What are factors that prolong the divorce process?
There are certain things which can prolong the divorce process.
Motions and hearings: One example of this is when a spouse seeks temporary support, for themselves/children until the divorce is finalized. The spouse who is requested the support will file a motion to have the court determine if support is needed, and if so – how much. The other spouse then has a certain amount of time to file a written response to this request. Usually, the filing spouse is given an opportunity to reply. It can take a month or more for the court to decide a motion. Motion for temporary custody, or parenting time, etc, may require a hearing where the spouses and other experts will testify.
Spouse with a vendetta: Many spouses have an axe to grind against the other. They take a combative attitude, or their attorney does. Bitterness is a by-product of a broken marriage. It’s not unusual for this to result in the divorce taking forever. The bottom line is, being combative can drag the divorce on. This is not a good idea, because the longer it takes – the higher the attorney fees pile up.
What will my NYC divorce lawyer do?
Your divorce lawyer has several tasks he or she is going to take care of, such as drafting paperwork, filing documents, and managing deadlines. You aren’t required to know the laws of your state, your NYC divorce lawyer is. Your experienced NYC divorce attorney will take care of your divorce and help you with all of the issues you face. Your only job is to sign documents, provide facts and information about your legal situation, and respond promptly to your divorce attorney.
Your first divorce consultation is at your lawyer’s office. At the first meeting, your attorney will ask you questions, listen to your case, and walk you through the divorce legal process. Most attorneys will give you divorce forms to fill out during, or after, the first meeting. Your divorce attorney will explain the “strategy,” for your case. Some people want an attorney who will be aggressive, while other people want to play a bigger role in the process and tell the attorney what to do. For example, if you and your spouse are still on good terms, it’s important to work with your spouse and compromise where possible. It also means, you want your attorney to work collaboratively with the other side, instead of fanning the flames of war. Mediation, or collaborative divorce, may be correct for your case – especially if there’s a chance you and your spouse can agree on big issues like alimony, etc. If you know your spouse is going to fight you every step of the way, or if there’s a history of domestic violence, then it’s good to have an aggressive divorce lawyer who understands your situation. Ultimately, your divorce attorney’s strategy will depend on the circumstances of your exact case.
Top 10 Divorce FAQ
Below are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about divorce proceedings.
What is a no-fault divorce?
Generally speaking, the only way to get a divorce is to prove your spouse did something that is recognized as justification for a divorce. In other words, the spouse has to do something that would be at fault for breaking the marriage. The most common reasons for fault, are adultery, spousal abuse, being sentenced to prison, or insanity. This makes it difficult to get a divorce. Often, a lot of time and effort is spent proving the other party was at fault. In New York, it’s possible to get a no-fault divorce, which allows one party to simply state he/she no longer wishes to be married.
What’s an uncontested divorce
Uncontested divorces are one in which there is no contest, and there are no disputes to the complaint or petition. Both parties agree to the divorce and the terms of the settlement. A case where there is full agreement, is sometimes called a consent divorce.
What are the procedures for a divorce?
The way to begin a divorce is filing a document with the court called a Complaint or Petition. A copy of the complaint is served to your spouse. This may not be necessary in some cases, if you and your spouse are in agreement. You and your spouse will be given a number of days to respond to the complaint. How the case proceeds from there will depend on how your spouse responds.
How do I file for divorce?
Divorces legally end a marriage. The process begins by completing the necessary paperwork and filing it with the court. There are many state laws that regulate a divorce. It’s important to check for the necessary paperwork needed, in addition to making sure you serve/notify your spouse of the impending divorce. An individual can only file for divorce in the state where they reside. Virtually states require that a person reside in the state for a period of time, before filing for a divorce in the state. In order to begin the divorce, you have to file a complaint/petition. By filing this, you’re asking the court to end the marriage. Complaints refer to parties as plaintiff and defendant. Petitions name the parties as petitioner, and respondent. The person filing for divorce is either called the plaintiff or petitioner. After the petition is filed, you have to notify your spouse you’ve filed for divorce. Having the complaint/petition handed to your spouse in person is the preferred method of service. Other forms of service can be permitted, such as mailing the document to your spouse. After your spouse has been served, the court begins the process of terminating the marriage. Often, there’s a period of waiting, before the divorce is finalized. These period vary state by state. There are many factors which affect the process. Some couples work through the issues involved in divorce, such as children, property, assets, etc, without involving attorneys. Others need the help of an NYC divorce attorney to protect their interests. There are other options, besides divorce, such as mediation and collaborative divorce – if you think you can come to an agreement and settle your issues outside of court.
What are grounds for divorce in NY?
There are many grounds for divorce in New York. In October of 2010, NY became the last state to enact a no-fault divorce ground. Most divorces are now brought under this ground. There are are many grounds for divorce in NY, such as: cruel treatment, abandonment of plaintiff by the defendant, confinement of the defendant in prison, commission of voluntary adultery, living apart due to separation, and many others. It’s extremely difficult to determine how much a divorce will cost, but it can be expensive depending on the grounds and whether the divorce is contested.
Divorces range from a few thousand dollars to over 100 thousand dollars. Each case is unique. It’s hard to say how much it will cost. Divorces are now very routine, and will likely be granted in most cases. It’s important that before you proceed with a divorce, you speak to a qualified NYC divorce attorney who can prepare you for what to expect. You are under no obligation to hire an NYC divorce attorney, but the fact is – hiring a divorce lawyer can make the process smoother and easier. Although you may not like the idea of having to hire a divorce attorney, doing so may be the best decision you make ever. An experienced NYC divorce lawyer will make sure to protect your rights.
What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is a way to resolve New York divorces. It is non-adversarial, and voluntary. It’s a constructive process, where a neutral party helps you and your spouse discuss and understand the nature of the conflict nad how to accomplish a positive outcome for both parties. The goal of divorce mediation is to achieve an outcome which is satisfactory to both parties.
Through the process of divorce mediation, the couple is able to reach a reasonable agreement by a third party – the mediator. It is possible this divorce mediator, is a NYC divorce lawyer, who can help you. Mediation is less expensive than litigating in courts, and many judges prefer you mediate instead of litigating. When couples opt for mediation and come to an agreement, it’s more likely to be abided by versus a decision handed down by a judge. The traditional divorce process in NYC is super adversarial. Each spouse retains an attorney who represents them in court. Through the mediation process, spouses are encouraged to make decisions, which means the spouses are in control and make a decision. In contrast, when spouses go to trial – in court, the attorneys and judges are in control.
In collaborative divorce, a separate attorney is retained by each spouse. The attorneys, and spouses, collaborate in a way to arrive at a settlement. Collaboration is a middle-ground between litigating and mediating. Collaboration is a less hostile way of reaching an agreement. Parties each advocate for themselves when it comes to a collaborative divorce. Each client is encouraged to hire their very own NYC divorce attorney to help them negotiate this.
In NYC divorce mediation, many issues can be resolved, such as:
- Prenup agreements
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Property rights
- Debt allocation
- and more
There are situations where mediation may not work. For example, if one spouse is hiding assets/income, or engages in domestic violence – these are examples where mediation simply won’t work because the other spouse isn’t being fair.