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The New York Divorce Process

For some people, divorce is a reality. The fact is, over 50% of marriages end in divorce and there are plenty of couples who find themselves splitting for numerous reasons. In some cases, divorce can be a prolonged, complicated ordeal. If you are considering getting divorced, you have a lot to consider about this legal matter. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to mitigate the effects of the divorce on you and your family. The divorce process can quickly become overwhelming, not to mention emotionally difficult. With so many issues that must be decided upon, you may naturally feel lost in trying to resolve matters effectively. It is important to discuss your divorce with an experienced and effective Rockland County divorce attorney. Knowing the road ahead can help you prepare to make these significant decisions. For a consultation, please contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC.

New York’s Residency Requirement

To get divorced in New York, the court will have to establish jurisdiction over your case. The first hurdle is to satisfy the residency requirement. Simply put:

  • Either must be residents of the state for at least two years
  • Either has lived in New York for a year and either got married here, lived as a married couple here, or the grounds cited occurred here
  • Both are residents on the day the divorce is filed

The residency requirement is just one piece. In order for a court to hear your case, you must cite grounds for your divorce.

New York’s grounds for divorce

Grounds are the legally acceptable reason for divorce. When citing grounds, one must decide between fault grounds and no-fault grounds. Fortunately, New York is a no-fault state. This means that a person or persons can cite irreconcilable differences for at least 6 months. The reason for no-fault grounds is to allow a couple to get a divorce without any legal means to stop it. Fault grounds are also legally acceptable reasons to start the process. The 6 legally acceptable grounds for divorce in New York include adultery, abandonment, imprisonment, cruel and inhuman treatment, divorce after a legal separation agreement, and divorce after a judgment of separation.

Starting the divorce process in New York State

To start the process of divorce in New York, you must file a Complaint for Divorce. In this legal document, you will cite grounds and any interim relief you require to proceed. There are numerous types of relief requested, namely child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and legal fees. This support is granted to relieve the burden of divorce on the dependent spouse and stop financial intimidation in its tracks.

Alternative dispute resolution

New York courts believe that the couple can greatly benefit from working out their issues outside of court when the circumstances allow. Through alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including mediation and collaborative divorce, a couple can agree to terms through constructive negotiations, helping avoid the financial and emotional impact of litigation. When appropriate, a couple can come to an agreement, execute a Separation Agreement, and use it to get a divorce. For some, collaborating outside of court is not an option.

A simplified version of the trial process

When litigation is the only option, the road ahead can be long and complex. One of the facets of the litigation process is Discovery. Discovery is where the parties collect and share information to establish a clear understanding of the financial situation of the couple. This is often the longest part of the trial process. The couple will share net worth statements and other significant financial information. If either party or the court finds suspect information, forensic accountants may be called on to ensure that the information is accurate. Once the parties believe they are equipped with the information needed to push forward, the Compliance Conference will ensure that everyone is ready for trial. The trial itself will only focus on contested issues, which can include child custody, Parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, and property distribution. Once the parties have completed their arguments, the judge will decide on the matter.

Finalizing the divorce process

A Judgment of Divorce is the final say. This declaration will finalize the divorce, address the contested issues heard in court, and establish the obligations of both parties to adhere to the orders put forth. The parties can appeal these decisions, if necessary. If neither party appeals, only a modification can allow for a deviation from the decisions.

Contact a New City Divorce Attorney to Guide you Through the Divorce Process

If you are getting a divorce, it is important to consult with an experienced law firm. The above writing is a very simplified version of a long and arduous process. The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC is ready to fight for your future. Divorce is not an easy process, but with the helping hand of an effective attorney, you can make it through and on to something better. For a consultation, contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC.

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