Babylon Divorce Lawyer
When you are thinking about filing for divorce–or have already been served with papers filed by your spouse–you need to take the time to do things right. Divorce is not a DIY project that you can handle on your own. Even if you and your spouse agree the marriage is over and you intend to depart on friendly terms, you still have to navigate an unfamiliar and often complicated legal process to actually obtain a divorce.
The first thing you should do is contact an experienced Babylon divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan, P.C., we represent clients from Babylon and throughout Commack in contested and uncontested divorce proceedings. We understand this is a difficult time for you and your family, which is why we strive to provide professional service.
Understanding the Process of Filing for Divorce
A divorce is a type of civil lawsuit in New York. This means that one spouse (the plaintiff) must file and serve a complaint on the other spouse (the defendant). The complaint must state the legal reason the plaintiff wants a divorce. New York recognizes both fault-based and no-fault divorces. In a fault-based divorce, the plaintiff will allege some specific wrongdoing on the part of the defendant, such as adultery. With a no-fault divorce, in contrast, there is no claim of wrongdoing. Instead, the plaintiff alleges the marriage has simply broken down irretrievably and/or the spouses have been living separate and apart for a certain period of time.
In an uncontested divorce, the spouses have already reached an agreement as to key issues, such as child custody and visitation and how to divide any marital property. Depending on the situation, the spouses may work with a mediator to help reach an agreement. The final agreement must still be submitted to a judge for approval as part of the final divorce judgment.
When any contested issues remain, however, a judge will hold a trial and decide how to resolve the dispute. Even during a contested divorce, the parties can still continue to negotiate and reach a voluntary settlement. But if that is not possible, then the judge’s ruling is final (pending any potential appeals).
An uncontested divorce can often be completed within a few months and often does not require the parties to appear in court. If the defendant spouse fails to respond to a divorce lawsuit at all, the court can issue a default divorce after 40 days. Contested divorce cases typically take longer–up to a year or more–depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
Contact Attorney Joshua Adam Kittenplan Today
While you can legally represent yourself in a divorce, it is never a good idea. Especially when there are any potential disputed issues, it is best to work with a skilled Babylon divorce lawyer who understands the laws in this area and can provide you with professional advice and representation. So if you are involved in a potential or ongoing divorce, contact the Law Office of Joshua Adam Kittenplan, P.C., today to schedule a free initial consultation.