Voted Best Long Island Divorce Lawyer

Simonetti & Associates, Nassau County Divorce Lawyer

Voted Long Island's Best Divorce Attorney 9 Years in a row!

Divorce Lawyer in Suffolk County

Simonetti & Associates understands that regardless of your net worth, you don’t want to squander money on your divorce. We strive to provide the high-quality legal representation you expect from a prestigious firm while working to keep your legal costs at a minimum. Whether you live in Water Mill, Westhampton, Smithtown, Islip, Amityville, Riverhead, or any town in between, our top rated Divorce Lawyer on Long Island, Simonetti & Associates is here to help.

Simonetti & Associates has represented the residents of Long Island since 1990. Our founding member is a born-and-raised native of Long Island who has practiced law here his entire career. We understand the issues that most concern members of your community. Our main office, located in Water Mill, New York, has available parking. We also maintain an office in Nassau County for our client’s convenience.

Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience managing complex cases, primarily focused on divorce and family law. We can put our experience to work for you. Because divorce trials can be expensive, we offer mediation services and assist clients who wish to participate in this alternative to protracted litigation. We use cost-effective discovery tools to seek information in support of your case. When a trial is inevitable, we discuss ways to present your matter fully to the judge while keeping it as short and efficient as possible. Our attorneys are acquainted with the judges, judicial staff, and other divorce lawyers in the Suffolk County area, which helps us resolve many cases without the necessity of a trial.”

Divorce FAQs

Answers from experienced attorneys in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island

If you are wondering how to start the divorce process in NY or about any other aspect of New York divorces, Simonetti & Associates can help. Our goal is to educate and inform you, so you can make the best decisions for your family. With more than 25 years of experience, our knowledgeable divorce attorneys provide answers to questions regarding divorce in New York:

  • Who can file for divorce in New York?
  • What are the residency requirements for divorce in NY?
  • Do I have to prove fault to get a divorce?
  • Do I need a lawyer?
  • What happens if I cannot pay my bills during my divorce because my spouse was the primary breadwinner?
  • How is custody determined?
  • Since filing for divorce, my spouse does not let me see our children. What can I do?
  • What can I ask for in my divorce?
  • Can a divorce agreement be changed?

Contact the Long Island, NY divorce law firm that gives you value for your money

If you are looking for quality legal representation at an affordable price, and have been searching on Google for “best divorce lawyers Long Island”, “child support lawyer Long Island NY” or “family court lawyer Suffolk County NY”, contact Simonetti & Associates. Our main office is in Woodbury, and we have a second office in downtown New York. With more than 29 years of experience, we work diligently to solve your family law disputes as quickly and efficiently as possible. We offer flexible scheduling and return calls after hours to accommodate your busy life. To arrange a free initial consultation, call 877-385-2560 or contact us online.

To file for divorce in New York, you must meet the state residency requirements. New York allows same-sex couples to separate or divorce in the same ways and under the same rules as heterosexual couples.

A plaintiff may file for divorce in New York if any of the following statements apply:

  • The couple was married in New York and at least one spouse has been a resident for a continuous period of one year prior to filing.
  • The couple has lived in New York as husband and wife and either party has resided in the state for a continuous period of one year prior to filing.
  • Either party has been a resident of New York for a continuous period of at least two years prior to filing.

New York is a no-fault state, which means you can get divorced without proving your spouse did anything specific to undermine your marriage. In a no-fault case, the grounds for divorce are an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months, meaning that the marriage relationship is past any hope of repair.

While you have no obligation to hire an attorney, a good divorce lawyer can save you time and money and reduce frustration in the long run. If you are not satisfied with your current representation, call us to discuss how we can help you transition seamlessly to our firm.

During divorce proceedings, the court can order temporary child support or temporary spousal maintenance. This provides financial support until the court issues a final judgment in your divorce. The final judgment may continue spousal support after the divorce, although there are no guarantees. However, the final judgment consummates the division of assets so you can begin rebuilding your financial stability.

Judges consider a number of factors when deciding who gets custody of the children. These include:

  • The strength of each parent’s relationship and bond with the children
  • Which parent is the primary caregiver for the children
  • Which parent is most likely to encourage visitation with the other parent
  • Whether each parent is physically and mentally capable of caring for the child

Previous domestic violence, neglect, abuse and other negative actions can weigh heavily against a parent seeking custody.

Sadly, in many divorce cases where custody is an issue, one parent will attempt to withhold the children from the other parent. At the same time, that parent may seek to improperly influence the children with negative comments and disparaging remarks about the other parent in an attempt to damage the relationship between them. This is known as parental alienation. To enforce your parental rights, we can seek an order of temporary custody or visitation until your divorce is finalized. If you do nothing, you risk letting your relationship with your children deteriorate.

