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Contested Divorce in New York

When a couple divorces, there are two general types of divorce: contested and uncontested. In a contested divorce the couple cannot agree on important issues such as child custody and visitation if the couple has minor children. Similarly, in a contested divorce the couple may not be able to agree on the matter of child support, and may fight over property distribution. On the other hand in an uncontested divorce, there is not disagreement on the issues of custody, support and property distribution. Under New York family law if a divorce is contested the issues are resolved by the court. In some cases a trial is necessary. If you are in need of a divorce lawyer because you are involved in a either a contested divorce, it is important that you contact an experienced New York contested divorce lawyer who will explain to you which factors the court will consider when applying equitable distribution to your assets and who will help ensure that your interests are protected throughout the divorce process.

Contested divorce

In most cases when divorces are depicted on TV dramas they are contested. The couple fights over everything. Even the tiniest issues become a battleground. In reality while most divorces may not be a dramatic as TV divorces, many divorces have aspects that are contested, necessitating a court to adjudicate the disputed issues. When a divorce is contested, the issues that are commonly at the heart of the disagreements include:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Division of property
  • Debt allocation
  • Spousal maintenance (alimony)
  • Temporary maintenance

A divorce can be contested for many reasons. However, because contested divorces typically take longer than uncontested divorces and typically more expensive, couples try to resolve issues outside of court. However, when a divorce involves complex issues, it is more likely that a divorce will be contested. For example, if there are complex issues related to assets such as hiding assets, selling assets without permission, or valuing assets. For example, in the case of Pino v. Pino, 189 Misc 2d 331, 731 N.Y.S.2d 599 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., 2001), the husband and wife disagreed on the valuation date of the husband's harbor pilot's license, and whether or not the harbor pilot’s license was marital property subject to equitable distribution.

Other issues that may be the basis of a contested divorce are issues related to allegations of domestic violence, paternity, and other issues related to the children of the marriage.

Uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which there is not a disagreement on issues such as custody, child support, division of property, debt allocation and maintenance. However, just because a divorce is uncontested such that the court does not have to step in and resolve disputed issues does not mean that the couple did not disagree on any issues. In many uncontested divorces the couple did initially disagree on various issues but were able to resolve the issues outside of court.

Affect of a pre- or post-marital agreement on contested divorce

A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is a way to create a clear and legally enforceable understanding of asset ownership in a marriage, to agree upon spousal support in the event the marriage ends in divorce, and to work out other issues in an effort to avoid a long, costly and contentious divorce should the marriage not work out. However, just because a couple has made an agreement before or during the marriage does not mean that the divorce will not end up being a contested divorce. For example, one common reason a divorce is contested even when there is a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement is that one party argues that the agreement is invalid for one or a variety of reasons.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you and your spouse are divorcing and you cannot agree on one or more issue such as child custody, spousal maintenance, asset distribution or debt allocation, then it is critical that you are have experienced representation. Issues related to custody, maintenance, asset distribution and debt allocation are all complicated. The resolution of such issues could have a substantial impact of your personal and financial future. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully representing clients who are seeking a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. We also represent clients on issues related to custody, child support and spousal support. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin