Top Suffolk County Contested Divorce Lawyer

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 retain a top Suffolk County contested divorce lawyer who has experience litigating matrimonial cases throughout Long Island.

Understanding Contested Divorce in Suffolk County

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 Suffolk County contested divorce attorney can help you:

The Suffolk County contested divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg are well-versed in New York’s Domestic Relations law 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. Our skilled team of Suffolk County contested divorce attorneys will 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, An experienced Suffolk County contested divorce lawyer will 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.

Benefits of a Skilled Suffolk County Contested Divorce Lawyer

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 their 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.

Contested Divorce Lawyer Serving Long Island

We proudly serve as Long Island contested divorce lawyers. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn how our divorce Suffolk County contested divorce lawyer 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:

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?

Conferences in a Suffolk County 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.

Motions and Discovery in Suffolk County Divorce

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Asset Valuation: Complex assets, such as real estate or business interests, may require professional valuation to determine their worth accurately.
  8. 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 Suffolk County contested divorce lawyer to navigate the discovery process effectively.

Suffolk County Divorce Trial Process

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, a Suffolk County contested divorce lawyer 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.

How much is a contested divorce in NY?

The cost associated with a contested divorce in New York can vary significantly in cost, depending on a multitude of factors and, obviously, the cost of a contested divorce may be higher than an uncontested one, as it involves disputes that require legal intervention. In the state of New York, attorneys charge hourly rates for their services in contested divorce cases, which can range depending on their experience and reputation. The complexity of the case, the number of issues in dispute (such as child custody, property division, and spousal support), and the level of conflict between the parties will also influence the final cost. Additionally, court filing fees and other related expenses can add to the overall price tag of a contested divorce in New York.

To get a clearer picture of how much your contested divorce might cost, it’s essential to consult with an experienced New York divorce attorney who can assess your specific circumstances and provide an estimate based on your unique situation. Keep in mind that the more amicably you and your spouse can resolve issues and reach agreements, the lower your overall legal fees are likely to be.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Suffolk County Contested Divorce Lawyer

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 same-day 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.