The Law Firm That New Yorkers Trust

Home » Blog » Divorce » How Long Does a Divorce Take if One Party Doesn’t Agree?

How Long Does a Divorce Take if One Party Doesn’t Agree?

Divorce can be a lengthy and emotionally draining process, especially when both parties are not on the same page. How long does it take to finalize a divorce if one party is resistant to the idea of ending the marriage? In a divorce where both parties are not in sync, the duration can vary significantly based on individual circumstances and legal proceedings. The process can be arduous, requiring patience and legal expertise to ensure a fair resolution. Let’s delve deeper into the factors that influence the timeline of divorce when one party doesn’t agree, shedding light on what to expect in such a challenging situation.

How Long Does a Divorce Take if One Party Doesn't Agree?

New York Divorce Laws

In New York, the process of obtaining a divorce is governed by specific laws and regulations designed to ensure fairness and justice for both parties. Understanding these laws is crucial, especially if one party does not agree to the divorce. Here are some key aspects of New York divorce laws:

Grounds for Divorce

New York recognizes both “no-fault” and “fault” grounds for divorce. The most common no-fault ground is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months. Fault grounds include adultery, cruelty, abandonment, imprisonment, and living apart pursuant to a separation agreement for at least one year.

Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in New York, certain residency requirements must be met. Generally, one of the following conditions must apply:

  • Either party has lived in New York for at least two years prior to filing.
  • The parties were married in New York and either party has lived in the state for at least one year.
  • The parties have lived in New York as a married couple and either party has lived in the state for at least one year.
  • The grounds for divorce occurred in New York, and either party has lived in the state for at least one year.

Equitable Distribution

New York follows the principle of equitable distribution for dividing marital property. This means that assets and debts acquired during the marriage are divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. The court considers factors such as the length of the marriage, the income and property of each spouse, and each party’s contributions to the marriage.

Spousal Support (Alimony)

The court may award spousal support to one party based on factors including the length of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and the earning capacity of each party. Temporary maintenance may also be awarded during the divorce proceedings.

Child Custody and Support

In cases involving children, the court prioritizes the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. This includes considering each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs. Child support is calculated based on the parents’ incomes and the number of children, following the guidelines established by New York law.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

A divorce can be contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all terms, including property division, spousal support, and child custody. In a contested divorce, disagreements on these issues require court intervention and can significantly lengthen the divorce process.

Legal Separation

Before filing for divorce, some couples may choose legal separation, which involves a legally binding agreement outlining the terms of separation, including property division, spousal support, and child custody. This can later be converted into a divorce after one year.

Understanding these fundamental aspects of New York divorce laws can help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process, especially if one party does not agree to the divorce. At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, our experienced attorneys are here to provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.

How Long Does a Divorce Take If One Party Doesn’t Agree?

When one party does not agree to the terms of a divorce in New York, the process can become significantly more complex and time-consuming. Several factors influence the timeline of a contested divorce, and understanding these can help you prepare for what lies ahead. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Initial Filing and Service of Papers: The divorce process begins when one party (the plaintiff) files a summons and complaint with the court and serves these documents to the other party (the defendant). If the defendant is uncooperative or difficult to locate, serving the papers can delay the process.
  2. Response Time: Once served, the defendant has 20 days to respond if served within New York State or 30 days if served outside of New York State. If the defendant fails to respond within the allotted time, the plaintiff may seek a default judgment, but this still requires court approval and can add to the timeline.
  3. Discovery Phase: In a contested divorce, both parties must exchange financial information and other relevant documents through a process called discovery. This phase can be lengthy, especially if one party is uncooperative or disputes arise regarding the disclosure of assets and liabilities.
  4. Temporary Orders: Either party can request temporary orders for issues such as spousal support, child custody, and child support while the divorce is pending. Hearings for these temporary orders can add time to the overall process, as the court schedules and hears these motions.
  5. Negotiations and Mediation: Efforts to reach a settlement through negotiations or mediation can also extend the timeline. While mediation can be a more efficient and less adversarial way to resolve disputes, it still requires both parties’ willingness to compromise.
  6. Court Hearings and Trial: If negotiations fail and the parties cannot agree on key issues, the case will go to trial. The court’s schedule, the complexity of the issues, and the availability of witnesses and experts can all affect how long it takes to reach a final judgment. Trials can last several days or even weeks, and the judge may take additional time to issue a ruling.
  7. Appeals: After the trial, either party may appeal the court’s decision, which can add months or even years to the final resolution of the divorce.
  8. Enforcement of Orders: Once the court issues a final divorce decree, additional time may be required to enforce the orders related to property division, spousal support, and child custody. Compliance with these orders can further impact the timeline if disputes arise.
  9. Complexity of Issues: The complexity of the divorce issues, including the division of high-value assets, business interests, and disputes over child custody, can significantly influence the duration of the divorce process. More complex cases generally take longer to resolve.
  10. Cooperation Between Parties: The level of cooperation between the parties is a critical factor. The more contentious the relationship, the longer the process is likely to take. Conversely, if both parties are willing to negotiate and settle disputes amicably, the timeline can be shortened.

