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Divorce Litigation Lawyers, Long Island, NY

What You Need to Know About Divorce Litigation
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Long Island, NY Divorce Attorney Answers Questions about Divorce Litigation

Long Island Divorce Attorney Divorce Litigation

When Long Island couples cannot come to an agreement or settlement through other methods of divorce, the notorious task of divorce litigation must be undertaken in a Suffolk County or Nassau County courtroom.

As an experienced divorce attorney on Long Island, NY, I know that, ideally, divorces are uncontested and settled outside of court through divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, or settlement, saving the parties time, money and stress. However, for some people involved in a divorce in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the issues involved in their divorce are more complex and staying out of court is simply not an option. Disputes in divorce typically revolve around issues of equitable distribution (property division), child custody and child support, and spousal support (alimony). When an agreement or settlement cannot be reached through other means, couples must engage in divorce litigation. In these cases, you will need a divorce attorney with vast experience preparing and litigating divorces in Nassau County and Suffolk County courtrooms.

What is Divorce Litigation on Long Island, NY?

What is Divorce Litigation?

Divorce Litigation occurs when there is significant disagreement between you and your spouse about the decisions that must be made in a divorce and it becomes apparent that these issues cannot be settled through negotiation outside of court. In this case, a divorce proceeding must be commenced in a Nassau County or Suffolk County court. In this type of proceeding, both parties to the divorce present their cases in front of a judge, and the judge decides the terms of the divorce that cannot be agreed upon.

How Do I Start a Divorce Litigation Proceeding on Long Island?

On Long Island, NY, initiating divorce litigation is relatively straightforward. The action begins when one party files and serves an action for divorce in Suffolk County or Nassau County court. The other party is given an opportunity to respond. A preliminary conference is held, during which the court may note that certain issues have been agreed upon and are therefore “resolved.” The court may also issue temporary orders about who will have temporary custody of the children, who will live at the marital residence, and whether child support or spousal maintenance should be paid while the divorce is pending. The court will also set a schedule for the Discovery process. During the discovery period, attorneys for both sides will gather evidence related to the issues in your divorce. In most cases, once all of the evidence is on the table, settlement will be encouraged once again. If settlement can still not be reached, the divorce may go to trial.

on Long Island

Divorce Trials in Suffolk County or Nassau County Court Can Be Stressful & Emotional

Undoubtedly, divorce trials in Suffolk County and Nassau County court are stressful and emotional. Attorneys on both sides will present the strongest cases possible for their clients, and this can be very difficult for both sides. Parties will have their character, motives, life choices, and abilities questioned and put at issue before the court. The trial will usually involve witness testimony, including that of family members and friends, and sometimes that of professionals such as forensic accountants, psychologists and private investigators. These witnesses are called to the stand and must honestly answer the questions that are asked of them. This can be very emotional for both the witnesses and the parties. Sometimes, the difficulty of the process leads to a settlement when a party simply does not want to deal with the court process any longer.

How Does Divorce Litigation End in Nassau County & Suffolk County, NY?

Divorce litigation comes to a conclusion once the judge has seen all of the evidence and heard all of the witness testimony. For issues of child support and spousal maintenance, the judge will consider the related factors and calculate the amount and duration of payments according to New York state law. For child custody matters, the judge will determine which outcome is in the best interests of the children, among other considerations. For matters concerning the division of marital assets, the judge will make a decision based on fairness, equity, and the principles of equitable distribution. Following the judge’s decision, a judgment of divorce is issued, and the divorce is considered finalized.

When is Divorce Litigation Necessary on Long Island?

With the help of our skilled Long Island divorce attorneys, the majority of our clients are able to reach a resolution with their spouses through mediation, collaborative divorce, or settlement. However, some clients find that it is too difficult to face their soon-to-be former spouses in mediation, or feel that the tension and difficulty only increases as time and negotiations go on. If you are in a situation where you think you and your spouse are “digging your heels in” on certain issues out of principle, or that you might even be moving further away from compromise than when your negotiations began, we will gladly discuss the pros and cons of divorce litigation in a Suffolk County or Nassau County court. It is important to consider whether you would rather have an impartial judge decide what is best for your family than continuing to work on finding common ground with your spouse. If you can say to yourself that a court proceeding could not be worse than the hostility or struggle you face in negotiations, then it might be time to consider proceeding with a divorce action.

What to Expect in Long Island Divorce Litigation

Divorce litigation has a reputation of being time consuming, stressful and expensive; however, these can often be managed with strategic planning and strong negotiations ahead of time. If you are truly unable to come to an agreement with your spouse, our experienced Long Island divorce attorneys will assist you in settling as many issues as possible, leaving all but the most contested issues in your divorce in order to minimize the impact of litigation. You should expect that, throughout the process, settlement will periodically be encouraged. Because divorce litigation can be lengthy and expensive on Long Island, it is best to seriously consider settlement opportunities. Understandably, especially with issues surrounding child custody, many feel that compromise or settlement is not an option.

