Many divorces are contentious and require protracted litigation to resolve issues such as property division and alimony. In some instances, though, a couple’s decision to part ways is amicable, and they are able to end their marriage expeditiously via an uncontested divorce. While there are benefits to obtaining an uncontested divorce, it is critical for people seeking to dissolve their marriages in such a manner to understand the implications of their decision. For example, as explained in a recent New York ruling, a party that asks the court to vacate an order issued in an uncontested divorce likely faces an uphill battle. If you are thinking about a divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with a trusted New York divorce and family law attorney to discuss your options.
The History of the Case
It is reported that the husband and the wife married in 2000. The wife commenced a divorce action in 2017, and the parties subsequently negotiated the distribution of their property and entered into a separation agreement. The agreement provided, among other things, that the wife’s pension and the husband’s retirement account were the separate property of each party. The matter then proceeded as an uncontested divorce, and the court entered a judgment of divorce upon the husband’s default.
Allegedly, the court incorporated but did not merge, the separation agreement into the judgment of divorce. The husband then moved to vacate the judgment and the portions of the separation agreement dealing with the pension and retirement accounts. The court denied his motion, and he appealed. Continue reading