Hi, I'm sorry, just to be clear...
Are you still married?
yes we are still married and while my lawyer is trying to get an agreement - this is going on for months. I have been told it takes 15 to 20 hours of legal time to do such a motion. is that possible?
Thank you for the additional information, Sharon. Let me start by saying that I am sorry you are going through this. I am located in NY, and I know how frustrating it can be to go through the process here.
A divorce or legal separation can take months, even years, to settle and finalize. In the meantime, your circumstances can change dramatically. During that time, your spouse may stop paying certain bills or significantly reduce his financial contribution to your family. The two of you may be unable to agree on child custody and visitation issues or on which one of you should stay in the family home. Under the stress of a divorce, your spouse may become uncharacteristically verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive. So, even if you don't need emergency relief at the start of the divorce, you may need it at some point during the divorce proceedings.
At any time after the summons or petition has been filed and before the judge finalizes the divorce, your lawyer can file an application with the court for emergency relief. A judge will review the application, which is filed as an order to show cause. Your attorney then serves the emergency relief motion on your spouse or their attorney, if they have one.
To answer your question, I would say that 15-20 hours is in the reasonable range. The general process is this: a application is filed with the court - usually financial information has to be provided and documented for a spousal support order. A judge reviews the application, and then your attorney would serve it on your spouse. Your spouse's attorney would then file a response and possibly a cross motion. At that point, both parties have to go to court for a hearing. By that point, you are approaching the 15 hour range.
Even "emergency" orders can take months to complete. I'm so sorry you are going through this - please let me know if you have follow up questions.
Just a note - it takes some time to respond, so don't start a new question each time. If you need to send me more info, hit "Reply to Expert."
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i should also tell you that we are married 26 years and I am 75 and he is 81 years old so I don't have a lot of time to waste. I don't have that much staying power or financial support to spend a fortune more on legal fees while he has a business, etc.
I understand completely. Unfortunately, the system takes time - this may be why your attorney is trying to work something out between the parties, which is usually much faster than litigating or going to court over every issue.
Thank you, and let me know if you have additional follow up questions.
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