The Divorce That’s Best For You
Brooklyn attorney Helene Bernstein provides client-focused legal assistance to couples getting divorced or going through other family law issues. Ms. Bernstein understands how stressful and overwhelming such matters can be, and her law office provides a comfortable atmosphere in which clients can feel at ease discussing the details of their personal lives. She will learn about your situation and your concerns, present all available options to you, and help you decide which approach best serves you and your family.
As your lawyer, Ms. Bernstein can walk you through the characteristics of a traditional divorce, collaborative divorce or a divorce using mediation. Ms. Bernstein’s hope is that you and your spouse are able to reach agreements about custody and parenting plans, support issues and the division of marital property without the need to litigate. She believes in preserving family relationships and encourages the use of mediation and collaborative law techniques for couples willing to work together to resolve their problems.
In some cases, Ms. Bernstein serves as a neutral mediator, working with divorcing couples and their lawyers, if they choose, to reach agreements on these important matters. She is an active member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, the New York Council on Divorce Mediation and FamilyKind, a nonprofit organization that provides support to families in transition due to separation or divorce.
Why Resolving Disputes Without Litigating Is Smart
There’s no getting around the disruption of divorce. However, by reaching agreements through negotiations, mediation or collaborative law, divorcing couples are able to retain more control over the look and feel of their post-divorce lives. They can focus on keeping the best interests of their children as the priority in custody and visitation matters.
Litigation comes with emotional and financial costs. Working collaboratively to reach agreements usually saves substantial amounts in legal fees, and research has shown that ex-spouses are more cooperative with each other long term following divorce when they reach agreements without litigating.
Not all family law disputes can be resolved amicably. Ms. Bernstein is an experienced litigator who can advocate for clients in court whenever necessary. But she is often able to successfully steer couples who seem destined for litigation through mediation or another means of resolving their disputes.
Dividing Marital Asses In Divorce
The division of marital assets is a common source of disagreement in divorce. Under New York law calls for the equitable division of marital property. This does not always result in property being divided 50-50. Rather, “equitable distribution” means a manner that the court deems fair based on a number of factors. These include:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s age, health and earning potential
- The needs of a custodial a parent
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marital property, including serving as a homemaker
The division of marital property requires properly identifying which property is marital property and which is separate property. Marital property is all property acquired or earned during the marriage, regardless of what the title says. Separate property is property that either spouse owned prior to the marriage. It can also include some property that is obtained during a marriage, such as inheritance or a personal injury award, as long as it is kept separate from marital property.
The court only determines how marital property is divided if the parties cannot reach agreement on their own. As with child custody and support issues, it is a good idea to reach an agreement on support matters without litigating if the agreement is fair to all parties involved. Reaching agreement through negotiation, mediation or collaborative divorce decreases the stress involved, reduces legal costs and provides both spouses more control over the outcome.
Start Your Solution With A Consultation
Law and Mediation Office of Helene Bernstein, PLLC, assists clients with all their divorce and family law needs in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Ms. Bernstein keeps flexible office hours, including evening and weekend hours by appointment, by phone, video chat or in person if available, to help suit her clients’ busy schedules. Reach the Law and Mediation Office of Helene Bernstein, PLLC through the online contact form or call 917-748-9854 to learn how can provide knowledgeable, solutions-driven legal assistance.