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Contested Divorce

New York Contested Divorce Lawyer

The Difference Between Contested & Uncontested Divorce

Many couples going through a divorce in New York will turn to the courts to help them sort out all aspects of their separation—from dividing debts and distributing property to determining child custody and support payments. If a couple cannot come to an agreement on some of these issues without intervention from the court, they will enter into what is called a “contested divorce.”

This term can mean several different things. First, it can be used to describe a divorce where one party argues that the other doesn’t have grounds for divorce, thus trying to prevent it. In this case, the divorce itself would be contested. More commonly, however, it is used to describe a divorce where both parties have agreed to a divorce, but cannot agree on issues such as child custody or property division.

Temporary Orders in Contested Divorce

In some cases, a divorce attorney will ask the judge to make temporary orders. This can help direct the payment of bills, mortgage payments, child support, spousal support and lawyers’ fees early in the case so that if one spouse stops paying the bills or providing the other with spending money, the court can order support. This will provide temporary relief that may remain in effect until the divorce is finalized.

In New York, a typical contested divorce will take several months, or longer, to complete. As you may have already discovered, life doesn’t stand still during this time. By establishing temporary orders, a non-monied spouse can pay some bills while the case is pending. These orders will generally stay in effect until the final divorce decree is entered or an agreement is reached by the divorcing parties.

During the Pending Divorce

While a divorce is pending, each spouse’s lawyer can request discovery from the other spouse—which may include information and documents almost anything related to the financial or custody issues involved in the divorce.

Some of the information your attorney might request includes:

  • Deeds or titles to property
  • Bank statements, checks and deposit records
  • Credit card bills and other spending records
  • Proposed witness lists
  • Business account records

The Trial

If your case cannot be settled, there will be a trial, during which the judge will hear evidence from both sides on all issues that have been raised. This could include witness testimony, testimony from either spouse, financial records, police or medical reports, or any other form of admissible evidence—all of which will help the court decide the facts and establish division of assets and debts and the best interests of the children.

Once the trial has been concluded, the judge may enter a ruling from the bench or take the matter under advisement and render a decision at a later time. In some jurisdictions, if the divorce has been pending for an extended period of time without any foreseeable resolution, the judge may schedule a status conference to see if a settlement would be possible before taking the case to trial.

For more information about contested divorce, call us at Lois M. Brenner, Esq.: (646) 663-4546.

    “Brenner divorce method really works!!”
    I had read about Lois’ unusual divorce method in one of her blog posts. It was refreshing to see someone was working with the psychological issues in divorce. My husband is bipolar and getting him to agree to a divorce and commit to the process was tough. When we met with Lois she really understood him. She immediately identified his mental health issues, and because she has a psych background, she was empathetic to his needs and was skillful at guiding him through her divorce mediation process. It took a while but she really got us to a point where we could actually discuss things without my husband blowing up. Her method is unique and it really helped in our situation. She actually recommended a great psychiatrist who changed my husband’s meds at her urging (she has a medical degree too), and my husband is coping much better. We can’t thank her enough for her compassion and advice! If you need a divorce attorney, especially if mental illness is a part of the fabric of your marriage, go see Lois! Thanks Lois 
    - Beena T.
    “Lois is the absolute best”
    Connecting with Lois was the best thing that could have happened during what has been very difficult and fraught divorce. Lois took on my case with knowledge, wisdom and care that have been above and beyond in every way. She recognized abusive and unstable behavior in my ex-husband, and offered both strong legal guidance, as well as personal encouragement and strength to stand up to him. Her support has been invaluable to me, and I am so deeply grateful for everything she has done in helping forge a better more stable future for me and for my son.
    - SC
    “Clever & Compassionate Attorney”
    I met with Lois Brenner nine months ago, and my life has been changed for the better! She and her legal team really encouraged me to leave a very abusive husband. They gave me the knowledge and courage to take the necessary legal steps. My parents were helping me and found Lois to be smart, and compassionate. My whole family felt really comfortable having her handle my case. I am finally divorced, away from an abusive man and ready to start a new life. I can’t thank Lois and her legal team enough for all the support I received. I got a much better settlement than I expected because they were relentless in locating money my husband had hidden. Thank you so much!
    - Kim B.
    “She is responsive, and answered my emails within a couple of minutes every time. Highly rated!”
    Lois acted as the mediator in my divorce, and she was absolutely excellent. It was a very difficult time for me personally, but Lois made the process as easy and painless as it could possibly have been. She listened to each of us separately, and made thoughtful and helpful suggestions. She is fair, and seemed to genuinely care about finding a solution that was best for both parties. Lois is perfectly qualified to handle this type of situation, given her background in psychology. She truly understands people, and used this ability to keep my ex-husband and I calm, and smoothly navigate a few tricky situations. I felt very understood by Lois, and think that she not just a top-quality attorney, but also a very decent person. She is responsive, and answered my emails within a couple of minutes every time. Highly rated!
    “Smart, tough, responsive Attorney !”
    When my daughter was sideswiped and served with a summons by her husband we called Lois Brenner. I had met Lois when she was giving a seminar on Marriage and Finances. I thought she was really smart. I never dreamt I would be calling her to help my daughter. When we went to see her she put our minds at ease. We immediately knew she was the attorney for us. She managed to negotiate a really good settlement with my son-in-law’s attorney. She was tough and always returned our phone calls and responded immediately to our emails. We even heard from her on weekends!! She was determined to keep us out of court and guided us every step of the way. She was our Angel!!! Mary B.
    - Mary B
    “Wonderful Divorce Lawyer”
    My divorce was very stressful time. Since we were able to agree with my ex-husband on many important issues I originally thought that I will be able to fill in all the necessary documents by myself. It turned out that it is nearly impossible task. The amount of paperwork was overwhelming! I was not happy with some lawyers I've approached - too expensive, too impersonal, too aggressive. When I met Lois everything changed. For very reasonable price she was able to help us - talked to both of us, gave us great suggestions. Everything went extremely well. It was quick and painless. We could not thank her enough!
    “LOIS AND MATT ARE LIT!”
    You two are really the dynamic duo! I can’t thank you both enough for the incredible job you did on my case. As a young career woman and working mother of a toddler I could not have been in better hands. You really toughened me up and guided me when I was feeling really lost. I was afraid of my husband’s clever antics but you worked hard on my case and encouraged me to fight. The settlement I received exceeded my expectations. You both listened, always returned e-mails, phone calls and even reached out to me on the weekends when I was having trouble. If anyone is going through a divorce and needs the best people to fight for you call Lois and Matt. It was the best thing I ever did. There are no words to express how grateful I am.
    - Tara P.
    “You are extremely knowledgeable and the consummate professional.”
    “You are extremely knowledgeable and the consummate professional.”
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