Q & A

A Trusted Resource For Our Clients

Listed below are some of the common questions that arise during the initial consultation in our Garden City law office.

How long is the divorce process?

Simply put, each case is different. If the parties agree, that cooperation and understanding will move things along faster. Prenuptial agreements help facilitate a more expedited process. However, disputes over property, financial support and parenting time can draw out a divorce, especially if it goes to trial.

What constitutes a legal separation?

It goes beyond just living apart. A legal separation is only enforceable if a written agreement has been filed by the court. The agreement must also be in acceptable format. During the separation, either spouse may be covered on the other’s health insurance.

Can I file for divorce without being legally separated?

Yes. There is no requirement for a legal separation prior to filing for divorce in New York. However, a legal separation is still a ground for divorce.

What if I can't locate my spouse that I want to divorce?

You must conduct a search as New York generally requires personal service of divorce papers. Divorce by publication is an option with the permission of the court. Your due diligence is paramount. I have assisted many clients in obtaining a divorce by publication.

Is an annulment an option?

Yes, if you prove fraud that is substantial.

Does New York have common law marriage?

No. Even if an unmarried couple is together for a long time and has children, there is no common law marriage in New York State. The parties may proceed to Family Court on certain issues such as custody and child support.

Are mothers automatically granted custody of children?

No. Custody determinations are based on the best interests of the children which can include many factors. For married or unmarried couples, the standard is gender neutral and does not favor either parent.