Contested & Uncontested Divorce in New York

Experienced counsel committed to your future

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, you undoubtedly have many questions and concerns about how divorce will affect your life and your future. Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. takes the time to listen to your questions and gives you honest answers. She has been helping families in Westchester County transition through divorce for more than 25 years.

What types of divorce are available in New York?

There are two main types of divorces in New York:

  • Uncontested: A couple must agree on the grounds for the divorce and reach a settlement agreement that addresses property division, child custody, child support and alimony. The settlement can be based on the terms of a premarital or postmarital agreement, if you have one.
  • Contested: When spouses cannot agree on property division, child custody, child support or alimony, the process takes much longer. However, the couple may reach a settlement agreement at any point during the process without having to go to trial.


How can I tell if my spouse is contesting the divorce?

It is not uncommon for a spouse to be uncertain about how the other spouse will respond to the initiation of a divorce action. This is particularly true when the spouses have been living apart for an extended period and have had little communication. As a practical matter, it is generally better to speak of the prospect of divorce with your spouse than to spring a divorce complaint on him or her without warning — an outraged spouse is less likely to be amenable to settlement negotiations.

If you can’t locate your spouse or your spouse won’t discuss divorce, however, you may have little choice but to file the divorce complaint unannounced. If that occurs, your spouse’s formal response to the complaint determines whether the divorce is contested or uncontested under New York law. The divorce is uncontested if the defendant spouse:

  • Does not respond to the complaint within 30 days
  • Contacts you about working out a settlement agreement instead of filing a timely answer to the complaint
  • Sends you an Affidavit of Defendant

The divorce is contested if the defendant spouse responds to the complaint by filing an answer within 30 days.

How long does it take to get an uncontested divorce?

The period between the commencement of an uncontested divorce action in New York and the earliest date a judge can issue a final decree is 40 days. This is the best-case scenario.

The reality is that couples sometimes take weeks or months to arrive at an agreement. Once all of the issues have been settled and all of the paperwork has been signed and filed with the court, your divorce can be final in six to 12 weeks, depending on the next available date on the court’s uncontested divorce calendar.

We work to achieve amicable resolutions when possible

The attorney and staff at the law offices of Lauren B. Abramson exhaust all options to arrive at an amicable settlement before going to court. Even in high-asset divorces and complex custody matters, it is often possible to reach an agreement through negotiations, the collaborative law process or mediation. You are in a better position than a court to make decisions about your future.

However if the other party is unreasonable, and a settlement cannot be reached, we have the experience to litigate fiercely on your behalf. With her background as a litigator, Lauren B. Abramson is a seasoned veteran of the courtroom.

Contact our White Plains attorney today to discuss your divorce

With more than 25 years’ experience in family law, Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. understands what a challenging time this is for you. We provide you with an honest assessment of your case and guide you through the process. Contact us today at our Westchester County office to arrange a confidential consultation to discuss your situation. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call us at 914-908-6829 or contact us online.