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Divorce Attorney in Poughkeepsie, NY

We're Different. We're Certified Collaborative Divorce Attorneys.

Are you looking for a more humane and dignified way to get through the often-stressful experience of a divorce in Dutchess County? The divorce process requires many decisions concerning sensitive and personal issues, from child custody and parenting plans to how you will divide marital property and debt. 

These issues can be divisive and subject to emotionally charged considerations. Having the guidance of a divorce attorney trained in facilitating discussions and problem-solving as opposed to contentious litigation through the courts can be invaluable.

Why Work With Us?

At McCabe, Coleman, Ventosa & Patterson, PLLC, you can work with a Poughkeepsie-certified collaborative divorce lawyer who can help minimize the turmoil of this process. Collective certification is rare among divorce lawyers in general. Our divorce lawyers are proud to offer this more positive, private, and less expensive option to our clients in the greater Poughkeepsie area. 

At our firm, backed by 200 years of combined legal experience, you will have the legal guidance you need to reach agreeable settlements and solutions for all issues you face in your NY divorce.

Looking for a more amicable way to end your marriage? Contact McCabe, Coleman, Ventosa & Patterson PLLC to schedule an initial and complimentary consultation about Poughkeepsie collaborative divorce.  

Grounds for Divorce in New York

There are several grounds for divorce in New York that can be used to end a marriage. These can be divided into two categories: fault and no-fault.

Fault-based grounds for divorce:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment for a period of one or more years
  • Imprisonment for three or more years
  • Adultery
  • Living separate and apart pursuant to a separation judgment or decree

No-fault grounds for divorce:

  • Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for a period of six months or more. This means there is no hope of reconciliation, and both parties have lived apart for at least six months.

It is important to note that New York is one of the few states that still allows for fault-based divorce. However, most divorces in New York are granted on no-fault grounds, as they are simpler and less contentious.

Divorce Process in New York

In New York State, the divorce process can be divided into two types of divorce: uncontested and contested.

  • An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all terms of the divorce, including child custody, child support, division of property, and spousal support. This type of divorce is typically less expensive and quicker than a contested divorce.
  • A contested divorce is when one or both spouses cannot come to an agreement on one or more issues, such as child custody or division of property. In this case, the court will make a final decision on those issues.

Overview of the NY Divorce Process

  • Filing the Divorce Petition: The person seeking the divorce files a divorce petition in the Supreme Court in the county where either spouse lives. The petition must state the grounds for divorce.
  • Serving the Divorce Papers: The plaintiff must serve a copy of the divorce papers to the other spouse (the defendant) within 120 days of filing the petition (in person, by mail, or through a process server).
  • Response to the Petition: The defendant has 20 days to respond to the divorce petition. If they do not respond within that time, the plaintiff can request a default judgment.
  • Discovery: Both spouses must disclose their financial information and other relevant information to each other in a process called discovery.
  • Negotiation/Settlement: If the divorce is uncontested, the spouses can negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement. If the divorce is contested, a judge may order the parties to attend a settlement conference or mediation to try to reach an agreement.
  • Trial: If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case goes to trial. At trial, the judge will hear evidence and make a decision on the unresolved issues.
  • Judgment of Divorce: Once the judge signs the judgment of divorce, the divorce is final. The judgment will outline the terms of the divorce settlement, including child custody, child support, division of property, and spousal support.

The entire divorce process can take several months to over a year, depending on the complexity of the case and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. It is important to seek legal advice from an experienced Poughkeepsie divorce attorney to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

What is Collaborative Divorce in Poughkeepsie?

In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse agree to settle issues regarding your divorce without courtroom intervention or by threatening to engage in litigation which is an adversarial process.

Instead, you and your spouse will agree to work with one another to create your divorce issue agreements. You will be in charge and control the process as opposed to a judge with little knowledge of you, your spouse, your family, and your circumstances. The process is done through collaboration based on your agreement to cooperate.

You, your spouse, and your respective family law attorneys serving Poughkeepsie will be committed to resolving the issues as fairly and equitably as possible through negotiation.

The divorce issues that will need to be resolved in any divorce may include:

  • Child custody, visitation, and parenting plans
  • Child support
  • How marital property, assets, and debts will be divided
  • Spousal support (alimony)
  • Any other issues relevant to the disentangling of your marriage and household

Collaborative divorce attorneys are trained in facilitating positive communication, in reducing conflict, and in helping you stay on track in problem solving your way through the issues until you reach mutually-acceptable solutions. The threat of litigation is not allowed to be used as a tool in the negotiations. If the negotiations fail utterly, you and your spouse will need to find other attorneys to litigate your divorce.

In a collaborative divorce in NY, you and your spouse will make a full disclosure concerning all aspects of your divorce and may need to use other experts, such as accountants, appraisers, or child specialists, in your quest to come to fair agreements. This is especially beneficial where children are involved as they will not be forced to undergo court-ordered forensic evaluations. It will also avoid the emotional toll that parental conflict can have on children and teenagers.

Talk to a Divorce Lawyers Serving Poughkeepsie Today

The benefits of the collaborative process are many, including its privacy, cost-effectiveness, speed, and the control you maintain over how your life will be constructed after your divorce. Communication is key to the process. Having a trained divorce attorney in this endeavor can make all the difference in how efficiently it is handled; our divorce attorney has valuable experience in bringing New York individuals safely and sanely through divorce collaboration.

Reach out to our Dutchess County divorce lawyers at (845) 209-1355 to learn more about the collaborative process today. 


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