FAQ - NY Divorce and Family Court


What if my spouse does not want the divorce?

FAQ for Buffalo NY Divorce and Family Law Lawyer

When New York was exclusively a fault state, sometimes a party could prevent a divorce if the Plaintiff was unable to prove grounds. Given the fact that New York has become a No Fault Divorce State, if you want the divorce, it is virtually certain that the divorce will happen so long as the issues of the marriage have been resolved by agreement or by trial. All you will have to prove is that the relationship between you and your spouse has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months, provided that you so state under oath.

Can I change my name in a divorce?

Upon the entry of the Judgment of Divorce, either party can resume the use of his/her former maiden or former surname.

How long do I have to live in New York State to obtain a Divorce?

It depends on the circumstances of your case. see the Divorce Eligibility page for specific information on whether you can file for divorce in New York State.

How long does it take to get a Divorce in New York?

If your divorce is contested it is difficult to provide an answer to this question until we have an idea of what issues exist and remain unresolved. In my experience I have had cases that have taken as little as six months, to as much as two years. If your divorce is Uncontested it generally takes less than six months.

What is Marital Property in a New York Divorce?

Marital Property is any property earned or acquired during the marriage with certain exceptions. See the Marital Property page for specific information on what is deemed to be Marital or Separate Property, and how it is divided.

How is child support calculated in New York?

Regardless of whether your are in Divorce Court or Family Court, child support is calculated pursuant to the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). Use the use NYS Child Support Calculator to calculate child support payments.

How is maintenance calculated in New York?

Maintenance in a Divorce is Calculated Pursuant to the Maintenance Formula. Use the NYS Maintenance Calculator to calculate the amount and duration of temporary and post divorce maintenance payments.

What happens in a child support case in New York?

The parents appear in Court and fill out a financial affidavit and provide a copy of their most recent tax returns, and a copy of their most recent pay check stubs. If the parties are unable to agree on a support amount the court will have a hearing to determine the amount to be paid based on the CSSA. Sometimes if one party is unwilling to work the Court may impute income to that party if it is clear that the party is capable of earning money but refuses to do so.

How does the Court decide who gets Custody in Family Court in New York?

The Court decides who gets custody based on the "Best Interests of the Child". See the Custody page to find out more about what factors are considered when the Court determines what is in the best interest of the child, and the types of custody available in New York.

What Payment Methods Do I Accept For My Services?

You can pay with Cash, Personal Checks, Money Orders, Certified Bank Checks, Credit/Debit Cards, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

Will I Need to Pay for a Legal Process Server?

If your case is for a Contested Divorce the answer is probably Yes. If your case is a Family Court Case you may not have to hire a process server if the Respondent shows up to Court after receiving notice to appear by the Family Court after the Petition is filed. If the Respondent does not appear, a process server will have to serve the petition on the Respondent to obtain personal jurisdiction of him or her.