Rockland County Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. maintains a robust family law practice centered around divorce and related areas in the Lower Hudson Valley and Downstate New York. A divorce is the legal proceeding required to formally dissolve a marriage, but it also sets out long-term or permanent orders regarding matters such as the distribution of assets, spousal support, child custody and child support. New York family law attorney Robert Sunshine is an experienced litigator and problem-solver who can advise you and represent you regarding all aspects of your New York divorce. He’ll help you get what you need as you move forward with a new chapter in your life. Call our experienced Rockland County divorce lawyer today.
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Court Order Enforcement
- Marital Assets Distribution
- Post-Divorce Modification
- Spousal Support
What Is the Process for Getting a Divorce in New York?
The divorce process in New York starts with the filing of a petition for divorce in the Rockland County Supreme Court. To be eligible to file this petition, at least one of the spouses must have been a New York resident for at least two years. The residency requirement is reduced to one year if the couple were married in New York or lived in the state as a married couple or if the grounds for the divorce arose in New York. If the grounds for divorce arose in New York and both parties were residents of the state when the divorce started, then the residency requirement is met.
The party filing the petition will state the grounds for divorce, which could be cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, adultery, living apart for one year after a legal separation agreement or judgment of separation, or an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship for at least six months. This last ground is the “no-fault” ground for divorce; it requires settling all economic issues such as the distribution of assets and debt, plus child custody and support, if applicable.
The petitioning party files the petition with the local court and serves a copy on the other party, along with a summons to appear in court. The other party has a limited time frame to file their answer with the court and serve it on the petitioner, or else they could be subject to a default judgment in the filing party’s favor. Each party in their court papers will allege, dispute or agree to facts giving rise to the divorce and stating what orders they want the court to impose regarding issues such as property division, spousal support, alimony or maintenance, child custody and child support.
Once these initial papers have been filed, the court will make any temporary orders requested in areas such as spousal support or child custody while the parties proceed to resolve any outstanding issues in their divorce. This can be done through negotiations, mediation, or the implementation of a prenuptial agreement. The parties make financial disclosures to each other and the court to assist in the process. If they can’t agree on how to resolve their issues, the judge will hold a courtroom trial during which each party will present evidence, testimony and legal arguments in support of their position. The judge will then rule on the issues and make enforceable court orders along with the final judgment of divorce which officially dissolves the marriage.
When Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce Case?
If the parties agree on getting a divorce and further agree on all issues such as the equitable distribution of marital property, child custody, and the payment of child support and spousal support, then the divorce is considered uncontested. The New York courts website provides instructions on how to file an uncontested divorce, with different papers to file depending on whether the couple has children under 21 or not. Even the courts recommend getting a lawyer to help with an uncontested divorce. Obtaining a divorce is a legal process with permanent consequences; it requires knowledge of the law and legal procedure to complete the process correctly and efficiently. An experienced family law attorney can also help your uncontested divorce stay uncontested by advising you and assisting you with your marital settlement agreement, resolving any conflicts or disagreements while making sure you are adequately protected and getting what you want and need.
If the divorce is uncontested, meaning you haven’t reached an agreement on one or more issues in the divorce, then you definitely need a lawyer to represent you. Attorney Robert S. Sunshine is an experienced litigator who will help you resolve the issues in your divorce inside or outside of court, helping you reach your goals most effectively.
Contact The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. Today
If you are considering divorce or have been served with divorce papers in the Lower Hudson
Valley in Downstate New York, The Law Office of Robert S. Sunshine, P.C. is the law firm to turn to for personal attention from a dedicated attorney with a very high record of success. Contact our experienced Rockland County divorce lawyer today.