The parties in family law and matrimonial litigation experience a wide array of emotions with anger and bitterness being two of the most common. Threats and even physical attacks occur far too frequently. One of my law school professors often recounts a story from his time as a judge when a litigant in a child.
Many people ask about the financial consequences of a divorce of a short-term marriage. There are frequent stories in the news about divorces resulting in enormous property distributions and long-term spousal maintenance (what was once known as alimony) awards but those considering a divorce should realize these awards are generally reserved for longer marriages.
New York’s Domestic Relations Law allows the courts to order (1) equitable distribution of “marital property” and (2) maintenance.
New York’s Family Court Act states that “the parents of a child under the age of twenty-one years are chargeable with the support of such child and . . . shall be required to pay for child support a fair and reasonable sum as the court may determine.” The statute explains that the amount of support shall be calculated generally based upon a percentage of the combined parental income which leads to the obvious conclusion that a parent with a large income will be chargeable with higher support obligations. As reported lately, Linda Evangelista has petitioned the Manhattan Family Court for child support from Francois-Henri Pinault for their son and undoubtedly, this case will yield a very substantial support order.
In the wake of New York’s new same-sex marriage law (The Marriage Equality Act), many may forget that some states that refuse to allow same-sex marriage do offer what is known as a “civil union.” Civil unions, first offered in the United States by Vermont in 2000, are a legally-recognized relationship with generally all of.