With the advent of the no-fault rule, New York became the last state to allow divorcing couples to end their marriage predicated on no specific reason except for incompatibility. This approach only means that you do not have to prove anything but that your marriage is “irretrievably broken” for six months minimum.
Consequently, most New York divorces do not proceed to trial, and those that do often settle immediately. If your case is one of the few divorces based on fault-based grounds, like adultery, cruelty or imprisonment, it will help to learn about certain elements you can anticipate in a court trial.
What a divorce trial looks like
If you filed for divorce in New York, you will be the plaintiff and your spouse becomes the defendant. Together with your respective legal representatives, you may expect the following factors during a trial:
- Opening statements: Overview of each party’s circumstances outlining what each of you wants, your reasons for wanting such matters and what makes you eligible for approval
- Presentation of evidence and witnesses: Proof usually includes financial, health or school records, while witnesses can be industry experts, like forensic accountants, real estate appraisers and medical practitioners.
- Closing statements: Reiteration of each spouse’s stand and conclusions supported by the presented evidence
A divorce trial will likely consume your time and drain your economic resources. It could also take a toll on your family’s emotional stability. But in extreme cases where this is your only route, your legal counsel can ensure you have a holistic understanding of your options.
Weighing your situation
A divorce trial is not for the faint-hearted. It may quickly become emotional and technical simultaneously. Therefore, it necessitates two willing participants fully aware of the potential risks and rewards resulting from the process. But if you want to deal with your divorce in a less adversarial manner, you may want to consider mediation or collaborative law. This way, you can navigate your family issues privately and under the supervision of a carefully selected team of professionals.