Contested or Uncontested?
Divorces are a time where your patience and resolve will be tested, and your temper and emotions spent. In all cases of divorce litigation the courts must decide the following:
When there is a substantial disagreement with any of the above then the divorce dispute is considered “contested”. A contested divorce is always the most emotionally-draining and unfortunate type of divorce. Usually, by the time a couple is in the stage where divorce is on the table both parties are ready to see it through to the end. There are times, however, when one party does not wish to end the marriage and feels that there may be an opportunity to reconcile, or when the party is not in agreement with the terms of a particular settlement proposal.
What qualifies as a “contested divorce” in NY?
A contested divorce in New York is really a conflict of desires: when there is a disparity in goals and desires it is highly likely that both parties will adjourn mediation and settlement negotiations and head into divorce court. In these cases the divorce litigation is called a “contested divorce”.
Finding the right contested divorce attorney
Julia Vangorodska, an experienced NY divorce lawyer, has represented clients on opposite ends of this spectrum. We have had clients who come to us in hopes that we can mediate a separation agreement that will prevent or stall divorce proceedings so that they can work on the marriage. We’ve also had clients who require our assistance in leaving their marriage. They key in both sets of circumstances is in being able to provide not only high quality legal representation, but taking off the lawyer’s robes for a moment to provide that human shoulder to cry on.
Contested Divorce can Get Really Ugly
We promise that there is always a box of tissues ready for you at VangorodskaLaw Firm.
Settlement and Mediation
Many times we will have a client walk through the door that believes that there can be no out of court agreement because his or her spouse is “unwilling” to negotiate only to find that initiation from a contested divorce attorney created an opening that he or she could not manage on their own. Sometimes when dialogue has broken down between two people it can be reopened by a third party. Most contested divorce lawyers will make some attempt for out of court settlement negotiations and mediation because it not only saves on cost and time, but also enables the two parties to leave the marriage without the rancor that can sometimes come in a divorce court environment.
In most contested divorces we reach out to the other party to create a settlement agreement which is beneficial to all parties. If we can mediate and negotiate the terms prior, by the time you reach the phase where your divorce petition has reached the courts the case will already be considered “uncontested”—something the courts prefer.
Finding those contested divorce attorneys who will put your needs and desired outcomes before their desires for more billable hours is not always easy to find. We believe that word of mouth is our best advertisement and that if our contested divorce lawyers do their job correctly, ethically, and compassionately we will always have a steady flow of clients and hours.
Teamwork gets the job done correctly
Our team of contested divorce lawyers includes mediation strategists that help you get the very best out of any mediation or settlement negotiation. Everyone has their own desires and hopes for outcomes and it is our job to support out client’s desires in such a way that produces fruit, but also does nothing to exacerbate an already heated situation. Tempers and passions during divorce always run hot, but in those cases where children are involved you want an attorney that will fight for the best interests of your child even when the way seems lost to you.
In the event that settlement cannot be reached in an out of court environment, divorce court is the next step.
The process of a contested divorce in NY (post-mediation attempt) is straightforward. A divorce petition is served, the spouse responds to the petition, discovery is made known, and the settlement phase begins. Usually the court will encourage the two partners, once more to attempt settlement outside of court. Divorce is more than a simple contract dissolution, it is the dissolution of a significant relationship and period within two individual’s lives. Judges are highly sympathetic to this and tend to be encouraging when it comes to amicable out of court settlements. However, when this cannot proceed in a manner that is productive to both parties, then the divorce proceedings begin.
Divorce proceedings are like any other trial. Witnesses are called to the stand and must provide accurate and honest answers to questions put before them. Just like in a criminal court environment the opposing party’s attorney has a right to question and cross examine any witness brought forward. It is usually during this period that the divorce can feel a little “rough”. Seeing relatives, friends, and even children on the stand can be heart-breaking, so we try our best to prepare everyone for what they will go through on the stand and in the court-room well ahead of time. While divorce court is never ideal, many times the witnesses will open up a door for out of court settlement opportunity.
The attorneys here at Vangorodska Law are skilled in witness preparation, courtroom dialogue, and cross-examinations. We know how to get the best out of testimony and promote our client’s interests. We have a long list of happy clients who not only received the settlements and terms that they deserved out of their divorce, but also were happy that we managed to achieve these goals with consideration to the feelings of those involved—especially when minor children are involved.
Experienced and Accomplished Attorneys
We are proud of what we’ve accomplished in our contested divorce New York cases. Managing partner Julia Vangorodska is responsible for making case law that enabled spouses who managed a home and put their spouse through medical or law school to have fair treatment when it comes to the future income of the license he or she helped to work towards. Our cases have been studied in classrooms all over the New York area.
The end of a relationship that you have invested in is always difficult. Leaning on your attorney to do what you have no heart to do is sometimes the best option. We will seek settlement terms that are fair to you on your behalf and ensure that you and any children you may have custody of (or seek custody of) are taking care of to the best lengths the law will allow.