As a divorce attorney on Long Island, I know that, ideally, divorces are settled outside of court through mediation, collaborative divorce, or settlement, saving the parties time, money and stress. However, for some people involved in a on Long Island, NY divorce, staying out of court is simply not an option. Disputes in divorce typically revolve around issues in child custody and child support, and spousal support. When an agreement or settlement cannot be reached through other means, the notorious task of divorce litigation must be undertaken.
What is Divorce Litigation on Long Island, NY?
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 outside of court. In this case, a divorce proceeding can 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.
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. Parties will have their character, motives, life choices, and abilities questioned and put at issue before the court; however, it is up to the court what will be believed. They 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, Long Island?
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 a divorce proceeding 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 negative qualities 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 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.
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 and the complexity 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 Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. for Help With Divorce Litigation in Suffolk County or Nassau County
Although no one hopes to face the challenges often connected to divorce litigation, having an experienced divorce attorney from our Long Island Divorce & Family Law Office 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 experienced professionals. Contact our experienced divorce lawyers today at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free consultation.