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The Spodek Law Group is an elite NYC divorce law firm that provides excellent results and service for its clients. Our NYC divorce attorneys handle tough cases that require experience, and excellence, to win.
We treat every single client like family.
Work directly with a senior divorce lawyer
We're a top rated divorce law firm
The Spodek Law Group is a premier, and top rated, New York divorce law firm. Our attorneys recognize, and empathize with the situation you’re going through. Divorce is one of the most stressful situations – hiring the wrong divorce lawyer can make it even more stressful. You need a divorce lawyer who is reputable, knowledgable, attentive to detail, and is ready to fight for you. Having the wrong divorce attorney can cost you immensely – both financially, and in terms of your personal life.
When you hire an attorney at the Spodek Law Group, you’re working with an ally who treats you like family, and is here to help you through all aspects of your case. What’s important to us isn’t billable hours – it’s the outcome of your case. Our goal is to achieve success, while avoiding needless confrontations. Strategy is critical. Our objective is finding a pathway to getting our clients everything they need in order to move on with their life. This pragmatic approach is why we win, and get our clients amazing results.
"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."David Bruce
"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."Rowlin Garcia
"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."Francis Anim
When hiring an NYC divorce lawyer, it’s critical you look at experience and results. As one of New York’s oldest divorce and matrimony law firms, we’ve got the experience to handle virtually any situation. We can handle a wide array of complex divorce/family law issues, such as child custody issues, child alimony, and more. More importantly, we understand when to be aggressive, and when to be diplomatic. Regardless of how difficult your case is, realize that working with an attorney at the Spodek Law Group is one of the decisions you can make. You deserve a future that is bright, and having a proper outcome in your divorce can ensure that. Our New York family law attorneys have experience helping clients all over New York state. Regardless of whether you’re in NYC, or long island, we can help. We have experience handling simple, uncontested divorces, to complex child custody disputes, child alimony/child support, and more. If your spouse goes to the liquor store drinking red wine and you’re a victim of domestic violence, we can help. Not only is our team of divorce attorneys respected by judges, but also by other NYC divorce lawyers who take our team seriously, and respect our expertise and seriousness. It means they know not to even attempt, to take advantage of our clients.
Divorce isn’t easy, but it can be infinitely harder with the wrong divorce attorney. That’s why we’ve only hired some of the top rated NYC divorce lawyers in New York state. Our team, spread out across several locations, works tirelessly to help New York state residents get the possible results. We advise our clients on all possible scenarios, and provide a pragmatic approach to navigating them. We are aggressive, and when necessary – uncompromising, in order to get our clients the possible outcome. We never stop doing what is necessary to get you the possible result – regardless of how aggressive the opposing party is. As your divorce attorney, we keep you aware of what’s going on – ALWAYS.
Before you get married, draft a prenup to protect your assetsLearn More
Facing child custody issues? Our team can helpLearn More
We have experience dealing with tough divorce casesLearn More
We can help with negotiate alimony paymentsLearn More
Fathers have rights, and we can help enforce themLearn More
Protect yourself and your children with an order of protectionLearn More
We think technology makes the process better. Use our online portal, which lets you organize your documents, and let's you stay informed as to the status of your divorce and family law case. We have a completely cloud based portal that provides for a better client experience.
Our completely online dashboard saves documents for years, even after your case is over. We provide a smooth and transparent client dashboard so you can remain up to date. This online dashboard is free for all of our clients. You can manage and secure messages, documents, appointments, and more.
If you’re going through a divorce, you need a team of divorce lawyers who understand how stressful this process is – and will work on making it less so – when possible. Our NYC matrimonial lawyers understand the emotional and financial burden associated with a divorce case. With over 50 years of combined experience, we’ve seen virtually every type of divorce case. We understand the law, and how huge it’s influence could be on you. Our NYC divorce lawyers look at the full picture when advising you, and make recommendations that are comprehensive. Our goal isn’t just to win, it’s to come up with a solution that works for you and your family.
The Spodek Law Group handles tough cases that are featured in major news publications
Spodek Law Group's representation of client Anna Delvey is set to become a Netflix series, directed by Shonda Rhimes.Learn More
Todd Spodek represents famous songwriters relative, issued summonses for disorderly conduct after clashes with police.Learn More
The Spodek Law Group is one of New York’s oldest law firms. With over 50 years of combined experience, we understand how difficult divorce cases can be. Based out of NYC, and long island, we have numerous convenient locations.
