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Top Contested Divorce Lawyer in Suffolk County
Being confronted with divorce or separating from a spouse can be the most stressful time in life. Even in the most amicable situations, feelings of great anxiety and loneliness are common.
When divorce grows more hostile and antagonistic, an uncontested divorce may not be feasible. In those instances, a contested divorce may be the only path forward. A “contested divorce” in New York refers to a divorce proceeding in which the spouses do not agree on one or more key issues related to their divorce. In a contested divorce, the spouses are unable to come to a mutual agreement on these issues, and as a result, they need to rely on the court system to make decisions for them. When facing a Suffolk County Contested Divorce, it is essential to retainer a top Suffolk County divorce lawyer who has experience litigating matrimonial cases throughout Long Island.
Suffolk County Contested Divorce Lawyer
A top Suffolk County divorce lawyer can provide valuable assistance and guidance throughout the divorce process, ensuring that your interests are protected and that you navigate the legal system effectively. Here are some ways in which a skilled divorce attorney can help you:
The Suffolk County Divorce Lawyers at the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg are well-versed in New York’s Domestic Relations Law and as well as the local Courts’ customs and procedures. We provide our clients with expert advice on how to proceed and tailor a strategy specifically for your needs by taking into account your specific circumstances and goals. We advise you on the best approach to reach a favorable outcome regarding property division, child custody, support, and other issues. If your case cannot be settled, We represent you in all aspects of the proceedings including all court appearances, presenting your case, cross-examining witnesses, and advocating for your interests before the judge.
Engaging a top divorce lawyer in Suffolk County is an investment in ensuring that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process. We help our clients navigate the complexities of divorce law, negotiate effectively, and work toward a favorable resolution that aligns with your goals. We pride ourselves in litigating especially difficult matters including domestic violence cases, high conflict custody cases and High Net Worth divorces in Suffolk County.
We proudly serve as Suffolk County contested divorce lawyers. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn how our divorce attorneys in Suffolk County can help. Reach us at 631-600-3295 or through our online intake form to reach us 24 hours a day.
Commencing A Divorce in New York
In New York, a divorce is commenced by the Plaintiff filing either a Summons with Notice or a Summons and Complaint which is then served on the Defendant. Generally, the Plaintiff must have the Defendant personally served with papers. Thereafter, if the Plaintiff has filed and served a Summons with Notice, the Defendant must then file a “Notice of Appearance.” If the Plaintiff has filed and served a Summons and Complaint, the Defendant must then file a “Verified Answer.”
Issues in a New York Divorce
Either the Plaintiff or Defendant can seek any relief available in a divorce such as:
- Child custody / visitation
- Child support
- Maintenance and Spousal Support (Alimony)
- Equitable Distribution / Distribution of property
- Distribution of a pension, 401(k) or other retirement account
- Distribution debt including student loans
- Counsel fees
The Divorce is then considered to be contested if the parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce.
What happens during a New York contested divorce?
In a contested divorce, the parties first appear in court for a “preliminary conference” and then again for subsequent “status conferences.” Generally, status conferences are held in person and litigants are usually required to appear although certain jurists will consider virtual appearances or waive the litigants on occasion for an “attorneys only” conference.
New York Divorce Motions
Often, prior to the conference, one party will file a “pendente lite motion” seeking temporary relief during the divorce. This can include exclusive use and occupancy of the marital home, temporary maintenance, temporary child support or a number of additional options. A number of additional motions addressing the substantive aspects and the procedural aspects of a trial can be made during the divorce.
Discovery in New York Divorce
Discovery is a crucial phase in the divorce process where both parties gather information and evidence relevant to the case. It is intended to promote transparency, ensure fairness, and enable informed decision-making, whether through negotiations or in preparation for trial. Usually, discovery is the most time-consuming portion of a divorce. This is where each side learns of the other’s assets and liabilities. Initially, each side must provide a “Statement of Net Worth” detailing income, assets and liabilities. Discovery may also include:
- Interrogatories: Interrogatories are written questions that one party sends to the other, and the receiving party must answer under oath. These questions typically inquire about personal and financial details, assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and other relevant information.
- Document Requests: Each party may request documents from the other, such as financial records, bank statements, tax returns, employment records, property deeds, and any other documents related to marital assets, debts, and income.
- Depositions: Depositions involve oral testimony given under oath. A party’s attorney can question the other party, witnesses, or experts. Depositions help attorneys gather information, assess the credibility of witnesses, and prepare for trial. Depositions are also referred to as An Examination Before Trial or an EBT.
- Request for Admissions: One party can ask the other to admit or deny certain facts or statements related to the divorce case. This can help streamline the case by narrowing down the issues in dispute.
- Subpoenas: Subpoenas are legal orders that can compel third parties, such as banks, employers, or business partners, to produce documents or testify at a deposition.
- Expert Witnesses: Both parties may hire experts, such as forensic accountants or child custody evaluators, to provide professional opinions and testimony relevant to financial or custody matters.
- Asset Valuation: Complex assets, such as real estate or business interests, may require professional valuation to determine their worth accurately.
- Child Custody Evaluation: If child custody is in dispute, the court may order a custody evaluation by a trained professional.
The scope and complexity of the discovery process can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the divorce. It’s essential for both parties to cooperate and provide accurate information as required by law. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences, and it may impact the final outcome of the divorce settlement or trial. It’s advisable for individuals going through a divorce to consult with an experienced family law attorney to navigate the discovery process effectively.
New York Divorce Trial
The court will encourage the parties to settle their case by executing a settlement agreement. If the parties cannot resolve their issues, a trial will be required. At a divorce trial, each side will call witnesses to testify and present evidence. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will consider all testimony and evidence presented and issue a written decision.
What Happens After Trial in a Divorce
After a divorce trial, the attorneys will file paperwork commonly known as the “submission packet” including a Judgment of Divorce to be signed by the Court. More information can be found on the Suffolk County Clerk’s Divorce and Separation Page.
Once the Judgment of Divorce has been entered, either party may file an appeal if they disagree with the Court’s factual determinations or legal conclusions. An appeal from a Judgment of Divorce entered in Suffolk County and Nassau County (among others) are heard by the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
Facing a contested divorce in Suffolk County? The Suffolk County divorce attorneys of the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg are here to help.
Call us at 631-600-3295.
Free Consultation Contested Divorce Lawyer in Suffolk County
Call to speak to a Suffolk divorce lawyer for contested divorce matters and your rights including child support, child custody, alimony / maintenance, equitable distribution and exclusive use and occupancy of your marital home. We have proudly bee Nominated for Best of Long Island – Best Long Island Divorce Lawyers Award.
We offer free consultations to all clients and strive to make our services available to all clients by charging reasonable hourly rates and low retainer fees. Clients receive aggressive and experienced representation throughout their divorce. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to resolve your matter as expeditiously as possible. As a result, Louis Sternberg is considered one of the top divorce lawyers on Long Island. Use our convenient our intake form to set up an appointment with a Suffolk County Contested Divorce Lawyer or call us by phone at (631) 600-3295.