Poughkeepsie Family Law Lawyers
Understanding New York Family & Matrimonial Laws
In the emotionally charged and stressful time of life when couples or families are embroiled in a breakup, there is often great pressure to handle these family issues in Court. The indignity, publicity, rigidity, and insensitivity of Court-based family law processes make for a generally expensive and unappealing process to many clients.
Our firm takes pride in offering a full spectrum of legal processes to afford the family law and matrimonial client choices as to how their relationships will be reorganized.
When lawyers inherently understand that most parties wish for a process and outcome that will ultimately prove to be sensible – from price to outcome- and with no design to intentionally damage a spouse or the kids, there are many more process options to offer clients than simply taking the case to Court.
A simple uncontested divorce, mediation, or full interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce processes are options we discuss, evaluate and promote besides litigation at our firm. We take great pride in being able to offer sound family law advice in the context of multiple resolution methods.
The collaborative law practice is an evolved form of mediation – more robust – with a full interdisciplinary participation by mental health and financial professionals. This supportive and sensitive method of handling matrimonial/family conflict is a prime focus of our law office today.
Dan McCabe, as partner of the family law practice at our firm, has substantial experience in all aspects of family law. After the first 20+ years of practicing the traditional court-based resolutions, Mr. McCabe then studied mediation as an alternative dispute resolution process and has offered that choice for many years. The mediation practice has now transitioned to the art of full collaborative law methods.
At McCabe, Coleman, Ventosa & Patterson PLLC, our legal team are experienced in litigating divorce, divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, separation, premarital agreements property divisions, child support and custody. We bring 200 years of collective experience to represent clients and fight for their best interests. Whether you’re going through a divorce, in need if a premarital agreement, or seeking child support or modifying existing custody orders, you can trust that our attorneys will do what’s best for you.
During a divorce, decisions must be made while emotions run high. Our divorce attorneys can help facilitate the decision-making process by encouraging a collaborative approach, identifying issues, shepherding information and offering alternative solutions.
In collaborative divorce, both parties and their attorneys sign a participation agreement agreeing to use their honest and best efforts to resolve matters without the use of litigation. The participants and the attorneys meet together to discuss and resolve any and all issues with a focus on meeting the best interests of the parties in view of financial and personal realities.
Mediation is a voluntary alternative process our office offers to divorcing couples to resolve their conflicts while working together with a mediator/facilitator in a non-adversarial setting.
Mediation is an opportunity for individuals to express their concerns with one another and to make decisions cooperatively that will have long term financial and emotional consequences. Our firm’s divorce attorneys often work as mediators and can help clients review and develop mediated solutions.
While we encourage couples going through a divorce to try alternative methods of dispute resolution, we recognize that does not always work. In this scenario, the disputing parties can apply to the court for the court’s intervention in the resolution of their matter.
Mediation and collaborative divorce are not always appropriate methods to try, either. If the marriage has a history of domestic violence, or a pervasive power imbalance exists that makes it impossible to negotiate a fair agreement, then those cases should be litigated n court.
The court process starts when one party files a summons and complaint and request for judicial intervention with the supreme court of their county. In most situations a case will be tried in front of a judge without a jury (“bench trial”) when the case is determined to be trial ready. In order for a case to become trial ready it must go through a lengthy discovery process whereby information is shared between the parties and counsel to flesh out all areas of marital (or separate) assets (and their values) and to determine the parties income for support purposes.
If custody is not resolved amicably between the parties, then an attorney will be appointed for the children and will be involved in the process as it relates to custody and access with the children. Once the matter is determined to be trial ready, both parties will have the opportunity to call witnesses and submit other forms of evidence, like financial statements and bills in support of their respective positions.
Issues that are commonly litigated in trial include:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Access Time
- Home ownership, and all the financial matters associated with it
- Division of assets, liabilities, property, and debts
After the trial has ended, the court will mark the case “decision reserved”, meaning the judge will take some time to reflect on the facts of the case, review the evidence and apply everything to laws in New York.
Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to determine what the best course of action is for you and your family!