Skip to Content
Litigation. Collaborative Law. Mediation.

Long Island Divorce Attorneys

Divorce has a reputation for being a negative experience for all parties involved. At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, we are committed to helping the people of Long Island see that divorce can be a good thing. Ending an unhappy marriage can be the first step that you need to get to a tomorrow that’s more comfortable and positive for everyone in your family. See what we mean by contacting our divorce lawyers today.

On This Page

You can speak with our firm by dialing (516) 614-4104 at any time.

Divorce Cases We Handle


The traditional way to resolve an adversarial divorce is to go to trial. Our Long Island attorneys are highly skilled in divorce litigation and know how to approach every family legal issue that you seek to bring up in court.

Some common divorce disputes that are brought up in trial include:

  • child custody;
  • child support;
  • alimony/spousal maintenance;
  • property division.

In litigation, your lawyer will represent your spousal interests before a judge, whether that be arguing for possession of the marital home or any investment assets or joint physical custody. The judge will hear both spouses’ sides and order a final settlement based on both spouses’ standards of living and, most importantly, the child’s best interests. The settlement will be legally binding, and both spouses are expected to comply with the judge’s final orders.

Collaborative Law

Litigation is not the default method for settling a divorce, however. At Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, we specialize in alternative dispute resolution methods as well, including collaborative law. Rather than going straight to litigation, you and your divorcing spouse may consider the collaborative law process, where each spouse is represented by a collaborative lawyer in face-to-face meetings to address the issues they need to resolve. n this collaborative process, both parties will all work together to craft a mutual final agreement. Note that if either spouse wants to go to court, the collaborative process ends.

The collaborative process is often favorable for spouses who are willing to communicate and compromise, and the non-adversarial nature allows them more room to negotiate the outcome they want, rather than deferring to a judge’s default decision. This is one way for spouses to openly discuss their needs and interests post-divorce and integrate that into an agreement drafted by themselves.


Similar to collaborative divorce, mediation is also an alternative dispute resolution method for spouses to settle an agreement outside of court. In mediation, spouses will meet and discuss their interests and needs after divorce, such as the custody arrangement they both want and how they will divide their marital property. Mediation will be facilitated by a trained third-party mediator, whose purpose is to guide the conversation towards a productive path. The mediator has no decision-making authority and serves only to facilitate negotiation and help both parties write up the final agreement for approval from the court. Note that mediation is often a required step before litigation.

Mediation is a good way for spouses to retain their decision-making power for their own future, as they can openly discuss between themselves what they seek, rather than having a public trial issue a final (and often impersonal) decision. Note that it is possible for spouses to settle some but not all matters in mediation, though in such a case the rest of the disputes must be resolved through litigation.

Grounds for Divorce in New York

When you want to divorce your spouse, you can say that your marriage is “irreparable” and not get into the specifics of it. However, if it would benefit your divorce case, you can cite specific reasons or “grounds” for divorce in your petition. You can discuss these potential grounds for divorce with our Long Island divorce lawyers to see if any should be mentioned.

New York recognizes seven legal grounds for divorce, including:

  1. Irretrievable breakdown of the relationship that has lasted at least six months.
  2. Cruel and inhuman treatment.
  3. Abandonment for at least one year.
  4. Spouse’s imprisonment for at least three consecutive years.
  5. Adultery or infidelity while the spouses were together.
  6. Legal separation for at least one year.
  7. Forced separation for one year by order of the court.

New York also has residency requirements that must be met before a divorce can be approved by the court. You or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least two years before the divorce case can begin. Or you and your spouse must be residents of New York when filing for divorce and the grounds for divorce happened in the state. Other residency requirement options do exist, and we would be happy to tell you about them as we start your case.

Uncontested vs. Contested Divorce

A divorce can be uncontested or contested, depending on how the petition is received by the respondent spouse. A divorce is uncontested when the respondent agrees with all parts of the petition. A divorce is contested if the respondent disagrees with at least one part of the petition and would like it revised.

When a divorce is contested, it does not mean that the case will head to trial. Matters can still be settled between the two spouses through negotiations and mediation.

Benefits of Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

Before your divorce progresses much, you should connect with our Long Island divorce attorneys for help. When we are by your side and leading the way, you will find that there are so many benefits to hiring us.

When you hire our divorce lawyers, you will appreciate these benefits:

  • Advanced legal knowledge: Before you know it, a divorce case can get complicated, especially if the petition is contested. With our attorneys working on your case, all our legal knowledge and practice experience essentially become your own.
  • Trial preparation and representation: In case there is a chance that your divorce will go to trial, you will be well prepared for it by putting us in charge from the start. Our representation is powerful both in and out of the courtroom.
  • Reduced stress and worries: The main reason that people come to our law firm first is that they just want to feel less stressed out by their divorce. We are here to provide strong legal counsel and genuine moral support.

Long Island Divorce FAQ

Does it matter who files for divorce first?

No, who files first in a New York divorce is typically not important. The respondent spouse always has an opportunity to object to the petition and try to change it, so the petitioner’s ideas are not set in stone.

How do I start the divorce process?

Technically, the first step of divorce is filing the petition with the right County Clerk’s Office, which our attorneys will identify for you. Once it is filed, your spouse will be served the divorce papers, and the case will progress from there. However, a divorce really starts when you decide to end your marriage and first talk to our lawyers about how to create that initial petition to then file.

How long does a divorce take?

An uncontested divorce can take around 3 to 6 months to complete. A contested divorce can take a year or longer. Although, there is no guarantee how long a divorce case will take to conclude. Every case is different, so each progresses uniquely. When we are working on your case, we will do everything that we can to avoid preventable delays that would slow things down.

How much does it cost to file for divorce in New York?

The initial filing fee for a divorce in New York is around $200, but this is not the only cost. Other legal and court fees will add to the final cost. We try to keep the cost of our professional counsel competitive, so you don’t feel like the cost of getting a divorce is too much.

Is marriage counseling required before getting a divorce?

Marriage counseling or mediation is not strictly required before you can be officially divorced in New York. A family law judge could order that you and your spouse attempt marriage counseling before allowing your divorce case to progress. Many judges don’t want to get in between two unhappy spouses in that way, though, so it is unlikely that you would have to take some form of marriage counseling just to then end your marriage.

Industry Thought Leaders Dedicated to Your Success

Dedicated Matrimonial & Divorce Attorneys Protecting Our Clients’ Rights, Assets, & Family

    We are one of the only Manhattan divorce law firms offering all three options for divorce: litigation/negotiation, collaborative law, and mediation - providing custom strategies and solutions for our clients.


    All families and marriages are unique - our attorneys take the time to listen to our clients to fully understand the circumstances of their case. Only then do we advise the best legal option for their goals.


    Divorce is a time of transition. We understand the emotional and financial stress that clients experience during the divorce process – from day one our team ensures that we provide our clients with prompt feedback so that they are updated on their case every step of the way.


    Our attorneys provide frequent expert legal commentary for national media outlets and have been quoted in numerous publications including Fox's Business, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and many more.


  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy

Committed to Quality LEgal Counsel

If you are going through a divorce in Long Island, contact our team of attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein to help you settle your divorce disputes. We specialize in all 3 divorce processes and can provide the professional and informed guidance you need to make sure your goals and needs are addressed in your settlement agreement.

Call (516) 614-4104 or contact Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein onlineto get started.