My wife and I are thinking of a mutual divorce after having lived separately for two years in NYC. We are both Asian Indians by origin, and we were married in India in 1998. We own an apartment, and we are both titleholders. What’s the divorce process in NYC, how long would this roughly take if it is mutual consent, and how much would it roughly cost? Also, what exactly does equitable distribution mean? If I sell the apt. before the divorce process starts, would the proceeds count in the equitable distribution? Can we mutually decide the distribution of assets without involving the law?
If you are both living in New York for one year, NY will have jurisdiction over your divorce, regardless of where you were married.
Equitable distribution means that generally, all property earned or acquired during the marriage other than by gift or inheritance is considered marital property and will be generally divided in half, regardless of in whose name the property is held.
You cannot, in anticipation of filing for divorce, just sell off the property first and take the money without dividing the proceeds equally.
One of the many benefits of using our mediation services is that you will not have to make court appearances or spend countless hours, time, and money on attorneys waiting for your ten minutes before the judge. All of the decisions on how to divide your assets and what support and other provisions will be made in the quiet of my office and will be up to you and your wife instead of the judge.
The cost will depend on how long it takes us to go through all of the issues (e.g., spousal support, division of marital assets, payment of outstanding debts, etc.), draft a Separation Agreement, and prepare and file the divorce papers.
If you are living in the NYC metro area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting to discuss the matter in greater length.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions