Uncontested Divorce in New York
In New York, as in other states, there is an opportunity to get two types of divorces: contested and uncontested. A contested divorce is a legal process in which spouses resolve all contentious issues of their termination with the help of a judge. An uncontested divorce is a complete opposite. Spouses do not divide anything in court and do not sort things out; they just want to end the marriage peacefully. The presence of a compromise between husband and wife is an essential factor in an uncontested divorce. Because of this, on average, an uncontested divorce in New York will take no more than 60 days, while spouses can terminate the marriage with or without a lawyer.
Overview of an Uncontested Divorce in New York
An uncontested divorce implies that spouses want to end the marriage in a friendly manner. Based on this, the legislation allows them to go under the simplified system. In the event of uncontested divorce, the spouses are obliged to resolve all the controversial issues of their termination on their own without the participation of the judge. For this, spouses must prepare and sign a New York Marital Settlement Agreement, or as it is also known a Stipulation of Settlement. This document should describe how the spouses are ready to resolve all disputes relating to divorce, namely the separation of common property and debts, the separation of custody of common minor children (if any), agree on financial support for common children, resolve the issue with alimony and any other controversial subjects that may be connected with divorce.
Also, both spouses must want to dissolve the marriage. At the same time, they must have grounds established by law. The uncontested divorce in New York recognizes no-fault reasons, which include the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” It means that husband and wife can no longer live as a married couple, and there is no chance for reunion.
Residency Requirements in New York Divorce
In many states to file for a divorce, you must be a state resident for a specific time. In New York, there are additional conditions for filing a lawsuit. Thus, it’s allowed to sue provided that one of the following requirements is fulfilled:
- The marriage had to be concluded in New York, and one of the spouses must live in the state for at least one year before filing a lawsuit.
- The spouses were supposed to live in New York as a married couple during any term, and the husband or wife must live in the state for at least one year before filing a lawsuit.
- Grounds for divorce has occurred in New York, and one of the spouses must live in the state for at least one year before filing a lawsuit.
- The grounds for divorce has occurred in New York, and the husband and wife must live in the state at the time of filing the lawsuit.
- Either spouse must reside in New York for at least two years before filing a lawsuit.
Divorce Paperwork in New York
A divorce begins with filing a lawsuit with a court. To do this, the plaintiff needs to fill out all the necessary forms and notarize it. Forms may vary depending on the circumstances of the marriage. Nevertheless, it’s possible to make the main list of the required documents:
- Summons with Notice or Summons,
- Verified Complaint,
- Affidavit of Service,
- Affidavit of Plaintiff,
- Affidavit of Defendant,
- Child Support Worksheet,
- Support Collection Unit information Sheet,
- Qualified Medical Child Support Order,
- Note of Issue,
- Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law,
- Judgment of Divorce,
- Part 130 Certification,
- Request for Judicial Intervention,
- Notice of Entry,
- Certificate of Dissolution,
- Income Deduction Order,
- NYS Case Registry Filing form,
- UCS Child Support Summary Form.
Blank forms can be downloaded from the New York’s Unified Court System website or taken from the county clerk. Do not also forget to make copies of all your papers.
Uncontested Divorce Process in New York
Divorce actions begin with the filing of Summons With Notice or Summons and Verified Complaint with the New York Supreme Court in the county where one of the spouses lives. The respondent must then complete the Affidavit of Defendant, sign it, and return the completed document to the claimant. If the respondent does not return an Affidavit, then the claimant must serve the respondent. It means that the claimant must provide copies of all documents filed with the court. After that, the court will be able to set a date of the first hearing. You will need to complete the remaining papers, namely the Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage, the Postcard, the copy of the Complaint along with the Marital Settlement Agreement, and also sue. If all documents are correct, the judge will grant a divorce at the first hearing without further proceedings.