At the initial consultation, we will first determine if you are eligible to file for a divorce in the State of New York. Like all states, New York has residency requirements. These are:
1. The parties were married in the state and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding, or
2. The parties have resided in this state as husband and wife and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding, or
3. The cause occurred in the state and either party has been a resident thereof for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the commencement of the action, or
4. The cause occurred in the state and both parties are residents thereof at the time of the commencement of the action, or
5. Either party has been a resident of the state for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding the commencement of the action.
If it is determined that you can indeed file in the State of New York, you will join me in discussing the history of your marriage, such as: How long have you been married? What is your current living situation? Do you have children? Are you working? What is your income? Is your spouse working? What is his/her income? Do you own a home or rent? Was the home purchased before or after the marriage? What is the estimated value of your home? How much do you currently owe, if anything, on your mortgage? Are you children in school? Public or private? How is the tuition paid? If both of you work, who cares for the children during the day or, if they are in school, during non-school hours when you are not at home? Have you or your spouse ever been arrested? Any history of domestic violence? Is there currently an Order of Protection in place?…expired? Do you share bank accounts with your spouse? Do you share credit cards with your spouse? Do either your spouse or you have any retirement accounts or pensions? Do you or your spouse have an interest in any business? What percentage of the business is owned by your spouse or you? Are all of your income taxes current? Has your spouse retained an attorney and commenced an action?
Next, we will discuss your goals for your divorce: How do you envision your life once your divorce is completed? Do you wish to leave New York State or stay in the area? Do you desire custody of your children? Will you be going back to work after the divorce if you have not worked during the marriage? Will you be going back to school after the divorce? Do you need a flexible schedule regarding visitation due to your work schedule? Do you require spousal support? Do you wish the marital residence to be sold? Do you wish to remain in the marital residence until the children graduate high school?
The consultation is the most important step in the attorney/client relationship. There must be a level of comfort between the attorney and client in order for the representation to be effective. A divorce is an emotionally draining time in your life. Without a strong divorce attorney to lead you through the process, you will feel lost. The Kepanis Law Firm, P.C. takes a personal approach to the practice of divorce law and we will guide you with a sure hand until your divorce is completed.