What is the divorce process like in New York State?

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divorce process

You have decided to get a divorce. It is a day filled with sadness, regret, and maybe some relief or hope. In most cases, the dissolution of marriage takes place because the marital life was not working. Sometimes there can be amicable, uncontested divorces where both spouses agree that there are “irreconcilable differences” On the other end of the spectrum there are long, messy, painful divorces where one or both spouses are not on board with the process or decisions being made. This is a contested divorce. In either case and the many in between, you absolutely want to have an experienced Suffolk County divorce & separation attorney. A knowledgeable divorce lawyer will guide you through every step of the process, from filing the initial agreement to the very end when it is finalized. Read on to learn more about the divorce process in New York and how our team can help.

How does the divorce process work in New York?

The divorce process in NY can be long and leave you fatigued and drained. But with an experienced lawyer, you can get to the end easier and more efficiently.

When one or both parties meet the residency requirements in New York State a court will establish jurisdiction. Following the satisfaction of residency requirements, there will be ‘ grounds’ for divorce established. In New York State there exists a no-fault divorce. This is when both parties agree that there was an irretrievable breakdown in the marriage for at least 6 months. In other words, there is no proof of grounds for divorce necessary.

However, an individual does have the right to cite fault grounds. In this case, you must prove one of the following; adultery, extreme cruelty, or at least one year of abandonment or imprisonment. At this point in time, you will file for divorce. The person who files for the divorce is then known as the plaintiff and the spouse becomes the defendant. The second step is the serving of the defendant. Once a complaint is filed, your spouse has some time to respond.

During this period, you will want to have the assistance of trusted legal guidance. They will be able to review your case and establish a plan of action. The defendant may then respond with an “answer.” This means the divorce is contested. Speaking to your lawyer at this point is a good idea. If the defendant signs the “Affidavit of Defendent,” they are agreeing to the divorce. If the defendant “defaults,” meaning does not provide a response of any kind, you must complete more papers. If the divorce is approved, the judge will sign the Judgment of Divorce. In a contested divorce there may be much more paperwork necessary as well as potential trials. If there are children under the age of 21, there will be child support and custody determinations necessary to complete the process.

With so much at stake, it’s imperative that you hire a seasoned divorce lawyer who can protect your rights and the future of your family through each step of the process. Contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel 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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