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Divorce FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions - New York Divorce

You may be asking yourself a lot of questions as you decide if your differences between you and your spouse are too much to reconcile, or if you’re just not in love with person any longer or you may have found someone else. Life is too short to live unhappily and regardless if you have young children or not, your happiness and sanity should be preserved. You wouldn’t be the first person to consider getting divorced!

This page is intended to address some of the many questions, but we suggest contacting Maryam Jahedi to get the guidance and advice you and your family need to make the right decision.

Although this FAQ page is intended to provide general answers to general questions, the circumstances of each divorce are unique, and should be discussed with a highly skilled and experienced attorney. It’s crucial to contact us today for a consultation to discuss the details of your case.

What are some of the grounds for divorce in New York?

There are several grounds for divorce in New York, that must be proved, including cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, legal separation, imprisonment, adultery and simply that the relationship between spouses has diminished for at least six (6) months, to name just a few.

Do I have to prove fault for a divorce to be filed in New York?

No – New York is a no-fault state for grounds of divorce, which means that a divorce can be granted after the parties or the court resolve all issues of the marriage.

Do I need to hire an attorney for a divorce in New York?

It is certainly in your best interest to hire an attorney that practices family and divorce law. In order to have the best possible outcome and to be assured your rights are protected, hiring an experienced and aggressive, but compassionate divorce lawyer is advisable.

Can I replace or change my divorce attorney in New York and what is the procedure to do so?

You should always be satisfied and confident with the divorce attorney that is representing you. So, if you end up dissatisfied with your legal counsel, you have the right to seek a new attorney to represent you. You would have to ask the court to give you a chance to consult with a new lawyer and retain their services. The new attorney will have to submit a notice of appearance so that the previous attorney is relieved from your case.

If I paid a retainer to the previous lawyer will I be refunded any unused portion?

That depends on the terms of your retainer agreement but generally speaking, most divorce retainer agreements are based on an hourly rate, therefore the attorney should only charge you for what was worked on for your case and return any unused amount to you.

When can I file a divorce in New York?

Filing depends on what grounds of divorce, but as long as there has been irretrievable breakdown in your relationship for a period of at least 6 months.

How long will a divorce take in New York?

Each divorce case is different and the time to complete depends on many factors. It all depends on how quickly both parties can agree upon the issues that pertain to child custody and support, spousal support, division of assets, plus other issues. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement, a judge or mediator will ultimately decide.

How much does a divorce cost in New York?

The cost of a divorce in New York will depend on many factors, starting with if it’s contested or not. An uncontested divorce is a very inexpensive option, but both parties must be in full agreement on every matter. If both parties are willing to settle term of their divorce, then expenses can be limited.
If both or one of the spouses is contesting the divorce and there are contentious matters, then the cost can be determined on how long your divorce will last and how many court dates and conferences will be needed to finalize all marital and family matters. If both parties find it difficult to agree on the terms regarding child support, child custody and visitation, spousal support, and division of marital property, then sometimes the divorce can take months if not years to finalize.
If both parties agree on the terms early on, of course the divorce can be resolved fast, then it will be less costly.

Do I have to go to court to complete a divorce in New York?

If your divorce is a contested, meaning that both parties do not agree on the specific terms of the divorce then yes you will have to go to court. In most uncontested divorces, there is no need for clients to go to court.

What if my spouse does not want to get a divorce, what can I do to terminate the marriage?

In New York, you can still file for divorce and get our spouse to come to court, or you can obtain a default judgment if they don’t show up. Your spouse will have to be served through a licensed service processer.

Do family law issues, such as support, maintenance, custody, division of property have to be agreed-upon by both parties to make the divorce final in New York?

Yes – in order for a judge to sign your final divorce papers and complete the divorce, all family and marital issues need to be resolved in advance and finalized.

What is an uncontested divorce in New York and how do I qualify?

An uncontested divorce is when both parties can totally agree on all marital and family issues and have had those issues resolved through either negotiation or without any contention. These are more typical when there are no children from the marriage.

How long do I have to live in New York to obtain a divorce?

You or your spouse would have to live in New York for at least two years before filing for divorce. Additionally, you could file for divorce in New York if you or your spouse have been living in New York for at least one year before the divorce is filed and that you either (1) got married in New York or (2) lived in New York as a married couple, or (3) your ground for divorce happened in New York.
You could also file for divorce in New York if both you and your spouse on the day the divorce is filed are residing in New York and the grounds for your divorce happened here in New York.

After I file divorce do I have to continue to live in New York?

No – you do not need to continue living in New York while the divorce is pending, however for each court date, you will need to appear in court

You Don’t Have To Face This Alone

Divorce problems can be difficult, but you don’t have to face them alone. We are here to help you understand and protect your rights and provide you the guidance you and your family will need.

To arrange your free phone case evaluation, please contact our law offices online or by telephone at (646) 798-7118.

  • by: Maryam Jahedi, Esq. You've Been Arrested: Now What? (A Real Life Legal Guide)
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