How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in NYC?
If you’re new to the divorce process, then you undoubtedly have a plethora of questions surrounding the ins and outs of matrimonial and family law in New York State. From uncertainties surrounding child custody, alimony, and the marital home, the staff at Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. have been helping clients throughout the five boroughs tackle divorce cases since 1990. As part of their commitment to assisting New Yorkers, the law firm offers free divorce and child custody consultations to perspective clients. By far, the most popular question asked is, “How long will my divorce take?”
Well, that depends. Contested actions, or those where spouses are unable to agree to the terms or stipulations of their divorce, will involve complex motion practice, litigation, forensic evaluations, and even settlement negotiation. These tend to take much longer due to the amount of work required. There is no way to predict how many times the parties will need to appear in court, how long the discovery or property appraisal process will take, or whether or not the case will be able to settle without intervention from a judge. Because of the uncertainty and temperamental nature of contested cases, it is impossible to put an accurate time frame on how long it will take for the courts to issue and sign a Judgment of Divorce.
Uncontested divorce cases are much simpler than their contested counterparts, but there are still many factors that can affect how long it will take for the divorce to be finalized. For instance, there is always the possibility that an uncontested matter can become contested once the action has been commenced due to disagreements that arise from child custody, alimony, or the division of marital assets. While an inconvenience, a well-rounded expert in matrimonial and family law will be able to tackle this roadblock head on, and help ensure that their client receives thorough representation throughout the duration of their case. An attorney will also be able to advise his or her client on whether or not they should attempt settlement negotiations, or proceed with a trial.
True uncontested divorce cases are finalized much faster than their contested counterparts, and a Judgment of Divorce can take anywhere from 2 or 3 months to 6 months or more to be signed by a judge. This estimate is so varied because it really depends on how long both parties take to sign the appropriate documents (such as an Affidavit of Defendant), and how long it takes for all documents to be compiled and filed with both the County Clerk and Matrimonial Part. In addition to the promptness (or lack thereof) of the parties causing delays in finalized divorces, courts in all five boroughs are backlogged. This means that even if all paperwork is filed and submitted in a timely manner, it can still take a few months for a judge to actually sign a Judgment of Divorce.
Many couples seeking a quick New York divorce will stumble across scams on Google from divorce centers or law firms that claim they specialize in speedy divorces. For a fee (usually starting around a few hundred dollars), these centers will promise to have a Judgment signed and issued within 30 days. New Yorkers who come across these scams, also known as a 30-day Divorces, should be very weary. As the age old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Regardless of how much a plaintiff pays an attorney, there is no way the lawyer can guarantee that their divorce will be expedited. Granted, there are certain circumstances that allow for such expedited cases, but simply wanting to separate from a spouse quickly will not qualify a party to receive special treatment under the law. Brian Perskin and his team strongly advise all New York City residents, whether they be potential clients or not, to steer clear of these kinds of offices or centers.
For more information or advice on a pending divorce or child custody matter, contact Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. for a free, in-depth consultation. With over 50 combined years of experience, the attorneys and support staff have the knowledge and expertise necessary to represent clients throughout the Greater NYC area in a variety of divorce and family law cases. Regardless of how simple or tough the pending action may be, the team of expert attorneys strive to provide the best representation to all of their clients. Call 718-875-7584 or 646-759-9735 to reserve an appointment in the centrally located Brooklyn Heights or Grand Central offices today!