QUEENS, New York. If you’re filing for divorce in Queens, New York, there are two ways to file. You can file for contested divorce or uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is also known as a “no fault” divorce. When both parties agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” they can file for uncontested divorce. Contested divorce, according to the Law Office of Charles Zolot, is a “fault based divorce.” If your marriage is broken due to cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment, imprisonment of a partner, or adultery, then sometimes individuals choose to file for a contested divorce. This kind of divorce can take longer to resolve, because the filing party will need to prove the grounds being cited for divorce. In some cases, the grounds will be easy to prove. For instance, if your partner is in jail, your case may not require a careful assembly of evidence. However, adultery, cruel treatment, or any of the other grounds may require carefully presented evidence.
Why would a person want to file for contested divorce? If you are seeking alimony or if there are disagreements about property, debt, and asset division, sometimes individuals can get a better financial outcome by filing for contested divorce. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes a contested divorce only results in a long drawn out process where no one wins.
According to the New York Post, New York courts are facing a high volume of backlog divorce cases. While uncontested cases, which are cases waiting for a judge to sign, are facing a long wait time, contested cases, which must be heard by a judge, are facing the longest wait times. This means that, for a contested divorce, couples may not only have to wait through a long protracted legal battle, but also wait for their turn for their case to be heard. Some lawyers say that contested divorce cases can take up to a year to process. Budget cuts coupled with more people filing for divorce has resulted in the backlog. Courts have shortened hours which means they can hear fewer cases. In some instances, these longer wait times mean that the more financially vulnerable party is more at risk of caving in or losing a home, money, or both. For instance, if a couple can’t decide who should get the house, one partner may stop helping with the mortgage to twist the other party’s arm. It can get nasty very quickly.
So, what can people do to avoid the wait? In many cases, individuals may be able to avoid a contested divorce altogether if they are able to work out their disagreements about finances, property, alimony, and child custody outside of court. The Law Offices of Charles Zolot are child custody lawyers in Queens, New York who can assist couples with their parenting plans to help them find a solution that works for their families and for the best interests of their children. Avoiding a contested divorce can save time, litigation fees, and the acrimony of a long drawn out fight.
However, sometimes a contested divorce is simply unavoidable. For instance, if one spouse is abusive, or is a danger to the children, individuals may choose to file for contested divorce to protect both themselves, their children, and their families. According to the Times Herald Record, many critics of the current system say it needs to be changed. The long wait times, result in costlier divorces, stalled lives, and children who aren’t allowed to move forward with their lives.