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Getting Started

In New York State, only state Supreme Court Justices can terminate marriages with a divorce decree. As a former Broome County Family Court Judge and New York State Supreme Court Justice, Tully Rinckey PLLC Binghamton Managing Partner Peter P. Charnetsky, Esq. has seen the divorce process play out from both behind and before the bench.

Call 607-722-1520 or email to schedule your FREE consultation with Binghamton Managing Partner Peter P. Charnetsky, Esq.

Mr. Charnetsky can help you whether you are trying to decide to get a divorce or have already filed for a divorce with or without the assistance of a divorce attorney in Binghamton, Norwich, Ithaca, Elmira, or anywhere else in the Southern Tier. Pursuing a divorce on your own may be difficult if you and your spouse cannot agree on issues such as child custody, child support and the division of property. Further, by not involving counsel at the beginning of the divorce process, you could make costly mistakes and/or agree to terms that leave you with an unequal share of marital assets and debts and less time with or decision making authority over your children.

Don’t let your spouse take advantage of you. Secure an experienced divorce attorney who will stand up for you and your children. Call Tully Rinckey PLLC today to schedule a initial consultation with one of our family and matrimonial lawyers at 607-722-1520 or e-mail

General Process and Divorce Terminology

  • The spouse seeking the divorce must file with the county clerk a “summons,” which notifies the court and other spouse of the intention to end the marriage. The summons also details the demands on the filer, known as the plaintiff, in terms of child custody, child support and property division.
  • If the spouse who receives the summons, known as the “defendant,” agrees to its terms, the divorce is call “uncontested.”
  • If the defendant disagrees, the divorce is “contested.”
  • A contested divorce will necessitate the filing of additional paperwork and pleadings important to preserving the rights of the parties.
  • During the “discovery” stage, your attorney will collect documents to support your claims for child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and equitable distribution.
  • To ensure your children’s best interests are protected and you are not cut off financially by the defendant while the divorce is pending, your attorney could petition for temporary orders for child custody, child support, exclusive use of the marital home, and spousal maintenance.
  • The divorce’s timeline will be laid out at a court-arranged “preliminary conference,” where disputed issues and information exchange dates will also be identified.
  • A “law guardian” may be appointed by the court to represent any children’s best interests.
  • The court will hold a “compliance meeting” to ensure both parties have the information necessary for trial.
  • The plaintiff will file a Note of Issue and a Certificate of Readiness if a settlement cannot be reached.
  • At “pre-trial conferences,” the parties will further attempt to resolve certain issues before the trial.
  • A “decision” will be issued after the trial.

How Long Will It Take

Depending on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, this process can take as little as 90 days or as long as one to three years to compete. The involvement of children and valuation and property issues will make the divorce more complex and harder to quickly complete. Choose a Binghamton divorce attorney with whom you are comfortable and whom you trust, because to start the next stage of your life you will be working closely with him or her for months or years.

Tully Rinckey PLLC Binghamton Managing Partner Peter P. Charnetsky, Esq., a former Broome County Family Court Judge and New York State Supreme court Justice, is prepared to fight for you and your children over the long haul. Schedule a initial consultation with him today. Call Tully Rinckey PLLC in Binghamton at 607-722-1520 or e-mail

Tully Rinckey PLLC’s family and matrimonial law attorneys can represent parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, domestic partners, and other parties in Bath, Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Media, Norwich, Owego, Watkins Glen, and beyond. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our family and matrimonial lawyers at 607-722-1520 or e-mail Click here to view a video about our consultation process.


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