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How Long Does a Divorce Take in New York?

Reducing How Long Your Divorce Takes Can Reduce Your Legal Fees
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How Long Does Divorce Take in NY

It’s Wise to Ask How Long Your Divorce Will Take

Next to “how much will my divorce cost?”, “how long will my divorce take” is the most common question we hear at our free initial divorce consultation and case evaluation.

It’s natural and understandable to want to know the answer to this question before delving into such an emotional and life-changing event as a divorce. We’ve all heard the horror stories of divorces dragging out for years and draining the finances of all involved. This shouldn’t be and isn’t the case for the majority of couples getting divorced on Long Island, NY. Long, drawn out divorces are usually the result of three main things:

  1. Very complex finances. If a couple owns a business (or businesses) together, as many complex financial holdings, or other complicated assets like real estate, investments, fine art, etc., it can take some time to determine how to divide these assets equitably.
  2. An attorney who is out of their depth in the divorce proceedings. This could be an inexperienced attorney, an attorney who is a general practitioner, but not knowledgeable in the intricacies of divorce law in New York, or simply one trying to inflate their billable hours. This is rare, but unfortunately, it happens. Unfortunately, a few bad apples can ruin the reputation of the majority of professionals with their client’s best interests at heart.
  3. Spouses who are unwilling to negotiate in good faith. Divorces can get very contentious when one or both parties “dig in their heels” and refuse to cooperate. Sometimes, it is just one party who wants to drag out the process because they don’t want to be divorced or they are trying to “punish” the spouse who brought the divorce. Unfortunately, this is probably the primary reason for long, drawn-out divorces.


How Long Will My Divorce Take on Long Island, NY?

A divorce in New York typically takes a minimum of 6 months from the time the divorce petition is served to the final divorce decree. However, in cases with complex issues or disputes, it can take considerably longer, sometimes a year or more, to reach a resolution. It depends upon the type of divorce you will have.

Uncontested Divorces Take Less Time Than Contested Divorces

True uncontested divorces take the least amount of time to resolve. In these cases, both spouses agree on all the significant issues of their divorce:

Some clients enter our door with the outline of an agreement with their spouse in their hand. These are the true uncontested divorces and they minimize how long your divorce will take to be finalized.

Divorce Mediation Can Reduce How Long It Will Take for Your Divorce

Other times, clients will have an outline of their settlement agreement in their hand, but there are a few unresolved issues. These may have to do with child custody or some property division, but the spouses are on amicable speaking terms and willing to work together to resolve these issues. These couples are usually good candidates for divorce mediation. Divorce mediation utilizes a neutral third-party mediator to help the spouses negotiate the few unresolved issues of their divorce in a few sessions.

Barring a true uncontested divorce where all issues are agreed upon prior to meeting with an attorney, mediation is a close second place for reducing how long your divorce will take. Not only does mediation reduce the time it takes for your divorce, it also often reduces the emotional stress and enables for better communication between the parties after the divorce. This can be a real benefit when there are children of the marriage and the former spouses will be at least peripherally involved in each other’s lives when dealing with the children.

Contested Divorces Extend How Long Your Divorce Will Take

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the client who enters the doors with an agreement already in place are those who enter looking for a resolution that is the polar opposite from that which their spouse desires. The New York State Unified Court System has a Contested Divorce flowchart here.

Uncooperative Spouses is the #1 Reason Divorces Take a Long Time

These are the opposite extreme: couples with complex financial holdings and children who are unwilling to communicate and compromise. These cases usually wind up litigated in a Nassau County or Suffolk County courtroom. In these cases, divorce lawyers on both sides of the aisle spend a great deal of time completing discovery, gathering documents, writing briefs, filing motions, appearing in court, etc. All of these things take time (and money).

time is money long island divorceHow Long Your Divorce Takes Depends Upon the Parties Involved

The role of your divorce attorney is to gather information to help you make the best decisions for you and your future and to protect your interests. Ultimately, the decision of how long it takes to settle your case falls directly on you and your spouse.

The Faster We Can Resolve Your Case, the Less It Will Cost

How long your divorce takes depends entirely upon its complexity and the willingness of all participants to communicate and compromise. Simply put, the more you and your spouse can agree upon the less time your divorce will take and the less it will cost.

“My experience with Rob and his team was great I would highly recommend them! They were extremely helpful and answered any questions I had and explained everything to me to make sure I understood everything that was happening. They helped me with the process and kept it moving!”

Caitlyn Coltellino

What Kind of Divorce Will Yours Be?

Types of Divorce on Long Island

The Longer Your Divorce Takes, The More It Costs

What it comes down to is how long is it going to take to resolve your case? The more you and your spouse can agree upon, the shorter the duration of your case and the less your divorce will cost. The more issues you and your spouse cannot agree upon and “fight” over, the more time your attorney will be required to spend on you case, the longer it will take to resolve and thereby, the more it will cost.

The Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Team Is Committed to Resolving Your Case As Quickly As Possible

Every one of our experienced Long Island divorce attorneys is committed to resolving your case as quickly as possible to keep our fees affordable for you while ensuring that you receive the absolute best representation that you expect and deserve.

Divorce Resolution Strategies to Reduce Your Time to Divorce

To be sure, certain divorce resolution strategies are more affordable than others. For example, Divorce Mediation is generally a fraction of the cost of Divorce Litigation, but even then it depends upon you and your spouse’s ability to work out your differences and issues outside of a courtroom.

Find Out How Much Your Divorce Will Cost

Visit  How Much Does a Cost to learn more the cost of your divorce and how to get experienced representation to protect yourself and your future.

Free Consultation and Case Evaluation

To find out more and get a better estimate of the time that may be associated with your divorce, contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with an experienced divorce and family law attorney. This will give us a better opportunity to understand the complexity of your case, discuss the options available to you and provide you with a more accurate assessment of the time your divorce will take. Contact us at 631-923-1910 or fill out the form on this page and we’ll be happy to schedule a complimentary initial consultation appointment at a time that is convenient to you.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will evaluate your case and describe the many options available to you so we can determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, evaluate your case and answer your questions.

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Robert Hornberger and Christine Verbitsky
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
Google Review of divorce longisland
Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.

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