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What Court Handles Divorce in New York

The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. understand What court handles Divorce in New York, and That’s why we’re here to provide you with legal representation. Our team of experienced lawyers advocates for your rights, ensures justice prevails, and delivers results that matter. From family law and personal injury to criminal defence, we cover a broad spectrum of legal areas, ensuring that you have a reliable ally whatever challenge you face.

Differences between the Supreme Court and the Family:

The Supreme Court or the Family Court handles divorce cases in New York. The Supreme Court is the state’s trial court of general jurisdiction and has authority over all civil cases, including divorce. On the other hand, the Family Court is the experienced court that hears cases involving family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and child support.

There are several key differences between the Supreme Court and the Family Court that you should be aware of if you are going through a divorce in New York:

  1. The Supreme Court generally has a higher filing fee than the Family Court.
  2. Supreme Court cases are generally more formal than Family Court cases. It means that there are more rules and procedures to follow in the Supreme Court, and the judge may be less likely to be flexible.
  3. Supreme Court cases can take longer to resolve compared to Family Court cases.

In general, filing for divorce in the Family Court is advisable. Family Court offers enhanced accessibility and user-friendliness, with judges typically more familiar with family law matters. However, if your divorce is contested or involves complex financial issues, you may need to file for divorce in the Supreme Court.

Once you have decided which court to file in, you must file a divorce petition. The petition will outline the grounds for your divorce and your requests for relief, such as child custody, child support, and alimony. You will also need to serve the petition on your spouse.

After serving the petition, your spouse will have an opportunity to respond. If your spouse does not answer, you may be able to obtain a default judgment. A default judgment occurs when a party who fails to respond to a lawsuit has a judgment entered against them.

If your spouse does respond, the case will proceed to trial. At the problem, the judge will hear evidence from both parties and decide on the issues in dispute.

The divorce process can be long and complicated, but it is essential to remember that you have rights. By understanding the court system and your options, you can make the process as smooth as possible.

The New York Family Court Act governs the legal landscape of divorce in New York. The Act provides for two main types of divorce: no-fault and fault-based.

No-Fault Divorce:

No-fault divorce is the most common type of divorce in New York. It is granted based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, indicating that the marriage is over and there is no hope of reconciliation. You must have been married for at least six months to obtain a no-fault divorce in New York. You must also file a petition for divorce with the court and serve it on your spouse. After filing the petition, your spouse has 20 days to respond.

You might be able to win a default judgment if your spouse does not reply to the petition. A default judgment is when a party that didn’t respond to a lawsuit has a decision made against them. If your spouse responds, the case will go to trial. After hearing both parties’ testimonies about the problem, the court will determine whether to grant the divorce.

Fault-Based Divorce:

Fault-based divorce is a divorce that is granted based on the fault of one or both spouses. The grounds for fault-based divorce in New York include the following:

  • Adultery
  • Inhuman treatment
  • Abandonment
  • Imprisonment for three or more consecutive years
  • Living apart for one year after a decree or judgment of separation
  • Living apart for one year after a written agreement of separation

To obtain a fault-based divorce in New York, you must prove the ground for divorce by clear and convincing evidence. The evidence must be so strong that it leaves no doubt in the judge’s mind. Fault-based divorce is less common than no-fault divorce in New York, as it is more difficult to prove the grounds for a fault-based divorce and can lead to a more cruel divorce process.

Residency Requirements:

To file for dissolution in New York, you must have been a state resident for at least six months and lived in New York for at least six months before filing for divorce. If you are not a resident of New York, you may still be able to file for divorce in New York if your spouse is a state resident. However, you must meet specific requirements, such as having been married in New York or having lived in New York for at least one year. Consult with an attorney to determine your qualifications.

What court handles divorces in New York?

The New York Supreme Court hears divorce proceedings in New York State. Due to its universal jurisdiction, it has authority over all civil cases, including divorce, child custody, and child support.

  • The Family Court Division hears family law disputes, including divorce, child custody, and child support cases.
  • The Commercial Division hears complex commercial disputes.
  • The Appellate Division hears appeals from lower courts, including the Family Court Division and the Commercial Division.

To file for divorce in New York, submit your petition to the Supreme Court in the county where you or your spouse currently resides. For instance, if you live in New York City, file your petition with the Supreme Court in New York County. All 62 New York State counties can file for divorce before the Supreme Court. However, national laws might require different petitions for child custody and maintenance in various counties. Consult an attorney to determine country-specific requirements.

The Role of the Supreme Court in Divorce Cases:

In New York State, the Supreme Court plays a crucial role in divorce proceedings. It hears issues involving alimony, child support, and child custody and can award divorces. The Supreme Court ensures fair handling of all divorce cases equitably, protecting the rights of both spouses and children. The Supreme Court is committed to providing a fair and equitable process for all divorce cases. Remember that you have rights and seek help from the court when needed.

Which Type of Divorce is Right for You?