You have the right to ask the court to grant several different forms of relief in your divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, equitable distribution of property and orders of protection.

Yes. If your life circumstances change substantially, you may request a modification of your divorce settlement agreement or divorce decree. A proficient family law attorney can assist you in obtaining the modification.


Simonetti & Associates handled my divorce and custody cases, doing absolutely spectacular work on both and never once making me feel like I wasn’t in the hands of total pros. The entire staff really cared about me and my children, our situation, and helping us obtain the best possible results. I’m really grateful for them and couldn’t possibly sing their praises any higher.
Lou Simonetti and everyone at the firm are great. I had a complicated child custody and support case, that involved Family, Supreme, and Landlord Tenant Court. Two years after my initial petition, I was back in Family Court. Charlotte Betts represented me both times and was outstanding. She is very professional and responsive. Her attention to detail is second to none. I highly recommend her and the entire firm!
Thank god for Lou Simonetti. He is knowledgable, effective, smart, caring & ethical. He & his entire staff are great communincators and have exceeded my expectations. I would highly reccomend to anyone in need.
Three things I love most about Simonetti & Associates: (1) They're fair; (2) They're awesome communicators; (3) They're effective. Not to mention they're amazingly compassionate/responsible/ethical/and more!
Lou and his staff treated me like family. From my first consultation, Lou was straight with me and outlined each and every step in the process. He represented me through the entirety of my divorce and I couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome. Highly recommend! 10/10.

Social Media and Divorce

Social media can act as a very useful tool for many, allowing us to connect with others and receive valuable information.  However, the effect that social media use has on romantic relationships can be negative.  We live in a digital age where we rely on our cell phones and computers for nearly everything.

We can sometimes lose priority in what is most important in life.  Both partners can get so caught up in their devices to the point where it is causing extreme problems within the relationship.  If you seek a Suffolk County family law office, contact Simonetti & Associates for more information.

Social Media: How is it Affecting Your Relationships?

Research has shown how increased social media use has lead to various marriage issues, infidelity, and eventually divorce.  There are some specific reasons how social media use can result in marital issues, they include:

“Get off of Facebook, you are on all day”

  • It is not always just what the person is doing on their social media accounts, but how much time they are spending online, and away from their spouse.  Too much time spent on social media has been shown to negatively affect relationships.

Jealousy, Snooping, and Suspicious Behavior

  • Social media provides easy access for people to sneak on their spouse.  Whether they have suspicions of cheating, discovering secrets of their past, or just blatant mistrust of their partner, the online atmosphere no doubt causes issues.  This will lead to increased jealousy and monitoring within the marriage, which is a recipe for an unhealthy relationship.
divorce lawyer in Suffolk County

Social Media and Cheating

  • There are unfortunately oftentimes when a person will seek out suspicions of their partner online and find that they are being untrustworthy.  1 in 10 adults admit to hiding messages from their partner, and 8% of adults have admitted to having secret online accounts.
  • With today’s technology, it has become easy and accessible for adults who are dissatisfied with their relationship to seek out new partners, or an ex online.  Apps such as Tinder make it easy to meet new people, and it has been shown that 30% of users are married.

Suggestions From A Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer

On a brighter note, many people are finding their loved ones through online dating sites and social media and research shows that those people have happy and long-lasting marriages.  Adults today are recognizing the threat of social media within their relationships, and are doing their best to combat online pressures and temptations.

Nonetheless, social media will forever be a prevalent force in our society, and we must learn how to use this tool positively, especially regarding our relationships. If you seek a top rated Suffolk County divorce attorney and have been searching the web for “best divorce lawyers Long Island”, “child support lawyer Long Island NY” or “family court lawyer Suffolk County NY”, contact Simonetti & Associates today get the help you need.

NY State Divorce – Pertinent Information

When going through a divorce, there are many precise laws and important facts to be aware of before you dive into the action. Divorce laws vary from state to state, and you must be fully aware of what a divorce in the state of New York entails. If you want to file for divorce, you must adhere to the legal grounds for divorce in NYS to finalize a legal separation. If you seek the aid of a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County, Simonetti & Associates are here to assist.

divorce lawyer in Suffolk County

Legal Grounds for Divorce in New York State

New York State law requires that those filing for divorce must present their reasons. Examples of this can include the following:

Marriage has been irretrievably broken for more than six months.

