Question #26: My husband and I are New York City residents. We have decided to separate then divorce as soon as we have met the legal one year requirement. Between us, we have already reached agreement on custody of our 9 year old son, child support, and the distribution of our belongings (contents of our home). We have no major assets to divide. We would like to pursue a mediated divorce, but are concerned about the cost. This is the only thing holding us back at this point. At present, we would be unable to afford even standard adversarial legal services.

There are many legal requirements that are necessary in order to get a divorce in the state of New York. It is very important for you to consult with an attorney-mediator, who is experienced and trained in divorce mediation and who is familiar with the specific legal requirements in New York. There are numerous issues that must be addressed before the court will approve a divorce, some of which you may think you have decided but in fact still must consider. I see no discussion up child support, spousal maintenance, or division of marital property. There are statutory requirements regarding child support in the state of New York.
To the extent you have decided together on some issues, the mediation process may be speeded up, saving you money; but you should engage a professional attorney-mediator to be sure that what you are deciding is in accordance with the statutory requirements.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions