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Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 09:18 am
Getting divorced in New York can be a long and complicated process. The length of a divorce case depends on a lot of factors – whether it’s contested or uncontested, if you have kids, how much property you have to divide up, etc. I went through a divorce myself a few years ago, so I know how stressful it can be when you just want it to be over already! Here’s what I learned about how the timeline works:
The short answer is – it depends! An uncontested no-fault divorce with no kids could take 3-6 months. A contested divorce with custody disputes over multiple kids and arguments about dividing up property could take 1-2 years.
Ok, let’s go through this step-by-step. First off, there’s no “waiting period” or anything like that in New York. You can file for divorce right away as long as you meet the residency requirements (one spouse must have lived in NY for at least 1 year).The fastest divorces are ones where both spouses agree on everything – the grounds for divorce, division of assets, custody if you have kids, etc. Let’s call these “uncontested” divorces.
In an uncontested no-fault divorce with no kids, you’re looking at around 3-6 months from filing to final judgment. Here’s a rough timeline:
Of course, it could take longer if the courts are backed up or you have delays getting paperwork in. But if everything goes smoothly, 3-6 months is typical for an easy no-fault divorce.If you have kids, it will take longer – more like 6-9 months. You have to work out custody arrangements and submit a parenting plan along with your other divorce paperwork.If you own property together, that can also add time for appraisals, negotiations on who gets what, real estate transfers, etc.But the key is that in an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree on how to handle all of these issues without fighting about them. You both want the divorce and are willing to compromise to get it done.
Now let’s talk about contested divorces, where you and your spouse don’t agree on the terms. This is what drags out the timeline.Contested divorces in New York take around 12-18 months on average. Some can go on for years if you really fight over everything. Here’s why:
You’ll have to gather evidence, file motions, potentially have trials over these issues. The judge ultimately makes the final call on any disputes.To resolve these kinds of contested issues, you might have to:
As you can imagine, all this back-and-forth takes time. So in a nutshell:
No two divorces are exactly alike, but this gives you a general idea of the time frames.
Factors That Affect the Timeline
Beyond whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, there are some other factors that can impact the timeline:
If You Have Kids
If You Own Property
If One Spouse Is a Stay-at-Home Parent
How Backed Up the Court Is
How Angry You Are at Each Other
Tips to Speed Up Your Divorce
If your divorce is taking forever, here are some tips to move it along:
No one wants to get divorced. But once you’ve made the decision, it’s usually best to get it over with as quickly and amicably as possible. The faster you can reach agreements and avoid court battles, the sooner you can move on with your life!I hope this gives you a better idea of what to expect with the divorce timeline in New York. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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