Todd Spodek is a second generation NYC divorce attorney, who has experience handling tough legal situations. Todd has experience handling a diverse array of cases, ranging from federal crimes, complex felonies/misdemeanors with immigration implications, and more. His comprehensive well of experience is why clients trust our firm with a wide array of issues – knowing we’ll have a legal solution for them.
Regardless of how tough your divorce, or family law, issue is – we can help.
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We Take On Fewer Cases Purposefully
Most divorce law firms treat clients like a conveyer belt. They don’t care about service necessarily. They have quotas, and that’s about it. We’re different.
We’re selective about how many new clients we take on each month, which means if we do decide to help you – you can count on optimal service and results. We prefer working with less clients, because it allows us to dedicate more resources to helping them get better results. Unlike other attorneys, we don’t assign non-attorneys to handle the bulk of the work on your case. Our dedicated divorce lawyers do the majority of the work on your case. When you hire us, you have an attorney who focuses exclusively in divorce law. Divorce is a turning point in your life – shouldn’t you have a law firm whose focused on you? We treat your case – as if it were our own family member’s. That’s the Spodek Law Group difference.
NYC Divorce Attorney – Risk Free Consultation
Divorce is a decision you think about many times. The great thing is, we offer a risk free consultation, in person, or over the phone. During the risk free consultation you can ask us anything you’d like about your case. We explain your legal rights, and what options you have. By taking advantage of this risk free consultation you get to learn more about us, and we get to learn more about you. We have convenient locations all over New York – including NYC, Nassau, and Suffolk County. We can meet you at whichever location is more convenient to you. Moreover, our team of divorce lawyers has experience handling tough cases. With over 50 years of combined experience, we’ve seen some of the most shocking divorce situations. The one thing that’s never changed is the dedication, discipline, and attentiveness to detail we bring to each and every case.
Top Divorce Lawyers
Our team of divorce attorneys has been recognized by top rated lawyer ranking services, like Avvo, National Trial Lawyers Organization, Super Lawyers, and many others. When you hire us, you’re working with a top notch NYC divorce law firm. Most importantly, when you hire us, you can trust in our unbiased approach. We’re your ally – and we work hard for you. It’s not uncommon for spouses to get nasty during divorce. We understand this, and we’re here to make sure they don’t try and take advantage of you. We use the law, and our experience handling matrimony cases, to prevent mistakes and compromises that could hurt you.
We Handle Uncontested Divorce Cases
We understand some divorces may be amicable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on your guard. Many divorce lawyers apply a cookie cutter approach to uncontested divorces, and overlook the small details – which can harm your future. Generally in an uncontested divorce, both parties are in agreement, and there’s a degree of civility to the proceedings. In simple terms, it means the spouses reached an agreement without a court/judge having to resolve the issues at hand. These divorces usually proceed faster through the courts, and are less expensive. It lets spouses move on with their lives. Unfortunately, even uncontested divorces can be difficult. No divorce is final until things like assets, debt, the diamond ring, gemstones, spousal support, alimony, etc are discussed and handled. In the event you and your spouse don’t agree, you’ll need an attorney to intervene and apply the law where necessary. In some cases it might be necessary to go to court. Our family law attorneys are competent, and proficient, in handling all types of divorce cases. We have many trial lawyers who work for us, and are aggressive in protecting your rights. No case is too hard. If the opposing party isn’t willing to be fair, we’re unafraid of taking a tough stance, and threatening litigation if necessary.
In some cases, if there is a prenup signed, it can make an uncontested divorce can go even smoother. Prenuptial agreements are tools that help immensely. The agreement is a contract which can help negotiate between you and your spouse in order to prevent litigation, and financial exposure. When you hire our matrimonial lawyers, we can help you navigate the prenup agreement —- or if necessary, challenge it. When you have a prenup agreement in place, the agreement forecasts what will happen financially, and personally, in the event there is a divorce or legal separation. Often, having one of these can save you 10’s of thousands of dollars. Our attorneys have significant experience drafting these agreements, and protecting our clients through them. We pride ourselves on having the know-how on drafting “ironclad,” prenup agreements. We always follow the latest trends in the law. We update our methodologies in order to ensure that prenups/postnups are enforceable and will be upheld by the courts. Prenups, and marital agreements, aren’t a one size fits all type of process. They have to be customized to the needs of each party. We help you understand how the prenup can help you – and where it falls short.
What are the grounds for divorce in New York?
