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Basic facts to get started on a divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Divorce

Thousands of divorce cases are filed in New York every year. Hopefully, before they proceed with filing these cases, New York residents take plenty of time to familiarize themselves with how these types of cases are handled in the courtroom.

Those who do are likely to be much more comfortable with how their expectations are met, what legal issues need to be addressed and how long the case might take to proceed from start to finish.

Beginning a divorce in New York

The first step of a divorce case is to actually file the proper documents to initiate the case in court – a complaint and a summons. The complaint outlines the basic facts for why the divorce is being pursued and notifies the court that it has proper jurisdiction to hear the case due to basic eligibility factors being met, such as residency requirements and the actual grounds for the divorce. The summons is the document that notifies the other party in the case of the need to respond to the complaint within a certain timeframe, and with which court.

Next, those initiating documents need to be served on the other party. To be served means that there is definite proof that the other party properly received the complaint and summons – proving that they know the case exists and that they must respond.

Once the case gets started by following through with the above-mentioned steps, divorce cases can go any number of ways. Some cases are largely uncontested, meaning the divorcing spouses can agree on how most of the legal issues will be addressed. In others, third-party mediation or even direct negotiations between the parties might help the divorcing spouses finalize agreements on legal issues. But, in some cases, full-blown courtroom litigation is necessary to finalize all of the legal issues in the case.