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Marriage Law Basics: What are the 9 Types of Divorce?

Posted On: July 01, 2019

While this particular article does not address the specifics for a New York divorce (there is no Summary Divorce and no Arbitration for divorce in NY), it does outline the nine different types of divorce, depending upon how complicated the situation is.

Contested & Uncontested:  To obtain a divorce you must commence a lawsuit or "action" against your spouse for divorce.  If that action moves forward where the spouse or "parties" fight over every issue that must be decided in a divorce (distribution of marital assets, child custody and visitation, etc.), then this is a contested divorce.  An uncontested divorce is where the parties settle their lawsuit, or even better, use alternative methods wherein they reach an agreement on all issues before they even file for their divorce, and then these parties DO NOT step into the courthouse...instead their paperwork goes to court.

What are the alternative methods?

Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party meets with a couple to help them reach a mutual and informed agreement for the terms of their separation and/or divorce.

In the Collaborative Process the attorneys and parties agree that they will not go to Court and will instead focus their energies on settlement. The parties can therefore control certain aspects of their divorce or dissolution, such as the cost and the timing.

New York is now a No-Fault Divorce state, which means you do not have to allege or prove fault grounds in your action to obtain a divorce.

Finally, same sex marriage is now legal nationwide and divorce is governed by state law.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of PRFIRE.


6 Things Wealthy People Do To Protect Their Money When They Get Married

Posted On: July 08, 2019

How to protect your money before marriage...

First, you want to protect individual assets and income, especially if there are multiple streams of income.  This may include income as a result of a family trust, gifts and/or inheritances or separate incomes from different business ventures.  This principle also applies to your non-high net worth individuals that may have multiple sources of income, whether it be from more than one business or a passive stream of income or individual separate property.

Meeting with a Financial Planner is also highly recommended so that you have an understanding of what you want to accomplish with respect to your Estate Planning.  It will also give a perspective with respect to tax consequences based upon your decisions.  After you have sorted out most of these issues, the most important next step is to consider doing a Prenuptial Agreement or a "Prenup".  This legal contract between the parties before they marry sets forth how they intend to hold and divide property that becomes marital and what properties they intend to keep separate and for which their soon to be spouse will have no future claim.  Because this is a contract between two parties, each party should be represented by independent counsel, so that each party's best interests are represented.  In addition to securing and identifying income and assets and how they will be effective by a possible future divorce, it is also important to consider if one of the parties is giving up a career in order to raise a family.  If that is the case, then the Agreement should also take into consideration whether that person is entitled to and should have financial support in the form of maintenance, which is equivalent to spousal support - and for what period of time that support should exist in the event of a divorce.

Another point most couples do not consider in planning for the future and protecting against a possible divorce is what happens to the debt that is acquired during the course of the marriage, or if a party is coming into a marriage with substantial debt...that is something that also should be addressed in a Prenup.

As for celebrities or persons of notoriety who live in the public eye, there are other considerations to ensure with respect to that person's public reputation and the effects that a scandal of a divorce could have.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Sarah Wells, Business Insider, and pitbull2013 via Compfight cc.


The Real Reason Facebook Causes One-Third Of Divorces

Posted On: October 31, 2022

People have a lot of concerns about Facebook, from selling private information to online stalking, but one of the issues that has become very apparent is the increase deterioration to marital relationships as a result of Facebook activity, and in some instances, being a direct cause of a divorce.

As this article demonstrates, it is not surprising that one of the primary reasons is inappropriate messages by a spouse to someone other than their spouse, whether it be sexual or flirty comments; these things are often available for anyone to see, which is why it often causes a problem for the marital relationship. 

Word of caution: never put in a text, tweet or on Facebook something that you would not repeat to your mother, or in this case, say in front of your spouse to the person you are speaking to.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Amanda Chatel, yourtango(dot)com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT


Robert De Niro Won’t Be Splitting His $500 Million Fortune with Estranged Wife In Divorce Settlement

Posted On: October 25, 2021

The court chose to honor the contract made prior to the marriage where the parties agree that Mr. De Niro‘s income would not be marital property, but separate property. In addition, his attorneys argued that the 77 year old De Niro should not be required to continue working to support his wife’s spending and lavish lifestyle.

This decision is a clear example of why prenuptial agreements are vital to protect separate property as well as future property and earnings.
Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Angelina Velasquez, Yahoo News
Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT #Prenup #RobertDeNiro #GraceHightower


These Women Open Up About Divorce In Your Twenties

Posted On: February 07, 2022

Most people don’t know, but this past January 10th was “Divorce Day”.  Typically, January sees an increase in divorce because most people decided to wait for the holidays to be over and to start the new year off by moving forward in a different direction.  In 2021, we saw two big celebrity divorces:  Adele, whose comeback album’s major theme was about the dissolution of her marriage, and Kim & Kanye's mega public dissolution of their relationship.

Although divorce is often depicted as something tragic and life altering, and while the pain of the dissolution of a primary relationship is usually evident for most couples, it appears that it's clear that leaving behind a relationship that isn’t good for you can only be a positive thing.  It is a chance for someone to reclaim time and reach better emotional and mental health. 

