Rochester Family Law Attorney Facilitates Divorce
Ethical representation based on Christian principles
We understand that the decision to seek a divorce — or to oppose it — can present complex issues for Christians, whose marriage vows are rooted in their faith. At the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester, our task as family law counsel is to obtain the best terms possible through a process that is not unduly adversarial. In our practice, we firmly assert our client’s rights while pursuing a course that emphasizes healing. We balance the need for aggressive litigation against the intangible benefits of cooperation, as we work to achieve a favorable outcome.
Requirements and grounds for divorce in New York State
To get a divorce in New York, you must fulfill the residency requirement. This means:
- Either you or your spouse has been living continuously in New York for at least two years.
- Either you or your spouse has been living continuously in New York for one year and 1) you were married in New York, or 2) you lived as a married couple in New York, or 3) the grounds for divorce happened in New York.
- The grounds for divorce happened in New York and you are both residents of New York on the day the divorce process begins.
New York recognizes seven grounds for divorce:
- Irretrievable breakdown in relationship for a period of at least six months
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Signing a valid separation agreement and living apart for one year
The first of these grounds is known as the no-fault ground, because the petitioner is not alleging (and does not have to prove) marital misconduct. When a petitioner alleges cruelty, abandonment, or adultery as grounds, the proof can be difficult because the evidentiary standards are strict.
What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?
New York law now allows a divorce to be granted regardless of fault, reserving the remaining items for resolution or trial. We understand that many people facing a divorce have difficulty either commencing or defending an action when they feel that no fault has been established. Although a party cannot contest the underlying grounds for the divorce, we are sensitive to the concerns of those clients who, for personal or religious reasons, do not feel that there is a basis for the divorce.
A divorce is uncontested when the parties reach a martial settlement, usually through negotiations or mediation, and present that document to the court for approval. The settlement must cover all the ancillary issues of divorce: alimony, child custody, child support, and the division of property. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, they must litigate their outstanding issues before the judge. This trial is what’s meant by a contested divorce.
Uncontested divorces are generally quicker, less expensive and less stressful than contested divorces. We favor uncontested divorces in our family law practice, because the cooperative process of reaching a marital settlement can be very healing for the parties. If the parties have children, this healing process can be a major step forward that allows them to effectively co-parent, thereby shielding their children from future emotional tension.
However, uncontested divorce is not appropriate or possible for all couples. If you cannot trust your spouse to be transparent with finances, or if there is a question of a party’s fitness as a custodial parent, aggressive litigation to protect your property rights or your children’s welfare may be necessary.
Contact our faith-based family law practice for divorce representation in Rochester
The Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester understands the emotional toll of divorce and seeks to protect your rights while mitigating the stress of the process. Mention our website when you call us at 585-563-1134 or when you contact us online and receive a free 30-minute initial consultation.