New York Divorce Lawyers
If you are going through a divorce in New York, it’s critical that you do everything you can to protect your rights. A divorce can affect the most important aspects of your life, including your financial situation and your ability to have a meaningful relationship with your children. Fortunately, the representation and counsel of an experienced attorney can ensure that your divorce is resolved as favorably as possible.
What is Fault-Based Divorce and No-Fault Divorce?
To schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney in New York City, call the Levoritz Law Firm today.
In 2010, New York became the last state in the country to recognize no-fault divorce, making it much easier for married couples to end their marriages. Prior to the change in the law, the party seeking the divorce needed to show one or more legally recognized grounds for divorce.
New York state still recognizes six fault-based grounds for divorce:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment – in order to obtain a divorce based on cruel and inhuman treatment, you must be able to show specific acts of cruelty that have occurred within the past five years. The treatment must be severe enough to cause physical or mental danger such that it is unsafe or improper for the party seeking the divorce to continue living with his or her spouse.
- Abandonment – the ground of abandonment may be used in cases where the spouse of the person seeking the divorce has left the home for a year or more. Constructive abandonment occurs when one spouse refuses to have sex with the other spouse.
- Imprisonment – for this claim, the plaintiff’s spouse must have been imprisoned for three years or more. This ground can be used for five years after a person is released.
- Adultery – to obtain a divorce based on adultery, the party seeking the divorce must be able to provide evidence of infidelity from a third party.
- Divorce after a legal separation agreement – This ground can be used after a couple signs a valid separation agreement and lives apart for a year.
- Divorce after a judgment of separation – A couple can seek a fault-based divorce after the supreme court issues a judgment of separation and they live apart for one year.
In a no-fault divorce, neither party claims that the other party is at fault for the end of the relationship. In order to obtain a no-fault divorce, one party to the marriage must state under oath that marriage has been irretrievably broken for at least six months, which basically means that their relationship has deteriorated to the point that they cannot stay married.
What Factors Affect How Long a Divorce Will Take?
The length of time that it can take for a divorce to be finalized can depend on a variety of factors, the most important of which is how adversarial the parties are with respect to one another. Of course, the more adversarial a divorce, the longer it will take. Some of the factors that can make a divorce more adversarial include the following:
- Shared children
- High net worth
- A family-owned business
- A history of domestic abuse or infidelity
- Complicated assets
- A significant disparity in income
- Whether one party supported the other while he or she was obtaining a degree or professional license
These are just a few of the factors that may increase the length of time it takes for a divorce to be final. In cases where couples can agree on the issues that need to be resolved, a divorce can be over in just six months. More complicated divorces can last several years.
Types of Divorces
Divorces can be grouped into various categories based on the way they are resolved:
In an uncontested divorce, the couple is able to come to an agreement on all of the issues that need to be resolved in order for the divorce to be finalized. These issues often include the division of marital assets, spousal support, child custody, and child support. Typically, the divorcing couple’s attorneys draft a divorce agreement that a judge signs off on, often incorporating its terms into the judgment of divorce.
In a contested divorce, the parties are unable to agree on a resolution to the issues in their divorce and go to court in order to have a judge decide them. In a contested divorce, both parties make legal arguments and introduce evidence in support of their positions. Ultimately, the judge hearing the case will make a decision regarding how the marital estate will be divided, spousal support, and child custody and support (if there are children). Contested divorces tend to be significantly more expensive than uncontested divorces.
Divorcing couples can also agree to arbitration. In arbitration, the parties present their arguments to a neutral third-party arbitrator to resolve the issues ancillary to their divorce. Arbitration is less formal than litigation and affords to divorce couples privacy, as everything that happens in court is a matter of public record.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyers Today
If you are considering a divorce or are already in the process of ending your marriage, it’s important that you retain a New York City divorce attorney as soon as you can. Yonatan Levoritz has been practicing law since 2005 and has earned a reputation as a skilled negotiator and aggressive litigator throughout the five boroughs. To schedule a consultation with Mr. Levoritz, call our office today at 718-942-4004 or send us an email through our online contact form.