Family Law: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • FAQS

What steps should I take before filing for divorce?

With a roadmap to guide you, you can move toward divorce or separation. Before filing for a divorce, consider taking the following steps:

  • Explore counseling: You may be able to avoid divorce entirely. First try to reconcile with your spouse.
  • Speak to an attorney: If counseling is not successful, an attorney can help guide you through the divorce process based on your personal situation.
  • Consider separation: A legal separation agreement puts your marriage on hold, but does not end it.
  • Discuss child custody: Involve your attorney in your child custody discussion early on to minimize the impact of divorce on your children.
  • Anticipate expenses: Divorce includes costs like court filings, attorney and meditation fees, evaluation fees, guardian ad litem fees, and more. If your divorce is contested, costs can increase.
  • Manage finances: Consolidate your financial information to reach a favorable settlement in the divorce.
  • Talk it through with your spouse: Although not advisable in all cases, discuss the possibility of divorce with your spouse. You may be able to reconcile, or come up with strategies together.

Finally, if you do decide to move forward with a divorce, explore mediation to avoid litigation.


While the process may vary by state, you may be able to get a divorce from a partner who does not want to get divorced. In New York state for example, you can get a divorce from an unwilling partner if your partner:

  • Does not respond to the summon(s) or notice(s), or
  • Cannot be contacted or located.

In New York, you must properly serve the divorce documents directly to the defendant spouse through a third-party like a friend or a professional process server. If the non-filing spouse does not respond to the summons within 20 days, you may file for a divorce without their consent.

Further, for New York couples that are already separated where the non-filing spouse cannot be located, you must document that you tried and failed to locate your spouse. Then, you must publish a divorce notice in the newspaper for three weeks and not be contacted by your spouse.

Contact your trusted Chugh, LLP legal professional to find out more about divorce from an unwilling partner.

Scroll to Top

Request a Consultation

Please use the form below to request a consultation.

By submitting this contact form, you are opting in to receive email communications from Chugh, LLP. Submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship. Do not submit confidential information through this form.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and updates about Chugh LLP