Divorce is different for every couple. Some are amicable, some are not. Some involve complicated assets and multiple properties throughout the country, others do not. Some have children and need to come up with custody arrangements and child support agreements, others involve just the couple. Whatever situation your divorce falls into, there are a couple of broad expectations that can help you increase the chances of transitioning successfully into your post-divorce life.
First, know that there is more than one way to move forward with the divorce process. You can negotiate a divorce settlement agreement together through mediation or work through the court system. Mediation can allow both parties more control over the process and is often more efficient than traditional litigation. If going through the courts, know that it can be a slow-paced process.
It is also helpful to have a basic understanding of how the law impacts the divorce. In New York, those who want a divorce go to the New York State Supreme Court in their county. There are seven grounds for divorce: irretrievable breakdown, cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, adultery, judgment of separation, or separation agreement. Irretrievable breakdown, the no-fault divorce option, is generally the most common.
Whether going to trial or working through mediation, it is a good idea to start the process knowing what you want. There are some assets that may be more important than others. Whether it is a family home or business interests, be prepared to offer another asset of similar value in exchange.
This basic outline can help you better understand what to expect as you go through the divorce process here in New York, but each step has nuances and legal requirements. An attorney can review the impact of each step along the way with you, helping to better ensure you understand how each decision could affect your future while also advocating for your interests throughout the process.