Divorce Attorney in New York City, New York
No one ever gets married with the expectation that the marriage will end in divorce. Yet, it's hard to deny the fact that a significant number of people will go through a divorce at some point in their lives, and when this happens, you should be prepared. Although divorce can be a painful and difficult experience, it can also help you move forward in life and achieve a better future for yourself and your family.
If you have questions about filing for divorce in New York or are wondering how long a divorce will take, call me at the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C. today to schedule a consultation. I’m proud to serve clients from my office in New York City, New York, and can help those throughout the city including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.
Divorce in New York
Every state has its own laws on the books for getting divorced, and New York is no different. At its most basic level, the eligibility to divorce in New York is based on your residency and that you have a legally-accepted reason for the divorce. Divorce can be both contested or uncontested, and each type will have its own separate procedure.
In an uncontested divorce with a spouse you can more or less communicate with, you may be able to complete the process on your own or with only the help of a mediator. You may choose to use the state’s Uncontested Divorce Forms Packet or DIY Program which basically walks you through the steps of completing your divorce. If you and your spouse both agree to the divorce and terms, this could be the best option for saving time and money.
However, with a contested divorce, you will need further help to come to an agreement. This often means retaining a mediator or lawyer and enlisting the help of the court. Contested divorces take more time and typically cost much more for both parties.
Eligibility to File for Divorce in New York
To be eligible for divorce in New York, you first have to prove residency. This means that you were married in the state or resided in the state together and at least one of you has lived there for one year before filing. You also need to choose either a fault or no-fault-based filing and ensure you meet the criteria for either option. It’s almost always in your best interest to pursue a no-fault divorce when at all possible to minimize costs.
Grounds for Divorce in New York
Grounds for divorce in New York are generally separated into “fault” or “no-fault” categories. In a no-fault divorce, neither partner is blaming the other for the divorce occurring. It can simply mean that the marriage is “broken-down irretrievably.” This is typically the fastest and cheapest method of divorce since the other spouse is not contesting the reason. However, even in an uncontested divorce, the couple will still have to agree upon and write out a marital settlement agreement outlining their decisions on how to split marital assets.
In a fault-based divorce, one partner is accusing the other of some kind of wrongdoing such as adultery, abandonment, abuse, or cruelty. These are often contested divorces which will likely mean higher costs since you’ll want to retain a family law attorney to help with the legal proceedings.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
The length of time a divorce takes is highly dependent on the couple and how well they’re able to communicate and to a lesser extent what county you live in. If the divorce is uncontested and both spouses agree to the terms on asset division, alimony (known as spousal maintenance), or child custody, the process will be much faster and easier. In these cases, a divorce can be completed in as few as two to three months.
However, if you’re pursuing a contested divorce, you could be looking at several months up to a year to complete. This is because you’ll first have to serve the complaint and wait for a response from your spouse, and in most cases, both spouses will retain lawyers to represent their interests. You will also need to file more forms and submit documentation about your finances, assets, income, and debts in addition to coming to agreements on alimony, property, child custody, and child support.
Serving New York City, New York
Many people find it helpful — even under the best circumstances — to speak with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure their needs are being met and that they’re making informed decisions about their future. If you’re in New York City, New York, and have questions about the divorce process, reach out to me at the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C. today.