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Litigation. Collaborative Law. Mediation.


  • NYC Divorce FAQs

    • Can I prevent his new girlfriend from seeing the kids?
      To restrict contact with a new partner, you would need to modify your custody arrangement, either through agreement with your ex-spouse or by court intervention, prioritizing the children's well-being.
    • Can I prevent my kids from seeing my in-laws after divorce?
      Generally, courts prioritize the best interests of the child. If the court feels a child will benefit from visiting with grandparents, they will often allow it, unless there is a compelling reason to restrict it. Concerns should be addressed through open communication with your ex-spouse or court intervention if necessary.
    • Does it matter if I file for divorce first?

      Whether you are the divorce petitioner or respondent doesn’t make a difference as the divorce progresses because both parties get a say in how to handle the divorce. The biggest difference is that you can take more time to write down your expectations for the divorce if you are the one who files for it first.

    • Does my divorce have to be a bare-knuckle brawl?

      Absolutely not. Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, is one of the few New York City divorce and family law firms that offers all three options for pursuing a divorce: litigationmediation, and collaborative law. For families that prioritize minimizing conflict, mediation or collaborative law may be the more appropriate choice. Even litigation does not necessarily mean a fight – as our attorneys always strive to minimize conflict when possible – but we are prepared to battle if necessary. In other words, client and lawyer can decide together the best way to approach a case.

    • How do I get my spouse out of the house?
      Without specific safety concerns, both spouses usually have the right to stay in the marital home. The only way to have your spouse vacate is to negotiate a different living arrangement or seek a court order.
    • How long will my divorce take?
      The amount of time it takes to finish a marital dissolution and actually get the parties divorced can vary considerably. If the parties are on relatively good terms and intend on working together to reach an agreement, this can go a long way toward shortening the process. On the other hand, a contentious divorce in which many issues must be litigated before a court can extend the process. If timing is a concern, bring it up with your attorney when you first meet. When time is of the essence, you and your attorney can work together to try to reach a conclusion as soon as possible, while still achieving an equitable resolution.
    • How much will a divorce cost me?
      Like the time it takes to get divorced, the answer to this question will vary considerably from divorce to divorce. At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, we have excellent attorneys that run the gamut both in terms of cost and experience. For example, we have younger associates with a few years of practice under their belts who are nonetheless excellent litigators, mediators, and collaborative attorneys, but are lower in cost. Our firm also features true giants of the matrimonial law world who have been practicing in this area for upwards of 40 years – these attorneys will be more expensive. Our attorneys and support staff work with clients individually to determine what is needed for their particular matter, and we always take cost into consideration.
    • Is legal separation the same thing as divorce?
      A legal separation is different from a divorce in that it doesn’t end your marriage officially. It can include many of the same provisions as a divorce like child custody arrangements and property division agreements, but it won’t end the marriage. Some people see legal separation as a “trial divorce” to see if they really want to get divorced later or not.
    • Is marriage counseling required before a divorce?
      New York does not require you to enter marriage counseling before filing for a divorce. In some cases, though, the court might require you to enter divorce meditation before heading right to litigation.
    • Is marriage dissolution the same thing as divorce?
      A divorce occurs when the court decides how to end a marriage. During marriage dissolution, both spouses decide how to end a marriage without the direct input of a judge. Both are often referred to as a divorce in many contexts, though.
    • What can I do to prepare for my divorce before it begins?
      This is an excellent question and our attorneys always appreciate a savvy client who understands that the divorce process can begin even before an action is filed. Just remember that how you start a divorce can often dictate how you end the divorce. In terms of both finances and child custody, a concerned spouse can do much to minimize any future difficulties. In part, this involves adjusting behavior to present your case in the best light to the court.
    • Why do I have to pay child support if we agree to 50/50 custody?
      Child support payments are designed to ensure children have access to needed resources in both homes. Child support is based on the parents' incomes and the children's needs, not just the time spent with each parent. Therefore, child support is commonly paid even in 50/50 custody arrangements.
    • Does cheating matter in terms of the divorce process?
      Infidelity in divorce can affect the emotional aspects of the process. In that way, cheating can indirectly influence child custody or financial settlements. However, it does not usually impact legal decisions in a no-fault divorce state like New York.