Uncontested Divorce in New York
In this state, people have the opportunity to file for either contested or uncontested divorce.
- A contested divorce takes considerably longer and costs much more than an amicable route of ending the marriage. It can be explained by a variety of issues that the Supreme Court should address. Usually, this type of divorce process is initiated when people fail to agree on child custody, spousal support, and division of marital property.
- Divorcing couples managing to settle all major issues in their case are allowed to apply for an uncontested divorce. In this case, there is no need to hire a qualified divorce attorney or law firm, as spouses can use a DIY solution like an online divorce service. Considering that this option is less expensive than a contested divorce and is often finalized much faster, uncontested divorce is the most preferred method for many couples in New York.
Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online
If the divorce paperwork is filed late or incorrectly, marriage termination can take a lot of time for residents of New York. To ensure all the required divorce papers are accepted by the Family Court, it is recommended to use services offered by DivorceOnline.
With the help of our platform, clients can get assistance throughout the whole process of selecting and filling out divorce forms for as little as $139.
All you have to do is complete a simple questionnaire to provide us with information about your marriage and the divorce terms. All of our customers also receive a step-by-step guide on how to file. In just two business days, you can download ready-to-sign divorce documents and initiate dissolution of marriage right away.
Currently, New York courts may require divorcing spouses to submit the following documents:
- Summons (UD-1a)
- Verified Complaint (UD-2)
- Affidavit of Service (UD-3)
- Affidavit of Plaintiff (UD-6)
- Affidavit of Defendant (UD-7)
- Annual Income Worksheet (UD-8(1))
- Child Support Worksheet (UD-8(3))
- Judgment of Divorce (UD-11)
- Certificate of Dissolution
- Notice of Settlement
Steps for Filing a Divorce in New York
Each resident of New York should follow several significant steps to file for divorce in the state. Let's take a look at each of these steps in detail.
To be eligible to apply for divorce in New York, make sure to fulfill at least one of the requirements listed below:
- At least one of the partners has lived in the state for at least two years before the divorce case is started.
- At least one of the partners has lived in the state for at least one year before the divorce case is started, and:
- The couple got married in New York.
- The partners lived in this state as a married couple.
- The cause of the split occurred in this state.
- Both partners reside in New York at the time the divorce application is filed, and the cause of the split occurred in this state.
New York has been a no-fault divorce state since 2010, even though couples are still allowed to file for divorce based on fault-based grounds.
In the case of no-fault divorce, it is enough to testify that relationships have broken down irretrievably for at least six months.
Fault-based grounds for divorce in New York are as follows:
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
However, if the plaintiff decides to use the fault grounds, they must provide the court with evidence of the spouse's misconduct.
Residents of this state can also apply for dissolution of marriage based on Judgment Separation or Separation Agreement if they prove they have been living apart for at least one year.
To initiate the process of marriage termination, the plaintiff should submit all completed divorce forms to the New York State Supreme Court in the county where at least one of the spouses resides.
Divorce Papers in New York
Currently, soon-to-be-ex spouses have the opportunity to find all the required, blank divorce papers on the New York Courts website in the Uncontested Divorce Packet.
At the same time, each case is unique, so the number of needed divorce forms can vary from one couple to the other. The main documents required from all people include:
- Summons With Notice or Summons form
- Verified Complaint
To learn more about additional divorce papers, make sure to contact the county clerk or use the services provided by online divorce platforms, namely DivorceOnline. They can guide you throughout the procedure of document preparation.
When the plaintiff files completed divorce papers with the Supreme Court, they must also pay filing fees. In New York State, the minimum divorce filing fee for an uncontested divorce is $335, which can vary slightly from county to county. If the person refuses to pay filing fees without a reasonable cause, their divorce case will most likely be dismissed.
Presently, there is no waiting period for a divorce in New York. However, it usually takes several months before a judge can enter a decree of divorce.
Each plaintiff has 120 days to serve their partner with divorce forms, along with an Affidavit of the Defendant. If minor children are involved, it is also necessary to serve a copy of the Child Support Standards Chart.