In the state of New York, there are seven grounds for divorce that are legally acceptable, each with their own set of criteria. One of the most common grounds, known as a no-fault divorce, is based on an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship for a period of at least six months. To use this ground, the marriage must have been over for at least six months and all economic issues, including debt, property division, and child custody and support, must have been resolved.
Another ground for divorce is based on cruel and inhuman treatment. In this case, the judge will be looking for specific acts of cruelty that have occurred within the last five years. Merely having arguments or not getting along is not enough; the cruelty must be severe enough that the plaintiff is in danger, both physically and mentally, and it is unsafe or improper for them to continue living with the defendant.
Abandonment is another grounds for divorce, in which the spouse must have abandoned the plaintiff for at least one year or more. This can include physically leaving the home without any intention of returning or refusing to have sexual relations, known as “constructive” abandonment.
Imprisonment is another ground for divorce, in which the spouse must have been in prison for three or more years in a row and the imprisonment must have occurred after the marriage began. The plaintiff can use this ground while the spouse is in prison or up to five years after they have been released.
Adultery is yet another ground for divorce, in which the plaintiff must prove that the spouse committed adultery during the marriage. This can be difficult to prove, as evidence from someone other than the plaintiff and spouse is required.
A divorce can also be granted after a legal separation agreement has been signed and filed by the plaintiff and defendant and the couple has lived apart for one year. The separation agreement must meet specific requirements to be considered valid.
Lastly, a divorce can be granted after a judgment of separation has been issued by the Supreme Court and the couple has lived apart for one year. This ground is not often used.
In any case, divorce can be a difficult and emotionally charged process. It is important to understand the legal grounds for divorce and to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to navigate the process.
What is a New York divorce going to cost me? Can I afford it?
Do I really need to hire a New York divorce attorney?
Does New York grant divorces based on marital fault?
The process of divorce is never easy, but in New York, it can be even more complex due to the various grounds for divorce that can be alleged in a divorce action. Whether you are seeking a divorce due to irreconcilable differences or because of cruel and inhuman treatment, there are seven grounds to consider when filing for divorce in the Empire State.
The first ground, Irretrievable Breakdown, is perhaps the most straightforward. This ground acknowledges that the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, which means that your relationship is broken beyond repair. However, it is important to note that the court cannot grant a divorce on these grounds until after property, debts, child custody, visitation, spousal support, and child support have been settled or decided by the court.
The second ground, Cruel and Inhuman Treatment, is one of the most common grounds for divorce. This ground allows you to divorce your spouse if they have engaged in “cruel and inhuman treatment” that endangers your physical or mental health. However, it is important to note that if the most recent abusive treatment happened more than 5 years ago, you cannot divorce for this reason if your spouse objects.
The third ground, Abandonment, allows you to divorce your spouse if they have left you or kicked you out, and do not intend to return, for a period of at least one year. This can be a difficult ground to prove as it requires clear evidence that your spouse intended to abandon you.
The fourth ground, Imprisonment, allows you to divorce your spouse if they have been imprisoned for a period of three or more consecutive years after the marriage. However, it is important to note that if your spouse was released more than 5 years ago, you cannot divorce for this reason. Additionally, the imprisonment must have started after you got married.
The fifth ground, Adultery, allows you to divorce your spouse if they have committed adultery with a person other than you. However, it is important to note that this ground is not available if you encouraged your spouse to commit adultery, forgave your spouse by having sexual relations with them after you discovered the adultery, or committed adultery yourself. Additionally, you cannot divorce because of adultery if it has been more than 5 years since you discovered the adultery and you cannot testify yourself to prove adultery, so you must have a witness who can testify.
The sixth ground, Judgment of Separation, allows you to divorce your spouse if you have not lived together because of a “Decree of Separation” or “Judgment of Separation” given by the court, for at least one year. It is important to note that you must obey all the conditions of the decree or judgment. It is unusual to have a Judgment of Separation because it requires similar proof to that needed for a divorce. Most people skip the Judgment and go directly to divorce.
The seventh ground, Separation Agreement, allows you to divorce your spouse if you have not lived together because of a written “Agreement of Separation” for at least one year. Both you and your spouse must sign this agreement before a notary and the agreement must follow specific legal rules if you live in NY. If those rules are not followed, the agreement may not be valid.
Overall, the grounds for divorce in New York can be complex and nuanced, making the process of divorce even more difficult. It’s important to understand your options and seek the guidance of a skilled divorce attorney to navigate this process.
