If you are considering separating or getting a divorce, many things go through your mind. Custody, residency schedules (a.k.a. parenting time/visitation), division of property (equitable distribution), bank accounts, investments, debts, and retirement income are surely overwhelming your thoughts. It's naturally a very stressful and uncertain period in your life, which can make you feel anxious, exhausted, and confused. My practice model is to attempt settlement, in an amicable and respectful way, while always prioritizing your rights as my client, insuring the best possible outcome for you and your children.
Contested and Uncontested Divorce
Your divorce is considered uncontested if both you and your spouse are in agreement about your desire for divorce. You must also be in agreement about every aspect of dissolution, including division of assets, finances, and what happens to the custody of your children.
You can file for an uncontested divorce if you and your spouse have no children below the age of 21, and have agreed that the marriage has been over for at least six months. All of the marital property issues must have been settled between the two of you, without involving the courts.
A contested divorce is one in which you and your spouse do not agree about wanting a divorce, do not agree on the grounds for the divorce, or do not agree on all the other aspects related to the divorce. Contested divorces will likely involve numerous court appearances and excessive litigation.
No Fault Divorce
In 2010, NYS passed the No Fault divorce law. It is no longer necessary for a spouse to prove grounds for divorce. However, there still remain issues of equitable distribution, property division, child support and custody, and spousal maintenance.
No one has to prove a specific reason for divorce, such as cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, or adultery, because New York no longer requires "grounds."
A divorce may be granted without the requirement of proof of any wrongdoing by either spouse. The law requires only that a spouse claim that the relationship between them has broken down irretrievably for at least six months.