Long Island Divorce Litigation Cost

Divorce Litigation on Long Island Can Be an Exercise in Patience & Endurance

Divorce litigation on Long Island is sometimes an exercise is patience and endurance. Our Family Law office will fully prepare you for the process so that you can feel informed and confident throughout the proceeding. We will also work closely with your witnesses so that everyone is prepared for the courtroom environment and process.

Many clients want to know how much it will cost and how long it will take. Unfortunately, the answer to this question can vary greatly from client to client depending upon the issues, complexity, your spouse’s direction and other attorneys involved. Our office provides free consultations, and will gladly discuss the likely costs based upon a review of your unique circumstances so that you can make an informed financial decision about whether to proceed to court.

Contact the Long Island Family & Divorce Law Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. for Help With Divorce Litigation in Suffolk County or Nassau County, Long Island

Although no one hopes to face the challenges often connected to divorce litigation, having a skilled divorce attorney thoroughly experienced in divorce litigation is key to avoiding the usual pitfalls involved and successfully navigating and overcoming many of the hurdles involved. You should feel a sense of confidence and clarity as you go through your divorce, and choosing the right attorney with the right experience can help you to achieve this state of mind. We will ensure that you are informed and prepared throughout the process, and that you feel confident you are in the good hands of skilled professionals. Contact our experienced divorce lawyers today at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free consultation.

Questions About Contested Divorce on Long Island?

To learn more about what you need to know about Contested Divorce on Long Island and how to get help to protect yourself and your future to ensure you have the freedom and resources to live a full and happy post-divorce life, visit this page: Contested Divorce Attorney Protects Your Rights & Assets


Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Litigation

What is Divorce Litigation Like on Long Island, NY?

Divorce Litigation is the term used to describe the court proceeding for divorce. It is generally an adversarial process between spouses when they cannot agree on the terms of their divorce. Litigation will usually involve communication between the attorneys for both spouses, filing of paperwork, sharing of financial and personal information, and conferences and hearings in court on the issues of the divorce. Divorce litigation means that both sides will present their cases to a judge, and that the judge will decide the fairest outcome.

When is Divorce Litigation Necessary?

When a couple can’t agree on how property will be divided, how child custody and visitation will be arranged, and whether there will be spousal support paid to one party, litigation becomes necessary in order for the court to determine the fairest way to set the terms of the divorce. Most people see divorce litigation as a last resort, only to be utilized when divorce mediation and negotiations reach a dead end and settlement cannot be reached.

How Does Divorce Litigation Begin?

The court procedure begins when one party files a Summons and Complaint in Nassau County or Suffolk County court. Copies of these papers are then served on the other party. The Complaint sets forth the party’s case for the divorce. On Long Island, it is at this point that an automatic restraining order is put into place that prevents both parties from transferring assets without court permission. The idea of this is to preserve the assets as they are so that the judge can determine how to fairly distribute them between the parties. Once the Summons and Complaint is served, the party it was served upon has the ability to file a response, known as an Answer, with the court.

What Happens During Divorce Litigation in Nassau County & Suffolk County Courts?

Once both parties have filed initial papers with the court, a process known as Discovery begins. Parties are required to make full financial disclosures with the court, and participate in depositions if necessary. There may be appraisals of the properties or businesses involved. Usually, parties will attempt settlement throughout the process in order to avoid reaching trial. Often, at least some of the issues will be resolved privately by the parties. Everyone is encouraged to participate in conferences. If not, the case will proceed to trial, during which each disputed issue will be hashed out in court.

What are the Benefits of Divorce Litigation on Long Island?

While divorce litigation has a reputation of being highly costly, time consuming, and stressful, in some cases it is still the best option. In fact, sometimes it is the only option. In some cases, spouses simply cannot come to an agreement on particular issues, especially when it comes to their children. Both might feel very strongly about child custody or visitation and this can become very difficult to agree upon. For other clients, litigation might be the best way to assert their claim to a greater share of marital property when a spouse is being obstinate or spiteful. The benefits of litigation versus other methods of reaching a divorce agreement will vary case by case.

Does Every Issue Need to be Decided before the Divorce can be Finalized?

Yes. All of the terms of your divorce must be decided before the divorce can be finalized. You must resolve issues of child custody, visitation, and support, as well as property distribution and spousal maintenance for your divorce to be final. Whether these issues are decided upon privately or in court, everything must be sorted out.

How Much does Divorce Litigation Cost on Long Island?

It is difficult to estimate how much divorce litigation can cost. It can range from a few thousand dollars to much more. The cost will depend upon the complexity of your circumstances as well as the ability of you and your spouse to agree on some of the issues. If all of the issues of your divorce are left to a judge to decide, it can become a very costly process as all the facts are discovered and set forth for the judge. Another important cost mitigating factor is to choose an attorney who is highly experienced in the field of matrimonial law. An experienced Long Island divorce attorney who focuses his practice in this area will be far more efficient than an attorney who only occasionally handles these types of cases.

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Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York
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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