Divorce Options in New York

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Divorce is a complex process. Proceedings are long, trying, and emotionally exhausting. When couples divorce, there are many things for them to consider. In order to move forward outside the relationship, the couple needs to make multiple different decisions regarding their split. The state of New York offers several ways for a couple to pursue a divorce. Every couple may settle a divorce in a way that is specific to their circumstances. If you are going through a divorce, an experienced attorney from Suffolk County can help guide you through the proceedings.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce happens when a couple cannot decide the terms of their separation and fail to sign an agreement. This leaves certain marital issues unsolved. When this happens, a judge may be assigned to make these decisions. This may include decisions on child support, child custody, dividing marital assets, and alimony.

A spouse may cite “fault” or “no-fault” grounds in a contested divorce. Fault grounds is when a marriage ends due to adultery, habits of intoxication, abuse, desertion, or prison sentences of 5+ years. When a no-fault is cited, neither spouse is being held responsible for the end of the relationship and the divorce process may begin.

Uncontested Divorce

In some cases, both spouses believe their marriage cannot be fixed and agree to their own conditions of a divorce. This is known as an uncontested divorce. When neither spouse is holding the other responsible for the end of the marriage, it can be known as an “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage.” There are two types:

  • 1A divorce: when the couple agrees on all issues relating to the divorce.
  • 1B divorce: when those issues are left unresolved.


Couples often seek alternatives outside of court when they are going through a divorce. While it is not always possible for all couples, some are able to make decisions regarding their divorce without a judge. Mediation gives couples the opportunity to negotiate the terms of their divorce in order to come to an amicable agreement. This method requires an unbiased third party to listen to both sides of the marriage and help the spouses find a situation that works best for both of them. Negotiations in mediation may cover issues such as child support, child custody, the division of assets, and alimony. After spouses reach an agreement, the mediator will bring a signed document of proof to the court.


A collaborative divorce happens outside of the court as well. In a collaborative divorce, spouses participate in four-way meetings. These meetings are guided by attorneys to help the separating couple agree on marital terms.


Another option for divorce is arbitration. This method also involves an unbiased third party. Unlike mediation, this third party’s purpose is to act as a judge. This person makes the final decisions about the couple’s marital issues. This may include child custody/support, spousal support, and distribution of assets.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is considering a divorce and wish to seek legal counsel to guide them, contact The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

Matters of divorce and family law should be navigated with the guidance of an experienced attorney. If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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