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Divorce Litigation Bullets (Part 10): Choices and Service of Process

Two People Negotiating

Mr. Darren Shapiro regularly provides his clients with as much guidance and information as possible to help them progress through their case with minimal discomfort. The more informed you are about a complicated procedure like divorce litigation, the more comfortable you’re likely to feel as you approach this difficult part of your life.

This website and our blog is filled with insights from Mr. Shapiro in article form. However, if you need some quick information on divorce litigation, you might find it easier to use these bullet point guides instead. This is the 10th series of bullet points provided on the topic of divorce litigation, covering topics like, making the decision to pursue divorce, and serving summons.

The Process of New York Serving Summons

In most circumstances, the procedure of beginning a divorce will start very similarly to starting any lawsuit. A plaintiff spouse filing for divorce needs to serve a summons and complaint to the other side.

  • Delivering documents prepared by a divorce attorney like Mr. Darren Shapiro to another party for a divorce is a called a service of process. If the documents are not just going to be “accepted” by the other side, it is crucial for this process to happen according to the guidelines of the law, or a case could end up being dismissed or delayed as a result of the inconsistency. Once a defendant is served with the correct documentation, they can file an answer to the summons. If only a summons was served, the individual may appear in the case to demand a complaint, or they would risk a default judgement.
  • When a plaintiff provides a spouse with a summons with notice alone, this would mean that the divorce compliant is not included as a copy within the documentation. If a spouse defaults after being served with only a summons, then some people might question whether the defaulting spouse has the right to have a complaint be served before an uncontested divorce is granted.
  • New York law requires plaintiffs to file summons along with notices or a summons and complaint describing the nature of the cause of action. If a plaintiff provides a summons with notice, they need to file the complaint at another time. The timing depends on the way the defendant responds to the lawsuit, or if he or she doesn’t respond at all.
  • Domestic Relations Law in New York requires any summons presented to a defendant to state that it is an action for a divorce if this is the case. The rules and laws of Civil Practice demand that the defendant should have 20 days to respond when personally delivered the summons. They receive 30 days when served by other means.
When is Divorce Litigation the Right Choice?

The laws of New York can’t tell a couple when the right time to divorce is. Before you can go and provide your spouse with a summons to begin the divorce lawsuit, you must first decide whether divorce is the right choice for you and your partner. Litigation may be a common option for some couples, but it won’t be the right choice for everyone either. You might decide to get a divorce but avoid the litigation procedure through either negotiations or mediation for example.

  • Divorce is a difficult and emotional experience. It’s difficult to move on without your spouse when you have spent several years with another person. You will have various things to think about, like financial stability and looking after yourself without the help of another person. There are also issues like parenting time and child custody to think about. However, the complexity of a divorce shouldn’t stop you from seeking one if the time is right.
  • There are circumstances when a divorce is the best way to bring an end to a toxic relationship and move on with your life. If you are not happy in your relationship, getting a divorce might give you a chance to start fresh and find happiness somewhere else. Staying together for the children or staying together because you’re nervous may or may not be the right choice for you. The decision is not an easy one to make, and there’s no one right answer.
  • If you’re unable to find happiness in your relationship, divorce could get you on the right track again. While the loss of a toxic relationship may be a good thing in the long-term, it can cause you to mourn initially. You should make sure that you have the right support to help you through this difficult time.
  • Remember that litigation isn’t the only option for divorce. You can also consider collaborative law, negotiations and mediation depending on your circumstances.
Weighing the Pross and Cons of a Divorce

Divorce isn’t an easy thing to pursue, nor is it a simple concept for a lot of people. There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever know whether it’s the right time to pursue a divorce or not, as you’ll always have concerns. However, it’s important to weigh the pross and cons carefully.

Remember that some divorce procedures are more difficult than others. If you have a lot of shared assets to consider and you’ve been with your partner a long time, then this can make divorce more difficult. The presence of shared children mean that you have child custody concerns and parenting time to think about too. Fortunately, the right child custody and divorce attorney like Mr. Darren Shapiro can help to get you on your feet again.

If you want to learn more about the topics discussed above, or you would like to discuss your own divorce case via a free consultation, contact Mr. Shapiro’s office today. You can get in touch over the phone or via the contact form on this website to schedule a time for your free initial consultation. Up to the first half hour is free.

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