Divorce Options in New York

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.