Manhattan Divorce Attorney
When marriages start to dissolve, all of life’s goals may suddenly seem unattainable. The road to divorce is generally rocky, and the decision to go through with a dissolution of marriage is no easy choice. Entering divorce proceedings can make even the most agreeable of partners petty and vindictive.
If you or your loved one is facing a divorce, contested or uncontested, it is advisable to seek the advice of a skilled Manhattan divorce attorney before moving ahead with your plans. The experienced divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. are:
- Thorough and responsive communicators;
- Knowledgeable in all areas of family law and family law proceedings;
- Caring and compassionate towards divorcing clients; and
- Honest when assessing cases and apprising clients of their circumstances.
Contact the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. for the expertise you need to ease your worries, help obtain the outcome you prefer, and move ahead with your life. We serve Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.
How Can a Manhattan Divorce Attorney Help My Case?
Like ours at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C., a Manhattan divorce lawyer works tirelessly securing the legal aspects of your divorce case. At the same time, you focus on gaining control of your well-being and future living arrangements. This includes the following, and more:
- Helping you make decisions now that have a positive impact on your future;
- Restoring your peace of mind knowing that you and your family are secure;
- Ensuring any settlement is fair and equitable;
- Advancing legal proceedings in a way that suits your legal goals; and
- Helping you achieve the best possible outcome under any circumstances.
You do not have to endure or muddle through the divorce process alone. Let the divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. assist you in making your divorce less painful and burdensome.
What Is the Divorce Process in Manhattan?
Divorces in every state follow specific timelines and schedules. New York is no different. Uncontested divorces without complex issues tend to move faster through the system than contested divorces requiring judicial hearings and intervention.
However, both uncontested and contested divorces must follow the same procedural schedules and rules to a certain point.
These procedures are as follows:
- The filing of a Summons with Notice for Divorce;
- The spouse who files the Complaint, the Plaintiff, serves a Summons and the Complaint upon the Defendant; The Defendant has twenty days to file an Answer;
- The Discovery process, or exchange of financial documents and questions asked under oath of the spouses, begins;
- The attorneys prepare for litigation or negotiation;
- The spouses settle outside of court; or
- The spouses go to trial, and the judge rules on any unsettled matters.
- If there is a child or children of the marriage where custody is an issue, an attorney may be appointed by the court to represent the child and the court may order forensics (a psychological evaluation) to assist in the determination of custody and parenting time.
In an uncontested divorce, the case usually settles prior to extensive discovery or the start of trial so long as a written agreement is reached. From start to finish, the minimum time for an uncontested divorce is six to eight months. A contentious contested divorce will take more than one year.
There is no waiting period or cooling off period for a divorce in New York.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorces in Manhattan
An uncontested divorce is a divorce where the spouses agree upon all marital issues, including:
- Division of marital property and debt;
- Child custody and visitation;
- Child support; and
- Spousal support.
An uncontested divorce is NOT a no-fault divorce. In fact, both an uncontested and a contested divorce may be a no-fault divorce.
In a contested divorce, the parties have not reached an agreement on all issues. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on every issue, the unresolved issues will be dealt with at trial. Due to the time and expense of trials, all efforts are made to resolve the issues before trial since trial should be a last resort.
No-Fault and Fault-Based Manhattan Divorces
In 2010, New York began allowing its residents to file for divorce based on no-fault. In a no-fault divorce, a spouse needs only to state that their marriage is “irretrievably broken” for at least six months in the initial divorce complaint.
Declaring a marriage is “irretrievably broken” allows the court to make rulings without finding fault or assigning blame to either spouse for the breakup of the marriage. This can help assuage any hostile feelings or animosity between a couple.
New York still permits couples to file for divorce based on fault. There are seven grounds for divorce in New York:
- Cruel and inhumane treatment where it is unsafe for the parties to live together;
- Abandonment for a continuous period of one year or more;
- Imprisonment for three or more years after the parties were married;
- Living apart for one or more years after obtaining a judgment of separation; and
- Living apart for one year or more according to a separation agreement.
- The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months provided that one party has so stated under oath.
Residency Requirements for a Manhattan Divorce
Regardless of living arrangements or physical abandonment, New York requires one spouse to meet its residency requirements before a divorce is filed and granted within the state.
Fulfilling New York residency requirements means meeting one of the following stipulations:
- The marriage occurred in New York, and one spouse has lived in New York for at least one year;
- The couple lived in New York as a married couple, and one spouse has lived in New York for at least one year;
- One spouse has lived in New York for at least two years;
- One spouse resided in New York for at least one year, and the cause of the divorce arose in New York; or
- Both spouses are New York residents, and the cause of the divorce originated in New York.
If you are unsure whether you meet the above residency requirements if you should file a no-fault divorce, or if your divorce is contested or uncontested, call the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. Our family law attorneys can help you address these issues and more, including the following:
- Where to file your divorce;
- Equitable distribution of property;
- Spousal support (also known as alimony or maintenance);
- Legal separation;
- Child custody; and
- Child support.
Contact a Manhattan Divorce Attorney Today
Protect your interests by contacting one of the capable, knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. today. We look forward to speaking with you at your earliest convenience.