Astoria Divorce Lawyer

What Is The Divorce Court Process In New York?

A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Divorce Court

What Happens at Divorce Court?

Divorce Court is where couples go to dissolve their marriage before a tribunal.  The court will distribute marital property, assign custody of children and child support payments, determine if maintenance (alimony) will be awarded, and make other decisions.  The number of issues in the case will determine how long the divorce takes.  If the parties can agree to a majority of issues, the divorce will proceed faster.  If the parties fight over numerous issues, the divorce will take more time because the Judge will need to decide these issues.  If there are a lot of assets in dispute, these are generally complex divorces that take more time to resolve.  

“If You Have Valuable Assets You Should Hire a Divorce Lawyer With Trial Experience to Protect Your Financial Interest!”

What Is The Difference Between a Contested Divorce and Uncontested Divorce?

A Contested Divorce means the parties do not agree on all issues to conclude the case, and the court is required to make a decision.  Such as, whether or not maintenance payments are required, which parent will have Residential Custody of the children, or if an asset is Marital Property that must be distributed.  A Contested Divorce will require the parties to attend hearings and ultimately a trial.

An Uncontested Divorce means the parties are able to resolve all issues with a Settlement Agreement, and the Judge will need to approve the agreement and grant the divorce. 

Can My Spouse Prevent Me From Getting a Divorce? -- Queens, Nassau, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Suffolk & Westchester

Restraining Orders Elmhurst Queens
Your Spouse Cannot Stop a No-Fault Divorce in New York.

In New York a divorce may be granted based on Irretrievable Breakdown of the marital relationship for a period of 6 months or more.  This is called no-fault divorce, and your spouse cannot stop the divorce.  There are other grounds for divorce, such as adultery, cruel and inhumane treatment, abandonment, and imprisonment for 3 years or more. 

Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Solomos & Storms, PLLC for more information about getting a divorce.

What is the Divorce Process Like? Queens, Nassau, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Suffolk & Westchester

The Divorce Process begins with the filing of a Summons and Complaint.  A process server will serve the Summons and Complaint on your spouse.  Financial disclosures will need to between the parties to reveal assets, income and liabilities.  Discovery demands will be served to further reveal the parties’ finances.  The parties will attend court conferences to discuss issues in the case.  If the case cannot be resolved through a Settlement Agreement, the Judge will decide all unresolved issues at trial.  During the divorce case, if the parties are engaging in offensive conduct, Restraining Orders may be issued. It is important not to offend the Judge during the divorce proceeding — the Judge decides your fate at trial.

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The Judge Decides Your Fate at Trial.

An Experienced Divorce Court Attorney Should Be Retained to Assist You With Your Divorce Case.

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

Divorce Lawyer Queens

The length of your divorce case depends on the complexity of issues.  If there are numerous assets that need to be distributed this will slow down the process.  Appraisals will need to be performed to determine the value Marital Property, portions of pension and retirement plans will need to be transferred through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), loans and debts will need to be apportioned between the parties, and decisions regarding spousal maintenance (alimony) will need to be ruled on by the court.

If there are children: custody, child support, and visitation decisions will need to be litigated and decided by the court.  Essentially, the more issues and the more disputes between the parties, the longer the divorce will take. 

Contact the Divorce Lawyers at Solomos & Storms, PLLC for more information.

Can I Get Child Support in a Divorce Case?

child support lawyer Rego Park, Queens
Child Support is Calculated Based on the Parents' Income.

Child support can be ordered in a Divorce Case after you Divorce Attorney files a motion for child support.  This can be made early in the case in a Pendente-Lite motion for upfront relief.  The amount of child support is based on the parents’ income.  Watch our videos on the Home Page for an explanation on how to calculate child support.

Can I Get Maintenance at the Beginning of a Divorce Case?

Elmhurst Queens Divorce Lawyers
Maintenance Payments (alimony) Can Be Awarded at the Beginning of a Divorce Case.

Maintenance payments, commonly called “alimony” in other states, can be awarded at the beginning of the Divorce Case after you attorney files a motion requesting maintenance. 

Can the Court Order My Spouse to Pay My Attorney's Fees in the Divorce Case?

Child Support Lawyer in Bayside Queens
The Court Can Order Your Spouse to Pay Your Attorney's Fees if Their is Sufficient Disparity in Your Incomes.

The Court can order your spouse to pay your attorney’s fees if there is sufficient disparity in your incomes. 

How is Property Divided in a Divorce Case?

Equitable Distribution Lawyer Whitestone, Queens
Equitable distribution is the allocation of marital property in a divorce.

Marital property is allocated in a divorce case in a process called equitable distribution.  Marital property includes real estate purchased during the marriage, savings, stocks, pension and retirement accounts, artwork, and other assets acquired during the marriage.  There are a variety of factors that courts consider when allocating property; however, in most cases marital property is split 50/50, unless there are allegations of abuse, where the court could award the abused spouse a greater share of the property. 

Can I Keep Property I Had Prior to the Marriage?

Personal Property Divorce Flushing Queens
Personal Property is Not Subject to Equitable Ditribution.

Items that you owned prior to the divorce are deemed your personal property and are considered Separate Property. They are not allocated to your spouse.   Other items considered Separate Property are: inheritances, gifts, personal injury awards, and other items. For example, a motorcycle given to you by your parents would be considered Personal Property.

What Do I Do If My Spouse is Abusing Me?

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Call 911 and Request a Restraining Order to Stop Abuse.

If your spouse is abusing you call 911.  You can also have your lawyer request a Restraining Order.

We Look Forward to Working With You

We strive to provide the highest level of legal service to our clients, and go above and beyond the call of duty.  Solomos & Storms, PLLC is a veteran owned business.  One of the founding partners of the firm, Derrick Storms, Esq., is a former United States Marine who served during the Iraq War. 

Our commitment to clients is to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible price.  We do our best to resolve your case as quickly and efficiently as possible.  

Thank you for considering our firm.


The length of a divorce in NYC depends on the number of issues in dispute.  For example, if their is a custody battle for children, a large amount of marital property that needs to be distributed, and requests for maintenance — the divorce could take more than two years to complete.  On the other hand, an uncontested divorce with no issues in dispute could be resolved in several months.