Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First in NY?

Oct 21, 2022

Are there any benefits to filing for divorce before your spouse? Does it allow the filer more control over the situation? This answer depends on which state you live in.

If you were to ask a seasoned divorce attorney Brooklyn, they would tell you that the filer doesn’t “set the rules” of a divorce case. The New York legal system prefers not to favor one party over the other, particularly in separations involving children or family members who depend on the divorcing couple.

The first person to file may have a few mild advantages to the proceedings, like more time to prepare financial paperwork or documentation. The filer will also have more time to come up with a verbal defense when sharing their side of the story in court.

However, when it comes to deciding how child custody and asset divisions will work out, the judge will choose the person who best fits the situation.

How To Get a Divorce in NY

First, you’ll need to find a court that grants you divorce. In New York, that’s the Supreme Court. Spouses can also seek help from Family Court for child support, custody rights, and spousal support.

Some people will seek an annulment, a case that establishes that the marriage isn’t legally recognized.

To start divorce proceedings you’ll need to purchase an Index Number at the County Clerk’s Office to start divorce proceedings. From there, you’ll either file a Summons with Notice or a Summons with Verified Complaint, which states the reason for divorce. Somebody will need to serve your spouse the divorce papers, and your case can be placed on the court’s calendar.

As a couple, you’ll agree to terms or go to court and argue terms in a contested divorce.

Contact the Levitsky Law Firm PLLC

Do you need help with mediation or divorce court representation? What about coming up with a separation agreement contract? The Levitsky Law Firm specializes in family law, offering divorce services. Contact the team at 888-493-9222 to learn more.