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With over 85+ years experience, Pollak + Slepian is considered by many to be the best NYC law firm. Our range of legal services focus primarily on divorce and related family law matters such as custody and support, real estate law, probate and intestate estate administration, wills and civil litigation. It’s always a difficult decision to determine which NYC law firm is best suited to help reach your desired outcome. So simply contact us today and tell us information about your case and we can see if we’re the right fit for one another. 

Best Divorce Lawyer in NYC

Are you facing a divorce in New York City? If so, you need the best divorce lawyer in NYC to represent you and protect your rights. Divorce is a complex and challenging process that can affect every aspect of your life, from your finances to your family. That is why you need a divorce lawyer who can handle your case with skill, compassion, and professionalism.

At Pollak & Slepian, we are a team of experienced and dedicated divorce attorneys who can help you with any aspect of your divorce, whether it is contested or uncontested, simple or complex, amicable or hostile. We have the expertise and knowledge to deal with issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, property division, debt allocation, and more. We also have the reputation and recognition as one of the best divorce lawyers in NYC, as evidenced by our awards, accolades, and testimonials from our peers and clients.

We understand how difficult and stressful a divorce can be, and we are here to guide you through every step of the process. We will listen to your needs and concerns, and provide you with honest and realistic advice. We will also protect your rights and interests, and advocate for your best outcome. We will work with you to achieve a divorce that is fair, fast, and favorable for you.

Divorce Timeline in New York City

Divorce is a legal process that ends a marriage and resolves issues such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The duration of a divorce depends on many factors, such as the type of divorce, the level of cooperation between the spouses, the complexity of the issues, and the availability of the court. In this article, we will provide an overview of the divorce timeline in New York City, based on the most common scenarios.

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Residency Requirement

Before filing for divorce in New York, you or your spouse must meet the residency requirement. This means that either you or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least two years before filing, or you or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least one year and meet one of the following conditions:

Divorce Process

The divorce process in New York City consists of several steps, which may vary depending on the type and circumstances of the divorce. The following is a general outline of the divorce process and the estimated time for each step:

Filing the divorce petition

The first step in a divorce is filing a divorce petition with the appropriate court. The petitioner, also known as the plaintiff, submits the necessary documents, including the complaint for divorce, to initiate the legal process.

Serving the divorce papers

After filing the petition, the plaintiff must serve the divorce papers to the other spouse, known as the defendant. This involves delivering a copy of the petition and related documents by the rules of service.

Response from the defendant

Once served, the defendant has a specific timeframe, typically 20-30 days, to respond to the divorce petition. They may choose to contest the divorce by filing an answer or submitting an uncontested response.

Temporary orders

In some cases, either party may request temporary orders related to child custody, support, or financial matters during the divorce process. The court may hold a hearing to determine these temporary arrangements.

Discovery and negotiation

Both parties engage in the discovery process, which involves exchanging information, documents, and evidence related to the divorce. This stage allows each side to gather the necessary facts for negotiations and potential trial preparation. Negotiations may take place during this time to reach agreements on child custody, support, property division, and other important issues.

Trial and final judgment

If a resolution cannot be reached through settlement discussions or mediation, the case may proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties present their arguments, evidence, and witnesses to support their positions. The court then makes a final decision on the unresolved issues and issues a divorce judgment.

Court intervention

If the parties are unable to settle through negotiation, the court may intervene. This can involve attending settlement conferences, mediation sessions, or other alternative dispute resolution processes to help facilitate an agreement.

It’s important to note that the timeline of a divorce can vary significantly depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, court availability, and the ability of both parties to cooperate. Simple, uncontested divorces can often be finalized within a few months, while more complex or contested cases may take significantly longer, potentially extending to a year or more.

If you are going through a divorce in New York City, it is advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process and help navigate any specific circumstances related to your case.

What Are the 7 Statutory Grounds of Fault in a Fault-Based Divorce?

In a fault-based divorce, there are typically seven statutory grounds of fault that can be cited as reasons for ending a marriage. These grounds may vary slightly from state to state, but here are the seven common grounds:

Cruel and inhuman treatment

This refers to situations where one spouse behaves in a manner that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the other spouse, making it unsafe for them to continue living together.

Abandonment

If one spouse voluntarily leaves the marital home without a valid reason and the consent of the other spouse for a continuous period of one year or more, it can be cited as a ground for divorce.

Imprisonment

If one spouse has been imprisoned for three or more consecutive years after the marriage, it can serve as a fault ground for divorce.

Adultery

Engaging in sexual relationships with someone other than the spouse is considered adultery and can be used as grounds for a fault-based divorce.

Sexual incapacity

If one spouse is physically unable to engage in sexual intercourse and the other spouse was unaware of this condition before marriage, it can be cited as a ground for divorce.

Attempted murder

If one spouse attempts to murder the other spouse, it can be considered a fault ground for divorce.