In general, a contested divorce in New York can take anywhere from several months to a few years, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, our experienced divorce attorneys are committed to guiding you through this challenging process, advocating for your rights, and striving for a resolution that serves your best interests as efficiently as possible.

Reasons The Other Party Might Not Agree Or Settle in a Divorce

In a divorce proceeding, reaching a settlement can often be challenging, especially if one party is resistant to agreement. Understanding the reasons behind the other party’s reluctance to settle can provide clarity and guide your approach moving forward. Here are some common reasons why the other party might not agree or settle in a divorce:

  • Emotional Factors: Divorce is an emotionally charged process, and feelings of anger, resentment, or betrayal can hinder the ability to negotiate or compromise effectively. Emotions may cloud judgment and make it difficult to focus on practical solutions.
  • Financial Concerns: Disagreements over financial matters, including the division of assets, property, debts, and spousal support, are significant reasons why parties may not settle. Each party’s financial situation and goals for the future can impact their willingness to agree on financial terms.
  • Child Custody and Parenting Issues: Disputes over child custody, visitation schedules, and parenting responsibilities can escalate tensions and prevent parties from reaching a custody agreement. Both parents may have strong opinions about what they believe is in the best interests of the child.
  • Strategic or Tactical Reasons: In some cases, one party may refuse to settle as a strategic or tactical decision to gain leverage in negotiations or litigation. They may believe that delaying settlement or prolonging the process will result in a more favorable outcome.
  • Lack of Trust: Trust issues between the parties, whether stemming from the breakdown of the marriage or prior disputes, can impede settlement efforts. A lack of trust may lead to suspicion about the other party’s motives or concerns about fairness in the settlement agreement.
  • Legal Advice or Counsel: Advice from legal counsel can influence a party’s decision-making process during divorce negotiations. If a party’s attorney advises against a proposed settlement or encourages litigation, it can prolong the settlement discussions.
  • Personal Beliefs or Principles: Personal beliefs, values, or principles may influence a party’s stance on certain divorce issues. For example, beliefs about marriage, family, or the significance of specific assets may shape their position and willingness to compromise.
  • Misinformation or Miscommunication: Misunderstandings, misinformation, or miscommunication between the parties or their attorneys can hinder settlement discussions. Clarifying facts, addressing misconceptions, and improving communication channels may be necessary to move forward.
  • Desire for Vindication or Retribution: In contentious divorces, one party may seek vindication or retribution against the other, leading to a reluctance to settle. They may prioritize emotional satisfaction or a sense of justice over reaching a practical resolution.
  • Lack of Awareness or Understanding: Sometimes, one party may not fully understand their legal rights, obligations, or the potential consequences of not settling. Education about the divorce process and the likely outcomes can facilitate informed decision-making.

Navigating these reasons and addressing the underlying concerns can be pivotal in moving towards a resolution in a divorce. At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, our experienced divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your options, advocate for your interests, and strive for a fair and favorable settlement.

