Protecting What Matters Most

How long does a contested divorce last in New York?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2022 | High Asset Divorce

You probably made up your mind months ago about dissolving your marriage. Therefore, the court proceedings should be a mere formalization of your decision. It might seem a bit straightforward, but things can get complicated along the way.

It means that the time it takes to finalize the whole process differs. It can take months or even years, depending on the circumstances of the divorce. Here is how it plays out in New York.

The divorce process

First, either you or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least one year before filing for divorce. If you meet that requirement, you can begin with the paperwork, which takes a good while.

You will need to file a summon and complaint to compel your ex-spouse to appear before the court and defend themselves. Afterward, you have 120 days to serve the notice to your spouse, informing them of your intention to initiate divorce proceedings. It is important to know that you cannot serve your spouse with the divorce papers in person.

Once they are notified, the court process will begin to end the marriage formally. Usually, the children and finances take center stage in divorce proceedings, with each party looking out for their interests. However, in the end, the couple’s willingness to settle and any delays in the paperwork will significantly weigh in the time it takes to conclude matters.

Do not rush

Given that the decisions made from the divorce will likely last a lifetime, it is important to proceed carefully. Do not hurry the divorce process to cut off the relationship with your ex since you might make some costly mistakes that will leave you shortchanged.

Instead, take your time and plan for every stage carefully, keeping in mind that you need to get what you deserve at the end of it all.


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