When clients come to me, I explain to them some of their questions can be answered if they understand how the divorce process works. There are three major steps. The first step is when you and your spouse decide to get a divorce. You then have to decide how are you going to do that? Are you going to hire lawyers? Are you going to use mediation? Are you going to use collaborative? You have to make that decision.
The first decision is “Do I want a divorce?” “How am I going to get to the point where the marriage is dissolved?” The second step is whether you use mediation, collaborative, or litigation, you’re going to wind up with a settlement agreement. That document is going to govern your responsibilities after the divorce.
You then take that written agreement and take it into court. That’s the third step. That agreement gets presented to the court, and you say to the court, “I want a divorce.” Under New York’s no-fault divorce, the only way you can get a divorce under the no-fault statute is if you say to the court, “I have taken care of all my obligations with regard to custody, support – we’ve taken care of all that stuff, and now we want a divorce.” You present the document. The court says, “Fine. You can get a divorce.” You cannot get a no-fault divorce without having taken care of all those issues.
Leslye M. Schlesinger is an experienced New City, NY divorce attorney and mediator serving Rockland and Westchester County with quality legal services. If you are interested in avoiding litigation, contact Leslye M. Schlesinger for a consultation.