Legal separation

If the spouses have been legally separated under a decree or judgment of separation and have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of one year or more, it can be grounds for fault-based divorce.

It’s important to note that fault-based divorces are less common nowadays, as New York also offers a no-fault option based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. It’s advisable to consult with a legal professional to understand the specific laws and grounds for fault-based divorce in New York City.

Contact Information

Address: 214-08 41st Ave, 2nd Floor, Bayside, NY 11361

Grounds for Divorce

New York recognizes both fault-based and no-fault grounds for divorce. Fault-based grounds are marital misconducts that justify the divorce, such as adultery, cruelty, imprisonment, or abandonment. No-fault grounds are based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months, without assigning blame to either spouse

The choice of grounds for divorce can affect the timeline of the divorce, as fault-based grounds may require more evidence and litigation than no-fault grounds. However, the grounds for divorce do not affect the distribution of marital property, spousal support, or child custody, as New York is an equitable distribution state that considers many factors to determine a fair and reasonable outcome.

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Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

Another factor that influences the divorce timeline is whether the divorce is uncontested or contested. An uncontested divorce is when both spouses agree on all the terms of the divorce, such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. A contested divorce is when the spouses disagree on any of the terms of the divorce and need the court to decide for them.

An uncontested divorce is usually faster and cheaper than a contested divorce, as it does not require court intervention or trial. An uncontested divorce can be completed in as little as four to six months, depending on the court’s schedule and the speed of the paperwork. A contested divorce can take much longer, depending on the number and complexity of the issues, the level of conflict, and the availability of the court. A contested divorce can take anywhere from six months to several years to finalize.

Rights During a Divorce in NYC

Divorce is a legal process that dissolves the marital relationship and affects the rights and obligations of the spouses. If you are going through a divorce or considering one, you should be aware of your rights and how to protect them. Here are some of the main rights that you have during a divorce in NYC:

Right to an Equitable Distribution of Marital Property

In New York, property that is acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution. This means that the court will divide the property fairly, but not necessarily equally, based on various factors, such as the duration of the marriage, the income and assets of each spouse, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, and the needs of each spouse. Marital property may include real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vehicles, furniture, jewelry, and other assets. Property that is acquired before the marriage, by inheritance, or by gift is usually considered separate property and is not subject to division unless it is commingled with marital property or used for the benefit of the marriage.

Right to Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is a payment that one spouse makes to the other spouse to provide financial support after the divorce. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the lower-earning spouse maintain a reasonable standard of living and adjust to the economic consequences of the divorce. The amount and duration of spousal maintenance depend on several factors, such as the income and earning capacity of each spouse, the age and health of each spouse, the length of the marriage, the present and future needs of each spouse, and the conduct of each spouse during the marriage. Spousal maintenance can be temporary, lasting until the divorce is finalized, or permanent, lasting until the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse.

Retaliatory actions can include any of the following actions:

  • Denial of visitation rights
  • Hostility when exchanging custody
  • Parental alienation (saying disparaging things to the children about the other parent)

If you are suffering because your rights to custody or visitation with your child are being infringed upon, then you need to seek professional assistance from a divorce lawyer at Pollak & Slepian, L.L.P. to pursue legal action.

MODIFICATION OF CUSTODY IN NEW YORK
If either you or your ex-spouse are having significant difficulties with the current arrangements for visitation and custody, you might be able to obtain a modification. When granting a modification, the judge will look for certain evidence as to the need, and the results of the change. If you have recently changed jobs where you are working different hours, then the judge may be willing to grant a modification. Also, the judge will consider what is in the best interests of the child involved. If it is in the child’s best interest to make this modification, then you may be granted the change.

FAMILY LAWYERS IN NYC, WESTCHESTER, SUFFOLK & NASSAU COUNTIES
Pollak & Slepian, L.L.P. is a family law firm that has been dedicated to the residents of the five boroughs of New York for a number of years. The firm’s attorneys have more than 85+ years of combined experience, which gives them a tremendous advantage when providing a client with representation. When representing clients, we can draw on past experiences as well collaborate to find the best solution to a difficult issue. And we know how to evaluate what can feasibly be achieved in many cases.

Contact us to begin pursuing the custody and visitation orders you need. We serve clients throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Right to Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody and visitation are two of the most important and contentious issues in a divorce involving children. Child custody refers to the legal authority and responsibility to make decisions regarding the child’s welfare, such as education, health care, religion, and extracurricular activities. Child visitation refers to the right and schedule to spend time with the child. In New York, there are two types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody can be sole or joint, meaning that one or both parents have the right to make major decisions for the child. Physical custody can also be sole or joint, meaning that the child lives with one or both parents. The court will determine the best custody and visitation arrangement for the child based on the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as the child’s preferences, the relationship between the child and each parent, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs, the stability of each parent’s home, and the cooperation and communication between the parents.

