The decision to end a marriage can be extremely painful, and many people come out of it with a lot of anger and resentment at the other spouse. They may have fantasies about going to trial and confronting their ex with everything they did wrong that led to the divorce. In the vast majority of cases, these are just fantasies.
Fault and no-fault
New York law allows for fault in divorce. This means that one spouse can ask the court to grant a divorce based on certain grounds. These include abandonment, adultery, cruelty and imprisonment of the other spouse.
However, most New York divorces are considered “no-fault.” This means the grounds for divorce is that both spouses agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” If both spouses agree to this, the divorce is considered to be uncontested.
The parties to an uncontested divorce can then work on reaching an agreement on their legal issues, including property division and child custody. If they can’t agree on all or part of the issues, the court can decide.
When you look at all this above, you may start to see why it may be a bad idea to try to live out the fantasy of confronting your ex in a divorce trial.
For starters, if you are trying to get a divorce on fault grounds, such as adultery, the burden is on you to prove the the grounds. That means you will have to produce evidence to support your claims. This is not only unpleasant, but costly and time-consuming.
Indeed, the more time you spend arguing about anything in court, the longer it will take to resolve your divorce and start rebuilding your life. And all that time in court costs money — a lot of money. That means there will be less for you to get started on the next phase of your life.
Breaking up is hard, and maybe there is no way around that. However, a good lawyer can recommend many things that you can do to make the legal process of your divorce a little easier.