Beckerman & Granados, PLLC

A Guide To A Contested Divorce In New York

A contested divorce in New York is a legal proceeding where the parties to the case disagree with at least one issue about their divorce. They cannot agree, so they decide to let the court decide between them. The entire process is filled with uncertainty and can last for several months. Let’s look into what the contested divorce in New York entails:


What Is a Contested Divorce?


When there are disagreements between the parties during divorce, it is said to be “contested.” This could be because they have different ideas about dividing property, child custody, and alimony. A contested divorce can occur when one spouse wants to file for divorce against another, and the other spouse disagrees.


What Are the Grounds for Divorce in New York?


Divorce is not available in every state and can be challenging to obtain. However, many couples can file for divorce in New York, where the law provides no-fault and fault-based grounds.


  1. No-Fault Grounds

To establish no-fault grounds for divorce in New York, it is necessary to provide evidence that the two had been living apart for at least a year before filing for divorce.

This means that during this period, each party lives separately without cohabitation as husband and wife. There is no requirement that either party proves cruelty or any other form of fault to obtain a no-fault divorce in New York.


  1. Fault Grounds

In New York, you can seek a divorce on grounds of adultery, abandonment, cruelty, confinement in prison or mental hospital, confinement to an institution for the mentally ill, drug addiction and alcoholism, desertion for at least one year, imprisonment for at least three years, gross and confirmed habits of intoxication from alcoholic beverages or drugs which render the spouse unfit to perform marital duties; extreme cruelty as evidenced by physical violence of a repeated nature; imprisonment in a penal institution during marriage; sexual relations between parties who are not married to each other that results in pregnancy and childbirth; separation for at least one year if such separation is voluntary and not due to collusion between the parties; failure to support spouse under the standard law duty of support and maintenance; imprisonment for at least two years after being sentenced for an offense committed against the person or property of another; habitual drunkenness or drug use rendering spouse unfit to perform marital duties for at least three years before filing for divorce.


How Long Does It Take to Finalize a Divorce in New York?


You can obtain a divorce in New York for any cause, including infidelity and abandonment. You’ll need to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and serve your spouse with a copy of the petition.  After that, your souse has 30 days to file a petition or provide an answer.

After receiving the papers from both parties, the court will set a date for the parties to appear before the judge, who will then decide on the first custody and support arrangements.

The days it takes to complete a divorce depend on several things, including whether you share custody of children or possess a property that needs to be divided. It’s challenging to estimate how long your case will take because so many variables are at play.




It can be confusing if you have been served with a petition for divorce or matrimonial litigation. Many people throughout the state of New York are in this position. Beckerman & Granados offers our clients an affordable and trustworthy legal solution. We want you to know that you don’t have to undergo a contested divorce without professional help.