Contested Divorce

Contested divorce new yorkSimply put, where the parties cannot agree to a divorce ground or cannot agree on any of the aforementioned issues, litigation must proceed. The parties can always settle their divorce at any time during litigation. What happens during litigation?

1. The summons for divorce must be personally served on the other spouse.

2. The defendant has 20 days to appear in the action through his attorney or pro se (by himself).

3. The plaintiff can request that a matrimonial judge be assigned to the case and that a date be set for the parties and their attorneys to be directed to appear in court for a preliminary conference with the judge or his law secretary.

4. Instead of requesting a preliminary conference, either party may need immediate interim relief from the court and may file a motion(application) for this relief, such as child support, maintenance(alimony), custody. This is temporary relief also known as pendente lite (pending litigation). A judge is assigned.
The parties have to appear before the judge on a date certain and the other party has to respond in writing to the written motion.

5. When the parties appear in court either at a preliminary conference or for a motion, in the event there is no settlement, a discovery schedule will be set up. Both parties will have to provide each other with all financial documents requested. The parties may also be examined under oath, before any trial, on these financial documents and issues only.

If possible, an uncontested divorce is a more optimum solution.

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