Hudson Valley Divorce Attorneys
The family law attorneys at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP provide compassionate yet strong and effective representation in New York divorce matters in Kingston, Marlboro and throughout Ulster County and the Hudson Valley. Our lawyers provide advice and assistance in both uncontested and contested divorces, including all fault and no-fault grounds.
Basic New York Divorce Requirements
In order to file for divorce in New York, at least one spouse must meet the applicable residency requirements, which is generally having at least one year of residency in New York state. The applicable ground for the divorce must also be established. Fault-based grounds recognized in New York include abandonment, adultery, confinement in prison for three or more consecutive years, cruel and inhuman treatment, or living separate and apart pursuant to a separation agreement or separation judgment or decree. New York also recognizes no-fault divorce, based on an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship that has lasted for at least six months.
Divorce actions are filed in the Supreme Court, which is New York’s trial-level court. Family Court can help with related issues such as child custody, visitation, and payment of child support or spousal support, pre or post divorce action, but the divorce action itself should be filed in the Supreme Court of the county of residency of one of the parties.
To commence a divorce action, one should prepare a Summons and Complaint or Summons with Notice and file these papers in the County Clerk’s office at the same time as applying for an index number. Arrangements to have these papers served on your spouse then have to be made. Your attorney will handle all of these matters on your behalf, so you can be assured they will completed timely and accurately.
If you are filing for a divorce on a fault ground, there will be two separate hearings, one to prove the grounds for divorce, and another to determine the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts. In a no-fault divorce, the property division and all contested matters are decided together in one hearing.
Contested and Uncontested Divorce in New York
An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to the divorce (or one spouse fails to respond or appear in court) and there are no disagreements over any financial or other divorce-related issues, such as the property division, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support. It is possible to file an uncontested divorce without the help of an attorney, but you would likely miss out on your share of the marital property, wind up with liability for debts that are not yours, or make other mistakes regarding child custody or spousal maintenance. There are nearly 40 forms that may be required in completing an uncontested divorce. You may go to all the trouble of figuring out how to complete an uncontested divorce on your own, only to find out that your spouse decides to contest the matter. We can help you through an uncontested divorce expertly and efficiently at a reasonable cost, and if the matter becomes contested, we will be well-prepared to advise and represent you through the process of a contested divorce.
A divorce is considered contested whenever one of the spouses does not want a divorce, there is disagreement over the grounds for divorce, or the spouses do not agree on the property division or other divorce-related matters, such as the payment of spousal support or the arrangement for sharing custody and parenting of the children. Contested matters are decided by a judge following a hearing in court, and you definitely want to be represented by a qualified, experienced New York divorce lawyer throughout this process to protect your rights and help ensure a satisfactory outcome in the best interests of you and your children.
Experienced and Dedicated Hudson Valley Divorce Lawyers
If you are considering filing for divorce in Ulster County, or if you have been served with divorce papers from your spouse, call Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP at our offices in Kingston (845-331-4100) or Marlboro (845-236-4411) for a confidential consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated New York divorce attorneys.