How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in New York?
At the end of a marriage, many New York couples want to avoid a drawn-out divorce experience. The desire to save on legal expenses is often motivation enough for embittered spouses to reach a settlement agreement as quickly as possible, but even in amicable dissolutions, custody issues may add time until your petition is granted.
So, just how long does it take to get divorced in New York?
The answer to this question is rarely straightforward because of the many factors involved with divorce proceedings. How your family splits could hinge on the county you file in, whether you hire a divorce lawyer or not, or if significant assets and debts are involved.
What Factors Could Impact the Length of My Divorce?
As mentioned above, numerous factors can impact the timeline of a divorce. From the significant amount of paperwork to be filled out and filed to waiting on the judge to review and approve your divorce agreement, every additional issue can add time until your divorce concludes itself.
Some of these circumstances are an unavoidable, natural part of the process. Still, some issues may come up, making an experienced New York divorce lawyer helpful in preventing a hold up in your proceedings.
Your Spouse Refuses to Negotiate
One way to keep a divorce proceeding from stalling is to collaborate with your ex-spouse on finding a resolution to key issues so that your divorce is uncontested. Some issues, like child custody, may turn into a bigger emotional landmine than you initially expected. This situation can lead to a communication breakdown. One spouse may not realize how emotionally hurt they are about getting divorced and later refuse to negotiate in hopes of having their demands met or holding off the dissolution. This counterproductive behavior will cause legal fees to skyrocket and drag out the entire process for many months.
To avoid these situations, you should always have a divorce lawyer or family law mediator working with you to protect your interests and intervene when negotiations fall apart.
Your Marriage Has Significant Assets
Another significant impact on the length of time it takes to complete a New York divorce proceeding is the division of marital assets. This issue is time-consuming when large amounts of assets and debts are involved. Everything from real estate, financial accounts, and retirement savings may be up for division. These assets must get appraised accurately so that the court can divide them equitably if you and your spouse cannot come to a division agreement.
Many couples in this situation rely on knowledgeable family law attorneys with extensive experience in complex marital asset division cases.
Contested Divorces Will Drag Out the Process
If you know avoiding a contested divorce will be difficult, you will likely spend many months going back and forth in negotiations. In New York, a contested divorce goes through several stages before it is finalized:
- You or your spouse has 20 days to respond to the initial divorce action filing
- A preliminary conference is held after this response period
- Discovery is conducted after the preliminary conference
- The deposition takes place once all received discovery has been reviewed
- You may need a psychiatrist review if custody of children is involved
- There will be several court conferences in between all of these events before going to trial
Altogether, a contested divorce could easily exceed eight months or more, depending on any additional issue the court must decide, like division of marital assets and debts.
Hire a Reputable New York Divorce Lawyer to Avoid Drawn Out Litigation
Working with an experienced family law attorney like those at The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C., will help you streamline the divorce process, even in complicated cases involving significant marital assets. As a recognized Super Lawyer, Attorney Katherine Ryan provides family law services that ensure any financial support orders, parenting plans, or custody proceedings are fair and respect your rights under New York domestic relations law.
Our firm represents clients in Garden City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Long Island. Contact The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C. today for a comprehensive evaluation of your family law issue.