The Law Offices of Michael L. Walker, ESQ.
Divorce Law

Divorce Law

Uncontested Divorce 

Marriage can be one of the biggest blessings a person experiences and it can bring great joy to many. Of course, making a “lifelong promise” to another person is a major decision, and while we all hope for the best, we cannot predict the future. Sometimes a marriage needs to come to an end. For many people, divorce becomes their chosen path, because separation is not “final”. Not all divorces are contested. Many can end in a more amicable manner.

Uncontested divorce is one such option many individuals pursue to handle their divorce in New York. The uncontested divorce process is generally less stressful and less complicated with the assistance of an experienced uncontested divorce lawyer in NYC.

What Is An Uncontested Divorce in New York?

Uncontested divorce is one where you and your spouse can agree on all terms of a divorce. Both parties negotiate the terms of the divorce without undergoing any court proceedings. Your uncontested divorce attorney will handle all the details, prepare the needed New York State forms and represent you.

If you and your spouse have no property, assets or debts which have been accumulated during the marriage and there is no minor aged child or children born to the parties, then the divorce process is relatively simple. By preparing and processing a variety of documents, your lawyer can file the package with the court, pay the filing fees and then, in due course (approximately 6 months after the full filing), the attorney prepared Findings & Judgment is signed by the Judge, filed with the County Clerk and available for release to the parties.

If there are assets and minor aged child or children, the parties must cooperate and agree on key issues with one another and avoid conflict. The attorney selected and retained may only represent one party and may not be allowed to give advice or counsel to the other party. This constitutes an uncontested divorce.

In order to qualify for an uncontested divorce, both parties must be in agreement on all issues, including child custody and support, division of property and spousal support. Additionally your spouse must not contest the divorce once served.

Contested Divorce 

When your marriage is no longer savable despite your efforts, you have to make a difficult choice. You are probably considering divorce as the best option for you and your children. A divorce can be achieved in different ways. If there are important issues that you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have not yet agreed upon, filing for a contested divorce in New York may be the best option. This type of divorce can be very lengthy, stressful and expensive, but may be necessary to ensure your rights are protected and for you to get what you truly deserve.

What Is A Contested Divorce in New York?

A contested divorce is when you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are unable to come to an agreement about the essential divorce terms. This type of divorce requires a trial and the judge will base its decisions on divorce case facts and testimonies of witnesses. Often, the judge will make decisions that are just and suitable for divorcing couples. It is recommended to seek legal advice from an experienced divorce attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

When Should You Consider Filing For A Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce is a good option if both parties cannot settle anything on their own. The family court’s intervention will help ensure a better proceeding and allows you to fight what you truly deserve.

This type of divorce is advisable if the disputing couple have substantial assets and joint back accounts. The proceeding will also help identify hidden assets. The distribution of assets will also be decided by the judge and are often fairly divided.

Additionally, if you have minor children to fight custody over and you have legitimate concerns about why you should have the sole custody of your kids, bringing the matters to court will help.

The Contested Divorce Process in New York

If you and your spouse cannot resolve the terms amicably, you can file for a divorce petition in your local court. Your spouse will then be served with divorce papers and needs to respond in a certain period of time. If your spouse disagrees with your demands, both of you will be required to appear in family court and defend yourselves. How long does a contested divorce trial in NY take? For simple contested cases, it can last not more than a day. For complex divorce cases like those that involve child custody disputes, it can take weeks or months.

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