The Financial Reality of Divorce

Divorce Financial Planning

Fight smart and keep your eye on the ball. The nature of a divorce negotiation, like a bankruptcy, involves the division of a finite pot of assets. But a divorce is also the most stressful event that will occur in your life. Many people find it difficult to think clearly and to make complicated decisions in the middle of the storm. In many cases, clients are emotionally disposed to make short-term decisions, like moving money around or fighting furiously over pennies, which extend the divorce process. I believe that the client should analogize the process to a chess game, not a war defined by shotgun battles at every moment.

The court costs or the long-term negative effects of their decisions may produce diminishing returns or a pyrrhic victory. It takes a skilled and experienced lawyer to balance the immediate emotional stress with the financial reality of divorce.

With more than 35 years of experience as a New York divorce attorney, I bring the skills and insight necessary to help you get the best results possible in your divorce. At the Robert G. Smith, PLLC law firm, you will receive valuable counsel and insight into every aspect of your divorce choices.

Falling in love is free. Getting a divorce, however, can be financially devastating if you do not spend your money intelligently as you go forward with your divorce. In a divorce, the pot is shrinking, and I can help you avoid getting into a protracted dispute that costs more than it's worth.

I can use my experience to provide you valuable counsel regarding:

  • Spending your money wisely: I will use my experience to help you achieve your directives by fighting smart and negotiating even smarter. You will be tempted to spend money on private investigators or other resources to make the other spouse look bad. Sometimes this is a good strategy, and it can be economically advantageous. I will help you to determine how to make the best use of your resources.
  • Tax considerations in a divorce: For high net worth divorces in particular, tax implications can change the way we protect your assets and protect your business during the property distribution and division aspect of the divorce proceedings
  • Support issues: Child support as well as spousal support, alimony and spousal maintenance can be tremendous expenses. I have broad experience working out those arrangements for these payments in ways that are in the best interests of my clients and that remain acceptable to the courts.

Leveling the Playing Field for Attorneys Fees

In the past, the golden rule for matrimonial cases seemed to be: "Whoever has the gold makes the rules." But the pendulum has swung. In many matrimonial cases, the spouse with greater assets (called the "moneyed" spouse) needs to get the strong message that she or he is paying to maintain or prolong the controversy.

Until June 1980, in a New York divorce case, a woman had the right to go to the mailbox and hope that her husband sent the alimony and child support check. There were no property settlements in divorce court. And if she borrowed money for legal fee, there were no reimbursements. Like many other jurisdictions over the past 30 years, New York has made great strides to level the playing field for the non-moneyed spouse, who nowadays may also be the husband. One of the primary improvements has been to update and to streamline the process for obtaining attorney fees. According to the new statute, effective in October, 2010, the "non-moneyed" spouse can more easily obtain the costs for attorney fees from the other spouse. The spouse with more money, which can be either the man or the woman, will be the one absorbing the costs of protracted divorce litigation in the first instance.

I have experience representing both the moneyed and the non-moneyed spouse. If needed, I can file for attorney's fees on your behalf. I have successfully done so in many cases.

Contact a New York Divorce Attorney

Either call my office or contact me online for a free initial consultation.