The Process of Divorce: Here’s How It Works

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Divorce can be a painful, time-consuming, and complicated process. Worse, the steps can be confusing. Who should you approach? Who should serve the divorce papers to your ex-spouse? When can you file a divorce in New York?

Here’s How Divorce Works

If you are living in New York and want to file for divorce, then these are the steps you will go through:

1. File a Petition

The first step is to file for a petition to dissolve your marriage to the court. New York, like the other states, implements a no-fault divorce. It means you don’t need to have grounds for ending the marriage.

To proceed, though, you should meet the statutory requirements. For instance, the marriage ceremony should have occurred in the state. One of you must be a resident of New York at least a year before you file for divorce.

What if you didn’t live in New York during your marriage, or the ceremony didn’t happen there? One of you should be a resident of the state for at least two years before filing the divorce papers.

2. Request for Temporary Orders

Along with your petition for divorce, you can request the court to grant you temporary orders. These can refer to the custody of the children and alimony.

Sometimes called spousal support or spousal maintenance, it is an amount your ex-spouse should provide you over a specified period. This is termed temporary since it ends as soon as the divorce is final.

After the divorce, the court can grant “permanent” alimony. Note, though. This is often a misnomer. In some cases, it lasts only for a few years, not the remaining life of the ex-spouse. It all depends on how the state calculates your spousal support and other considered factors.


3. Serve the Papers

This is the time when you need to inform your ex-spouse about filing for divorce. Some ex-spouses are cooperative, and that makes the process smooth and fast. Some are not. In this case, you can hire a process server in Brooklyn, NY.

A process server is an individual or company that are experts in delivering legal documents like divorce papers. They can work even after-hours, and they have the tools to find the responding party. These are helpful if your former partner is evasive.

Once they have served the papers, you will then give the court a copy of the proof of service to get the case rolling.

4. Let the Divorce Take Its Course

The responding party has the option to agree or dispute the divorce, especially if it’s a fault divorce (or you mentioned grounds for the divorce). You and your ex-spouse can also peacefully negotiate the settlement. These include custody and division of assets.

If the negotiations fail, you might have to proceed to a trial. It only further delays the divorce and drains your coffers. For this reason, it’s always best to go through a divorce with lawyers, who can settle on your behalf.

Divorce will be one of the stressful times in your lives. You can make it more bearable by getting the professional help you need in every stage of the process.

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