If you’re considering divorce, you may have a number of concerns. How will the court divide your property? Will your debt be split evenly between the two of you? Will you have a say in matters that affect your children, like custody or visitation?
Because of these concerns as well as the emotional upheaval, divorce can be an incredibly stressful experience for everyone involved. As such, you’ll need an attorney whose goal is to give you the peace of mind you deserve. our divorce lawyers are here to support you from beginning to end. With 20+ years of experience, she is fully prepared—and personally determined—to achieve the best possible result on your behalf.
Understanding Divorce in New York
In New York, only the Supreme Court judge can grant a divorce, which is defined as the legal end of a marriage. As such, you will not be able to officially end your marriage through Family Court (although you may go through Family Court to resolve issues like custody and child support).
To qualify for divorce, you must meet two requirements:
- Residency—you and/or your spouse have lived in New York for one year or longer; and
- Grounds—one or more legal reasons for divorce. These reasons include cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment, adultery, confinement in prison for 3 or more years, irretrievable breakdown of the relationship for at least six months, and living separate and apart after obtaining a separation judgment, decree, or agreement.
The most critical factor that determines how long this process will take and how much it will cost is whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. Your divorce is uncontested if both you and your spouse want to get a divorce AND you agree on all terms (e.g. finances, custody, property division, etc.).
Your divorce is contested if:
- One of you does not want to get a divorce
- You disagree on the grounds for divorce
- You disagree on terms of the divorce
Contested divorces can be time-consuming, and each of you will need to go to the Supreme Court several times. This is why some couples may choose to undergo some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or collaborative family law.
Do not feel pressured, however, to use alternative dispute resolution if you don’t feel safe around your spouse. Our law firm assists clients who have experienced domestic violence, and we are here to help protect you and your children.
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