Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a common type of divorce, the other being a contested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce. For a divorce to be uncontested, normally there needs to be an agreement by the parties with respect to property, investment and a pension. Also, the parties need to agree with the issues of their children including custody, visitation and child support. If the parties cannot agree to the terms of the divorce, then more paperwork and litigation may be involved. At this stage, the divorce becomes contested.

In an uncontested divorce the client will sign papers that our office prepares based on information the client provides. Our office files the papers in court and purchases an index number. Then, the client’s spouse signs the papers in front of a notary public. Our office files the papers in court and once they are ready, we pick them up and send the client and his or her ex-spouse a copy. Read more about the uncontested divorce process and the procedures when papers must be served.

Contested Divorce

If both spouses cannot agree on the terms of their divorce, then the divorce is contested. For example, if one parent wants sole legal custody of a child after the divorce and the other parent also wants sole legal custody, then that difference of expectations will be reconciled in the contested divorce. New York’s Domestic Relations Law (DRL) provides rules that largely govern uncontested and contested divorces and related matters. Matters that may lead to a contested divorce include if the parties do not agree to the matters of child support, spousal maintenance, child custody and division of marital assets, which includes real estate and pensions.

High net worth divorce

Two spouses are involved in a high net worth divorce when a large amount of assets and/or funds are involved. This may take the form of real property, equities, pension plans, stock options, business shares, various stock options, automobiles or other personal property earned or purchased during the course of the marriage. If you are dealing with a high net worth divorce, then you will need a lawyer who understands the tax implications of your divorce and understands how your finances affect you on a day-to-day basis. It is important that your attorney can work with appraisers and forensic accountants as well as deal with other aspects of a divorce, such as spousal maintenance and child visitation, when applicable.

Equitable Distribution

If two divorcing spouses own property, such as a house, co-op, condo, or land, then it is important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with New York State’s equitable distribution laws. In addition to real estate, couples and families may have pensions or retirement benefits, investments, or businesses. In a divorce, these assets must be divided, or split up, between the two parties and litigation in court may be required.

Alimony/Spousal Maintenance

A spouse may be entitled to monthly spousal maintenance if there is a large difference in their wages. Spousal maintenance is also referred to as alimony. The court system uses a formula to set spousal maintenance. The court’s formula may be deviated on the basis several factors.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody cases deal with which parent will take care of the child. In some cases, both parents will split that duty and joint custody will be awarded. The court uses the “best interest of the child” to decide who will get custody of the children. Other cases result in one party obtaining sole custody.

Child visitation is arranged according to a detailed schedule. It must be approved by a court for it to be enforceable. When a parent has sole custody of the child, it is common for the other parent to seek visitation. Sometimes this time may include weekends during the school year or a month of the summer and holidays.

Child Support

Like spousal maintenance, the court can grant a child support order that will entitle the custodial parent to receive child support. The non-custodial parent will need to pay the child support on a regular basis. Child support is awarded using a formula for basic child support with certain variations. There is consideration if the non-custodial parent has a pre-existing child support order of if the combined income of the parents is above a certain level. Add-ons are included for unreimbursed medical expenses, child care expenses, educational expenses and college expenses in certain situations, and medical insurance. A parent can bring a parent who should be paying them child support t court if they are not paying child support to have the court order enforced. The payments are important to children and parents and help pay for essential expenses to raise the child.

View Frequently Asked Child Support Questions to gain a better understanding of this legal topic.

Order of Protection

If you are being abused, followed, threatened or stalked, then you should consider obtaining an order of protection. This document is binding and the police can help you enforce it to keep you safe. The order may specify that a certain person may not come within a certain radius of you at all times. It may limit their ability to communicate with you in person, by phone, by text, or instant messaging. It may may also prevent the person from using a third party to communicate with you.

Find answers to your questions in Family Law FAQs.


Wills dictate what will happen with your assets after you pass away. You can decide who gets what funds and what assets. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to the government’s formula and will never be divided per the survivor’s wishes. Besides a last will and testament, we can prepare living wills to detail whether you want to be kept alive by artificial means if your brain waves cease to function and whether you want your body used for organ transplants after you die. We can also prepare health care proxies and powers of attorney.

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