Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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Do You Need a New York Divorce Attorney If You Don’t Own Property?

Do you really need to hire a New York divorce attorney if you don’t share property with your spouse? You may have heard that it’s easy enough to do a DIY divorce if you don’t have assets to allocate, however, this may not be in your best interests. Here’s what to know about hiring a divorce lawyer in Manhattan when you don’t have property to divide.  

The Cost of Divorce Without Joint Property in New York 

Divorcing in New York without shared property like a home or retirement assets tends to be less expensive than divorces that involve property division, even if the divorce is amicable. Many people assume that this lowered cost supports the theory that simple divorces can easily be done without a lawyer. However, this isn’t necessarily true. 

There are many other issues in a divorce other than property division that can increase its cost and complexity. For example, if you have children with your spouse, you may not agree on who gets custody or how much visitation time the noncustodial parent gets. In these cases, having a NY child custody and divorce lawyer on board is extremely beneficial.  

The Duration of a Divorce Without Joint Property 

Divorces where property division isn’t necessary also take less time than divorces where assets must be divided between both spouses. This process is called equitable distribution and is an important part of marriage dissolutions where the couple owns property together and/or brings their own assets into the marriage. The more property or assets a couple owns, the longer their divorce is likely to take. 

Other Divorce Issues That May Become Contentious 

Even if you don’t share property with your spouse, there are likely other issues in your divorce that may become contentious. For example, child custody, visitation, and child support matters tend to be highly sensitive and parents may disagree on how to share time with their children. 

Or, you may be a good candidate for alimony that your spouse doesn’t want to pay. There are many more issues involved in a divorce than property division that necessitate the experience of a veteran divorce lawyer. 

Advantages of Hiring a New York Divorce Attorney Even If You Don’t Share Property 

There are several advantages of hiring a New York divorce attorney, even if you and your spouse don’t own property together. This includes but isn’t limited to: 

  • Helping you avoid mistakes on your divorce paperwork. How you file or respond to your divorce matters; any errors could be costly or cause your divorce to drag on longer than it would otherwise. 
  • Fielding calls and emails about the divorce. Divorces last months at best and you may not have the time, energy, or desire to field correspondence about the divorce every day. When you hire an attorney, their office does this for you. 
  • Offering objective advice. Sometimes it’s difficult to really see the circumstances you’re in when you’re in the middle of getting a divorce. A seasoned family lawyer can offer objective advice from an outside perspective, allowing you to consider all options before making critical decisions for your family. 
  • Getting better negotiation results. An experienced trial attorney can help you negotiate better terms for your divorce settlement, even without going to court. Your lawyer will know when to get aggressive and when to remain watchful while negotiating your settlement with the other side.  
  • Avoiding litigation entirely. If you don’t own property with your spouse and you agree on the terms of your divorce, you may not need to go to court at all to finalize your divorce. A veteran New York divorce attorney can help you settle the dissolution of your marriage via mediation and will submit a settlement to the court for a judge’s final approval. 
  • Getting the best possible result. If you do end up needing to litigate your divorce, having already hired a lawyer can be to your benefit. Scrambling at the last minute for an attorney when you’re involved in divorce litigation is harrowing and you may not get the best possible result. 

Reach Out to an Experienced Family Lawyer Today for Help 

One of the most important things you can do when filing for a divorce or responding to your spouse’s divorce petition is consult a New York divorce attorney. Whether or not you choose to hire a particular lawyer is another matter entirely; you should at least consult with an attorney to gain a better understanding of where you are at and what your legal options are. 

Heidi E. Opinsky has the experience and skill set needed to provide you with zealous, comprehensive legal representation in and out of the courtroom. Call now for your consultation to discuss your case by dialing 203-653-3542.