  • This falls under no-fault grounds because it does not show the spouse’s destructive behavior. Even under this no-fault claim, a court cannot finalize the divorce until all issues and matters have been settled.

Cruel Treatment

  • This alleges behavior is intolerable, such as domestic violence, or emotional abuse that may be linked to drug or alcohol abuse.


  • If your spouse is separated from you or has been moved out for over a year, you may have a claim for divorce on abandonment.


  • If your spouse has been incarcerated for a term of three years or longer then you may have a claim for divorce on imprisonment.


  • You have grounds for divorce if adultery is committed, except in the case that:
  • You encouraged your spouse to commit adultery.
  • Reconciled after discovering the adultery.
  • Committing adultery yourself.
  • You must be prepared to prove the adultery with evidence in addition to your testimony.

Living under a separation agreement

  • You may have grounds for a conversion divorce if you have lived apart from your spouse for over a year under legal separation.

Simonetti & Associates – Our Divorce Lawyer in Suffolk County

Adhering to the legal grounds for divorce in Suffolk County is essential in assuring you can follow through with your divorce. The divorce process is never easy, nor fun, but understanding given information is essential. Our experienced Suffolk County divorce attorneys will help ease you through your divorce, and provide clarity through the process as well. Contact us today if you are looking to file for divorce in the state of New York.

The Importance of Having a Good Parenting Plan

As a parent, there is nothing more important to you than your child. Divorce is never easy, and upon separation from your partner, it’s critical to ensure your child’s well-being is a top priority. After a divorce, a great first step is creating a stable, supportive parenting plan for you and your ex. This will outline effective co-parenting styles to properly tend to your children during and after a divorce. Curating a plan and reaching a consensus with your ex may be difficult. If you find that you need assistance and guidance, do not hesitate to contact Simonetti & Associates. If you have been searching for a Suffolk County-based divorce attorney, contact our team for high-quality legal counseling.

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a concise, detailed outline assigning responsibilities to each parent. The outline is a clear written document that provides both parties with the clarification of how they will co-parent. It can be compared to a roadmap that places both parties in the same lane, going in the same direction. Having a workable, effective plan is a necessity for success. Not to mention having a feasible plan can help keep the peace between you and your ex. If a parenting plan is something you’re having trouble putting together, there is a Suffolk County divorce lawyer who can help you!

What makes a Parenting Plan?

There are several areas that a strong parenting plan must cover. Areas include:

  • Decision-making responsibilities- Which parent is in a position to make medical decisions on the child’s behalf? What is the procedure for making smaller decisions such as whether to allow a child to go on a school field trip or what phone to purchase? This is a critical section of the outline and should be written in black-and-white to avoid future disputes between parents and children.
  • Parenting TimeWhich children will spend however many nights, holidays, weekends, school breaks, or snow days with which parent? This may be a more sensitive topic and can be input in the calculation of child support. If you feel as if you and your partner need guidance from a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County for custody concerns, contact Simonetti & Associates.
  • ExceptionsThere will come a time when exceptions must be made to previously settled parenting agreements. Simonetti & Associates feel it is critical to identify the exceptions before they appear. What will happen if one parent must travel for work during their normal parenting time? Are you allowed to switch holidays and weekends? Are the children allowed to leave the country for extended periods? Although these may be rare occasions, it is best to be prepared.

There is no “correct” way to outline your parenting style and practices. It is very unique to every family and couple. This topic is not about rules and what one “should” do, but rather about parenting, negotiation, and what is best for your children. If you find you and your partner are struggling when formulating a strong parenting plan, contact a family law attorney serving Long Island at Simonetti & Associates. Schedule an appointment and settle your parenting style today.

Best Ways to Reduce Divorce Cost

While divorce may be a costly and stressful endeavor, there have been proven ways to keep costs down and to keep more money in your wallet during this process. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County, who will deliver quality service, contact us at Simonetti & Associates. We have over three decades of experience helping the community in the Long Island area, and we can ensure that all, not just some, of your requests are attended to during this difficult time. We also offer advice and techniques to help you make financially savvy decisions during this whole process. If you are interested in practical ways to reduce divorce costs, contact us today for your free consultation and read more about efficient ways here.

