New York State offers two kinds of divorce: uncontested and contested. In the case where a couple disagrees on any aspect of the divorce it is called a contested divorce. There are many key issues that could be up for debate in a contested divorce. After a trial the Court will make the final determination in a contested divorcement. You must be present in court if your divorce case is litigated. An Uncontested Divorce is exactly what it sounds like. Both parties are able to agree to the terms of the divorce. They also agree on how they will divide their assets and agree on issues such as visitation and child custody. If you and your spouse agree on getting a divorce its important to consult with a skilled New York divorce lawyer. Uncontested divorce refers to a divorce in which couples are able to agree on the terms of key divorce issues such as child custody child support and division of property. These issues are already settled therefore no court proceedings are necessary. The judge may sign off on these terms and issue the final divorce decree. The court can also declare the divorce final if one party fails to appear at the hearing. It is highly unlikely that the couple will be asked to appear before the court in an uncontested divorce. However if you and your spouse are unable to settle on any of the terms in the agreement divorce will now be considered contested. The case will be taken to court in the case of a contested divorce. The Law Office of Ryan Besinque has helped many families and individuals throughout New York City. Uncontested divorce lawyer Ryan Besinque and our team of divorce attorneys can help you if you have concerns regarding an uncontested divorce case. Call us today to schedule a consultation. The Process for Uncontested Divorce in New York With the help of a divorce attorney once you and your spouse have reached a satisfactory settlement or agreement you can proceed with an uncontested divorce. Your attorney will file your paperwork with the County Clerks office. This paperwork may include the settlement agreement as well as plans for continued healthcare coverage. All paperwork must include an index number (purchased from the county clerks office). The next step after the divorce is filed is to serve the spouse in writing this will also be arranged by your attorney. Assuming that the divorce is uncontested the papers should be served without any problems. However the basic steps must be followed. This includes the formal delivery of divorce papers. The service must take place within 120 days from the date the divorce paperwork was filed with the court. Additionally an independent party must sign an affidavit attesting that service was performed in compliance with New York law. After receiving the paperwork the spouse will sign an acknowledgment of consent to divorce. This is the case in an uncontested divorce. You have the option of your spouse contesting the divorce or not answering. Failure to respond within 20 days will result in the divorce proceeding moving forward. Once the divorce proceeds the date is added to the judges calendar. This requires a lot of paperwork which must be submitted and notarized. Having a skilled uncontested divorce attorney to assist you is important even if the divorce is uncontested. In an uncontested divorce the only matter that the judge will decide is the fairness of the final agreement. The judge will also have to make sure that the divorce is really an uncontested divorce and was not done with coercion. After the judgment has been rendered all paperwork must be signed. Your lawyer will file the Judgement of Divorce with your County Clerk. The final divorce order must be served to the other spouse by the party who initiated the divorce process Waiting Period for Uncontested Divorce in New York New York unlike other States does not have a minimum waiting period after the initial paperwork is filed. Once your spouse filed the defendants affidavit the waiting period for allowing them to respond which is usually 20-30 days is waived. The time that is usually given for a spouse to respond to the service on time is also waived. uncontested divorce lawyer in New York City However even if the other party has consented to the divorce case being placed on the courts uncontested divorce calendar immediately that doesnt necessarily mean you will get your final divorce right away. The average time it takes to get an uncontested divorce in New York is six to twelve weeks. This amount of time is usually dependent on two factors: the time it takes for you to submit the requirements and how busy the county court is. When dealing with an uncontested divorce it is still important to consult an experienced divorce lawyer. Many people think that they do not need to have a lawyer because an uncontested divorce is simple. However having a skilled lawyer may be able to help you avoid costly mistakes. Can a Judge Deny a Divorce In New York although uncommon there are instances where divorce denial occurs. The primary reason behind this is usually one partys unwillingness to complete the necessary paperwork. On occasion judges may also refuse to grant a divorce if the filing party fails to provide substantial evidence to support their claims. For example if you allege infidelity as the grounds for divorce but cannot provide proof the court may reject your request to dissolve the marriage. Nevertheless a denial of divorce does not mean that the situation is a dead end. If one party refuses to sign the