Petito & Petito, LLP
Family law is sometimes referred to as matrimonial law. Matrimonial means relating to marriage or married people. At Petito & Petito, LLP, we proudly handle matrimonial law in Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County, New York.
When we use the term, “matrimonial law,” we are not only referring to our wider family law practice but also to the laws and legal procedures surrounding marriage and divorce. We help our clients create prenuptial agreements (prenups), navigate legal separations, and make it through divorce. We also handle other legal issues related to marriage, such as child custody and visitation.
Whether you are getting married and want to protect your interests with a prenup, considering a divorce, or simply need a lawyer to help you through the end of your marriage, our Poughkeepsie matrimonial law attorneys are here for you.
Our firm has been helping local families since 1975. Call us at (845) 400-9602 to learn how we can help you, too.
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A prenuptial agreement, or “prenup,” is a written contract that 2 people create before they get married. Couples use prenups to protect each other from debts, clarify financial rights and responsibilities, and avoid disagreements in case of divorce.
Prenups can also help each spouse protect separate property and leave certain assets to children from other marriages. Without a prenup, state law dictates what happens to marital property in divorce or death. A prenup can help both spouses know what they’re getting into and make important financial decisions together without the stress of death or divorce.
If you and your spouse want to live apart without getting divorced, you will need to create a separation agreement. In your agreement, you can decide what happens to your marital property, who your children will live with, how you will handle bills, and anything else you wish to include.
New York courts do not grant separation agreements, so you will need to contact a matrimonial law attorney near you for assistance. To be valid, your agreement must be signed and notarized by both parties.
If you decide to get divorced after a year of legal separation, you can use your separation agreement as grounds for divorce.
In New York, you can get divorced due to adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, cruel and inhuman treatment, or an irretrievable breakdown in a relationship for a period of at least 6 months. As we mentioned earlier, you can also use a separation agreement as a reason for divorce.
If you wish to get divorced, you must file paperwork with the County Clerk’s Office and pay the applicable fees. Then, you must serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Usually, you cannot do this yourself.
Once your spouse is formally informed of your divorce, they will have an opportunity to respond. In an uncontested divorce (your spouse agrees on the divorce, the grounds for divorce, and how the issues of your divorce will be handled), you and your spouse can work together to prepare and file the necessary forms.
In a contested divorce, you will need to provide the court with certain information, so they can make important decisions on your behalf.
You will need to go to court for both contested and uncontested divorces. Although parties can represent themselves, the state of New York recommends that each party has their own attorney.
If you are looking for a matrimonial lawyer in Poughkeepsie or Dutchess County, look no further than Petito & Petito, LLP.
We help our clients work towards divorce settlements when beneficial, but we are not afraid to be aggressive when the need arises. Our attorneys have tried cases in front of all the family court judges in the area, and we have thousands of satisfied clients.