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Divorce proceedings in New York and resolution options

Families in New York should know how their State handles divorce proceedings, and what types of alternative resolutions are available.

Those living in New York who are facing a divorce may have never gone through the experience before, or it may have been a long enough time since the last time they were divorced that the rules have changed. There are some specific things that differentiate New York from other States when it comes to how separation agreements are handled, including the possibility of alternative resolutions. A separation agreement is the document that is signed by both ex-spouses when the dissolution of their marriage has been settled, and this settlement can be arrived at either through the court or via alternative means.

Some helpful basic knowledge

The first thing to be aware of is that the person requesting their divorce must know where the other spouse is located, as the divorce papers must be personally delivered to the defendant. The person requesting the divorce is known as the Plaintiff, while the person on the receiving end is the Defendant. The State of New York also requires that a reason be given for a separation, known as the grounds of the divorce. It is also important that both spouses meet a certain length of residency requirement in order to be eligible for a divorce through the court.

Another thing people may not be aware of is that the court will not sign a judgment on a divorce until all parenting disputes and financial issues are resolved. It is possible for these disputes to be resolved through the court, however, for some families, there may be other options that are available outside of the courtroom.

Alternative dispute resolution

Typically, families who are seeking to resolve financial issues or who want to be in agreement when it comes to parenting may be able to get assistance through the alternative dispute resolution programs the State offers. For those who are concerned about abuse or domestic violence, it may be better to proceed with the court. For those families that do qualify, the State's Collaborative Family Law Center can provide a limited amount of sessions with a mediator who is meant to act as a neutral party. There are also programs available specifically for families whose income falls below a certain threshold.

Anyone who finds that a divorce may be on the horizon, or who wishes to begin divorce proceedings against a spouse, will have to submit all of the correct paperwork and find the best approach to get the desired results from the process. An attorney in the local area who practices family law may be able to help someone navigate this kind of situation.

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