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New York Divorce Process

Understanding the New York State Divorce Process

NYC family law attorneys explain the evolution of the divorce process

Divorce law has a long and complicated history, but the experienced attorneys at the law firm of Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP in New York City help clear away the confusion. In the past, divorces were only allowed if one or both parties could show the court a valid reason for the divorce, stemming from the actions of the other party, such as infidelity. Eventually, the concept of no-fault divorce evolved, allowing couples to divorce without proving that one party was at fault. New York was the last state to allow no-fault divorces, which first became available here in 2010. Our firm represents clients in all types of divorce cases.

Uncontested divorces in New York State

In some cases, both parties agree that a divorce is the right option, and they also come to an agreement about all issues related to the divorce, including child custody and alimony. This is called an uncontested divorce, and is a much more efficient and cost-effective option. If you and your spouse are willing to work together, our attorneys can help you write a divorce agreement that meets the needs of both parties.

Methods for resolving a contested divorce

In a contested divorce, the parties either do not agree that there should be a divorce, or they disagree about major terms of the divorce, such as child support or visitation. Contested divorces are not all the same. Different procedures exist depending on whether the parties both agree to the divorce and how easily they will be able to work together to make decisions while dissolving the marriage. Our attorneys help you understand your options and guide you through your divorce, regardless of which type you choose. Methods for resolving a divorce include:

  • Litigation. In cases where the parties cannot agree or will not be able to work together, our attorneys litigate on your behalf, fighting to achieve your objectives and for an equitable distribution of property. After a divorce, our attorneys also assist with the modification of court orders as circumstances change.
  • Collaborative divorce. In this process, also called collaborative law, the parties work together to create a divorce plan. With the help of experienced attorneys, the parties meet and discuss the distribution of property and other issues. The goal in these cases is to work together to plan for the future rather than fight about the past. This option is often chosen when children are involved and the parents want to avoid bitter litigation.
  • Divorce mediation. Mediation offers an opportunity for a couple to present their disputes to a neutral party in an informal atmosphere. The goals of mediation are similar to those of collaborative divorce. It is helpful to retain a dedicated divorce attorney to help you understand your rights and formulate goals to bring into mediation sessions. Your attorney cannot join you in the mediations sessions — however, if you are seeking to hire a mediator, one of our attorneys, Jeffrey Bernfeld, is qualified to mediate divorces in New York City.

Your success in getting the assets and terms you are seeking in your divorce will largely depend on the skill and experience of your attorney. Because we understand the divorce process, we can help you achieve your litigation or negotiation objectives.

Contact us for help planning a divorce strategy

At the law firm of Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP in New York City, we are treat our clients with personalized attention and handle their cases with knowledge and care. Our lawyers regularly assist NYC clients with a wide range of needs, from simple and straightforward uncontested divorces to complex, hotly contested divorces. To plan a free consultation, call us at 646-880-4689 or contact us online.