The Law Office of Crystal R. Villaseñor, Esq.

Divorce FAQs


What is the difference between a Contested & Uncontested Divorce? 

An uncontested divorce occurs when: (a) there are no disagreements between you and your spouse over any financial or marital-related issues, (i.e., child custody and support, division of martial property, and/or spousal support) and (b) your spouse agrees to the divorce.

If there are issues that need to be resolved between you and your spouse or if your spouse refuses to sign the necessary documentation to execute a divorce, then the matter will be considered a contested divorce. 

It is likely, that you may sue for divorce thinking that the proceeding will be uncontested, only later you discover that your spouse has decided to contest the case. If this occurs, you may wish to consult with an attorney or you may proceed on your own without an attorney. 

What are the residency requirements for a New York Divorce? 

In order to obtain a divorce in New York, the parties must comply with New York's fairly strict residency requirements outlined in Domestic Relations Law 230. 

In order to file for a divorce in New York, either spouse must live in New York for at least one year, if: (a) the marriage took place in New York, (b) the parties lived as a married couple in New York, (c) the grounds for divorce occurred in New York, and (d) the grounds occurred in New York and both parties lived in New York when the divorce is filed. 

A divorce may also be filed in New York if either spouse lives in New York for at least two years. 

What are the grounds for a New York  Divorce? 

Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law 170, New York has seven grounds for divorce. You must provide one of the following grounds in order to obtain a divorce in New York: (1) Cruel and Inhumane treatment, (2) Abandonment for one year or more, (3) Adultery, (4) Imprisonment for three years or more, (5) Living apart pursuant to a judicial separation for one year or more, (6) Living apart pursuant to a written separation for one year or more, (7) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for six months or more. 

An uncontested divorce can take approximately three to nine months depending on the County and the Judge. A contested divorce can take longer depending on the outstanding issues and the complexity of the case. 

How long will my divorce take?

  1. At your initial consultation, The Law Office of Crystal R. Villasenor, PLLC will discuss the various issues regarding your divorce, explain the divorce process and answer any questions you may have. 
  2. Once you have retained, The Law Office of Crystal R. Villasenor, PLLC to represent you in your divorce, an attorney will meet with you to prepare a Summons & Complaint, this meeting will take approximately 45 mins. 
  3. Once the Summons & Complaint is prepared my firm will file it with the New York County Clerk's office. A Supreme Court index number will then be assigned to your file, initiating your divorce proceedings. 
  4. A copy of the Summons & Complaint will be sent to your spouse for review and signature. (Your spouse is free to have an attorney review the documents and explain their rights and responsibilities under the agreement.) Once Your spouse signs the documents and returns them to our office, we will schedule an appointment for you to come in and sign additional documents. 
  5. Once all documents are fully executed by you and your spouse, our office will prepare all required divorce documents and submit them to the court for a Judgment of Divorce. 
  6. Once your papers are submitted to the Court, they will be reviewed and signed by a Judge, this can take approximately three to nine months depending on the County and the Judge. 
  7. Once my office receives notice of the Final Judgment of Divorce, you will be immediately notified that you are legally divorced. 

What is the Uncontested Divorce Process?


In New York, if the marital home was purchased after the parties were married, normally each party would be entitled to fifty percent of the equity of the marital property. However, there are some rare instances when a party may be entitled to a credit for paying the mortgage, maintenance, and taxed for the property after a divorce is filed. 

Often times, one spouse may choose to buy out the other spouses share of the equity and remain in the marital. Some parties, decide to sell the marital home and split the equity. 

In New York and under certain circumstances, Judges may be inclined to allow the custodial parent to remain in the marital home until the minor children graduate High School or for a certain time period. 


What happens to the marital home if I decide to get a divorce?