How To Speed Up an Unwanted Divorce

Speeding up an unwanted divorce can be challenging but there are steps that can potentially streamline the process. Here are several strategies that could help:

  1. Establishing clear communication with your spouse about the desire to expedite the divorce can set a constructive tone. Clearly convey your intentions and willingness to cooperate in order to facilitate a faster resolution.
  2. Opting for mediation can often expedite the divorce process compared to litigation. Mediation encourages open dialogue and allows both parties to work together with a neutral mediator to reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
  3. Identify the most critical issues that need to be resolved for the divorce to proceed. Prioritizing these issues can help focus negotiations and avoid unnecessary delays.
  4. Organize all necessary documentation and information related to assets, debts, income, and expenses. Being prepared for discussions and legal proceedings can prevent delays caused by missing or incomplete information.
  5. If certain issues such as temporary child custody, support, or use of marital assets are causing delays, consider negotiating temporary agreements. This can provide stability while more complex issues are resolved.
  6. Remain flexible and open to compromise on less critical issues. This can help maintain momentum in negotiations and avoid prolonged disputes over minor details.
  7. Work closely with your divorce attorney to develop a strategy for expediting the process. Follow their advice on legal matters and provide prompt responses to requests for information or documents.
  8. Litigation can significantly prolong a divorce. If possible, try to resolve disputes through negotiation or mediation rather than relying on court hearings and trials.
  9. Respond promptly to communications and requests from your attorney, the court, or your spouse’s legal representative. Delays in communication can inadvertently prolong the divorce process.
  10. In some cases, seeking court intervention to enforce deadlines or expedite certain aspects of the divorce proceedings may be necessary. Your attorney can advise on the appropriate steps to take.

Navigating an unwanted divorce can be emotionally challenging, but taking proactive steps to streamline the process can help minimize stress and achieve a quicker resolution.

How an NYC Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Navigating the complexities of divorce in New York City can be daunting, especially when faced with emotional turmoil and legal intricacies. At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, our experienced NYC divorce lawyers are committed to providing compassionate support and strategic advocacy to guide you through this challenging time. Here’s how our firm can help you:

Legal Guidance

Our divorce lawyers have in-depth knowledge of New York divorce laws and procedures. We will explain your rights, options, and the legal implications of decisions you make throughout the divorce process.

Strategic Planning

We develop personalized strategies tailored to your unique circumstances and goals. Whether negotiating a settlement or representing you in court, we aim to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Mediation and Negotiation

We advocate for amicable resolutions through mediation and negotiation whenever possible. This approach can often expedite the divorce process and reduce conflict, saving you time, money, and emotional distress.

Protection of Your Rights

We fiercely protect your legal rights regarding child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts. Our goal is to secure a fair and equitable settlement that safeguards your future.

Handling Complex Issues

If your divorce involves complex issues such as high-value assets, business interests, or disputes over custody, we have the expertise to navigate these challenges effectively.

Court Representation

In cases where litigation is necessary, our skilled litigators provide strong courtroom representation. We prepare thoroughly for hearings and trials to present compelling arguments and advocate for your interests before the judge.

Emotional Support

We understand the emotional toll of divorce and provide compassionate support throughout the process. Our team listens to your concerns, offers guidance, and helps you make informed decisions with clarity and confidence.

Post-Divorce Matters

Our services extend beyond divorce proceedings. We assist with post-divorce modifications, enforcement of court orders, and any legal issues that may arise after your divorce is finalized.

Efficient Case Management

We prioritize efficiency in case management to minimize delays and achieve timely resolutions. Our proactive approach ensures that deadlines are met, documents are prepared accurately, and communications are handled promptly.

Client-Centered Approach

At Cedeño Law Group, PLLC, you are more than just a case number. We provide personalized attention and strive to build trusting relationships with our clients based on integrity, respect, and commitment.

If you are facing divorce in New York City and seeking reliable legal representation, contact us today. Our dedicated team is here to support you every step of the way, from initial consultation to the resolution of your divorce, with compassion, skill, and dedication.

Settle Your Divorce With Cedeño Law Group, PLLC

When it comes to settling your divorce, you can trust Cedeño Law Group, PLLC to provide the expert legal guidance and support you need. Our experienced NYC divorce lawyers are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of divorce with compassion and strategic advocacy.

With our in-depth knowledge of New York divorce laws and procedures, we can guide you through every step of the process, whether your divorce is amicable or contested. If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and advocate for a fair resolution. Contact Cedeño Law Group, PLLC today to schedule a consultation and begin the journey towards a brighter future.




Recent Posts

How Can We Help?

Get started with an initial case evaluation.

Fields marked with an * are required

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

© 2024 Cedeño Law Group, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.

Attorney Advertising | Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.