Divorces, which have become more common on Long Island, are rarely simple and can be very complicated. The idea of an Uncontested Divorce may have crossed your mind, and you may be wondering what exactly it is, and if your situation would fall neatly into this category.
Uncontested divorces are a special breed, and while the following will attempt to explain what must be done to qualify, the category is narrow.
Contested Divorce Is Common on Long Island, NY
Many American couples are faced with a divorce go through a Contested Divorce. In this instance, either only one partner wants the divorce, or both want the divorce but cannot agree on the major issues such as child support and custody, division of property, or finances. In these cases, both partners require their own divorce attorneys who will attempt to assist the couple in reaching a mutual agreement, and if that cannot be done, the couple will need to resort to the court system.
Contested = Nassau County or Suffolk County Court
Because a contested divorce tends to end in the court system, it has the tendency to be lengthy, and at times expensive. These negative factors may push couples toward agreement simply because they do not want to go court, and if they agree, they will be able to partake in an uncontested divorce, and simply sign the agreement and be done with it.
Major Life Decisions Have Long-Lasting Implications
However, we advise you not to not rush into any major life decisions to save time or money in the short term; the decisions you make in this divorce are binding and will affect the rest of your life, and the life of your children. While it may seem like instant gratification to simply agree to something to avoid the process, you may wind up wishing you had thought about it more carefully three years down the road.
Advantages of Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce on the other hand, is available to those couples that find that while they may love each other, they just simply do not get along and cannot live together as a couple. In an uncontested divorce, the couple must agree upon why they are seeking a divorce, child custody and support, and the division of property. Generally, because both parties agree as to why they are divorcing, the ground for divorce is simply irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, which was added to New York’s Domestic Relations statute in 2010.
Equitable Distribution of Property in Your Divorce
You and your partner will have to agree on how your marital property will be divided. If you cannot reach an agreement and your case goes to court, property division in New York is governed by the Law of Equitable Distribution. While you may believe that this guarantees you an equal share of any marital property (any property acquired during the marriage unless by gift, inheritance, the compensation or in exchange for otherwise separate property) that is an incorrect assumption. Equal is not the same as Equitable. Rather, equitable distribution requires a fair distribution of the property, taking into consideration the specific facts and circumstances of both you and your partner.
Child Support and Custody Issues
An uncontested divorce is only possible if all issues regarding child custody and support are mutually agreed upon. This may be one of the most difficult topics for any couple facing a divorce, and needs to be discussed both thoroughly and thoughtfully with your partner.
Uncontested Divorce Doesn’t Work for You? Don’t Panic
If you or your partner desire an uncontested divorce but after further consideration and a brief reading of this article you realize that this may not be practical for your and your spouse, do not panic. Lack of agreement between you and your partner may require a contested divorce, which is naturally a more challenging experience, but does not have to be more emotionally charged than it already is.
Divorce is Only As Complicated as You and Your Partner Make It
A divorce is only as complicated as the relationship between the parties. You are in the best position to know how emotionally or financially difficult your divorce will be for you and your partner. While you may have anger toward your spouse and find yourself demanding things in the agreement out of spite, stop thinking about your spouse and start thinking about yourself. You and your children are the most important parties involved, and throughout what may be one of the most difficult times of your life, it is important not to lose sight of what truly matters.
Need Help with Your Contested or Uncontested Divorce?
The experienced Long Island divorce attorneys and divorce mediators at Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. are thoroughly familiar with all the options available to you for both Contested and Uncontested Divorces. From traditional litigation in Nassau County or Suffolk County court, to Divorce Mediation in our calm and comfortable offices in Melville, NY, to all other aspects of conflict resolution related to divorce, we have the successful track record to ensure your divorce is as economical and low-stress as possible. To learn more about the options available to you for your contested or uncontested divorce, give us a call at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. You’ll be glad you did.