Is your potential divorce case or divorce case in Westchester County?
The Supreme Court in Westchester County, New York has different procedures and policies regarding all matrimonial cases. As a divorce lawyer it is important to know and understand the local rules and customs unique to Westchester County.
This divorce blog will review the basis about preparing and navigating a divorce case in Westchester County. If you have any follow up questions contact the divorce lawyers at the law firm of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP. Our offices are located in White Plains and Peeskill. We are always available for a free initial divorce consultation.
Our divorce lawyers believe in getting results and aggressively representing our clients to protect their rights and achieve their goals. Understanding the process and open communication is a hallmark of our representation. We are proud to be locally and nationally recognized divorce lawyers.
How does a divorce case end up in the Westchester County Supreme Court?
Where a divorce case is filed depends on the residency of the parties. Usually both spouses live in Westchester County but at least one spouse must reside in Westchester County to file a divorce action in Westchester County.
As you may expect the top divorce lawyers may use different strategic reasons to file a divorce action in Westchester County or another County.
Westchester County Court has their own rules and procedures:
During the discovery phase of a divorce case the litigants and attorneys meet with Court Attorney Referees (CAR). A CAR is hired by the court system to keep track of various items of discovery and alleviate the workload of the judges. In Westchester County you may never see a judge during the discovery phase unless there is a problem that can not be resolved by the CAR.
In Westchester County there are four CAR and a case is randomly assigned to the CAR. The attorneys find out who is assigned when the court e-mails a Preliminary Conference notice.
After the discovery phase is completed the divorce case is sent to a Judge for a pre-trial conference and a trial.
Don't file a Motion unless there is an emergency:
In Westchester County attorneys can not file a motion unless there is an emergency. In other Counties motion practice is regular and motions are commonly made for various reasons such as pendente lite issues.
In Westchester County an attorney needs to attempt to resolve the issues to be raised in a motion with counsel prior to requesting a pre-motion conference with the assigned CAR. At the pre-motion conference if the issues can not be resolved the CAR will issue a "Rule E" sheet granting permission for the attorney to file a motion to be heard before a judge. The CAR will do everything possible to avoid motions as they are time consuming and place a burden on the judges.
It is common to see an attorney who is not familiar with the Westchester County local divorce rules to file motions that never make it before a judge or are just outright denied because they do not follow the local court rules.
To determine if your motion is an emergency contact our law office to discuss the issues and likelihood of success of an emergency motion. If there is no emergency we will immediately request a pre-motion conference.
The courthouse is very uncomfortable
The Westchester County Matrimonial Part is located on the 10th floor of the Westchester County Courthouse, located at 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in White Plains.
The floor is generally crowded and there is limited seating. It is not uncommon to see litigants and attorneys leaning on the walls near the elevators trying to find a quiet place to speak. Your spouse will also be on the floor adding to a certain level of discomfort.
There is one very small conference room located near the bathrooms but that is almost always occupied.
When arriving on the 10th floor all attorneys and litigants must check in with the court officer's table if the matter is before a Judge or with the clerk, down the hall near the bathrooms, if the matter is before a CAR.
Arrive on time. Generally your case will be called at the scheduled time but that is never a guarantee. If your matter is scheduled for the morning plan on being in court the entire morning. The afternoon usually move quicker. Court hours are 9:30 am until 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm until 4:30 pm.
At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP we always speak with our client's before court so they have a very good understanding about what will happen when in court and what to expect. We want to avoid surprises and avoid speaking about your private case in a very public area.
When meeting with a CAR the attorneys and litigants are escorted to the rear offices and sit at a table to review the outstanding issues. All the judges sit in the courtrooms.
The divorce process can move quickly in Westchester County
Unless you and your spouse are highly litigious or your attorneys bombard each other with volumes of paperwork and demands, your divorce case will follow a path towards a quick resolution. The court keeps track of how long every case has been pending and encourages a quick resolution.
Even when seeking a trial date in Westchester County it will usually be set in a matter of months depending on other matters already pending.
When you meet with your attorney you should have a clear understanding of the process and the time frame of your divorce action. At our law office we always keep our client's informed regarding the status of the case and how long it will take to conclude the matter.
Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP.
The divorce lawyers at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP have offices in White Plains, New York. We know and understand all the local rules regarding a Westchester County Divorce.
At our law firm we offer quality representation during difficult times. We know that you can feel frustrated and overwhelmed and that is why we dedicate time and guide you through the process so you can feel secure and at ease.
If you are considering a divorce or in the middle of a divorce call us for a free consultation.
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