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Divorce Attorney Consultation

As an experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney I am sharing answers to the most frequently asked questions I get about Divorce Litigation to help couples in Nassau County and Suffolk County considering this option to end their marriages.

What is Divorce Litigation Like on Long Island?

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 & Suffolk 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.

Contact an Experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney to Answer Your Questions about Divorce Litigation

If you have further questions about divorce litigation on Long Island, or if you’re wondering if divorce litigation will be necessary in your case, contact the divorce law firm of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. at 631-923-1910 to schedule your free initial 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. For more information on Contested Divorce, read What You Need to Know About Contested Divorce.


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Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer, Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better.

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