New York Attorney Guiding Spouses Through Dissolving a Marriage

Most people begin a marriage with the intention of staying with their spouse forever, but sometimes issues become insurmountable, and one or both parties decide to end the marriage. Even divorces that start amicably can lead to contentious arguments, and parties who are not represented by an attorney may unwittingly waive their rights. If you wish to end your marriage, you should engage a New York divorce lawyer who will work diligently to help you seek a successful outcome. For the past three decades, Attorney Valerie S. Wolfman has been guiding clients through these difficult situations with sensitivity and discretion. Ms. Wolfman’s office is in Manhattan, and she assists people in divorce cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.

Determining Jurisdiction

One of the first considerations in a divorce action involves determining which state or country has jurisdiction over the matter. There are no international laws that determine jurisdiction in divorce actions, and the requirements for filing a divorce proceeding are defined by the laws of each country or jurisdiction. In most cases, however, if a marriage is valid in another country, it will be valid in New York. Thus, parties who were validly married in other jurisdictions may be able to obtain a divorce in New York if they meet the residency requirements.

New York can exercise jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding if the parties were married in or live in New York as spouses, and either party has been a resident of New York for one year prior to commencing the divorce. Jurisdiction is also proper if the cause of action arose in New York and either party lived in New York for one year prior to the commencement of the proceedings, or both parties are residents of New York at the time of the commencement of the proceedings. Lastly, New York can exercise jurisdiction if either spouse has lived in New York for at least two years prior to the commencement of the proceedings.

Each country has its own laws not only regarding jurisdiction but also regarding the distribution of assets, spousal support, and other divorce-related issues. If you are going through an international divorce, it is vital to retain a divorce attorney in New York who has experience handling these cases. Valerie S. Wolfman has assisted French citizens and other foreign nationals with going through the divorce process in New York, and she is a member of the International Association of Family Lawyers. She is fluent in French, German, and Swiss German.

Grounds for Divorce in New York

In New York, parties seeking to end their marriage can file an action for a no-fault or fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce simply asserts that the marriage has been irretrievably broken for at least six months. There are several grounds under which a person can seek a fault-based divorce in New York, including abandonment for at least one year, inhuman and cruel treatment, imprisonment of one spouse for at least three years, and adultery. A divorce attorney can advise you on the benefits and detriments of a fault-based divorce and a no-fault divorce and help you determine which path is more appropriate for you.

Distribution of Assets

A potentially contested issue with which New York divorce attorney Valerie S. Wolfman can assist you involves how marital property should be divided. Under New York law, any marital assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce. Equitable distribution does not require the court to divide marital property equally. Instead, any marital property, which is property acquired by either spouse during the duration of the marriage, will be divided in a manner that the court deems fair and just, unless the parties have contractually agreed to a different arrangement. Factors weighed in determining what constitutes an equitable distribution include each party’s income and earning potential, the duration of the marriage, the health of each party, and whether either party is awarded spousal maintenance.

Discuss Your Options With a Sophisticated New York Attorney

Divorce proceedings are not only emotionally challenging but also legally complex in many cases. Valerie S. Wolfman is proficient in handling complex cases, including cases involving substantial assets and international divorces. You can reach Ms. Wolfman through the online form or at (646) 293-4704 to set up a confidential consultation with a divorce lawyer in New York.

Client Reviews

Her approach was by far the most down to earth and honest that I could wish for. She is upfront and will give you a great amount of information for a first consultation, which is good if you don't want to get more confuse about what to do. The initial consultation fee was also extremely reasonable...


It is hard to find a lawyer that one can positively comment on. Valerie Wolfman is such an individual. She is extremely knowledgeable in family law. During my initial consultation she was generous with her time. She has always been available via phone and email. Flexibility is another great aspect...


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