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What is an uncontested divorce?

It may seem strange that some New York divorces are granted the designation of uncontested. This is because when most people think about divorce, they imagine conflict, hostility and strife. These sentiments generally do not lend themselves to calm or accepted events, and since divorces are based on the collapse of very personal relationships, it may be hard to imagine how those going through the process could be without conflict.

However, when the partners to marriages agree that their legal relationships should end, it is possible that they may be able to achieve uncontested divorces. In New York, the partners to a marital couple must agree regarding the disposition of important divorce-related matters, such as how their property will be divided and how their children will be shared in a custodial plan. If they can find these and other agreements their divorce process may be more straightforward than if disagreement and conflict existed between them.

An uncontested divorce begins with one of the parties filing for the end of the marriage. The other party may agree or not respond to the filer's notice; in either case the divorce may be granted by the court. If, however, the other party decides to challenge some matter that was previously established, the divorce is no longer considered uncontested and may not be granted on such grounds.

It is important that New Yorkers discuss their divorce plans with attorneys who work in the family law field before they file their initial pleadings. This may help the individuals from making legal decisions that, in the end, will not serve their best interests. Uncontested divorces can be beneficial to some but should be fully understood before they are sought.

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