The landscape of relationships and marriage and divorce has changed.  Studies have shown that the “Millennials” are more cautious and are less likely to get married in the first place compared to other generations.  This article cites a 2018 US Study that suggested 46% of people from 25 to 37 were married, compared to 57% of “Gen X” and 67% of early “Boomers” at that same age.  According to this article, the Millennials have changed attitudes about marriage and divorce.  It is almost as if the younger generation has accepted divorce as a more than possible outcome.  They don’t look at a person who is divorced in such a negative fashion, but rather that they are free of something that wasn’t good for them.  They are also more easily and frequently supportive, offer words of encouragement, and believe that love can be found again.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Megan Wallace, Cosmopolitan(dot)com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT


January 2021 Collaborative Circle on YouTube

Posted On: January 27, 2021

Welcome back to the Collaborative Circle, and our first YouTube Video of 2021!

This year we are taking the time to spotlight each member who make up our esteemed group, and I'm proud to be the first profiled!

Please watch the video below to learn more about what brought me into the Collaborative Circle, what makes me so passionate about the work that I do, and why I believe so strongly in the Collaborative model.

As a reminder, on the last Tuesday of every month, the Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals release our Collaborative Circle on YouTube, which seeks to inform and answer all of the questions you may have regarding the Collaborative Divorce process as well as help foster understanding and further our mission of helping families make informed choices about how best to proceed throughout any family crisis.

For immediate information, please visit:

Phone: 844-542-3700 • Email:


Want to Fight Less in Your Marriage? Quit Using Logical Fallacies.

Posted On: April 19, 2021

There are obviously worse things that can happen in a relationship than having a heated argument with your significant other, especially if there is a chance of making things better or learning from each other.  But there should be rules to fighting and arguing, whether spoken or unspoken. 

In 1980, two Dutch scholars developed some simple rules that can help.  This article also focuses on what fallacies to avoid using.  When I looked through these, what struck me is that many of them contain a judgment embedded in them, which is another thing to avoid when having an argument or a discussion with your spouse or significant other.  The last thing you want to do is blame or speak with a statement dripping with judgment.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Stever Calechman,
Royalty free photo courtesy of


Surprising Ways Divorce Affects Your Social Security Benefits

Posted On: September 20, 2022

Before you make an election on your Social Security benefits whether to retire early, retire at the full retirement age or at maximum age, this is an election you need to make with true understanding of the consequences.  Therefore consulting a financial adviser who understands Social Security benefits is often best!

Many people are anxious to retire, but should you take Social Security early or at the earliest possible age?  Most people do not realize that there is a significant loss of benefit when you retire early.  A large percentage of your benefit disappears if you elect to retire early i.e., taking retirement at age 62.  Full retirement age has changed over used to be 65 but now depends upon when you were born to determine at what age you can collect full retirement benefits. 

Before retirement, it is wise to consider when and which benefits to take, depending on your financial circumstances.  Taking Social Security at age 70, for instance, may get you more money monthly but will you live long enough to collect the difference of what you would collect if you took benefits at full retirement age?  This is something that you should consider and calculate, or speak with a financial adviser to understand the full picture.

Divorce can also affect Social Security benefits.  For instance, did you know that if you were married for 10 years and then divorce, you can choose an election where you actually are able to utilize your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits?  So how does that work?  So long as you have been married for at least 10 years, it doesn't matter how long you were divorced, so long as you have not remarried you will have the option at the time of your retirement to elect between your own Social Security benefit or ½ of your ex-spouse’s Social Security benefit, if it is greater than your own benefits.  You are not, however, entitled to the entire amount of your ex’s Social Security benefit.  You are only entitled to half, so if your ex-spouse ears significantly more than you for many years, half of their retirement benefit may be larger than your entire retirement benefit.  The wonderful thing is it doesn't matter when your Ex retires or when you retire...the election to your ex-spouse’s benefit exists and does not affect your ex-spouse’s benefit or how they elect to take their retirement.  The Social Security Administration usually will do the best as far as giving you the higher amount, so for instance, if it is better for you to keep your own benefit they will make sure that your own Social Security benefit is paid first and then they will pay you the difference using the spousal benefit generated by your ex-spouse’s work history.  Just be sure to confirm everything before finalizing your election!

There is also a survivor benefit in the event that your spouse, either current or former, passes away.  You may be eligible for survivor benefits.  Qualification for these benefits are really different.  If you were married at the time of the death, you must have been married for at least nine months unless your spouse’s death was accidental or occurred during military service.  For your divorced spouse you had to have been similarly married for 10 years and if that spouse dies that death survivor benefit can actually be received before you retire, depending on your age and circumstances and whether or not you have a disability.  If you are receiving Social Security and your ex-spouse dies, you can get a boost to your Social Security by that survivor benefit.  As previously stated, re-marriage can kill the benefits from an ex-spouse.  Remember, it is your re-marriage not theirs.  You can receive up to 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefit amount.  If you are a widow or widower you can receive up to 100% of the deceased’s benefit, but as in most situations as I previously mentioned, if you choose to receive reduced benefits if you apply before your full retirement age not only is your benefit significantly discounted, those benefits that you could get from an ex-spouse will also be reduced.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Sarah Sheehan, financebuzz(dot)com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT