If ex-spouses can’t agree on divorce terms, a contested divorce is the only option. During these proceedings, the court determines significant matters related to the ending of the marriage. During a contested divorce, it’s important to have a Manhattan lawyer fighting for your rights and offering a compelling argument on your behalf. Read on to learn more about contested divorces and how we can help our clients through them.
What Happens During a Contested Divorce?
During a contested divorce, the family court must consider and approve orders on:
- The division of assets and debts
- Child custody and visitation
- Child and spousal support
Both sides are required to fulfill such orders or risk contempt of court charges. For these reasons, if you are contemplating a contested divorce or you’ve received a divorce summons, you shouldn’t delay in calling an NYC divorce lawyer who can protect your interests and offer insights that apply to your situation.
Why Are Divorces Contested?
There are a few reasons divorces are contested, which include:
- The other spouse not wanting a divorce
- Spouses who disagree on the reasons for ending the marriage
- Spouses who can’t agree on spousal support, child support, and custody, or the division of debts and assets
Generally, contested divorces are more time-consuming and expensive than uncontested ones, as the spouses must go to court so the judge can consider all the evidence before making a ruling.
The Timeline for Contested Divorces in Manhattan
If the only option is a contested divorce, there’s a set timeline of events you’ll face. Understanding the process will help you get ready for what’s to come. According to New York’s Unified Court System, the following is a brief sequence of events for a contested divorce.
- Once the summons has been served, a judicial intervention request must be submitted in 45 days or less.
- The next task is to file and exchange statements of net worth, which must be filed at least ten days before the initial conference
- The first conference must be held within 45 days of the judicial intervention request. Both parties have to attend the conference, which is handled by a family court judge.
- The compliance conference is scheduled unless the spouses file a certificate of compliance.
- Discovery is performed and an issue note is filed no more than six months from the date of the initial conference unless the deadline is extended or reduced by the court.
- The trial is scheduled for no more than six months after the preliminary conference date.
Looking at the timeline, the period between the summons and the trial may be at least seven and one-half months, though the timing may vary by case. If you need a better idea of how long it will take, contact us directly.
How NYC’s Courts Make Decisions in Contested Divorce Cases
During these proceedings, property and debts are divided according to New York’s equitable distribution laws. This doesn’t always mean a 50/50 split; rather, divisions are based on the court’s opinion on what is fair. The family court considers factors such as:
- The duration of the marriage
- Both spouses’ ages
- The health of the spouses
- Each person’s earning capacity
- Tax consequences for each person
Similar criteria are used to determine spousal support. However, child support is dependent upon the non-custodial parent’s income, and custody determinations are made based on the children’s best interests.
Call a Manhattan Contested Divorce Lawyer Today and Get Answers Right Away
Your and your children’s quality of life depends on the level of legal representation you receive during your contested divorce. Our years of experience gives us the skills and knowledge needed to aggressively protect your rights. We’ve helped hundreds of people through the process, and we invite you to contact us to learn more. Visit us online to learn more about our firm or call us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a local divorce attorney.