What Is An Uncontested Divorce In New York
An uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse agree to all of the terms of your divorce, including spousal support, child support, division of property and debt repayments. Conversely, a contested divorce is one where the parties disagree on any of these terms and require the courts intervention to resolve those differences.
Does It Matter Which Lawyer Provides My Consultation
Sometimes clients request to work with a specificdivorce attorney. Other times, clients come to us based on a referral to the firm in general. Whatever your situation, you should feel confident about the fact that the attorneys work together on every matter. It doesn’t matter which lawyer you see for your initial consultation, because you get the knowledge and experience of both.
Seeking Legal Help With A Divorce
Divorce is not easy, so finding the right legal team to help guide you through the process is crucial for a speedy trial. From document filing to serving papers, having the help of a legal team on your side can make the divorce process less stressful. Movies and T.V. tend to exaggerate divorce filings, making a heated court debate seem like an expectation anyone filing for a divorce should have before their court appearance, but in reality, this is nowhere near the truth. Before filing for a divorce, contacting an attorney well-versed in divorce law is key to a productive divorce hearing.
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How To File A Divorce In New York
Want to get divorced in New York? Find out the residency requirements, procedures, and what to expect regarding property division, alimony, child custody and support.
Whether you live in New York or elsewhere, divorce for any married couple will accomplish two things: severing the marital relationship, and dividing assets and debts. If one of them will be unable to be self-supporting after the divorce, the issue of alimony may arise. If there are minor children, they will also need to resolve issues of child custody and support.
Residency and Where to File
To file for divorce in New York, one of the following situations must exist:
- both parties are New York residents, and the cause of the divorce arose in the state,
- one party is a resident for at least 1 year, and the cause of the divorce arose in the state,
- one party is a resident for at least 1 year, and the parties were married in the state,
- one party is a resident for at least 1 one year, and the parties have resided in the state as husband and wife, or
- either party is a resident of New York for at least 2 years.
You may file in the Supreme Court in the county where either party resides.
Grounds for Divorce
Grounds for divorce are legally recognized reasons to get a divorce. New York has what are commonly called no-fault grounds, and several traditional fault-based grounds. To get a no-fault divorce in New York, you need to state in the Complaint for Divorce one of the following:
What Is A New York Divorce Record
A New York state divorce record includes more information than a divorce certificate and a divorce decree. Essentially, a divorce record is the case file for a divorce case. This dissolution of marriage record contains all of the information mentioned above, as well as all general divorce case documents, including testimonies, evidence, transcripts of proceedings, and judgments, decided at the end of the case. Information about the parties who submitted divorce papers in New York is also available in a divorce record, including names, dates of birth, and addresses. Divorce records are more publicly available than divorce certificates and decrees. They can be searched for and obtained the same as other types of publicly available records. When searching for a divorce record through official government sources, specific identification and fees will be required from the requester.
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Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
After you file your forms with the court, you must also serve your spouse with copies of the paperwork so that they are officially notified and have a chance to respond. In New York, the only way divorce papers can be served is in person. Any person who is 18 or older and a resident of New York can serve the papers for you. They cannot be mailed or served by publication.
You have 120 days to serve your spouse from the date you filed your paperwork with the courts. Your spouse can be served Monday through Saturday but may not be served on Sunday. If your spouse lives in another state, then you will need to follow the laws for service that apply for that state.
If your spouse agrees to the divorce, they will sign and return an affidavit of defendant form within 40 days. If they do not agree and will not return the affidavit, then the server must prepare and file an Affidavit of Service Form UD-3 stating that the spouse received copies of the divorce paperwork.
The spouse may file a Notice of Appearance which means the divorce is not uncontested and will result in several other possible options for resolution, up to and including a trial in front of a judge.
If your spouse signed the affidavit of defendant, then you can place your case on the court calendar at any time. If your spouse did not sign the form, then you have to wait 40 days after serving them with the papers.
Gathering Your Important Information
No matter your circumstances, you will benefit from being organized at the outset when it comes to tracking down the financial documentation that youll need.
Many parts of divorce can be overwhelming, so any steps you can take to save time and reduce stress and anxiety should be a priority for you early in the process.
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Get Filled Out Uncontested Divorce Forms For New York In Pdf
To get your divorce paperwork filled out you need to:
- Answer a few questions in a Do You Qualify form so that we can make sure that your marriage dissolution is uncontested.
- Complete a quick questionnaire so that we can learn more about your case.
- Submit your answers and receive your divorce documents in just a few days!
It is that simple! Moreover, we charge a fee of $199 no matter how many assets, debts, or children you have. Therefore, regardless of the complexity of your uncontested case, you can always count on our service to help you for an affordable price.
Form 6 Affirmation Of Regularity
This form tells the court that the defendant received the initial divorce papers and how they responded. If you do not have an attorney, you will need to get it notarized.
If they did not respond, then this form indicates that you will be undergoing a default divorce .
Default divorce proceedings are always uncontested divorce because a contested divorce means that both parties are there to express disagreement. This has some serious upsides — its likely that you wont even need a divorce lawyer.
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Requirements For Divorce In New York
The New York law recognizes no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce.
Unlike most states that have a simple residency requirement, you can file for divorce in New York if you meet any one of the following requirements:
If your spouse and you were married in New York and either one of you at least has lived in New York for a minimum of 1 year before filing for divorce.
