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How Public is a Contested Divorce in NY? │ Heidi Opinsky Law

Your Contested Divorce May Be More Public than You Think

Statistics show that marriage rates in New York have declined by 53% in the last 15 years. (1) One of the reasons for this drop in couples deciding to tie the knot early increased is financial awareness. Another reason why couples may not want to get married is because of their fear of having to go through the messy divorce process if they ever decide to part ways.

When both couples agree to divorce each other, this is called an uncontested divorce and the process is relatively straightforward and unchaotic. However, when one of the two partners do not agree to certain aspects of the divorce, then a contested divorce will ensue, and the process will be a lot more complex.

What is a Contested Divorce?

Naturally, disagreements are expected during the divorce process, and when you and your spouse cannot agree on one or several matters of your divorce, it becomes contested.

There are many different factors that will have to be decided on during a divorce. The division of assets and liabilities, the amount of spousal and child support payments as well as child custody and parenting plans all have to be written out and signed off. However, when you are going through such an emotional time and you are clearly not on the best terms with your partner, coming to an agreement on even basic and simple matters can seem impossible.

In such cases, you should get in touch with a divorce attorney as soon as possible so you can get help with the court and legal process.

Contested Divorces Have Limited Privacy

Since a contested divorce counts as civil litigation, it becomes a part of the public record. In New York, the law specifies that specific matrimonial records will remain confidential, however, they can be accessed with a court order. In some cases, the court may also unseal specific records.

The final divorce decree is sealed with access only granted to those involved and their attorneys. However, if the case moves to the appellate court or the court issues decisions, then the opinions and decisions may be published for the general public.

The unfortunate truth is that public records will have a small amount of personal information that may be accessible with something as simple as a quick search on the internet. So, if you want to keep your divorce matters private, you should speak with an attorney and consider other options before proceeding with litigation.

What Are Some Ways to Handle Divorce Outside of Court in New York?

If you want to protect your privacy and stay out of public records, you have other divorce options available for you — aside from taking the traditional court route.

You can opt for:

  • No-fault divorce
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation between parties

However, if the level of conflict is very high then it is better to go through the court process with the help of a skilled attorney by your side.

Get Legal Support with Your Contested Divorce in NY Today

Are you going through a contested divorce? Are you looking for a way to keep your divorce and personal life private, and off the public records? You should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to explore different legal options and to get proper support and assistance with the complex legal process.

Contact family lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to get help with your contested divorce.

Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible


1. https://www.news10.com/news/ny-news/study-new-york-marriage-rates-down-51-since-2009/