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New York Contested Divorce

Protecting Your Rights in a Contested Divorce

If you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on the terms of your divorce, you must proceed with 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 crucial to have a lawyer fighting for your rights and presenting compelling arguments on your behalf.

In an uncontested divorce, the court must approve orders relating to:

Both sides must fulfill these orders or face enforcement action and being held in contempt of court. For this reason, if you are considering a contested divorce or dealing with a divorce summons, you should not wait to involve an attorney who can protect your rights and offer you knowledgeable insight that applies to your unique situation.

Why Hire Eiges & Orgel for Your Contested Divorce?

Three Reasons Why Your Divorce May Be Contested

There are three primary reasons a divorce may be contested., which include:

  1. Your spouse does not want a divorce.
  2. You and your spouse disagree on the grounds for divorce or the legal reasons to end your marriage
  3. You and your spouse cannot agree on child custody and support, spousal support, or the division of assets.

Generally, this is 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.

NY Contested Divorce Timeline

If a contested divorce is your best or only course of action, there is a specific timeline and sequence of events you will face. Understanding this process can help you prepare for what is to come.

Brief summary of a contested divorce timeline:

  • 45 days to file Request for Judicial Intervention or 120 days if RJI is unnecessary
  • Statement of Net Worth filed 10 days before preliminary conference
  • Preliminary conference within 45 days of RJI
  • Compliance conference scheduled
  • Discovery completed within 6 months after preliminary conference
  • Divorce trial scheduled within 6 months after preliminary conference

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. If you would like to get a better idea of how long you can expect your divorce to take, contact Eiges & Orgel, PLLC.

How the Court Makes Decisions in a Contested Divorce

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, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The age
  • Health of each party
  • The earning capacity of each party
  • Tax implications

Spousal support is determined on a similar basis. Child support depends on the income of the non-custodial parent, and custody rights are based on what the court considers the best interests of the children.

Contact Eiges & Orgel, PLLC for the Help You Need


Choosing a NYC divorce lawyer is an investment in your future. You need an attorney that knows and understands the intricacies of the law. The divorce attorneys of Eiges & Orgel, PLLC have the experience you need to protect your interests.

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 60 years of collective 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 our attorneys today to learn more.

Contact a lawyer  to have a professional fight for the best possible outcome.

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