Understanding the New York Divorce Process
Getting divorced in New York can be a complex, challenging process. In addition to the rollercoaster of emotions, there are complicated legal issues to work out: who will have custody of your children, which spouse will pay alimony to the other, who will keep the marital home, how shared assets will be divided, and so on.
To make sure your future is protected during this complicated process, it’s a good idea to get help from a knowledgeable New York family law attorney. The Mandel Law Firm has helped many people navigate the New York divorce process, and we can help protect your rights as you work through this difficult period. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.
How Does the Divorce Process Work in New York?
The first step in the New York divorce process is to make sure you and your spouse meet the necessary residency requirement. To obtain a divorce in New York, one of these four situations must apply to your case:
- You or your spouse must have lived in New York for two consecutive years before initiating the divorce
- You or your spouse has lived in New York for at least one year, and you were married in New York or lived here together
- You or your spouse has been living in New York for at least one year and the grounds for the divorce occurred in New York
- Both you and your spouse live in New York when filing for divorce and the ground for divorce occurred in New York
After making sure you meet the residency requirements, the next step is to determine whether you’ll pursue a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses work with their attorneys outside of the court system to decide on the various issues related to the divorce, including child custody, visitation, alimony, and the division of marital assets. If you and your spouse are on amicable terms, this option can save you both a lot of time, energy, and expense.
In a contested divorce, one spouse will fill out the necessary court forms and serve them to the other spouse. The other spouse has a chance to respond, and then there will then be a series of court hearings to work out the various aspects of the case. Once these hearings have concluded, the divorce will be finalized.
What Are My Options?
There are two key decisions to make when you decide to get a divorce. The first is whether you wish to pursue a contested or an uncontested divorce. While an uncontested divorce is typically preferable, as it’s easier on everyone involved as well as considerably less expensive, it may be impossible if you and your spouse are not on good terms.
If your spouse won’t agree to an uncontested divorce, then it may be necessary to get the courts involved. There are seven legally recognized grounds for divorce in New York, and they are:
- The relationship has been broken down over at least a six-month period (often called a no-fault divorce)
- Both spouses have been legally separated for at least a year
- The spouses obtain a judgment of separation from the courts
- One spouse has abandoned the other for at least a year
- One spouse has been imprisoned for at least three consecutive years since the start of the marriage
- One spouse has been the victim of inhumane or cruel treatment by the other
- One or both spouses have committed adultery during the marriage
You’ll need to determine which of these options best applies to your situation, ideally with the help of an experienced attorney.
How can a NY divorce lawyer help me?
Regardless of the particular method of obtaining a divorce, getting help from a New York divorce attorney is crucial if you want to protect yourself and make the process as painless as possible. If you and your spouse are on good terms, a divorce lawyer can help you draw up a separation agreement or work through an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of a divorce, then an attorney can gather the necessary evidence you’ll need to prove fault and protect your rights. In either case, your lawyer will provide unbiased, straightforward advice and be your advocate during a challenging process.
Contact Mandel Law For Help
At the Mandel Law Firm, our New York divorce attorneys know that getting a divorce is never easy — but we’re committed to making it as painless for you as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.