Family and Matrimonial

Divorce is never an easy situation, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. If you are interested in finding help in and outside of court, we can help find creative solutions.

  • Uncontested Divorces
  • Contested Divorces
  • Enforcement Proceedings
  • Separation Agreements
  • Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Child Support Modification & Custody/Visitation
  • Guardianships

“It was an absolute pleasure to have my first legal encounter be with you and the Court Square Law Project.” A recent client came to us to get a prenup and we were happy to help out!

"Is my divorce contested or uncontested?" 

“Uncontested Divorce” is like ordering “decaf” coffee - you know it has some caffeine, but not much. Uncontested divorce may be right for you if you and your spouse know the marital relationship is over and you can agree as to how to resolve the distribution of assets and debts (if any), child custody and parental access, spousal support, and other issues ancillary to the action for divorce.

You can get divorced in New York State by swearing to the “irreparable breakdown” of the marriage for at least 6 months. Irreparable breakdown is a “persistent and unresolvable disagreements between spouses.” No one needs to “prove” that the other person was at fault, and there doesn't need to be any physical separation. These divorces are sometimes called “no fault”, because blame is not a requirement for the marriage ending. Although a divorce may be "no-fault," when issues are unresolved, the action is considered contested. This is the case even when grounds are agreed upon.

It is common that spouses agree that the marriage is over, but have widely different opinions about what the next steps are and how the marital relationship to be dissolved. 

Here's a few thoughts that might help you decide what the issues are in your case...

Communication: is there any, and how's that going? How well do you and your spouse communicate? Willingness to communicate can make all the difference when it comes to ending a relationship peacefully. If you can't even communicate with each other, chances are things are going to get contested.

Housing: who’s moving out? If you have purchased a home with your spouse, who is moving out? If one spouse agrees to leave, do they want to be paid back for the money they have put into the house? Even if they never put a dollar toward a mortgage payment, they may have rights to a portion of the value. If you have a rent regulated apartment, whose name is on the lease, and does the other spouse have a stake in the rent regulated apartment? 

Children: what about the kids? Often, deciding child custody and parental access is the cause of most of the contention in a divorce, where spouses can be widely apart on what they believe is the solution. The main issues to be determined are where the child will be spending most of his or her time, which is often referred to as "residential custody," and how decisions regarding the child's welfare are made, which is often referred to as "legal custody." 

Assets: who owns what? Do you and your spouse own property together? Do you have retirement accounts? What sort of debts do you have? What if one spouse might need help paying the bills before the divorce is finalized - do you have a plan for that? Money issues can derail even the best-laid plans.

Court Square attorneys work diligently and with perseverance to identify and preserve your rights. Realizing that settlements inure to the benefit of litigants and their children, all attempts are made to negotiate detailed agreements addressing the client's concerns. When settlement is not possible, Court Square will be your zealous advocate in court.