Queens Divorce Lawyers

The day you exchanged vows with your spouse, you never assumed you’d one day decide you no longer want to be married to him or her. You very likely made the decision to get married because you were in love, you envisioned a future with someone, and you wanted to spend the rest of your life with this person. Unfortunately, not every marriage lasts forever. There are times when people in queens decide their marriage is not going to work, and they make the decision to end their marriage through a process called divorce.

What is a divorce?

Divorce is not ideal, but it’s commonly done in Queens. It is the act of ending your marriage because you no longer want to be involved in a relationship with your spouse. You can divorce your spouse for any reason, but you should know your reason must fall into a specific category as outlined by New York laws. You can divorce him because he’s mean, because you grew throughout the years and he did not, or because you realized he simply wasn’t the person you thought.

– Financial stress
– Parental stress
– Work stress
– Abuse
– Addiction
– Adultery

These are some of the most common reasons people decide they don’t want to stay married to their spouse anymore. Some couples are able to work through their issues and make their marriages stronger than they were before, and others can’t seem to work through things once it’s gone too far. New York laws allow you to get divorced under certain circumstances, and any of the above reasons can be placed easily into one of the following categories.

– Adultery
– Imprisonment of three years or more
Separation of more than one year
– Abandonment of more than one year
– Irreconcilable differences
– Cruel and inhuman treatment

The most common citation when divorce papers are filed is irreconcilable differences. If you do plan on filing with this reason in mind, you must be able to prove that you spent at least six months trying and failing to work through your differences.

Why should I hire an attorney to help me in this process?

The reason to hire an attorney is simple. You are going through a difficult time in your life, and you want someone who is familiar with the law and how it works on your side. The process of getting divorced can be as easy or as complicated as you make it, and an attorney can ease some of the complication. When you hire an attorney, you stand a better shot at getting what you want and handling things by the book.

If your spouse decides he or she wants to contest the terms of the divorce decree, it can cause the divorce process to go on much longer than it needs to. An attorney can help make the process go by a little faster by working to prove any inconsistencies in your spouse’s financials, proving any abuse or mistreatment, or even getting mediation to work more effectively.

The wording in your divorce agreement is also important, and an attorney can ensure it’s not being presented to you in a way that makes you feel you’re getting what you want when you’re not. An attorney can help you fight for what you want just as easily as he or she can help protect you from your spouse and/or his or her attorney. This is a process that can sometimes become very ugly, and an attorney can help alleviate some of that stress.

Should I file a complaint because my divorce is taking so long?

Even good divorces are painful, difficult experiences. Once you make the decision to file, patience may be hard to come by. If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse knew it was coming, they’ll still be unhappy and could get unpleasant. If they weren’t aware you were planning to file, things can get downright ugly.

You’re Ready To Move On
Don’t be in a rush. The only reason to rush through a divorce filing is if you are in physical danger at the hands of your spouse. Let your attorney know of your concerns during your first meeting. There are legal protections in place to keep your ex away from you, or they will face severe penalties. If your spouse is not the sort to get violent, then it’s a good idea to take your time and make absolutely sure that everyone, especially any children born of the marriage, are properly supported and that both you and your ex are treated with financial fairness.

Be The Last Person Standing
There are other reasons not to hurry your divorce. It’s not uncommon for some parties in divorces to ready to do whatever it takes to close the door on the relationship. This party may wind up doing themselves financial harm in their desire to get out of the marriage. Do not be this party. Listen to your attorney and give them time to get all of the documentation in order so that your life is not disrupted any more than it already has been.

My Attorney Dropped Off The Face Of The Earth!
Depending on the location of your spouse, challenges can arise in serving them papers and getting information from them. Feel free to contact your attorney if you’re anxious about the status of your case. It may feel as though you’re being ignored. Be aware, however, that your attorney may be dealing with delays they can do nothing about, such as poor response times from the attorney your ex hired.

If you get a notification that your case is pending the location of your ex, then your attorney is stuck until that information comes through. Calling and setting up an appointment to discuss delays with your attorney is certainly your right, but do be aware that your attorney is working at your request on a delay that is not of their making. If they are working, you need to be prepared to pay for that time.

For Your Own Sanity, Stay Flexible
Be prepared for delays. If your ex is feeling vindictive and they know you’re not a patient person, they may be holding off on documentation to push your buttons. If your ex abandoned you, then your needs are not a priority and haven’t been for a while. The death of a relationship is a painful thing, and unfortunately divorce is never a clean cut between you and your ex.

Focus on the future you need to build for yourself and your children if applicable. Your divorce attorney in nyc will do their very to represent you for the outcome in your situation.

What if I can’t afford to pay my lawyer up front?

It depends on your situation. Many lawyers demand up front payment because they want to protect themselves before beginning work work for a client. They’ll typically discuss all the expected costs, and make sure everyone understands everything. A lawyer take a retainer up front, especially for clients who don’t have an established history of making payments.

If you can’t pay the money upfront, you really need to speak to your attorney. If you seem trustworthy, your attorney may agree to take on your case. In most cases, you’ll have to prove to the attorney you’ll have the money – and will be able to pay him back at a later day. Many divorce lawyers will ask for collateral, in lieu of a payment. If you have a credit card – they may ask you to make a payment on your credit card – so they can get some form if payment immediately.

Many lawyers will try to work out a reasonable payment plan in order to get you the legal help you want. In the event you simply have no cash – because your spouse won’t give you the money, you should explain this to the attorney. If the attorney believes once you get the money, you’ll pay him – then he may help you. In some cases, the attorney may ask for some form of collateral to show your serious about hiring him/her.  Some attorneys may be willing to convert your case to a contingency fee basis. They may agree to work, in exchange for money at a later point.

Many clients run into financial difficulties, and make promises and don’t pay later. Some may decide to hide it from their lawyers. If a lawyer is working with you – with the misguided notion he/she will be paid later – you may regret this. When the truth comes out he or she will not only be mad, but will stop representing you. In some cases, the lawyer may even sue you. While most lawyers don’t like suing their clients – most will want to know the truth, so they can work out something. Lawyers don’t want to feel like they are being taken advantage of.

If you cannot find an attorney who will help you, you may want to reach out to a recently graduated law school student. Many law school students are looking for experience, and are willing to work for you – for free, or for very little compensation. They are looking for experience, and they can help you – while you help them.

Could he possibly get custody of our baby if we get divorced?

Child custody disputes are difficult for all parties involved. Not only must one consider one’s own wants and needs, but one must always keep the child’s safety and happiness in mind. If you’re in the midst of a divorce, you might wonder who will get custody of your child. While this is always stressful, it can be even more stressful if you’re dealing with an infant. Despite your connection with your child, you may worry whether your husband will be given custody. Though there’s not necessarily a straightforward answer here that will satisfy everyone, understanding how custody is determined may help you to prepare for what comes next.

The Standard

There are a number of factors that go into determining who will get custody of the children after a divorce. The primary factor, though, that has become the standard in determining custody arrangments is the well-being of the child. More than anything else, the courts across the United States are concerned with making sure that the child’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being are provided for by either or both of the parents during the custody process. As such, the court will do its to make sure that the party who can provide for all the child’s needs will get primary custody.

It should be noted, though, that there is no longer a presumption that the mother is the caretaker. Though in years past the courts operated under the assumption that only the mother could adequately care for young children, this is no longer the official doctrine of any court in the United States. The court will try to take an objective look at who can take care of the child in all aspects of his or her life, though things like emotional bonds are much harder to tell when the child is still an infant.

The Realities of Custody

It is exceedingly rare for one party to get full custody of a child. In fact, there are even some states that require joint custody to be given in all but the most extreme of situations. Unless your spouse can prove that you are an actual danger to the child, it is highly unlikely that he will be able to get sole custody of the baby. Instead, you are much more likely to look at a situation in which the two of you share custody of the baby.

Generally speaking, the major concern here is which parent will receive physical custody. The primary custodial parent is the one with whom the child lives, though it is possible in some cases that the child will split time equally in both cases. While the spouse who does not have primary physical custody will still have legal rights to the child and will be able to make decisions for the child, he or she will not be the person with whom the child primarily resides and thus will not make most of the day-to-day decisions for the baby.

As you might imagine, it’s fairly common for mothers to have at least joint physical custody for a baby, especially if they are still nursing. It is exceptionally rare for a mother to not have at least significant visitations rights for an infant, especially if she does not present a threat to the child. There are very few situations in which you could see your ex-husband having your child one-hundred percent of the time and having the power to prevent you from seeing your own child. It is far more likely that your child will reside with for a significant amount of year.

If you are in the middle of a divorce and you’re worried about custody arrangements, it’s vital that you talk to a lawyer who specializes in custody disputes. You’ll want to know not only what’s likely to happen next, but how to separate the facts from the fiction that your former spouse might be peddling. Though there are never any guarantees that you will retain full custody of the baby or even that you will be declared the primary physical custodian of the child, there are rarely any circumstances under which your husband will be able to take full custody of your child. Custody is not decided until the agreement is signed, so make sure to work with an attorney to ensure that you get the custody agreement possible for your child.

Can I proceed if the process server wasn’t able to serve him?

After you file for divorce, the next step is hiring a process server to notify your husband in person of the legal proceedings. This is a necessary part of every court case, not just divorces. A person has the right to know about any court case that involves them, which is why the law requires in-person service that the process server verifies and will testify to in a court of law, if necessary.

A problem that some people run into is when the process server isn’t able to find the other party and serve them. Although process servers are good at tracking people down, sometimes people are hard to find. This is more likely to be an issue if your husband left without a trace or if he’s trying to avoid service. There are still ways to proceed with your divorce. Here’s what you need to know about the service process and your options if your process server can’t find your husband.

The Service Process

In many states, you don’t need to hire a process server to serve your husband papers. You can’t serve the papers yourself, but you could have someone you know do it. However, it’s better to use a process server who has experience in these matters. Your divorce lawyer can likely recommend one.

The process server will go to locations where your husband frequents to serve the papers in person. He will likely start with any residences your husband has and your husband’s place of employment, visiting at times when your husband is likely to be there.

If the process server finds your husband, then service was successful, regardless of whether your husband accepted the paperwork. If this doesn’t work, then substitute service may be an option.

How Substitute Service Works

You may need to request to that the court lets you use substitute service. The court will then ask you why substitute service is necessary. You can have your process server explain the previous service attempts that they have made, and the court will determine if substitute service is acceptable. If you and your process server have made reasonable attempts to locate your husband, the court will likely allow substitute service, because it won’t want you to be stuck in a marriage simply because your husband can’t be found.

There are multiple methods of substitute service available. The first is having the process server go to your husband’s residence and leave the papers with someone at the residence – this person will typically need to be an adult. Another option would be to go to your husband’s place of employment and leave the papers with someone there.

Courts may allow you to mail the papers to your husband’s last known address via certified mail. This is an option for situations where no one is coming to the door at your husband’s residence and he doesn’t have a place of employment to leave the papers.

The local newspaper provides another method for substitute service. You can publish an announcement regarding the divorce in a local newspaper, which the court would then consider an acceptable form of service.

The court will likely determine what substitute service method you can use based on the circumstances surrounding your case. The court’s goal is that you’re able to notify your husband and move forward with the case.

Proceeding with Your Divorce

When a process server can’t find your husband to serve him papers, it adds a layer of difficulty to your divorce process. Although this can slow the divorce down, you will still be able to go through with the divorce.

If you’re having trouble with the service process, consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer can help. Your lawyer can explain to the court why substitute service is necessary in your situation.