How are assets divided in a divorce in NY?
When it comes to divorce in New York, the distribution of assets is handled in a way that is deemed “most fair” to both parties, rather than being split down the middle as in a community property state. The courts take into account various factors related to the marriage and the contributions of each individual. The judges have a considerable amount of discretion in deciding who gets which assets.
It is important to note that asset distribution in New York is not finalized until the end of the divorce process, with certain exceptions being made if the equities of the case warrant it. For example, if a real property is in, or on the brink of, foreclosure, a court may direct its sale before the end of the case to preserve the asset.
Even the distribution of seemingly simple assets such as the family home and retirement accounts can become complex in divorce proceedings. Valuations of common assets can become points of contention. In cases where the divorce is financially complex, there may be assets that are more difficult to identify and distribute or that may be easy to overlook. These assets can be either tangible or intangible and can include commercial and residential real estate, ownership interests in various types of businesses and professional practices, post-marriage appreciation of separate property, stock options, intellectual property, celebrity status and contingent interests.
Some of the most complicated assets to distribute fairly include stock options, restricted stock and contingent interests. These cases may also involve foreign bank accounts or foreign trusts, and “tracing” to locate any hidden assets.
In multimillion-dollar divorce cases, there are many issues that must be evaluated prior to the distribution of marital property. These can include concerns about publicity and business partner resentment, which can be better contained by a divorce lawyer who is experienced in handling such situations.
For wealthy couples, the valuation and distribution of assets can be the most important aspects of the divorce. The selection of a valuation date for a particular asset can make a substantial difference in the amount one gives or receives for it due to any fluctuation in value while the divorce case is pending. In New York, the valuation date must be between the date the divorce action is commenced and the trial date, depending upon what is “equitable.” This can lead to substantial disputes, such as whether the appreciation in value of a business or professional practice is the result of the individual’s post-commencement efforts or passive market conditions. Valuation date disputes can also involve other types of assets, such as real estate and non-discretionary securities accounts, where the client, not the broker, makes all the trading decisions.
Once these challenges have been overcome and the valuation of the asset has been determined, the next step is to decide how much of that value, or what percentage of it, should be distributed to each spouse based on their respective contributions to the acquisition of the asset, the value and marketability of the asset, and tax consequences of a proposed distribution. This can be a tricky and time-consuming process, but with the help of a skilled divorce lawyer, the process can be made less daunting.
Want to settle out of court? We can help with that
There’s a lot of advantages to settling your case out of court. We can help you save time, money, and emotional pain. If you settle out of court, sometimes it can help – sometimes it can hurt. It all depends on how hard you negotiate, and the attorney representing you. While settling out of court, can help you save money in the short term – it can hurt you in the long term. Settling out of court might mean you settle for less. At the Spodek Law Group, our New York divorce lawyers want you to get the results you deserve. You should never have buyers remorse from settling your case. We help you negotiate in a manner that protects your interests. We never compromise, and do everything possible to take your legal issues to court – and get results. Divorce can be a long process, but we don’t recommend settling your case prematurely.
There’s a number of ways to reaching a settlement in an uncontested divorce. Some couples try to negotiate a settlement before either party files for divorce. Others will finalize during the mediation process. Other spouses try to settle the case during trial. The process can vary depending on what’s going on in your case.
If your spouse is cooperating, and you’re able to retain a level of civility, it might be easier to reach a settlement out of court. Some spouses have difficulty controlling their emotions. Some will purposefully drag out the court proceedings. They do this for a number of reasons, one of them could be to try to increase the cost of the divorce in order to hurt the other spouse.
Another reason for possible disagreements is agreements about child custody. This is one of the most common reasons for divorces to drag on. For example, if your spouse is suffering from hangovers perpetually, this can be an issue re: domestic violence and child custody rights. If you, and your spouse, can agree on child custody, it’s probably going to be easier to settle out of court. The quicker you and your spouse can agree on issues pertaining to children, the easier it is to settle.
Another reason for disagreement is existing marital agreements. If you have a prenup, or postnup, then it may end up settling the issues you have. In some cases though, your spouse/or you, may decide to challenge the nuptial agreement. This is not common, but if you feel like the agreement was done in bad faith – it may be possible to challenge the agreement and dissolve it. In situations like this, it is important to make sure you have legal representation. If you don’t have an attorney, it’ll be very difficult to challenge the prenup/postnup. If you have a competent NY divorce attorney on your side, it’s easier to challenge the agreement.
