Legal Grounds for Divorce in Queens NY

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

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In New York, there are two ways a divorce can be filed: Uncontested or Contested. When determining which type of case you would like to proceed with filing or if your spouse has already filed one way or the other, our divorce lawyers in Queens can help you understand what your best options are and will see you through the case so the results will be favorable for you and your family.

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Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce, also known as a “no fault” divorce is the simplest and fasted way to dissolve a marriage in New York. This type of divorce may be sought when parties agree that marriage has “broken down irretrievably” for a period of at least six months and neither spouse contests the decision to file.

If parties agree to file for uncontested divorce, the first step is submitting the divorce petition for court approval, which our attorneys can help you with. New York divorce lawyer Charles Zolot will help you file your documents if you haven’t already done so, which are relatively simple if you and your spouse have already come to a mutual agreement prior to filing. However, even if your spouse filed for divorce without prior discussion or because of a specific fault, the law also allows for an uncontested divorce to be granted if you waive your right to answer to your spouse’s complaint. If you waive your right to answer to the complaint, then you are neither admitting nor denying your spouse’s allegations and it will then be up to your spouse to prove the allegations in court.

Contested Divorce

The other method parties may chose to follow when filing for dissolution of marriage is to file for a contested divorce. A contested divorce, also known as a “fault-based” divorce, involves parties requesting for dissolution based on specific factors. This type of divorce can take much longer to resolve than an uncontested case, but our Queens divorce attorneys will help you every step of the way to ensure a smooth and prompt resolution that is in your family’s best interest.

The following are the legal grounds for filing a fault-based divorce in New York:

  • Cruel and Inhuman Treatment: Includes physical, verbal or emotional abuse that threatens a party’s physical or mental well-being to the point that it renders the marriage or living arrangements “unsafe or improper.”
  • Abandonment: May be cited if your spouse abandoned you for one or more years. You must provide evidence that your spouse either physically moved from your home or locked you out of the home. This is also a ground for divorce if your spouse has refused to engage in sexual relations with you for at least one year. This is known as “constructive abandonment.”
  • Imprisonment: May be cited if your spouse was imprisoned for a period of three years or longer.
  • Adultery: If your ground for filing for divorce is the fact that your spouse was unfaithful, you must be able to show sufficient evidence that adultery was committed during the marriage.

A contested divorce may take several months or even years to resolve if parties are unable to provide sufficient evidence to justify their decision to file for dissolution of marriage. The Law Office of Charles Zolot in Queens is here to help you determine whether you have a viable case and which is your best option for filing a fault-based divorce in New York. We will help you gather information, review your evidence and advise you on the best course of action to take that will result in the most favorable outcome for your case. If you are unsure as to which approach to take for your divorce case, contact our family law firm before filing any paperwork so we can help you determine the best method for your particular situation.


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