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FAQs on New York Divorce Law

Get answers to commonly asked family law questions

Is there a required separation period before a divorce is final?

There is technically no required written separation period unless your grounds for divorce are the fulfillment of a legal one-year separation agreement. But also note that abandonment implies a year of separation has occurred. As to the other potential grounds for divorce—cruel and inhuman treatment and adultery—no separation period is necessary. New York law also has what is known as constructive abandonment which means one spouse refuses to have martial relations for one or more years.

What can I do if my ex refuses to visit our child?

An unwilling parent cannot be forced to visit a child. However, the court can address such behavior by limiting visitation rights, so the parent cannot suddenly reclaim full visitation time and startle the child. The parent will therefore be forced to gradually rebuild the relationship with the child, and hope to earn restoration of full visitation.

How much does a divorce cost in New York?

This varies greatly. The most basic court filing fees come to around $350, but there may be additional filings and fees depending on your circumstance. I have a basic retainer fee, and a reasonable hourly rate for time that I spend working on your behalf. An uncontested divorce often incurs no more than the retainer and a few hours of paperwork, plus court fees. If the divorce is contested, any legal fees will correspond to the additional hours spent handling complex negotiations and litigation.

I have a solid record of success. My office handles the uncontested divorce where there are limited assets to the contested divorce involving millions of dollars of assets.

What if my former spouse refuses to comply with the terms of our divorce?

If you are not receiving your spousal maintenance, or the child support checks are consistently late, or your former spouse is not honoring the custody agreement—all of these situations constitute non-compliance with the court-ordered terms of the divorce. I will return to court on your behalf, even if you no longer live in New York State, and fight for the enforcement of your rights.

Eugene Dougherty can answer all of your family law questions

I enjoy sharing my knowledge of family law. To arrange a free phone consultation, please contact me at 914-263-7955.