    • Negotiate: By opening up a setting to negotiate with your ex-spouse and your ex-spouse’s lawyer, you can avoid the unnecessary fees of hiring a judge and taking things to the next level. While the environment may initially be contentious and intimidating, try to make some time to step away from the situation and look at things practically. If you and your ex-spouse can come to negotiations on your own, you can limit the extra cost of having lawyers or judges involved in dividing up assets.
    • Prioritize: By understanding what is important to you and what is worth your time, you can figure out if you and your ex-spouse will need two lawyers or possibly a collaborative lawyer who can work with the both of you and help reduce costs.
    • Learn everything you possibly can about your state’s divorce laws: By understanding your state’s divorce litigation process, you can come prepared with the documents and knowledge of the process you need before seeing the lawyer.  This will help reduce costs because you will need the lawyer to review and sign papers rather than research and bring documents to you. Much of this information is public, found on the internet, and you can talk to public services such as Social Security to find out more.
    • Indigency: If you meet specific criteria that verify you are below the poverty line in your area, you will not be obliged to pay for legal fees and services associated with hiring a family law attorney. This criterion is different in every state and even county at times, so it is important to keep documentation of your income level and research what this amount entails.
divorce lawyer in Suffolk County
  • Make sure all paperwork is filed correctly: By submitting paperwork again, you may have to pay additional administrative fees. For this reason, it is critical to ensure that all paperwork has been filed appropriately from the beginning with the completion of all required signatures and proper documentation. It is vital to have a law office serving Suffolk County review the paperwork before so that you can guarantee you won’t have any unforeseen hiccups down the road.

Guiding families through divorce

Much of the anxiety Long Islanders feel about divorce comes from a lack of understanding about the process. Consulting a knowledgeable attorney can help your peace of mind since you’re liable to discover options you didn’t know you had. With more than 30 years of experience helping Nassau County residents through divorce, Simonetti & Associates appreciates how important your decision-making is to the resolution of your case, and how much you depend on good information and sound advice. We take a personal interest in the outcome of your case and strive to achieve the best results possible. We value communication during the divorce process, so we provide constant updates throughout your case. Our dedication to client care minimizes your stress as we help you finalize your divorce in the most amicable manner possible.

Filing for a contested divorce in New York

Filing a contested divorce in New York is very similar to filing any other civil lawsuit. You, as the filer, are the plaintiff, and your spouse is the defendant. The required steps are as follows:

  1. The plaintiff files a summons and complaint or summons with notice at the county clerk’s office. The complaint must allege grounds for the divorce (including no-fault grounds) and request how the plaintiff wants ancillary issues, such as spousal support, property division and child custody, handled. Fees apply.
  2. The plaintiff directs a qualified third party to serve a copy of the filed paperwork to the other spouse, the defendant, within 120 days of the filing.
  3. The defendant has 20 to 30 days to file an answer or face a default judgment. The defendant must serve the answer to the plaintiff.
  4. The plaintiff has 45 days to file a request for judicial intervention (RJI). A fee applies. However, if both parties file a notice of no necessity, the plaintiff has 120 days to file.
  5. The court schedules a preliminary conference within 30 to 45 days of the filing of the RJI.
  6. The plaintiff and the defendant must exchange net worth statements no later than 10 days before the preliminary meeting.
  7. Both parties attend the preliminary conference. The judge decides on temporary measures, such as spousal support and child support, during the divorce process and determines whether an order of protection is necessary. The judge also sets the schedule for the exchange of financial documents and other information during the period of discovery.
  8. The court may schedule a compliance conference to ensure that both parties are on schedule with their required exchange of information, though often a compliance conference is not necessary.
  9. After the compliance conference, if the court is satisfied that the discovery is complete, the judge will direct the plaintiff to file a note of issue and a certificate of readiness. The court will then set a date for trial, usually no later than six months from the date of the preliminary hearing.
  10. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement to settle the material issues, the case goes to trial before a judge, who then decides the terms of the divorce.

Exploring your alternatives to a contested divorce

The traditional contested divorce is the costliest and most time-consuming form of divorce available in New York. Since Simonetti & Associates is determined to provide quality service while controlling costs, we often recommend measures that expedite the process:

Uncontested divorce: Couples who agree that their relationship is over can dissolve their marriage through a negotiated process. Usually, the process begins before either party files. Both spouses retain an attorney to negotiate all the ancillary issues, such as child custody, asset division, and spousal support. If they succeed, they can present the court with a signed divorce settlement agreement. If negotiations stall, they’ve still got a partial agreement and can mediate the remaining issues or ask the court to decide.

Collaborative divorce: This is another method of achieving an uncontested divorce, but instead of traditional negotiation, where the threat of litigation hangs overhead, each party and each party’s divorce lawyer pledge not to take the case to trial. Instead, they work cooperatively toward a mutually beneficial resolution. The goal is to forge a divorce settlement agreement the court can approve.

