One question almost all divorce clients ask is, “How long will this take?” In New York, there are procedural legal requirements that must be followed that cannot be changed. In addition, how fast the couple themselves come to a settlement agreement influences the length of time it takes to obtain a final divorce order.
Generally, if all goes well, it takes a minimum of one year to a year-and-a-half from the filing of the summons to the date the court signs the final order for divorce.
New York Legal Requirements:
- There is a residency requirement. In most cases, one of the parties must have resided in New York for at least one year prior to the commencement of the divorce proceedings. There may be an applicable exception.
- Time for response. If the defendant was served with the summons for divorce within New York state, he or she has 20 days to file a response after receiving the summons. If served outside the state of New York, the party has 30 days to file a response to the summons for divorce.
- A settlement agreement must be filed with the court. All issues must be settled between the spouses and a settlement agreement filed with the court.
- The court has 60 days to sign the final judgement of divorce. The clock starts running with the court on the day the settlement agreement is filed, and the court has 60 days from that date to sign the final order of divorce.
Time for Preparing a Settlement Agreement
Often times a couple will say they have resolved all issues in their case and are ready to present their settlement agreement to the court. However, when the attorneys review the case with the couple, they often find there are loose ends and more issues to be settled.
Generally, Mediation and Collaborative Divorce can move the case along faster since a team encourages and assists the couple with coming to settlement terms. A divorce case moves along as fast as the slowest person’s desires.
A Litigated Divorce Will Take Longer
When the couple needs court intervention to resolve their issues, and the case goes to trial, it takes longer. The attorneys can file a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) when the process is not moving along as it should. They are bound to comply with the court schedule and obtain court hearing dates.
Contact Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP
For assistance in moving your case along, and for finalizing your divorce as expeditiously as possible, contact our family law attorneys at Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP. You can reach us online or by calling 914.347.1292.