You may have done everything you could to save your marriage. You tried counseling and you put 100 percent into your marriage every day, but you and your spouse still cannot get along. The stress is building up and you decide that divorce is your only way out.
You file your divorce, only to have your spouse contest it. She doesn’t want a divorce and she plans to fight you all the way. What are her options? Can you sue her for divorce?
You can sue for divorce. Suing someone for divorce means beginning the legal process and initiating the divorce. The spouse is served with papers that must be signed in order for the divorce to proceed. If the spouse refuses to sign them, then the divorce becomes contested.
If you and your spouse both agree to the divorce, then it is considered uncontested. The processes for contested and uncontested divorces are different. Read on to find out what to expect.
In an uncontested divorce, here’s how to start divorce proceedings. First, you must sign and notarize the following forms:
- Notice of Automatic Orders
- Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint
- Notice Concerning Continuation of Health Care Coverage
- Settlement Agreement, if you have one
You must then file these forms with the county clerk’s office. It’s a good idea to make copies as well.
The filing fee is $210. Once you pay the fee, the next step is to serve your spouse with the papers. You cannot do this, however. An adult over the age of 18 must perform this step.
The spouse has 20 days to respond. If your spouse signs and returns the Affidavit of Defendant or does nothing, your case will go on the court calendar. You will need to prepare and file paperwork and if there are no issues, the judge will grant your divorce.
If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, the divorce becomes contested. A hearing will be scheduled to determine why the divorce is contested. The court will try to resolve these issues. The court will use evidence and testimony to divide property fairly and work toward a settlement. It is important that both parties obtain legal representation. Mediation may be needed to resolve issues.
If your spouse does not appear at the court hearing or cannot be located, you may be granted a default divorce. The court will agree to all the terms you laid out in the divorce papers.
Work with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Brooklyn
Almost all divorces have some degree of conflict. Many spouses decide to contest a divorce in hopes of receiving a better outcome. This only delays and complicates the process.
If you are considering divorce and have concerns about the process, seek legal help from Brooklyn divorce attorney Theodore Alatsas ESQ. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, he can help you achieve a favorable outcome. To learn more, contact our office at (718) 233-2903 for a free consultation.