Divorce is the legal ending of a marriage that is achieved by a court order. When filing for divorce in New York, it should be done at the Supreme Court in the county where you or your spouse reside.
There are several issues that must be resolved to obtain a divorce. The issues include, distribution of property (equitable distribution,) custody and visitation of children, and spousal and/or child support.
The quickest and easiest way to get divorced in New York is through an “uncontested” divorce. This can only be accomplished if both parties:
- Agree that they want to be divorced.
- Agree as to how marital assets and debts will be divided (“equitable distribution”).
- Agree on all issues regarding custody and visitation of the children of the marriage.
- Agree to all issues involving spousal and/or child support;
Additionally, “grounds” for divorce must be settled. In 2010, the law in New York changed to allow for “no-fault” divorces. To satisfy the requirements to obtain a no fault divorce, there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months before the filing for a divorce. “Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” means that you and your spouse no longer want to be married, and it’s not likely that you and your spouse will get back together. (N.Y. Dom. Rel. § 170 (7).) Irretrievable breakdown is the most common ground used to obtain an uncontested divorce in New York.
Since there will be no trial in an uncontested divorce, the process is much faster and less expensive than a contested divorce.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on issues involving your children, property and/and finances, your divorce will be “contested.” If your divorce is contested, you will need the court to assist you in resolving the disagreed upon issues, so you will probably have to go to court several times. If you cannot resolve these issues even with the court’s help, you will need to go to trial. If your divorce will be contested, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney to represent you.
If you or a loved one needs assistance with an contested or uncontested divorce, call the Law Office of Dana Stricker, PLLC at 914-588-0651 or visit our website for a free consultation.