Our Top-Rated Family Law Attorney Discusses the Timeline for Getting a Divorce in New York

If you live in New York and are considering divorce, you may wonder if there is a mandatory legal waiting period like other states have. A waiting period gives both parties time to cool off to help minimize impulsive decisions. New York has no official waiting period, but there are reasons why a court might not hear your case right away. How long it takes to get a divorce in New York

Our highly regarded divorce attorney at Alatsas Law Firm, Theodore Alatsas, Esq., understands that when you’ve decided to divorce, you want the process to go as quickly as possible. He also knows that there are challenges and complexities that go along with any divorce, especially if children are involved. Here, he discusses the different types of divorce and the timeline for each.

Why a New York Divorce Can Take a Long Time

Even without a mandatory waiting period, a New York divorce can take time. Although no one wants a lengthy, prolonged process that can cause bitterness, hurt, and financial stress, there are many issues that factor into a divorce, including the disposition and temperament of the two parties, the type of divorce being sought, the county the divorce is being filed in, and the schedule of the court.

Other factors that influence the duration of a divorce include the following:

  • If there are children involved, the type of child custody being sought by both parties, issues about where the children will live, and child support
  • If the spouses aren’t able to work together and solve issues in a timely manner
  • If there’s a dispute about the assets, including properties, and how to divide them

Timelines for Contested and Uncontested Divorces

The legal process of divorce can be personally and emotionally draining, and it can also be time-consuming. Much depends on whether yours is a contested or uncontested divorce. If you’re concerned about how long it will take to get your divorce, it’s important to understand what happens when you’re engaged in either type.

Contested Divorce

A contested divorce means that the parties can’t agree on major issues and the specific terms of the divorce. When this happens, they must rely on the court to determine a resolution. Some areas of disagreement may include:

  • Asset and property division
  • Child custody and child support
  • Residence of the children—where they live and go to school
  • Visitation
  • Alimony
  • Debt allocation

Typically, there are more steps involved in a contested divorce, so the process can take longer and cost more. Some of these steps include gathering information (discovery), taking depositions (sworn statements) of witnesses, filing for pretrial motions and hearings, and going to trial. There may also be an appeal of the judge’s ruling if either party feels the issues were not addressed fairly.

If you live in New York, a contested divorce can last approximately nine months to a year or even longer. Contested divorces often include lengthy disagreements, disputes, and animosity that can stall the case, as well as months of litigation that prolong the process compared to uncontested divorces, where both parties are in agreement. Often, mediation can help reduce the time it takes to get a divorce when one or both parties is contesting the terms.

Uncontested Divorce

When both parties agree on the terms of the divorce, it makes the divorce process much easier and move more quickly. In a New York uncontested divorce, a final settlement can usually be reached in about three to four months. Once the divorce documents are prepared and sent to the court to be signed, it could take another two to three months before the divorce is finally settled. Still, it can take time to fill out and file the paperwork and get on the court calendar.   

How to Help Keep Your NY Divorce Case Moving Quickly

There are many things you can do to help keep the divorce process moving quickly, avoid delays, and reach a final settlement sooner than later. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider while your case is pending:

  • Be prepared to respond quickly to requests for documents and records from your New York divorce lawyer. Some records can take several weeks to locate or produce, which can cause delays. If one spouse is slow to respond, it can also delay the process.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with your soon-to-be ex to ensure you are both promptly responding to legal requests and adhering to court deadlines.
  • Be organized, cooperative, and focused on resolving disputes as amicably as possible to expedite the process.
  • Be prepared to negotiate or compromise on some aspects of your separation agreement and/or custody arrangement in the interest of finalizing the divorce.
  • Don’t make impulsive financial decisions. This is not the time to buy a boat or take out big loans. This can affect ongoing proceedings, requiring documents to be redrafted to include new properties or debts. 
  • Don’t use social media to complain about your spouse or their lawyer or to discuss details of your case. Airing dirty laundry can harm your efforts for a speedy divorce.
Post A Comment