Beckerman & Granados, PLLC
Divorce can be a long process, but there are instances when the procedure might need to be accelerated. Is it feasible to get a divorce in New York quickly, and if so, how can you make sure your case is resolved quickly?
Several factors influence how long a divorce takes in New York. Is your matter being contested or not? Are you and your partner capable of drafting, signing, and submitting papers on time? Do you have kids? Do you need to divide the family’s assets? Have you each hired a different attorney? These are all questions to consider when trying to determine how long your divorce may take.
After all paperwork has been properly signed and submitted, an uncontested divorce without children or property can take as short as 3 months to as long as over a year to be finalized by the Court. It all depends on whether the Court has the resources available to process the amount of divorce filings before them. Once final papers are submitted to the Court, barring extreme circumstances such as imminent death, there is almost nothing a lawyer can do to speed up the Court in processing the paperwork. The timeline for an uncontested divorce looks something like the following: First, the divorce papers must be filed. These papers include a summons with notice and four other notices. This typically takes around a week to complete. Second, the divorce papers must be served once the papers are filed with the Court and an index number is given. After being served, there is a mandatory waiting period in New York of 30 days from the time the divorce papers are served (Courts will tell you to wait 40 days typically). The next step is completing and filing the paperwork for a final judgement of divorce. This can take several weeks or months, depending on how quickly the necessary paperwork is completed, signed by the parties, and filed with the court. The timeline may vary depending on specific circumstances of the case. The procedure usually takes much longer for pro se plaintiffs, meaning those who did not retain legal counsel. People who are not acquainted with the legal system (or the divorce process in general) frequently make mistakes on their paperwork and submit the wrong documents. Always consult a professional, such as an attorney, if you’re uncertain! Remember, even if done perfectly, the Party remains at the mercy of the Court in how long it takes them to process the paperwork. Be patient!
Divorce cases that are contested are completely different from divorce cases that are uncontested. Parties will differ in contested actions regarding child custody, spousal support, equitable distribution, or child support. Before a trial can start, these cases require lengthy disclosure processes, months of negotiations, depositions, and motion practice. Contested divorces take a long time because of their intricacy. Highly controversial cases frequently drag on for a number of years. The timeline for a contested divorce involves filing the divorce papers, the opposing party being given a certain amount of time to respond to the divorce papers after they are served, discovery, negotiations and settlement discussions, preliminary conferences, compliance conferences, pretrial proceedings, a trial if the case cannot be resolved through negotiations, and the final judgement of divorce. Contested divorces can take many months or even many years to resolve, as the timeline depends on the complexity of the issues involved and the willingness of the parties to cooperate with each other. As we always say, it takes two to tango!
Each year, thousands of divorce cases are submitted in Long Island and New York City. Even uncontested cases in most counties take about six months to be resolved because of the judicial system’s backlog and overload.
It’s not simple, common, or easy to expedite a matrimonial action in New York, but it is feasible. In order for this privilege to be granted, the parties must have a good and convincing reason why their divorce should take precedence over others. There are numerous causes for expediting a divorce, but a few of the most frequent ones are as follows:
Remember that these instances listed above are highly fact-specific and will differ from case to case. A motion must be filed requesting that your divorce be expedited, and it must provide the reason for the request. Motion drafting, filing, and litigation in matrimonial disputes are difficult tasks and costly. It calls for knowledge and skill that can only be found in an experienced divorce attorney. You must retain legal counsel if you intend to seriously request an expedited divorce from the court.
According to the proverbial adage, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. A fast, 30-day divorce is promised by hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses that rely on the weak. These services have a bevy of fees and frequently hire employees who are not properly qualified to complete paperwork on behalf of their clients. They also frequently file in upstate Counties that sometimes prevent the paperwork from going through and those parties will have to start all over making things take even longer had they simply filed locally.
There is a very particular procedure for accelerating a divorce case, and above discusses only the tip of the iceberg. Companies and facilities that advertise quick divorces frequently fall short of their commitments. They are subject to the same laws, judicial rules, and procedural requirements as attorneys. Make sure you ask the right questions before committing.