Divorce litigation is complex and emotionally taxing. When conflicts cannot be resolved outside of court, having an experienced divorce attorney is essential. That’s where Aiello &DiFalco LLP steps in. We have an impressive track record of success litigating divorce cases in divorce and family courts throughout Long Island and New York City.
When you meet with us, we will listen to your concerns and tailor our approach to your needs and objectives. With thorough preparation, comprehensive discovery, skilled legal motion writing, and compelling oral arguments, as well as significant trial experience involving custody as well as complex financial issues, we will work strategically to protect your rights and interests. Call us today to get started with an experienced divorce litigation attorney.
Divorce litigation in Long Island often arises due to several factors:
- Disputes over assets and debt – Disagreements over asset distribution and debt division are leading reasons for divorce litigation. These disputes can become contentious when the couple owns significant assets or has complex financial situations like shared businesses or high-net-worth assets. They can also be complicated by separate property issues where a party brought assets into the marriage or inherited significant assets from the family. When parties cannot agree on the division of marital property, our divorce litigation attorney will present your case in court to achieve a fair and equitable division.
- Child custody and visitation rights – Disputes over child custody and visitation rights can become highly emotional and the court will often intervene to determine what is in the child’s best interests. The court will consider several factors such as the parents’ emotional and financial stability and the child’s needs and preferences (if they are old enough). Proving your custody case can be stressful and complicated, but having an attorney that understands what the court will consider and how to best present the evidence is critical to ensuring that the children’s best interests are served.
- Spousal and child support – Financial support to the spouse and children can be a bone of contention in many Long Island divorces. One party may argue they are entitled to a higher level of support than the other party is willing to offer or the party responsible for paying support may argue for a lower amount. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, a judge will consider factors such as income, living expenses, lifestyle, and the special needs of children (if any) to make a fair decision.
- Disagreement on grounds for divorce – If the parties are not claiming an irretrievable breakdown in the marital relationship (“no-fault” divorce), spouses may disagree on the grounds. For instance, one spouse may claim fault grounds like adultery, cruelty, or abandonment, which the other spouse contests. In these situations, divorce litigation allows each party to present their case, with the final decision being made by a judge.
- Non-compliance with preliminary agreements or temporary orders – At times, one party fails to honor preliminary agreements reached in mediation or collaborative divorce processes. One spouse might fail to comply with agreed-upon or court-ordered terms regarding child custody, asset division, or spousal support. Divorce litigation may become necessary to enforce these agreements or court orders.
When settlement negotiations or mediation are not viable options, divorce litigation is an essential tool best navigated with the assistance of an experienced divorce litigation attorney. Let Aiello & DiFalco guide you through the process.
An Overview of the Divorce Litigation Process
Divorce litigation is a legal process that involves several steps and begins with one spouse filing a divorce petition:
- Filing for Divorce – The litigation process starts with one spouse (the plaintiff) filing a divorce summons and/or complaint in court. This document outlines the reasons for the divorce and the proposed terms for child custody, division of assets, and spousal support. Once the Summons and/or Complaint is filed, it is formally served to the other spouse (the defendant).
- Response to the Action – The defendant has a certain amount of time, usually 20-30 days, to appear in the action. If the defendant fails to reply within the stipulated time, the court may grant a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
- Discovery – Next, the process moves to the discovery stage. Both parties, with their attorneys, gather and exchange information about their marriage, income, finances, assets, liabilities, and other factors that will affect the outcome of the divorce. This stage may involve financial disclosure like a sworn Statement of Net Worth, as well as document requests and depositions (formal, recorded interviews conducted under oath), as well as subpoenas served on banks and other third parties for more information.
- Settlement negotiations – After the discovery phase, the parties may attempt to resolve their disputes and reach a settlement. This negotiation process often involves the attorneys and can include alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation. An agreement is reached and presented to the court for approval.
- Motions – If the parties have a dispute about temporary issues, like support or custody, they can file a motion to request the determination of the court. Motion practice can be very involved but necessary work in complicated divorce cases.
- Trial – If no settlement is reached, the case goes to trial. This is not a jury trial, but rather a bench trial heard by a judge. Each attorney presents their client’s case, calls witnesses, submits evidence, and makes arguments. The judge will then consider all the evidence, testimony, and arguments presented and make a final decision on all contested issues.
- Judgment of Divorce – If the parties enter into an agreement, or if the court makes a determination after trial, the terms are incorporated into a final Judgment of Divorce pursuant to which the Court officially dissolves the marital relationship and orders the final terms.
- Post-judgment actions – After the court issues its judgment, either party can appeal if they believe a legal error occurred during the trial. Moreover, if circumstances change significantly in the future, either party can return to court to request a modification of the terms of the divorce order concerning child custody, child support, or spousal support.
In short, divorce litigation can be a complex and lengthy process, often taking many months or even years to resolve, particularly if the case proceeds through the courts or to trial. This makes having a skilled divorce litigation attorney to advocate for your interests essential.
Why Choose Aiello & DiFalco?
We provide strategic representation to clients facing divorce litigation. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and accomplished trial lawyers with comprehensive knowledge of matrimonial law, legal procedures, and court rules and protocols. When you work with us, we will provide tailored solutions to meet your individual needs.
Our services extend from the initial filing of divorce papers through potential trial proceedings, focusing on crucial aspects such as asset division, child custody, and support issues.
We believe in open communication to keep you well-informed throughout the process. While we prefer to resolve divorce cases through negotiation and settlement where possible, we are prepared to litigate when the situation demands. Above all, we will work to secure the best possible outcome, mindful of your specific goals and concerns.
Talk To A Long Island Divorce Litigation Attorney Today!
At Aiello & DiFalco, we aggressively represent clients throughout Long Island and New York City in divorce litigation. Trust us to protect your rights and interests and stand by you every step of the way. Contact us today to book a consultation.