A divorce can proceed uncontested. This means that the parties agree to the terms of the divorce and can finalize the details without needing to spend time in court. An uncontested divorce saves time and money. A lawyer can help you negotiate a fair divorce agreement with your spouse.
Contested divorces are more complicated. A divorce is contested when the parties disagree on aspects of the divorce and must litigate. An attorney can help you navigate the litigation that a contested divorce requires.
Grounds for Divorce
There are seven grounds for divorce in New York:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Living separate and apart by judicial separation judgment or decree
- Living separate and apart by separation agreement
- Irretrievable breakdown in the marriage for a period of at least six months before filing for the divorce. This is sometimes referred to as the “no fault” divorce in New York.
Since New York added “no fault” divorce about a decade ago, this has become the most common grounds for divorce.
Maintenance, also known as alimony, is payment provided by one spouse to the other. In New York, the duration of maintenance is determined by the length of the marriage. The amount paid each month is determined by a formula. It can deviate from the formula based upon factors listed in the law. Maintenance can also be awarded temporarily while the divorce is pending.
Equitable distribution refers to the way property and assets owned by the couple, known as Marital Property, are divided in a divorce. “Equitable” does not mean “equal.” Equitable means in a fair way. If the parties cannot agree upon how to divide their assets, the court will divide them in a way the court deems fair. The court can take into consideration many factors and this can be a complicated task. If you have questions about Equitable Distribution, consult an attorney. Please call our office to make an appointment.