Your spouse and you have lived in New York as a couple and either one of you at least has lived in New York for a minimum of 1 year before filing for divorce.
The grounds of divorce have occurred in the state and either one of you at least has lived in New York for a minimum of 1 year before filing for divorce.
The grounds of divorce have occurred in the state and both your spouse and you have lived in New York when the process of divorce started.
Either your spouse or you have been a resident of the state for a minimum of 2 years immediately before filing for divorce.
There is no waiting or cooling-off period in New York.
How Much Does A Divorce Cost
The NY Courts website lists a schedule of fees for initial divorce filings in on page 5 of their divorce packet. For an uncontested divorce, the inital court filings may represent the majority of the cost. However, for contested divorces, where motions are commonly filed, experts may be ordered to do evaluations, and a lawyer is usually required, the costs can increase greatly.
If you cannot afford the filing fees, you may file an application to proceed as a poor person. Here, for example, is an affidavit that would be filed when asking to have the fees waived The clerks office can tell you exactly what forms to file. If you qualify, you will not have to pay the fees.
Attorneys usually charge an hourly rate, ranging from $175 to $450 or possibly even more, depending on experience. They usually require an advance retainer, which is an initial deposit against which you are billed. You might be able to get an attorney for no cost through our NY Finding a Lawyer page or, if you are low-income, you may be able to get an attorney appointed for you by the court to handle custody and visitation matters.1
1 NY Judiciary Law § 352 NY Dom. Rel. Law § 2373 NY Dom. Rel. Law § 237
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Divorce In Your County
This page features courts that provide county-specific online divorce information. Before you start the divorce process, see the brief descriptions below of the information provided by each county. Use the links provided to quickly access this information.
Quick Links Index:
If your county is not listed, go to Supreme Court Contact Information. Select your county of residence from the list and contact the court directly for additional information.
Remember, only the Supreme Court can give you a divorce in New York State. Please use the resources available on this website if you need help finding a lawyer or completing your divorce papers by using the court’s free divorce forms and instructions.
If your case is not yet in court, or if you have parenting or economic issues to resolve with your spouse during your divorce and you want to do it outside of court, you may condsider forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or collaborative divorce to help reduce the emotional and financial stress of divorce for you and your children.
- Fifth Judicial District – includes: Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga & Oswego CountiesThe 5th Judicial District offers parties access to trained neutral evaluators and mediators for commercial, personal injury, general civil, matrimonial cases. Contact the professionals directly to learn about their credentials and hourly rates.
If I Think The Divorce Will Be Uncontested What Are The Steps I Need To Follow To Begin The Divorce
Step 1: GroundsYou must first have grounds to ask for a divorce. For more information, please review the section: What are the grounds for divorce?
If you are filing for a divorce after a separation agreement, you must both have a properly written agreement that has to have very specific legal language in it to be valid. We strongly suggest that you have a lawyer draw up the agreement so that it meets the legal requirements. You both must sign the agreement in front of a notary and at some point, file it in the proper court in the county where you live. Then, you must live apart, according to the terms of your agreement, for at least one year before filing for divorce.
If you are filing for a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce action, then you do not need to write a separation agreement. Again, we suggest having an attorney assist you with filing for your divorce.
You will also have to pay certain fees to file for the divorce. If you cannot afford it, you can ask the clerk for an application to proceed as a poor person. If you qualify, you may not have to pay the fees.
If your spouse lives in another state, you will need to follow the rules of that state. Call the to find out how to have the papers served in that state.
1 Much of this information was adapted from the NY Courts website divorce packet. Please read the packet for additional information.
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Child Custody In New York
Most states, including New York, follow guidelines laid out in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. As part of the divorce process, a Custody Order will be issued that will dictate the responsibility for a childs care. The order defines two types of custody in New York: legal custody and physical custody.
Legal custody means that a parent has the right to make important decisions about how the child is raised and cared for, including religious upbringing, medical care and other similar issues. A judge may choose to grant joint legal custody and when this happens both parents make these kinds of decisions for the child together. If the judge grants sole legal custody to one parent, then that parent is the only one responsible for making important life decisions for the child.
Physical custody defines which parent the child lives with. It is also known as residential custody and dictates who is responsible for the day-to-day physical care and supervision of a child. A judge may choose to grant joint physical custody in which case the child will live with each parent an equal amount of time. In cases where sole physical custody is granted, the child will live with one parent a majority of the time and the other parent will be grant visitation rights.
Spousal Maintenance In New York
Laws changed in 2015 that created a presumptive formula to determine how much spousal maintenance one spouse should pay another. These amounts and time periods are presumed to be correct unless evidence can be presented to show why those variables should be changed. The court does have the discretion to order different amounts based on explanations in may be given.
Temporary support is ordered to paid to an ex-spouse while a divorce case is pending and is ordered as part of proceedings in Supreme Court. Spousal maintenance is ordered by the Supreme Court as part of the divorce, but the Family Court will have the jurisdiction to modify or enforce the order after the divorce is finalized.
For a marriage up to 15 years, maintenance will last for 15% to 30% of the length of the marriage. For marriages lasting 15 to 20 years, maintenance will last 30% to 40% of the length of the marriage. For marriages lasting more than 20 years, maintenance will last 35% to 50% of the length of the marriage.
Courts can adjust spousal maintenance based on a number of factors. Some of those include:
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