Right to Child Support

Child support is a payment that one parent makes to the other parent to contribute to the costs of raising the child. The amount of child support is based on a formula that considers the income of both parents, the number of children, and the percentage of time that each parent spends with the child. The court may also order additional expenses, such as health insurance, medical expenses, child care, education, and extracurricular activities. Child support is usually paid until the child turns 21 unless the child is emancipated, married, or in the military.

Right to Legal Representation

One of the most important rights that you have during a divorce is the right to legal representation. You have the right to hire a lawyer who can advise you of your rights and options, negotiate on your behalf, and represent you in court. A lawyer can help you protect your interests and achieve a favorable outcome for your divorce case. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be eligible for free or low-cost legal services from a legal aid organization or a pro bono program. You can also request the court to order your spouse to pay for your legal fees if your spouse has a higher income or more assets than you

Types of Divorce Actions

When navigating the challenging process of divorce, it’s crucial to understand the different types of divorce actions available. Each type carries its own legal implications and considerations, impacting the overall outcome of the divorce proceedings. Let’s explore the main types of divorce actions:

  • No-Fault Divorce:  A no-fault divorce is based on the grounds of irreconcilable differences or the breakdown of the marriage, rather than placing blame on one party. This type of divorce is aimed at simplifying the process and reducing conflict.
  • Fault-Based Divorce:  In a fault-based divorce, one spouse alleges that the other is responsible for the failure of the marriage due to specific grounds such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment. These allegations can impact issues like property division and alimony.
  • Contested Divorce:  When spouses are unable to reach an agreement on key issues such as child custody, division of assets, or spousal support, a contested divorce occurs. This often leads to litigation and court intervention to resolve disputes.
  • Uncontested Divorce:  An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all aspects of the divorce, including the division of assets, child custody, and support. This type of divorce typically proceeds more smoothly and can be finalized without a trial.
  • Simplified Divorce:  Some jurisdictions offer a simplified divorce process for couples meeting specific criteria, such as having no minor children, limited assets, and reaching a mutual agreement on the terms of the divorce.

How We Can Help You with Your Divorce:

As the best divorce lawyer in NYC, we can help you with any aspect of your divorce, such as:

– Filing the divorce papers:  We can help you prepare and file the necessary documents to initiate your divorce, such as the summons, the complaint, and the affidavit of service. We can also help you respond to any papers that your spouse may file, such as the answer, the counterclaim, and the notice of appearance.

– Negotiating the settlement:  We can help you negotiate the terms of your divorce with your spouse or their lawyer, such as the division of assets and debts, the amount and duration of alimony and child support, and the custody and visitation of your children. We can also help you draft and review the settlement agreement, which is a legally binding contract that outlines the details of your divorce.

– Going to court:  If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on your divorce, we can help you go to court and present your case to a judge. We can help you gather and submit evidence, such as financial statements, tax returns, bank statements, and appraisals. We can also help you prepare and deliver the testimony, cross-examine the witnesses, and make the arguments. We will use our skills and experience to persuade the judge to rule in your favor.

– Finalizing the divorce:  After the judge issues the final judgment of divorce, we can help you finalize your divorce and make it official. We can help you file the judgment with the court clerk, serve it to your spouse, and obtain the certificate of dissolution of marriage. We can also help you enforce or modify the terms of your divorce if needed.

Why Choose Us as Your Divorce Lawyer in NYC

There are many reasons why you should choose us as your divorce lawyer in NYC, but here are some of the most important ones:

– We have the expertise and knowledge: We have been practicing divorce law for over 85+ years, and we have handled thousands of divorce cases in New York City. We know the laws, the procedures, and the judges that govern divorce in New York. We can handle any type of divorce, whether it is contested or uncontested, simple or complex, amicable or hostile. We can deal with any issue that may arise in your divorce, such as child custody, child support, alimony, property division, debt allocation, and more.

– We have a reputation and recognition: We are widely recognized as one of the best divorce lawyers in NYC, by both our peers and our clients. We have been featured in Forbes, Super Lawyers, Avvo, and other prestigious publications and platforms. We have also received countless testimonials and reviews from our satisfied clients, who praise our work ethic, professionalism, and results.

– We have empathy and professionalism: We know that divorce is not only a legal matter but also an emotional one. We understand how difficult and stressful a divorce can be, and we treat you with respect and dignity. We listen to your needs and concerns and provide you with honest and realistic advice. We also protect your rights and interests and advocate for your best outcome. We are not here to judge you or your spouse, but to help you move on with your life.

– We have the flexibility and affordability: We know that divorce can be expensive, and we work with your budget and schedule. We offer a free initial consultation, where we assess your situation and explain your options. We also charge reasonable and transparent fees, and we do not have any hidden or extra costs. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and update you on your case.

At Pollak & Slepian, we have been serving the legal needs of clients in the NYC Metro Area for over 30 years, offering expertise in family law, real estate law, wills & estates, and civil litigation. With a combined experience of over 85 years, our dedicated attorneys are committed to providing exceptional legal support to our clients.