An uncontested divorce is when a married couple wishes to end their marriage amicably (meaning both agree on all financial and family matters, such as child custody and support, division of marital property or spousal support).  When there are children involved in a divorce case, child custody, support and visitation must be resolved before a judge will sign the Judgement of Divorce.  To best prepare for the divorce, we advise our clients to take an inventory of all their (i) assets and liabilities owned jointly and independently and (ii) legal and tax information.

An uncontested divorce is far less strenuous and expensive than a contested one. However, both parties still have some work to do in order for it to be finalized. The biggest hurdle for any couple is to reach an agreement on all the divorce-related issues such as spousal support, property, and possibly child support. Once this does occur, then the process is pretty downhill from there. It mainly involves getting paperwork done and submitted to the court. The following is a closer look at the uncontested divorce process.

The process begins with a divorce petition being submitted from one spouse to the other. Once this occurs, then both sides can work together in an attempt to avoid battling it out in court. Should an agreement be reached across the board, then a divorce hearing likely won’t be necessary. The divorce could be finalized within a short period of time once all the paperwork has been taken care of and submitted.

Every state handles uncontested divorce process their own way, so you will have to learn about how divorce is handled in your area. For instance, the waiting period before a divorce can be finalized is longer for some states than others. This could range from weeks to months. A court appearance may or may not be necessary.

While divorce lawyers are not really necessary for an uncontested divorce in NY, our attorneys  can guide you through the process and save some time on your part.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a divorce proceeding?

An action for divorce is started by filing a Summons or Summons and Complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Once the initial divorce paperwork is filed in court, it must be served personally on your spouse and an affidavit of personal service must be filed in court within 120 days.

What are the grounds for divorce in New York?

There are 6 grounds for divorce in New York.

  1. No-fault divorce relationship broken down irretrievably for at least 6 months.
  2. Living apart pursuant to a separation agreement.
  3. Cruel and inhuman treatment.
  4. Confinement is prison or mental institution.
  5. Constructive abandonment (cessation of sexual intercourse).
  6. Abandonment

Should I file my divorce in New York or somewhere else?

You can file for divorce in the state where you or your spouse resides. To file in New York, one of the following residence requirements must be met:

  1. You and your spouse were married in the state and either party is a resident when the divorce action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding the divorce.
  2. You and your spouse have resided in this state as husband and wide and either party is a resident when the divorce action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding the divorce.
  3. The ground for divorce occurred in this state and either party has been a resident for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the divorce action.
  4. The ground for divorce occurred in this state and both parties are residents at the time of the divorce action.
  5. Either party has been a resident of this state for at least two years immediately preceding the start of the divorce action.

What do I need to do if I Have Children?

You will file your initial divorce paperwork and address all the issues regarding your children such as, but not limited to; custody arrangements, visitation and time-sharing, child support, and medical coverage.

How can I serve my spouse if we don’t live together?

We would need a photo of your spouse to identify and serve him or her with the initial divorce paperwork.

Can I get a divorce if I cannot find my spouse?

Yes, if you have conducted a due diligence search for your spouse.

How much Are the New York Filing and/or Court Fees?

The filing and/or court fees range from $350 to $400.

How long does the divorce process take in New York?

It depends on how busy the court is. It usually takes between 3-6 months. We have no control over when the judge will sign the divorce decree.

Who should file the divorce paperwork?

For uncontested divorces, the spouse who wishes to finalize the divorce files the divorce paperwork.

Can I change my name?

You can request to resume the use of your prior surname.

When is the Divorce Actually Finalized in New York?

The divorce is finalized when a Judge signs the final judgment or decree. It typically takes between 3-6 months from the filing date, but this will vary due to case load at the courthouse.