When you said “I DO,” you thought your marriage would be longer than the Long Island Railroad. After several years, however, it started to derail and you can’t seem to get your relationship back on track. If you are considering filing for divorce, it’s important to know your rights and understand the basics of your Long Island divorce.
This article provides information on filing for divorce in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Check that You Meet the Residency Requirements
Before you can proceed with your divorce in Long Island you need to meet certain residency requirements. That means you must have lived in the State of New York for a required period of time.
Decide the Legal Grounds for Your Divorce
“Grounds” are the legal reasons for which a court may grant a divorce. The grounds for divorce in Long Island are as follows:
Open Your Divorce Case in Long Island
The first step to opening a divorce case in Long lsland is filing a Summons and Complaint or Summons With Notice with the County Clerk’s Office. At a minimum, you will need to file a Summons With Notice to start your case. A Complaint states the grounds for the divorce and requests orders you want the judge to make about your property, children, and financial support. There may be a legal strategy for initially filing one type of paperwork instead of the other, and an attorney may be able to help figure out which to use.
There is a fee to file the divorce paperwork, but it can be waived if you meet certain low-income qualifications. You will encounter additional court costs later in the divorce process, which generally vary depending on the level of judicial involvement in the case.
You may be eligible for a default divorce if your spouse fails to respond to the paperwork. In a default judgment, the court may hold a hearing where you testify about your grounds for divorce and any court orders you requested. If your spouse objects to the divorce, or any proposed orders, he or she must file a notice contesting the divorce.
Consider Alternatives to a Contested Divorce: A contested divorce can be prolonged and expensive, but there are alternate methods that may expedite the process and save some costs.
Trial on the Disputed Issues
If you are unable to reach an agreement through negotiation, the judge will set a trial date to hear evidence on the disputed issues. Before the trial, you will need to attend a mandatory conference and exchange required paperwork. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge may make long-term orders on several issues, including the following:
Next Steps: Free Case Review
Breakups of any kind are usually stressful and emotionally challenging. A divorce, which is the legal termination of a marriage, can be lengthy, legally complex, and downright overwhelming. An attorney can help explain your rights and suggest the best legal course for your situation. Get started today with a free case review by a family law attorney in Long Island.
Contact a qualified attorney.