, when deciding how much support should be paid. But quitting a job in order to avoid paying support isn’t an excuse. Often, the court will require support to continue, especially if you can demonstrate that your former spouse left his or her job in order to get out of support obligations. The courts have the power to impute income or income earning capacity to a party.
3. “I’ll reconcile with you, but only if you put everything in my name.”
Handing this much power over to your spouse is rarely a good first step for a true “reconciliation.” As with any settlement or other arrangement related to your divorce, ask your attorney for a professional opinion before making any agreement.