It’s possible to settle a divorce before it goes to court, but it’s important to realize this isn’t typical. Spouses have differences, and this can create friction when trying to negotiate settlements. We recommend even if you do reach a settlement, – to run it by your divorce lawyer.
Alimony can be a sticking point in divorces, we can help
Alimony can be ordered by a judge. If a spouse is facing hardships without financial support, then spousal support may be considered by the judge. If you need spousal support, we encourage you to bring this to our attention as soon as possible. The deciding factor for spousal support in New York State is whether or not the the spouse in question will be able to maintain himself/herself after the divorce. In other words, the law makes it clear a husband, or wife, shouldn’t be forced to live at a level below what they’re used to during the marriage.
We can help with 401(k)’s in divorces as well
If you and your spouse have retirement savings, this is very important and a huge part of your financial security. Divorce can throw a huge wrench into your plans. For example, if you had a settlement – with the help of a personal injury lawyer, this settlement could be an issue when facing divorce. As a result, it’s good if you speak to our attorneys have your pension plans, 401(k)’s, and other retirement benefits. We will fight tooth and nail to ensure you keep as much of your retirement savings as possible. Under the New York Domestic Relations Law, it’s law that the defendant spouse is entitled to a share of the retirement plan proceeds. In case you were married after a 401k/retirement fund was made, the dependent spouse can’t claim an interest in the funds. One of the things we can advise you on, is tax planning when it comes to your 401k. Cashing out early can expose you to tax liabilities. We can help you negotiate a settlement which allows you to gain ownership in the funds without having to pay immediate taxes.
We can help you resolve child custody issues after the divorce happens
This is a very important question. Custody is usually divided into two components, physical and legal. Physical means where the children live. Legal refers to who makes important decisions for the children. Both of these custodies can be either joint, or sole. In NY, there are laws which calculate child support payments. The amount is based on each parent’s income. If there’s a judge presiding over your divorce, then the judge has ultimate authority on child support. The judge has the option to deviate from the guidelines.
Is New York a 50/50 divorce state?
When it comes to property division in a divorce, the state of New York operates under the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means that a judge will decide how to divide property and debt in a manner that is deemed fair, but not necessarily equal.
One important concept to understand is the distinction between “separate property” and “marital property.” Separate property includes all possessions and property acquired before the marriage, property inherited or given as a gift by a third party, and any compensation for personal injuries. These assets are not subject to equitable distribution laws, and will remain in the possession of the owning spouse.
On the other hand, “marital property” includes any property acquired during the marriage with marital funds. No matter which spouse earned it or whose name appears on the title, it will be considered joint property and will be subject to division by the court.
It’s worth noting that separate property can turn into marital property if it was maintained through the use of marital funds, or if it increased in value due to the contributions of both spouses.
When it comes to debt division, the court will also use the principle of equitable distribution. Debts accumulated during the marriage by one or both of the spouses are deemed marital debts and the equal obligation of the parties. However, there may be room for deviation if one party incurs debt in a way that would be deemed unfair to burden the other party.
To protect yourself when it comes to debt allocation in a divorce, it’s crucial to gather and retain as much documentary evidence as possible regarding debts incurred during the marriage. This applies whether you claim a debt to be marital, or if you intend to argue that you should not be held responsible for the debts incurred by your spouse. Remember, documentation is key.
Can I change my name at the time of divorce in NY?
Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotionally taxing experience, and for many New Yorkers, it’s also a time when they may wish to revert to their maiden name. But how exactly does one go about changing their last name post-divorce? Don’t worry, the process is not as complicated as it may seem.
First things first, you’ll need to finalize your divorce and make sure that your divorce judgement includes a provision that authorizes your name change. This is standard procedure in most divorce decrees, but if for some reason this provision was left out, don’t fret. You can contact the court handling your case to see if the document can be amended, or if that’s not an option, file a name change petition.
Now, what documents do you need to legally change your name after divorce? You’ll need a certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce, proof of identification (such as a driver’s license or passport), and proof of age (like a birth certificate or hospital records). Don’t have any of these on hand? No problem, you can request them and purchase a certified copy of your Judgment of Divorce from the County Clerk’s office in the county where your divorce was granted. Just be aware that there may be a small fee, depending on the county and number of pages in the final decree.
