Divorce & Separation

White Plains Divorce Attorney

Guiding New York and Westchester County clients through their divorce legal issues

Girl on swing looking at parentsCouples who can no longer stay married will often choose divorce in order to move on towards a better situation. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce and it is up to the separating couple to decide how to proceed. In some situations, emotions run high, issues are deeply contested, and a couple cannot work together to resolve their matter. Spousal maintenance, division of assets, high net worth, and shared marital businesses complicate the matter for many couples. Some find themselves litigating to conclude their marriage. Some couples can find themselves in court over one or two issues related to the marriage. If you find yourself facing a divorce matter, contact Penichet & Alberga LLP to represent your interests and advocate on your behalf.

Divorce Process

When a married couple cannot resolve their differences, divorce may be an option they choose to dissolve the relationship. The process of divorce has the potential to be lengthy and complicated, depending on the degree of contention between the spouses. There are many instances of couples who see the inside of a courtroom to address unresolved issues of the marriage. When this happens to you, it is best to know the general divorce process.

Contested Divorce

When a marriage ends and issues are unresolved, a couple can easily find themselves engaged in a contested divorce. Divorces can be contested and uncontested. When a couple can agree to all issues related to their marriage, they may be able to complete the process and move on quickly. This is not always the case and topics like child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and property distribution can easily send a couple to a contested divorce, sometimes over just one issue.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance can be a major factor in a divorce case. Some people find themselves engaged in litigation based on the one issue. Spousal maintenance is also known as alimony. Simply, it is the obligation of one spouse to support the other when a marriage ends. The purpose is to help the paid spouse become financially independent as soon as possible.

Property Distribution

When a couple gets divorced, one of the most disputed topics leading to a court case is property distribution. The process can become heated and emotional, as both parties believe they are entitled to certain assets and have a vision of how they should be split. Most of the time, parties don’t agree on how things should divide. Furthermore, both parties usually don’t agree with how the state will split their assets.

Legal Separation

Divorce is the most commonly used option for couples that want to end a marriage and can no longer live together. When these individuals want to end the relationship but stay legally married, they have the option to legally separate. Legal separation is a way for a couple to end their relationship but retain the benefits of the marriage.

High Net Worth Divorce

Divorce is a complicated matter to resolve. Parties hope to get past troubling times and move towards a better situation. When a marriage ends with an increase in assets, possession, money, and debts, the already complicated matter becomes overwhelmingly complex. Divorces that involve individuals with a combination of monies and assets that meet or exceed one million dollars are considered high net worth divorces.

Prenuptial Agreements

Protecting assets from an unknown future seems alien to many people who just proposed to their loved one. The fact is that over 50% of marriage end in divorce. When people consider prenuptial and postnuptial agreements only for the untrusting and untrustworthy, they are doing themselves a serious disservice. When you take the money out of the equation, a couple can focus on the lasting relationship they are about to embark on.

Divorce with a Business

When a spouse or couple owns a business, it makes an already complex situation too much to handle when faced with divorce. Property distribution is an often contested matter that becomes harder when a business is established as marital property and distributed equitably by the state of New York. Whether one couple owns the business or both, they are most likely entitled to some portion of the appreciation, at the very least, unless agreed to in writing. A couple could face a highly contested court case on the issue with the potential to impact the business itself.

Military Divorce

Divorce is a complicated matter for most. When military members are faced with a divorce, they have a more complicated matter on their hands. Similar to civilian divorces, military members will have to address the same list of relevant issues, including spousal maintenance, child support, child custody and visitation, and property distribution.


At the end of any family law matter heard in court or agreed to outside of litigation, the judge will issue an order that each party will be legally obligated to follow. Some of the many issues a judge may decide include child support, spousal maintenance, child custody and visitation. If a person was to defy the ruling handed down by a judge, they could face some serious consequences. This does not mean that the judge’s say is set in stone. Court’s are open to hearing requests for modification based on these issues.

Enforcement Orders

At the end of a divorce or family law matter, the court will issue an order to be followed by the parties engaged in the case. These orders are legally binding and come with consequences when not followed. Courts will issue orders for a variety of matters, including but not limited to spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, child visitation, property distribution, relocation.