The type of divorce for you will depend on your specific circumstances. If you and your spouse can agree on all the divorce terms, an uncontested divorce may be your better option. It will be faster and less expensive than a contested divorce, and it will be less stressful.

However, a contested divorce may be the only option if you and your spouse cannot agree on one or more divorce terms. It will be more time-consuming and expensive, but it will protect your rights.

It is imperative to speak with a lawyer if you are thinking of divorcing to examine your case and choose which sort of divorce is better for you.

The Procedure for Initiating a Divorce in New York Supreme Court:

The procedure for initiating a divorce in the New York Supreme Court includes the following steps:

  1. Meet the residency requirements: You must have lived in New York for at least six months before you can file for divorce there.
  2. Choose the appropriate court: You must file your petition for divorce in the Supreme Court in the county where you or your spouse currently resides.
  3. File the divorce petition: The divorce petition is the first document you must file with the court. It must include the following information:
  • The names of the spouses
  • The date of the marriage
  • The date of separation
  • The names of any children
  • The grounds for divorce
  • The relief that you are seeking (e.g., division of assets, child custody, child support)
  1. Entry of judgment: Once the judge has decided on the terms of your divorce, the court will enter a review of the divorce. It is the final document that you will need to finalise your divorce.

Required Forms, Fees, and Documentation:

The following forms are required to file for divorce in the New York Supreme Court:

  • Petition for Divorce (Form UD-1)
  • Verified Complaint (Form UD-2)
  • Notice of Automatic Orders (Form UD-3)
  • Information Concerning Continuation of Health Care Coverage (Form UD-4)

In addition to the required forms and fees, you may also need to provide the court with the following documentation:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Separation agreement (if applicable)
  • Child support worksheets
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of assets and liabilities

Serving the Spouse with Divorce Papers:

You must serve your spouse with the divorce petition after filing it. You must deliver a copy of the petition to your partner and send it to them via certified mail. If you serve the petition by certified mail, you must also have a return receipt signed by your spouse. It will prove that your spouse has received the petition.

It is essential to serve the petition on your spouse correctly. If you do not help the petition accurately, your spouse may be able to challenge the divorce.

Property Use: 

The court may issue temporary orders to specify which spouse will reside in the marital residence and assign responsibility for the mortgage and other payment obligations.

The purpose of these orders is to remain in effect only until the finalisation of the divorce. After the divorce, the court will decide on all issues addressed in the temporary orders.

The court is responsible for ensuring that temporary orders are fair and stabilise both parties and children involved. When deciding temporary orders, the court considers all parties’ needs and financial resources.

If you are going through a divorce, it is essential to consult with an attorney about whether you should seek temporary orders. If necessary, a lawyer from The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. can represent you in court while assisting you in understanding your options and rights.

Court hearings are a critical part of the divorce process. They allow the court to hear evidence and decide on disputed issues, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support.

The court hearing process can vary depending on the specific court and issues involved, but there are some general expectations:

  1. You must file a motion with the court outlining the specific relief you seek.
  2. The opposing party will be able to respond to your motion.
  3. You must present evidence supporting your claims at the hearing, including testimony from witnesses, documents, and reports. The opposing party will also present evidence.
  4. The court will decide based on the evidence presented at the hearing.

In a court hearing, each party’s role is to present their case, including evidence, arguments, and responses to the judge’s questions. Adequate preparation, organised evidence, and readiness are crucial.

Legal representation is vital, especially in divorce hearings. An attorney can help you understand the process, prepare your case, and represent you in court.

During hearings, the court decides on matters like child custody, property division, and spousal support based on presented evidence and applicable law. If you’re going through a divorce, familiarise yourself with the court hearing procedure and your rights. Hiring an attorney is advisable for effective representation in court.

After the court’s decisions in a divorce case, the final steps involve finalising the divorce and enforcing court orders.

Post-Divorce Considerations:

There are a few post-divorce considerations that you should be aware of:

  1. Custody and visitation: If you have children, you must arrange their custody and visitation. Even if you and your spouse agree on a plan, it may be challenging.
  2. Child support: If you are paying child support, you must ensure you pay the correct amount on time. If you are receiving child support, you must ensure you receive the right amount on time.
  3. Spousal support: If you are paying spousal support, you must pay the correct amount on time. If you receive spousal support, ensure you receive the right amount on time.
  4. Taxes: Your taxes may change after your divorce. You must work with a tax advisor to file your taxes correctly.
  5. Health insurance: If your spouse’s health insurance covers you, you must find your coverage. You can get coverage through your employer or the Affordable Care Act.
  6. Retirement accounts: You must decide how to divide your retirement accounts. It may be complicated, so you should consult with an attorney.

Explore What court handles divorce in New York with The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C. Many resources are available to help you cope with the emotional challenges of divorce. Experience legal solutions with The Law Offices Of SRIS, P.C., where your needs and rights take centre stage. Let us be your shield, your advocate, and your trusted counsel.

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