It can be done by any person other than yourself, who is at least 18 years of age, a resident of New York, and not a party to the divorce. Then, this person should complete an affidavit letting the court know that they successfully served this task.
After reviewing the divorce forms, the judge will sign the Judgment of Divorce. Then, the plaintiff should serve a copy of the signed and entered document on the defendant along with a completed Notice of Entry.
Getting a Divorce With Children
If the couple has minor children, issues of child custody, visitation, and child support should be addressed first.
Couples failing to agree on these terms will have to go through a contested divorce. In this case, the judge will determine child custody and child support according to the child's best interest. Therefore, local courts consider both physical and legal child custody, as well as shared or sole.
To identify a child's best interests, judges typically take into account the following factors:
- the child's age, mental and physical health
- the child's preferences
- the financial status of each parent
- the physical and emotional well-being of each parent
- the child's relationship with siblings and extended family members
As other U.S. states, New York considers two types of custody when it comes to childcare: physical and legal. Physical custody offers parents the opportunity to reside with the child and make daily caregiving decisions. In the context of legal custody, this term refers to a parent’s right to make essential decisions regarding the child's life and well-being. For example, these decisions can be related to social life, education, health, and personal development.
At the same time, there are two types of legal custody in New York. On the one hand, there is a sole legal custody that gives one parent a full responsibility over important aspects of the child’s life. On the other hand, there is a joint legal custody that offers both parents the authority to make decisions about the child equally. If parents are awarded joint legal custody, they should learn how to find compromises and communicate respectfully about the child’s best interests.
Child support in New York is governed by the Child Support Standards Chart, updated each year on April 1st. These guidelines allow determining an approximate annual child support obligation, considering both parents' income and the number of children for whom the parents are responsible.
Filing for Divorce in New York Without a Lawyer
The involvement of divorce attorneys is not necessary for couples applying for an uncontested divorce in New York. It is currently possible to end the marriage through a DIY divorce option. The thing is, attorney’s services typically include protection of clients’ interests in court, handling of a wide variety of family law issues, and provision of legal advice in terms of property division, spousal support, or child custody. In turn, these services are extremely important in contested cases, whereas uncontested ones can be peacefully processed without legal assistance.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in New York
Having an uncontested divorce and meeting residency requirements, spouses can terminate their marriage through a do-it-yourself divorce. Many couples also use the services of online divorce providers, like DivorceOnline, as an alternative to hiring lawyers.
It is way more affordable than attorney's services, as divorce lawyers typically charge around $305-380 per hour in New York. Thus, the cost of the entire divorce process can reach up to several thousand dollars. DivorceOnline charges $139 to prepare divorce forms for an uncontested divorce.
Additionally, experienced attorneys usually need at least 1-2 weeks to complete divorce documents, whereas DivorceOnline can help with this task in as little as two business days.
Hence, DIY divorce is the easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to terminate a marriage in New York.
Frequently Asked Questions:
On average, uncontested divorce lasts around three months, although the length of this process varies depending on the circumstances. Some couples manage to end their marriage legally in six weeks, whereas others might need six months. In contrast, a contested divorce process can take over a year due to a variety of divorce-related issues that should be addressed in court.
Today, the court fees are $335, including the index fee. If the couple hires a lawyer, it will cost an additional $305-380 per hour. If using services of online divorce platforms, such as DivorceOnline, the price for preparing divorce forms starts from $139. In the end, the final cost of an uncontested divorce is unique in each case.
If paying filing fees is an extreme financial hardship for the couple, they can apply for a fee waiver by completing a Poor Person's Application, Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, or Indigency Affidavit.
In addition to basic divorce forms, such as Summons and Verified Complaint, divorcing spouses will also need to submit other documents. Some of them may include:
- Affidavit of Service
- Child Support Worksheet
- Qualified Medical Child Support Order
- Request for Judicial Intervention
- Notice of Entry
- Poor Person Order
To determine the exact documents needed for divorce, make sure to contact the county clerk's office or use the services of online divorce providers, such as DivorceOnline.