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Questions Regarding Divorce:

What do divorce lawyers do?

Divorce law typically falls within the realm of family law. This means that they handle a variety of different issues regarding family life, aside from just the divorce process. This can include marriage annulment, legal separation, child custody, child support, visitation, and much more.

How long does the average divorce take?

Unfortunately, once you have both signed the papers and had them filed with the court, the amount of time it takes is completely out of your hands. The finalization is a process executed by a judge and can take anywhere from six weeks to twelve months to over with.

What is the average retainer fee for a divorce lawyer?

A retainer refers to the billing that is done upfront when you decide to go through the divorce process. A lawyer typically asks for this at the beginning of the divorce process as an advance on your overall fee. It can run anywhere from $2,000.00 to $3,500.00. If your case is suspected to go to trial, the fee may even be higher.

Call Simonetti & Associates for a free consultation about the divorce process

If you are going through a divorce on Long Island, call 877-385-2560 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation. We offer flexible office hours at our offices in Woodbury and New York.

Suffolk County Divorce Mediation

Going through a divorce on Long Island is never easy and usually causes much emotional distress to both spouses. This is why hiring the right experienced divorce attorney is the best thing you can do for yourself to take the emotional burden off yourself. There are many things that an experienced attorney can do for you and they will help the whole process of the divorce go as quickly and easily for you as possible. Here at Simonetti & Associates, pride ourselves on expert client care and esteemed professional assistance.

Assistance & Professional Help

One of the most important things that your attorney will be able to do for you is uncover all assets that your spouse may be hiding from you. A lot of times in a divorce one spouse may feel slighted and think that they are entitled to more of the assets and will attempt to hide them. Your attorney can use the legal power of discovery to uncover such assets so that you can then both decide what is rightfully yours.

Your attorney will also handle all of the negotiations with your spouse’s attorney so that you don’t have to worry about getting into an argument with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This will take most of the emotion out of it allowing you to take this time to heal.

Your attorney will also be able to evaluate all of the settlements that your spouse will try and propose to you and they will be able to tell you if they think the offer is the right one for you or if they think that you should be asking for more. When you retain your attorney they will also be able to help with any child custody issues that may arise as well as any other legal issue you may encounter throughout the process.

Who To Contact?

Hiring an attorney during a divorce is one of the smartest decisions that you can make. They will make everything go quickly and make sure it impacts your life as little as possible. If you are in the Long Island area then having the best divorce attorney nearby can make the process as efficient as possible. So rather than spending hours searching the web for “divorce lawyer near me”, “child support lawyer Long Island NY” or “family court lawyer Suffolk County NY”, contact Simonetti & Associates today!

Divorce Lawyer Near Me

At Simonetti & Associates, we want to make sure you have plenty of benefits during this difficult situation. By taking the steps outlined above, you can help save your money and financial assets. Simonetti & Associates is a well-reputed firm, with a divorce lawyer in Suffolk County available, so if you think you can benefit from our services, do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our attorneys today!

High Asset Divorce Attorney near Suffolk County

Divorce is stressful, but add high net worth into the mix and it becomes much more emotionally and financially complicated. At Simonetti & Associates, our experienced law firm serving Long Island is here to ease your worries about high-asset divorce. 

High-asset divorces are considered to be more challenging than other divorce cases because there are more assets to fight over which can then hold up the proceedings of the divorce. When involved in a high-asset divorce, those involved must seek legal help from others who have experience in high-net-worth divorces. In this situation, Simonetti & Associates in Suffolk County is honored to help you protect your assets throughout a divorce.

Typically, the most complicated scenarios involve family businesses. The reasoning behind this is that each side must have its interests evaluated. This could also be problematic for IRAs, 401 K plans, pensions, stock options, trusts, and real estate holdings. In Suffolk County, Simonetti & Associates are professionals when dealing with complicated high-asset divorces and help their clients fight for their rightful assets.

There are many ways that high net-worth divorces can get messy and complicated. The most common reason for this is one party hiding assets from the other party. On the other hand, one party fails to investigate the other party for hidden assets. The reason this can become complicated is that the act of hiding an asset during a high-asset divorce is illegal. In Suffolk County at Simonetti & Associates, we realize the severity of hiding an asset during a high net worth divorce and we advise our clients against this. Hiding an asset is a fraudulent act and can cause the perpetrator to lose credibility in court throughout the process.

At Simonetti & Associates in Suffolk County, we need to find a favorable resolution during high-asset divorces. If you would like to learn more about high-asset divorces or need legal help come down to Simonetti & Associates for the best divorce advice in Suffolk County!