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Todd Spodek - Nationally Recognized Divorce Attorney

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Suffolk County Gay & LGBT Family Law Attorneys

The coming divorce is not what you wanted, but it is a reality that you must confront and deal with in earnest. Marriage involves the merging of two individuals and two estates. All that you accumulate afterward is defined in law as shared property. The responsibility for any children you may have together must also be shared between you. In divorcing, a way must be found to divide what you once held in common.

Human emotion cannot be discounted and will have its way in influencing your attitude and general behavior. But whatever you may feel for your partner you cannot let it interfere with the business at hand—that is, ensuring that you get a just and equitable settlement.

Your first action must be to retain legal counsel. The issues you will need to deal with are difficult and filled with complexity. It is essential that you have someone on your side who possesses the knowledge, skill, ability, and experience to give you good and solid counsel. If the two of you are members of the LGBT community, it is a good idea to retain a lawyer who has a tacit understanding of the community and has worked extensively with other LGBT couples.

Same-sex divorce is treated no differently than hetero divorce in New York State. How the estate is divided will depend on the same factors. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse are divorcing under rather amicable conditions, then you might want to consider a mediated proceeding. This is much less costly than going through a full trial and undertaking all that it entails. You can instead sit down and work out a settlement that the both of you can live with. You will still need legal representation of course, but the entire thing can be worked out in a much calmer and rational way.

If that is impossible, if you are dealing with someone who is less than fair-minded or a situation that makes the divorce impossible to manage amicably, then you want to ensure you are working with an attorney who knows enough about the LGBT community to anticipate the many things that your partner will impute to you in an effort to paint you in a bad light and thus receive a more favorable settlement.

This is especially important when it comes to the custody of your children. If the two of you adopted children when you were married, then the both of you will have the right to go on being parents to them after the divorce. But if you are contesting custody then you will have a fight on your hands. Your lawyer should be well prepared for that fight. They should have enough insight and experience to make your case convincingly.

Judges are keen to do what is right for the children. You may think that you are best suited to have custody of the children. But you will need to prove that to a judge who will be looking hard at any evidence that your spouse may bring forward to besmirch your name and reputation. The lawyer you hire should be ready to rebut any such unsubstantiated claims. They should know enough about how judges think and what they specifically look at when making their decision.
These are the kinds of issues you will need to deal with as you proceed through the divorce. They are serious and they require a lawyer who knows how to make them work in your favor.

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