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Requirements for Filing for a Divorce in New York

If you are preparing to file for a divorce from your spouse, planning is a critical part of this process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, saving you time and sparing you the hassle of any costly mistakes. Before you jump ahead and file for a divorce, it is imperative that you first understand what is required of you to move forward. In New York, divorce can be either be based on fault or no-fault grounds. If you have been separated for at least 12 months, a divorce can also be based on this. Grounds are often used in divorce cases to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute, giving a spouse the upper hand.

Below is a list of other requirements that must be met in a New York divorce:

  • One spouse must meet the residency requirements to file for a divorce in the state of New York. At least one spouse must be a New York resident for a year prior to filing for a divorce.

  • To file for a divorce, you must do so with the County Clerk’s Office and you must file the following documents: Summons With Notice or Summons and Complaint, Notice of Automatic Orders, Notice Concerning Continuation of Health Care Coverage, and a Settlement Agreement if you have one.

  • When you file for a divorce in the state of New York, there is a filing fee. The index number costs $210. It is the number for your case and must be put on all papers filed. The cost of total court and filing fees for an uncontested divorce is at least $335, though this does not include the cost of an attorney, notary fees, mailing, process server fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. If you are experiencing extreme financial hardship, however, it is possible to apply for a fee waiver.

  • Your spouse must be informed of the divorce in person, which is also known as a service. The papers must be served within 120 days from the date they were filed and the person who is serving the papers must be 18 years of age or older. If the papers are being served in the state, the person who is serving them must be a New York resident. If they are being served outside of the state, the person must be able to serve papers according to New York state law or must be a resident of the state.

  • The spouse being served must respond within 20 days if served within the state. If served out of the state, he or she has 30 days to respond.

  • Depending on how your spouse responds, your divorce case might be ready to go on the court calendar to be reviewed by a judge. Your case does not have to go through litigation. If you and your spouse want to negotiate a divorce settlement, there are other methods of divorce, such as mediation, that allow you both to have more control over the outcome of your settlement. If left to a judge, your divorce settlement will be left to his or her discretion.

Divorce Attorney in New York

Divorce is never an easy experience, but the turmoil and disruption to your life can be minimized with the proper legal help. At DePrima Law, our New York divorce team seeks to assist couples in divorcing with dignity and provide a balanced approach to help spouses find happiness in peace in the aftermath of this process. Backed by years of experience, you can count on us to effectively represent you.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.