Queens Divorce Attorney
Guiding You Through All Aspects of Divorce
No one understands your life better than you. When faced with divorce, you are in the best position to make good decisions about what you need from a settlement. Thinking clearly during divorce, however, is easier said than done. Feelings of anger, sadness, fear, or anxiety can quickly cloud your judgment. If this happens to you, we can be at your side to help you sort through the emotions and guide you toward an agreement that serves your best interests.
Our team at Levi Divorce & Family Law Attorneys in Queens put your needs first. Our attorneys will be our clients’ steadfast advocates, working together to find a solution that leaves them and their children in a better place long after the divorce is complete.
Should I File Contested or Uncontested?
Many people mistakenly believe that their divorce is uncontested. Uncontested divorces, however, are less common than you may think. Why? Because you and your spouse must agree on absolutely every aspect of your divorce for it to be uncontested.
Our lawyers can help you determine whether you have an uncontested or contested divorce by making sure you have considered every aspect. Speaking with us first can help ensure you file for divorce correctly.
If you and your spouse agree on terms for your divorce and all divorce-related processes, such as property division, child custody and support, and alimony, you can file for an uncontested divorce.
If you disagree on any aspect of your divorce, you must file for a contested divorce instead. If you can negotiate terms after filing for a contested divorce, you can transition into an uncontested divorce.
In most uncontested divorces, the parties draft and sign a divorce agreement laying out the terms they've agreed to before actually filing for divorce. Having an agreement with the terms for the divorce makes it easier to include those terms in the initial divorce petition and quickly finalize the divorce.
What Does the Divorce Process Look Like in New York?
Generally, the divorce process looks something like this:
- One party, the petitioner, files a petition for a divorce with their local court. The petition includes the petitioner's proposed terms for the divorce and basic information about the marriage and the circumstances of the divorce.
- After filing for divorce, the petition must serve the other spouse (the "respondent") using a third party such as a sheriff or process server.
- At this stage, the respondent can file a response with the court if they disagree with the terms established by the petitioner. If they agree with the terms, which is often the case in an uncontested divorce, they can waive their right to respond by filling out an "Affidavit of Defendant" form instead and filing that.
- At this stage, if the divorce is contested, the court may issue temporary orders to dictate how the spouses handle issues such as spousal support while the divorce is ongoing. If the divorce is uncontested, this isn't necessary and the court will begin moving to finalize the divorce using the terms of the divorce agreement the parties drafted (if the judge thinks said terms are equitable).
- Finally, in a contested divorce, the court will hold a trial. After hearing from both parties, the judge presiding over the case will draft and sign a divorce decree the court deems fair for both parties. In an uncontested divorce, there is no trial - the court simply issues a decree using the terms of the couple's divorce agreement.
Filing for divorce is an incredibly complex process. It can take mere days to finalize, or over a year, depending on the circumstances of the case and the disagreements the spouses share.
To obtain the best outcome in your divorce, you need a lawyer in your corner who will advocate for your rights and best interests through thick and thin.
How Long Is the Divorce Process?
The length of your divorce depends entirely on your unique situation. If your divorce is uncontested—meaning you and your spouse agree on absolutely every aspect of your divorce—the process may last only a few months. If your case is more complicated than that, however, it could take longer. The most complex and contentious divorces can take years to resolve.
Is There a Waiting Period for Divorce in New York?
The state of New York does not require a formal waiting period for couples seeking divorce. This law applies to same-sex couples as well. Keep in mind, your divorce may be lengthened if the issues pertaining to your divorce are unresolved.
Does it Matter Who Files for Divorce First?
Filing for divorce first will not give you a clear cut advantage in your divorce case. However, it does come with minor benefits:
- You will be able to gather your legal representation in a timely manner
- You will have additional time to gather all legal documentation
- You can access funds/credit before you file ensuring that your expenses are covered
- Filing first may help prevent your spouse from hiding assets
- Filing first will allow you to choose where the divorce will take place. This is especially helpful if one spouse has relocated to a different state. Keep in mind, it must be adjudicated within the state you reside in.
How Do I Prepare for Divorce?
While it may be difficult to prepare for the emotional aspect of divorce, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself to go through the legal process.
If you have decided to divorce, collect and make copies of all of your financial documents, including bank statements, retirement account information, mortgage and other loan documents, and tax returns. Giving this information to your attorney early in the process allows him or her to understand your and your spouse's financial situation and, therefore, how to approach property division.
Next, it is a good idea to learn about your monthly expenses as a couple. Figure out how much you spend and what you spend it on, so you can have a clear picture of your marital lifestyle.
Along those lines, it is also important to understand your marital income. Do you know how much your spouse makes or how much they have saved up in bank accounts and retirement accounts? If not, now is the time to figure it out.
Taking the time to collect this important financial information early on in the divorce process will be very helpful as you and your lawyer work toward a fair settlement.
Have more questions? Get in touch with one of our Queens attorneys by calling (718) 215-0121.
We Handle All Aspects of Divorce
Divorce is an extremely personal process. No matter what aspect of your divorce is most important to you, we can help make sure it is handled correctly.
- Asset division, including family businesses, the marital home, and retirement accounts
- Spousal support, whether you expect to receive it or pay it
- Child custody matters, including visitation
- Child support
If you are not considering divorce but want to be prepared, we can draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that will protect you in case divorce becomes a reality.
How We Approach Divorce in Queens
Your Situation Is Unique
All divorces are not created equal. Someone who is getting divorced after a long-term marriage with three children, a home, and a robust investment portfolio requires a very different approach from someone who has only been married a few years and has no children and no real property. At Levi Divorce & Family Law Attorneys in Queens, our team can handle your case according to your needs.
Simple Solutions for Simple Divorces
Some divorces are very straightforward. If you don't have much property to divide and don't have children, resolving your divorce may be as easy as working out the final terms of the agreement and signing the final paperwork.
If this is the case for you, we can help you reach a resolution quickly and cost-effectively. We can make every attempt to resolve your divorce without ever going to court and to achieve a favorable result for you. Our priority is to help you move forward with your life, not waste your time and money.
Aggressive Representation for Complex Divorces
A complex divorce requires the complete attention and commitment of your attorney. That is what our clients get at our firm. Whether you require our expertise to divide complex assets, craft a complicated custody solution, or obtain an adequate spousal support award, we can help you. We know what it takes to resolve challenging divorces, and we can aggressively negotiate for you until we reach a favorable settlement or represent you at trial to fight for a victorious result.
Protecting Your Children
The way your divorce is handled can have a major impact on your children. At our firm, protecting your children is a priority. We strive to guide you through your divorce in a way that minimizes any negative impact on your children.
Schedule an appointment with our capable lawyers now at (718) 215-0121. We book same-day appointments.