Western New York No-Fault Divorce Attorney
The state of New York instituted no-fault divorce in 2010, adding a new ground for divorce and helping to avoid some of the acrimony involved in the old fault-based system of divorce. However, divorcing couples still face the same difficult dilemmas regarding division of property, custody of children and financial support.
I am Charles A. Messina, an attorney practicing almost exclusively in matrimonial and family law. My mission is to secure your fair share of the marital estate and achieve a practical and timely settlement of all related issues. I consider litigation a last resort, but I always position my clients for the possibility — the truly bad outcomes occur when negotiations break down and your lawyer is not prepared to go to court.
I provide creative and sensible solutions in divorce to men and women of Greater Buffalo, Erie County, Niagara County, Chautauqua County and nearby jurisdictions of Western New York. Contact me today for a free and confidential phone consultation.
Understanding No-Fault Divorce
Misunderstandings about no-fault divorce are common. The legislature did not change the rules of divorce. They simply added one more to the six grounds for divorce that existed previously, which included adultery and abandonment. This new ground for divorce, the no-fault ground, does not require either party to accuse the other of any wrongdoing. All that needs to be said is that the marriage has been broken for at least six months.
The divorce can be accomplished by a settlement if there is agreement on all matters, or at trial if there are unresolved issues relating to asset division, custody and visitation or child support or maintenance.
Buffalo Lawyer for Property Division in Divorce
An equitable distribution of marital property under the New York divorce statute is not always a 50-50 split. One spouse may be entitled to a greater share depending on the nature of the assets, the disparity in income and other factors. I can knowledgeably protect your interests regarding:
- Valuation and disposition of the marital home
- Business valuation and compensation to the spouse
- QDROs to divide retirement savings
- O'Brien claims involving enhanced earnings or advanced degrees
- Spousal maintenance ("alimony")
- Division of debts and responsibility for loan payments
- Separate property (inheritance/heirlooms and assets owned prior to marriage)
Straight Answers and Strong Advocacy
It is generally in everyone's best interest to avoid a trial. Trials are unpredictable and at the end, a judge will determine the outcome. My goal is to prepare your case thoroughly and properly, to enhance your position in negotiations and to put on the best case possible if trial becomes inevitable.
I can answer all your questions and give you a realistic assessment of where you stand and help you emerge from divorce in the best position to move forward on solid footing. Call my Hamburg office at 716-650-4581 to schedule a consultation, including after hours by appointment. I accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.