Uncontested vs. Contested New York Divorce: Not Only Your Choice

I get phone calls every day where a person calls with the following type of story.  I hate getting these calls.  Not because we can’t help them, we certainly can.

It’s because I tell them the truth, the harsh reality of New York divorce law, and the truth really sucks… (pardon my language, but its true!)

Monique gets served with divorce papers from her husband Tommy’s attorney.  She reads the uppercase words explaining the documents: SUMMONS WITH NOTICE.  The papers go on to state that Tommy is alleging that Monique abandoned him and treated him in a cruel and inhuman manner.

Wait a minute… “He abandoned me!” she exclaims outloud.  “Cruel and what, this is total B.S.” she thinks.

Tommy had just agreed with Monique that their most affordable option would be to get an uncontested divorce.  Now, unknown to Monique, Tommy’s mother is footing his divorce attorney bill and is encouraging him to “protect himself.”

Monique finds herself in a situation which is all too common.  Tommy hasn’t been giving her any money since he took off last October. She can’t afford the average contested divorce attorney retainer of $5,000.00.

If she doesn’t respond Tommy will get a default judgment against her and she will lose all her legal rights.  The clock is ticking…  Tick tock.  Tick tock.

Monique finds our law firm’s number on Google by typing in “affordable uncontested divorce ny.”  She sets up a free consultation and the first thing she wants to know is what she should she do.  Does she qualify for an uncontested divorce?

This is the situation that I hate.  The harsh reality is:

  • her divorce was filed against her in a contested manner
  • she needs to come up with the money to hire a contested divorce attorney
  • we might be able to help her, but her divorce will not cost the usual $497 that we charge for an uncontested divorce
  • her husband is likely looking to screw her at every turn and she needs legal representation to protect her rights
  • she needs a lawyer in order to file an Order to Show Cause for Pendente Lite Relief to request that the court order Tommy to pay her spousal support and pay her attorney’s fees, but this costs money.

If it is in any way possible, we try to work with you if you find yourself in this situation and cannot afford a contested divorce attorney’s retainer fee.

Unfortunately, whether your divorce is contested versus uncontested is not your choice alone.  Your spouse must be on board…

If you are in a similar situation, please call our law office for your free divorce consultation to learn how we can help you in an affordable manner. (866) 830-2064.

17 replies
  1. Adam
    Adam says:

    It’s a tough situation. I hope Monique has the resources to protect herself from this ugly transition from uncontested to a hotly contested divorce.

  2. Jonathan Kales
    Jonathan Kales says:

    I practice law in Northern Virginia, with an emphasis in my work on collaborative divorce, divorce mediation, and uncontested divorce. I encounter these sorts of cases all the time, where the spouse or the spouse’s attorrney ratchets up costs unnecessarily. It’s an extremely frustrating aspect of what we do.

  3. Amy
    Amy says:

    New York has six grounds for divorce. Four of the “grounds” are based on the “fault” of one of the parties cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment for one or more years, imprisonment for three or more years, and adultery. The other grounds one year of living apart under a separation judgment granted by a Court, or under a separation agreement signed by the parties, enable us to obtain a “no-fault” divorce, in which neither spouse is judged to be at fault, provided that the spouse seeking the divorce has substantially complied with the provisions of the judgment or agreement.

  4. Tina
    Tina says:

    You are entitled to receive fast and effective solutions that restore your peace of mind. You need a knowledgeable, determined and compassionate New York divorce lawyer who will explain your legal rights in easy-to-understand terms.

  5. Smith
    Smith says:

    A divorce is rarely easy. When children are involved, even an amicable divorce can take a turn for the worst. When property is involved, it is important to take action to ensure that your future interests are taken care of. With the help of an experienced New York divorce attorney, your divorce or family law matter can be handled in such a way as to benefit your current and future interests as well as those of your family.

  6. Donna
    Donna says:

    Really i praise your ideas,I think relationships are sometimes good when they come to an end. Even though it may not end amicable, its up to both parties to try and be civil to each other

  7. DLF
    DLF says:

    A contested divorce is when one of the spouses disagrees with one or more of the terms of divorce. In these cases the effects of divorce may require mediations, legal support, and family law intervention. The effects of divorce in these cases may not always end up satisfactory for all involved parties. When children are involved in divorce, the courts will always judge in favor of the child’s best interest.


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