The Divorce Process in Albany
Divorce can be one of the most emotionally draining processes someone can go through. Emotions tend to run high in the divorce process in Albany, especially when children are involved. To ensure your divorce stays on track, consider hiring a local divorce lawyer to advise you on the process from beginning to end.
Overview of the Local Divorce Process
In a typical contested divorce, the process begins with pleadings, followed by negotiations and discovery. Then the attorney is either working on a settlement or preparing for trial and submits documents for judgment.
On the other hand, an uncontested divorce differs in that the preliminary pleadings always need to be served in order to initiate the process. Both parties agree to the terms of divorce, provide depositions, deliver subpoenas, and are therefore less likely to engage in a lengthy discovery process. The documents are then submitted for a judgment, and there are no preparations for a trial.
What is the Role of the Filing Spouse in the Albany Divorce Process?
The spouse who initiates the divorce is referred to as the plaintiff. They lay out the basis for the divorce in the summons and complaint. They identify the other spouse, the date of their marriage, and where they resided so the court knows whether it has jurisdiction to hear the matter. Plaintiffs file for divorce in the Supreme Court of the county in which they or the other party resides.
The summons indicates that the other spouse has a certain period of time to respond and describes what the plaintiff plans to do. Once that is signed, they submit it to the county clerk’s office, which then serves the summons to the responding spouse.
Role of the Responding Spouse
The responding spouse is called the defendant, and they ultimately decide whether to take a contested route or submit to negotiations.
If the defendant is served a summons in Albany, they have 20 days to respond. If they are served out of state, they have 30 days to respond. If they do not respond after being served, they are considered in default after the time-period has elapsed. The plaintiff has the option to ask the court for a judgment divorce.
If the plaintiff does not have the means to personally serve the defendant, they must apply to serve by an alternative method. With court approval, they could send by mail to their spouse’s last known location, publish it in a newspaper, or serve it through a relative or friend. Recently, being serviced by Facebook has been considered by some courts. If the spouse does not respond within 30 days, the matter proceeds with the same default act.
What Documents Are Needed in Each Step of the Divorce Process?
The most common documents that a party will need to disclose during the divorce process in our area include tax documents, credit card statements, retirement statements, investment portfolios, bank account statements, and anything concerning health or life insurance.
It is also crucial to provide the following documents:
A local attorney could help a divorcing spouse gather the necessary documents to present to the court.
How Does Residency Factor into Filing for Divorce in Albany?
Proof of residency is important in order to start the divorce process in Albany. At least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for two years before the divorce commenced, while the plaintiff needs to live in the state continuously for a year or more.
The couple also needs to be married in the state, lived together as a married couple in the state, or have the grounds for the divorce take place in the state. For example, if a couple lives in another state, but domestic violence occurs in Albany, either party may file for divorce here.
Judges in Local Divorce Cases
A judge is not assigned until someone applies for a divorce via a request for judicial intervention. In some cases where a party needs to ask for immediate release for a police report, custody, or some other emergency, that is applied for with the summons at the inception of the case. After the defendant is served, they have an opportunity to respond.
An attorney is assigned by the court to represent the children’s best interests. Judges do not use coaches or mediators and cannot force the parties to do so either.
Let an Attorney Help Make the Albany Divorce Process Easier
You should contact an attorney as soon as you begin contemplating divorce. A lawyer from our team could assist you throughout the divorce process in Albany by focusing on your goals and developing a legal strategy. Call our firm today for a free consultation.