NYC Contested Divorce Lawyer

Court Decisions in a Contested Divorce

If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on the terms of your divorce, the divorce must proceed as a contested divorce, in which the court will determine the significant matters relating to the ending of your marriage. In a contested divorce, it is absolutely crucial you have an NYC divorce attorney fighting for your rights and presenting compelling arguments to the court on your behalf. Matters such as property division, asset division, debt division, child custody, visitation, child support and spousal support will all be addressed, with final orders issued by the court. Both sides must fulfill these orders or face enforcement action and being held in contempt of court.

Considering a contested divorce or dealing with a divorce summons? Involve a New York divorce attorney who can protect your rights and offer you knowledgeable insight that applies to your unique situation.

The Contested Divorce Process in New York

There are three primary reasons a divorce may be contested. The first is if your spouse does not want a divorce. The second is if you and your spouse disagree on the grounds for divorce, or the legal reasons to end your marriage. The third is if you and your spouse cannot agree on property division, child custody and support, spousal support and the division of assets and debt. This is generally a far more expensive and time-consuming approach to divorce, as you and your spouse will need to go to the Supreme Court to have a judge hear all evidence related to the disputed matters and then issue a ruling.

Property is divided per the equitable distribution law of New York. This does not mean that it is necessarily split 50/50 but that the division is based on what the court considers to be fair, taking numerous factors into account. These include the income of each party at the time of the marriage and the divorce, the length of the marriage, the age, health and earning capacity of each party, tax implications and much more. Spousal support is determined on a similar basis. Child support depends on the income of the non-custodial parent and custody and visitation rights are based on what the court considers the best interests of the children.

If a contested divorce is your best or only course of action to pursue, there is a specific timeline and sequence of events you will face. Understanding this process can help you prepare for what is to come, with your attorney by your side. According to the New York State Unified Court System, the following is the general contested divorce timeline in the state:

  • Once divorce summons have been served, a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) must be filed within 45 days. You will be allowed 120 days if you and your spouse both file a Notice of No Necessity.
  • The next step will be to exchange and file a Statement of Net Worth, which must be completed at least 10 days before your preliminary conference.
  • A preliminary conference will be held within 45 days of the RJI filing date. Both parties must be present for this conference, which is presided over by a judge.
  • A compliance conference will be scheduled, unless parties file a stipulation of compliance and the court can dispense of this step. If a compliance hearing is held, both parties must be present.
  • Discovery must be completed and a Note of Issue filed no later than 6 months from the date of the preliminary conference, unless the court has decided to reduce or extend this deadline.
  • The divorce trial will be scheduled no later than 6 months from the date of the preliminary conference.

Looking at this timeline, the general length of time between a divorce summons and a trial may be about 7 1/2 months, though the specific timing will vary from case to case.

Fighting for Your Rights in a Contested Divorce

Your future quality of life and that of your children depend on the quality of your legal representation during your divorce. At Eiges & Orgel, PLLC, our more than 30 years of experience has given us the knowledge and skills necessary to fight effectively for the rights of our clients. We have successfully helped thousands of individuals through this process, whether in a high net worth divorce or other.

Contact an NYC contested divorce attorney to have a professional fight for the best possible outcome.

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