Once the legalities are taken care of, it’s time to notify the appropriate parties of your name change. This includes your employer, family members, friends, and government agencies such as the U.S. Postal Service, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Social Security Administration. Don’t forget to update your information with financial institutions, health insurance companies, healthcare providers, and your children’s school.
Now, you may be wondering, is there a time frame for changing your name in New York? The short answer is no, there isn’t a set time frame, but some couples opt to include a stipulation in their final divorce decree outlining a time frame. Most couples proceed with a name change once their divorce has been finalized.
So there you have it, a step-by-step guide on how to change your last name after divorce in New York. It may seem daunting, but with a little bit of organization and patience, you’ll be able to confidently reclaim your maiden name.
Can I get an annulment in New York?
The end of a marriage is often a difficult and emotional process, but it doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all situation. While divorce may seem like the only option, there is another path to consider: annulment.
Annulment is a legal process that retroactively declares a marriage to be void or invalid from the very beginning. It may be an attractive alternative for those with religious or cultural objections to divorce. However, it’s important to note that annulment is only granted in very limited circumstances by the state of New York.
There are two types of marriages that can be annulled: void and voidable. A void marriage is one that is bigamous, incestuous, or performed by an unauthorized person. These marriages are considered unlawful and will never be recognized as valid in New York. A voidable marriage, on the other hand, can be annulled if one or both spouses can prove to the court that they have legal grounds to do so.
There are only five recognized grounds for annulment in New York: at least one spouse was a minor at the time of marriage, at least one spouse suffered a mental incapacity that rendered them unable to consent, the union took place under fraud, coercion, or duress, at least one spouse suffers from incurable mental illness or insanity, or at least one spouse is unable to have sexual intercourse. However, it’s important to note that in some cases, the claim to annulment may be “waived” even if the grounds are valid.
The process of obtaining an annulment can be more complicated than getting divorced. Unlike divorce, there are no “uncontested” annulments that allow the parties to avoid court. Each petition requires a hearing and a trial. The petitioner must present evidence that proves at least one of the grounds for annulment has been met. It’s highly recommended that you seek the guidance of an experienced New York divorce lawyer to help you navigate the legal paperwork and state laws, rules, and procedures.
An annulment may not be the right choice for everyone, but it’s worth exploring as a viable option. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can determine if you are a good candidate for annulment and present your case to the court.
When can I file for divorce in New York?
Navigating the often overwhelming and confusing world of divorce can be a daunting task. But with the right resources, knowledge, and guidance, the process can be made much simpler. If you’re considering getting a divorce in New York, there are a few key things you need to know and steps you need to take in order to ensure a smooth and successful outcome.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the residency requirements. In order for New York courts to hear your case, you must be able to demonstrate that either you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least one year prior to filing for divorce.
Next, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the grounds for divorce in New York. The state recognizes seven grounds on which you can base your divorce, including: relationship breakdown for at least six months, inhuman and cruel treatment, abandonment, adultery, imprisonment of a spouse for three or more years, separation, and judgment separation.
If your divorce is considered “uncontested,” meaning that you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce or your spouse does not respond to your complaint, you’ll need to gather the necessary information in order to complete the forms. This includes things like your name and address, a copy of your marriage certificate, any agreements or settlements reached with your spouse, a list of joint or separate property and debts, and any Orders for Protection.
Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary information, it’s time to prepare and file the forms. New York courts require a relatively large number of forms, which vary depending on whether or not you have children. After making sure that your forms are correct and complete, you’ll need to file a Summons and Complaint with your County Clerk’s Office. Some courts also allow for e-filing, so be sure to check the e-filing county list to see if this option is available to you.
After filing, you’ll need to serve the forms to your spouse, which must be done within 120 days of the filing date. You can’t personally serve your spouse, so you’ll need to assign another person who is a resident of New York and over the age of 18 to do this for you.
If your spouse agrees to the divorce, they’ll need to return a completed form within 40 days of receiving the papers. If they fail to respond, this is considered a “default.” However, if they file an answer disagreeing with anything in your divorce papers, the divorce is no longer considered uncontested.
Finally, it’s time to get your case on the court calendar. Whether your spouse agrees to the divorce or defaults, you’ll need to take this step in order to move forward with the process. Remember, the key to a successful divorce is having the right resources, knowledge, and guidance. With this in mind, you’ll be able to navigate the process with confidence and emerge on the other side with a brighter future ahead.
How long does it take to get a divorce in New York?
Do I have to go to court for a NY divorce?
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