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The ideal situation is you remain married and live happily ever after, but that is simply not the case for many couples in New York. You got married, you lived together for a while, perhaps you started a family, and you ultimately realized one or both of you was no longer invested in this marriage. This is when you decide you want to divorce. You fell out of love, your financial stress is too much for you to bear, or you’ve moved on to someone else. Whatever the case, an uncontested divorce is the kind of divorce you really want in New York.
What is an uncontested divorce?
An uncontested divorce is one in which neither you or your spouse fight over things such as your debts, assets, or even your kids. You work together to come up with an agreement that works for both of you so that you can get the divorce over with as quickly as possible, and you might even do this while maintaining a friendly or at least civil type of relationship with one another.
An uncontested divorce in New York is one in which you both agree on the following terms without arguing, fighting, or wanting to change terms.
Perhaps you think that there is no reason to hire an attorney when you both agree to all of this without incident, but you should still hire an attorney for the simple reason you want to be sure the paperwork is fair, the terms are outlined fairly, and things are as they seem. There is nothing worse than thinking you both agree on what is happening in the divorce only to find out later your spouse had his or her attorney word the decree in a manner that doesn’t quite mean what you thought it meant. This is not to say your spouse will or would do something of this nature, but it’s happened before and it’s always better to have someone with legal expertise go over the terms outlined.
Why do people divorce in New York?
There are many reasons people decide not to remain married in New York, and your divorce must fall under the terms and conditions made legal by New York law. This means you must be able to cite one of the following reasons for your divorce.
– Adultery occurred
– One of you abandoned the other more than a year before
– One of you has been in jail or prison more than three consecutive years
– You’ve been separated for more than one year
– One of you treated the other with cruel or inhuman treatment
– Fraud was the basis for your marriage
– Irreconcilable differences
Most people cite the last reason as the reason for their divorce simply to keep the divorce a no-fault divorce. No-fault means neither of you is placing any blame on the other for causing the divorce, and it’s the most common way to keep the divorce as civil as possible.
Do I need an attorney?
If your divorce is uncontested, you certainly don’t need an attorney. However, it’s a good idea to hire one regardless. You want to know the paperwork you are signing is legally good to you. You want to know if you’re being allowed what you are legally entitled to, and you want to have someone with legal experience represent you. It’s wise for both of you to hire a divorce attorney even if you plan on an uncontested divorce in New York.
If you are considering the prospect of ending your marriage, you may also think that you will be able to pursue an uncontested divorce. If that is the situation at hand, you may wonder whether you need to consult with a so-called New York uncontested divorce lawyer. When it comes to what you think will be an uncontested divorce, here are a number of factors and considerations that you need to bear in mind.
Not All Uncontested Divorces End That Way
A key factor that you need to take to heart is that a divorce that is uncontested at the start may deteriorate very quickly. The stark reality is that emotions run high in most situations in which a couple is ending a relationship, including a marriage.
When a divorce spirals into something acrimonious, the lax attitude previously associated with a so-called uncontested divorce is no longer appropriate. For example, if a person forgoes legal counsel because a divorce is perceived as uncontested, he or she can end up in a highly risky situation if the case takes a turn for the worse.
One Attorney is Not Enough
Many people who think a divorce will be uncontested believe that a couple can obtain one lawyer between them to deal with legal issues. This is a misconception. The reality is that an attorney can only ethically represent one of the parties in a divorce case. Therefore, even if the parties think they can share a lawyer in a divorce case, that attorney actually will only be representing one of the spouses.
Preparing Divorce Paperwork
Although standard forms are available in a so-called uncontested divorce case, these forms must be up to date and accurate. In addition, they must be completed correctly.
Time and again, individuals seeking divorces do not hire legal counsel, and complete these forms on their own, but do so incorrectly. When that happens, divorce proceedings can be delayed, and sometimes significantly so. In addition, there are situations in which mistakes are made on these forms that result in a divorce case being dismissed.
Retain a New York Uncontested Divorce Lawyer
No matter how “easy” you think your divorce case will be, you are wise to seriously consider engaging the services of an experienced New York uncontested divorce lawyer. Legal counsel can ensure that all divorce paperwork properly is prepared and filed with the court. Legal counsel can assist in addressing court appearances and related matters that can arise during a New York divorce case.
Significantly, if a divorce case turns sour, which is always likely, an attorney is already on board to address serious issues. A party to a divorce is best able to protect his or her legal rights and interests even when a once uncontested divorce devolves into something far more negative.
The first step in retaining legal representation is scheduling an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer. During this session, you are provided with an overview of divorce law and court procedure. You are also able to get answers to your questions. As a general rule, there is no fee charged for an initial consultation with a divorce lawyer.