Westchester Divorce Lawyer
Going through a divorce is a difficult transition for a family. Our attorneys believe in approaching divorce with dignity and respect while working toward a fair agreement throughout all stages of the divorce process.
Whether you have recently been served with divorce papers or are thinking about moving to divorce yourself, a divorce lawyer in Westchester can help to streamline the process and attain a suitable end result for you. Contact an experienced attorney today to schedule a consultation.
Understanding Divorce Procedure
To legally terminate a marriage in Westchester, a married couple must get a divorce. Most of the time, one spouse initially files for divorce, but both spouses can also file jointly if they wish. Either way, spouses cannot enter a valid divorce agreement without court involvement. This is why it is crucial that you hire a Westchester divorce lawyer who has plenty of experience with the legal process.
Divorce cases must be brought before the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Although other family law matters such as child custody may be decided in Family Court, divorce matters are not handled there.
Furthermore, a New York Supreme Court judge must sign off on every Westchester divorce agreement. This procedure provides spouses with a safeguard to help make sure that the terms of the divorce are fair and agreeable to both parties.
Grounds for Filing Divorce
Before filing for divorce, certain legal requirements must be met. Almost all divorces in New York are no-fault these days but New York Domestic Relations Law §170 also permits fault grounds. These legal grounds for divorce in Westchester are:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Imprisonment for at least three consecutive years
- Living apart pursuant to a separation judgment or decree
- Living apart pursuant to a written separation agreement
In addition, spouses must meet a residency requirement, which may be legally satisfied in many ways. Generally, one spouse must live in the state for a minimum of one year in order for the couple to be eligible to file for divorce.
Divorce vs. Annulment
In extremely limited circumstances, an annulment may be appropriate. In an annulment proceeding, the court establishes that a marriage never actually took place. This action differs from a divorce because, in a divorce, the parties were in fact legally married. Potential grounds for an annulment in Westchester include:
- Lack of mental capacity
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many couples turn to means of alternative dispute resolution as a way to more amicably settle a divorce. Mediation is a powerful tool that can often result in a faster and less stressful process than litigation, which can translate into a less costly divorce process. Collaborative Divorce is another option for couples.
Work with a Westchester Divorce Attorney
Divorce matters are rarely straightforward and simple to resolve. Issues such as asset division and child custody can complicate and prolong divorce proceedings. Getting an unbiased evaluation of your case from a knowledgeable divorce attorney can help make sure you are approaching your divorce with the right mindset and strategy for the best possible outcome.
Even in cases where a spouse believes their divorce will be uncontested or uncomplicated, issues can unexpectedly surface to bring tension to the situation. In these scenarios, having an attorney who is up to speed and ready to assist can be invaluable.
If you are thinking about filing for divorce or need legal assistance with an existing divorce matter in Westchester, a divorce lawyer with our firm would be happy to schedule a consultation with you. Call today to get started on your case.