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Contested Divorce Attorney in New York City, New York  

Going through a divorce is never an easy situation. It can be easier when both parties agree on the settlement terms. But what happens when the parties cannot reach an agreement? It is important to know your options during this situation and what steps you and your estranged spouse need to take.    

At the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C., I am here to assist you during these challenging times. I have the practice and comprehension to get you on the correct path that fits your best interests. I proudly serve clients in New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, New York.   

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What Is a Contested Divorce in New York? 

In essence, a contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on the divorce settlement terms. As a result, the divorce process must go to court so a family law judge can rule on the divorce settlement.    

Common areas for dispute include asset distribution, liabilities, child custody, child support, and alimony payments. Please note that the parties may agree on some of the terms but may still need to file a contested divorce to settle others.  

Additionally, a contested divorce happens when one of the parties refuses to sign divorce papers. While the parties cannot refuse to divorce, their refusal causes the divorce filing to become a contested one. 

What Happens During a Contested Divorce? 

In an amicable divorce, the parties agree to the settlement terms. The divorce filing goes through the court process as a formality.  

A contested divorce in New York must go through the mandatory court process to finalize. Here is an overview of what you can expect in a contested divorce:  

  • One party “serves” divorce papers to the other. Alternatively, both parties can meet to discuss the settlement terms.  

  • When the parties cannot agree, their attorneys may file separate divorce claims stating their positions. Alternatively, the served party can reply to the filing party’s demands by submitting their position.  

  • During hearings, the judge listens to both parties' demands. The judge will then distribute assets equitably, determine child custody, and set child support and alimony payments.  

  • Child custody rulings may require additional testimony and hearings to determine an outcome. A divorce proceeding can assign temporary custody pending a final decision from a family law court.  

  • The divorce becomes final when the judge rules on the terms.  

Please note that an amicable divorce can take a few weeks to finalize. A contested divorce can take months or even more than a year to finalize. This is why it is vital to contact a seasoned attorney that can help finalize the process as quickly as possible. 

When Are Contested Divorces Finalized? 

A contested divorce in New York finalizes after the judge has ruled and the parties have agreed to the settlement terms. Please note that the parties have the right to appeal the judge’s ruling.  

Appeals can drag out the process, especially if there are complex child custody issues involved.   

Additionally, the division of marital assets may further complicate things. For instance, the parties can appeal a decision to award the property to one of the parties. As a result, finalizing a contested divorce can take months or sometimes years.   

Even though it may take time for the judge to finalize the divorce, a reliable attorney can speed up the process by having everything ready for the next steps throughout the contested divorce process. 

What Outcomes Can You Appeal in a Contested Divorce? 

Please note that appealing a divorce is not about fighting a decision you don’t like. While you can appeal any part of a divorce ruling, it must be based on the following grounds:  

  • The judge abused their discretion. For instance, the judge clearly ignored the evidence.  

  • There was a legal error, such as a misinterpretation of the law.  

  • One of the parties has uncovered new evidence during or shortly after the divorce proceedings.  

  • One of the parties lied about something relevant to the case.  

  • One of the parties hid assets from the other.    

Generally speaking, the parties have 30 days to appeal after official notification of the ruling. The timeframe for an appeal largely depends on the caseload in the appeals court. Appeals can take months to play out unless they are clearly unfounded. 

Contested Divorce Attorney Serving New York City, New York 

Finding the right divorce attorney in New York City and throughout New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, largely depends on their experience and knowledge.   At the Law Office of Seth D. Schraier, P.C., we give honest and knowledgeable legal counsel to point our clients in the right direction. We strive to do what is in our clients’ best interests. Achieving a fair and favorable outcome is our number one priority.