Westchester Contested Divorce Lawyer
All divorces in Westchester must either be uncontested or contested. The term contested refers to a situation where one spouse disputes the desired arrangement of the other spouse. Often, these are the divorces we imagine involving fierce arguments and difficult negotiations.
If you are in the middle of a contested divorce in Westchester, our passionate divorce attorneys can fight to protect your interests. It is important to contact a Westchester contested divorce lawyer as soon as possible so that they can help you reach a divorce arrangement that reflects your family’s needs.
Issues Disputed in a Contested Divorce
Divorce decrees must stipulate how the couple will handle issues such as child custody, the division of all marital assets, and arrangements for a child or spousal support. In situations where the couple cannot come to an equitable arrangement that suits both parties, negotiation and mediation may be necessary. If these measures fail, the case may have to go to court.
Though courts often encourage couples to settle their disputes out-of-court, contested divorces may make going to court inevitable. If this happens, financial records may be discussed, witnesses (including family members) may be called to the stand, and other evidence and arguments may be presented to the court so a judge can determine an appropriate arrangement. Even if you do not believe your contested divorce case will be heard in court, you will benefit from the presence of experienced counsel in the mediation or negotiation process.
The Divorce Process in Westchester
To begin a contested divorce proceeding, the party who wishes to divorce must first file a Summons with the court. After this, they will have 120 days to serve divorce papers to their spouse.
Since New York bars one spouse from serving these papers to the other party personally, a Westchester contested divorce lawyer may be able to help by serving the papers as a designated third party. After they serve the papers, the served spouse has between 20 and 30 days either to accept the terms of the divorce or to contest it. The latter option triggers a contested divorce proceeding.
From there, the initial party must file a Request for Judicial Intervention, after which the court may designate a preliminary conference. At the preliminary conference, they may set a date for an official divorce hearing.
Attorneys representing each side of the divorce will most likely consider any possible out-of-court resolution. However, if none is available, a trial may be the only option. Trials start with a discovery period of up to six months, during which time attorneys representing the two spouses may gather evidence to support their clients’ sides of the argument. After that, a judge hears the case and creates an equitable arrangement.
Importance of Hiring a Westchester Contested Divorce Attorney
Contested divorces are complicated and may involve numerous court meetings, evidence, and numerous deadlines for filing important paperwork. Further, they are often incredibly stressful and emotional proceedings.
If you are involved in a contested divorce in Westchester, our dedicated can assist you in navigating such a complex legal matrix. Call today, a Westchester contested divorce lawyer is ready to speak with you about your case.