Deciding to end your marriage is only the first of many decisions that await you during the process. What comes next includes determining what grounds you have for divorce and whether and to what extent you are willing to negotiate the terms of your divorce. Being informed about your options will enable you to obtain an agreement you can live with, so you can move forward with your life.
In New York, you or your spouse must be able to demonstrate one of the following seven grounds to obtain a divorce:
Most of the time our lawyers recommend that you file for a “no-fault” divorce because it will save time and money. In a no-fault divorce you need only make a statement to the court, under oath, that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months,” without having to prove anything. If you and your spouse choose one of the other options, you will need to prove your claim at trial to obtain your divorce.
Divorce involves deciding important matters like child custody and/or visitation, child and/or spousal support, and property distribution (also known as “equitable distribution”). In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse negotiate and resolve these issues between yourselves rather than have the court make decisions for you. In most cases, the uncontested process should take less than a year from beginning to end.
When you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement, however, you will need court intervention. These kinds of actions are called “contested” divorces and they take longer and are more expensive than their uncontested counterparts.
Your divorce can also be a combination of contested and uncontested so only those issues you can’t resolve on your own, go to court. The more you can agree on with your spouse, the faster the case will conclude.
Almost all matrimonial lawyers know how to help clients through this difficult time. We do too. We are different from other divorce lawyers in that we prefer that our clients try to go the “uncontested” route first and resolve as many issues as they can between themselves. Only when negotiations fail do we recommend going to court and litigating to the degree necessary to get the issues resolved. Our way usually leads to a faster, less costly process that results in a set of binding agreements each client can use as a platform to a new, and hopefully happier life. When no agreement can be reached, however, we aggressively fight for your rights in court.
We seek to find the best solutions for clients who want to move on from an unsatisfactory marital situation. Please contact our office to learn how our divorce lawyers can help you achieve the positive results you are looking for.