paperwork the other party still has the option to petition for a contested divorce. Although this may prolong the process following proper legal procedures can still lead to a divorce even without the agreement of the estranged spouse. Similarly if a divorce is denied due to issues with the presented argument it does not signify the end. If the rejection is a result of a clerical or administrative error rectifying the mistake may resolve the issue. Alternatively if the court determines that you have not provided sufficient evidence to support your case you have the right to appeal the decision or file a fresh petition. Therefore a denial of divorce should not be seen as an insurmountable obstacle but rather as a challenge that many have successfully overcome to dissolve their marriages. With the help of a skilled New York divorce attorney the key to success lies in adopting a strategic and focused approach while diligently adhering to the courts requirements. Process for Uncontested Divorce in New York Details Reach a satisfactory settlement or agreement Both spouses with the help of a divorce attorney come to a mutually acceptable resolution regarding the divorce terms. File paperwork with County Clerks office The attorney submits necessary documents including the settlement agreement and healthcare coverage plans to the clerk. Serve the spouse in writing and obtain an affidavit of service The attorney arranges for the formal delivery of divorce papers to the spouse within 120 days of filing and an independent party signs an affidavit confirming service according to New York law. Spouse signs acknowledgment of consent The spouse signs a document acknowledging their consent to the uncontested divorce. Proceed with the divorce If the spouse fails to respond within 20 days the divorce proceeds and a date is added to the judges calendar. Submit and notarize required paperwork Various documents need to be submitted and notarized including paperwork for the judges evaluation and the Judgement of Divorce. Assistance from a skilled uncontested divorce attorney is important. Serve the final divorce order The party initiating the divorce process serves the final divorce order to the other spouse. What to Expect if an Uncontested Divorce Becomes Contested Divorce proceedings are inherently complex and emotionally taxing and they can become even more so when an uncontested divorce unexpectedly shifts to a contested one. Couples may initially agree on the terms of their separation finding common ground on all pertinent issues such as property division child custody and alimony. However even with the best intentions disagreements can arise turning a seemingly amicable process into a contentious legal battle. Transition to Discovery and Litigation When an uncontested divorce becomes contested the process transitions from a simple review and approval of agreed-upon terms to a more formal adversarial litigation process. The purpose of discovery is to allow both parties to obtain all relevant information related to the contested issues. This can include financial documents property valuations and evidence concerning the welfare of any children involved. During discovery both parties may issue interrogatories (written questions requiring written answers) requests for the production of documents and depositions which involve the taking of sworn out-of-court oral testimony. The scope of discovery can be vast and intrusive often delving into personal and financial matters. Increased Complexity and Cost A contested divorce often leads to increased legal fees court costs and a longer timeframe for resolution. Unlike in an uncontested divorce where both parties might navigate the process with minimal legal assistance a contested divorce typically necessitates representation by attorneys who can navigate the complexities of family law advocate for their clients interests and prepare for the possibility of a trial. Emotional and Financial Toll The shift from uncontested to contested divorce can also take a significant emotional and financial toll on both parties. The adversarial nature of a contested divorce can heighten tensions and lead to a more acrimonious split which is especially challenging when children are involved. Loss of Privacy An additional consideration is privacy. Contested divorces often become a matter of public record meaning the details of ones personal and financial life may become accessible which can be particularly concerning for individuals with businesses or sensitive occupations. Court Intervention In the event of a contested divorce the court assumes a more active role. A judge may be required to make determinations on contested issues meaning the final decisions on critical aspects of the divorce may be out of the parties hands. Getting Experienced Legal Guidance From a Skilled Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Navigating a divorce is never easy. It is often difficult and emotionally draining. However hiring an experienced attorney to represent you may help ensure that your financial and emotional well-being and the well-being of your loved ones are protected. Our skilled New York uncontested divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Ryan Besinque have helped hundreds of people just like you. Our goal is to make sure you are heard and protected. We will work hard for your best possible outcome. To schedule a consultation contact us online or by calling (929) 251-4477. via The Law Office of Ryan Besinque PC