How to File an Uncontested Divorce in New York

How to File an Uncontested Divorce in New York

From a legal perspective, divorce is a long and sometimes arduous process that terminates a marriage through a court order. Divorce is also called a matrimonial action in courtroom jargon, with an initiator who is a plaintiff and the spouse a defendant. Have you been wondering how uncontested divorce in New York is filed?

Keep scrolling down and unveil more insightful information about filing an uncontested divorce in New York.

How Do You File Uncontested Divorce in New York?

Uncontested divorces occur when spouses agree on marriage termination terms. The opposite is called a contested matrimonial action, but both cases require legally acceptable grounds.

A soon-to-be-divorced couple agrees and settles divorce-related issues; they can have an uncontested divorce in New York. This involves property division, child guardianship, and alimony since the state allows no-fault claims on grounds for divorce.

You must fulfill the residency requirement before you file for an uncontested divorce in New York. Have sufficient legal grounds or reasons for marital termination. The court addresses family issues like child support, custody, or visitation, especially if they’re under 21.

Steps to take when filing an uncontested divorce in New York include;

Filing an Uncontested Divorce

Your divorce case starts after filing a summons with the county clerk’s office, which you can do either physically or online. The plaintiff can file for uncontested divorce through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing or NYSCEF system.

In this stage, you pay a fee for the index number or apply for a waiver if you’re on public assistance and filing for the following;

  • Summons and Complaint or Summons with Notice
  • Notice of Automatic Orders
  • Notice Concerning Continuation of Health Care Coverage
  • Settlement Agreement

Serving the Defendant

Case defendant is your spouse or the person you want to divorce, and serving them involves delivering the summons or service.

Once the defendant is served, the service bailiff, who must be a New York resident and 18 years or older, completes an Affidavit of Service as proof. You have 120 days to serve the defendant from the date of filing for summons at the county clerk’s office.

Defendant’s Response

After you’ve served the notice of divorce filing to the defendant, they must respond within 20 days if served in New York State or 30 days out of state. They can sign and return the Affidavit of Defendant in an uncontested divorce allowing you to file for putting your case on the court calendar.

Your divorce defendant may also default on filing an Affidavit or Notice of Appearance if they’ve decided to contest your claim. That’s common in uncontested divorces, and it means you’ll go ahead and file for placing your case on the court calendar.

Court Calendaring

Depending on your defendant’s response, in this stage, your uncontested divorce case is ready to be scheduled on the court calendar. This process is called calendaring, implying the judge will review your papers. It’s done immediately if the Affidavit of Defendant was signed and returned.

If the defendant defaults or hasn’t responded to the served notice, you’ll wait 40 days to file for calendaring. If a notice of appearance was returned instead, your divorce case ceases to be uncontested and becomes contested.

Papers to prepare for calendaring your uncontested divorce at a New York county clerk’s office include;

  • Notice of Issue
  • Copies of summons with notice or summons and complaint
  • Request for Judicial Intervention or RJI
  • Affidavits of Regularity, Plaintiff Or Defendant, if any
  • An Affidavit of Service, signed by the person who served the summons to the defendant
  • Sworn statement of removal of barriers to remarriage, especially if you had religious nuptials
  • Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law

The Court’s Judgment

If there are no problems with your divorce paper filings, your marital termination is legally granted immediately after the judge signs a judgment. That’s a court order signifying you’re no longer married to your spouse. You’ll then file it with the county clerk’s office.

After recording, the county clerk stamps to certify each copy. You’ll also serve your defendant with copies of the judgment. A certified divorce judgment helps prove you’re divorced at government agencies or should you wish to remarry.

An uncontested divorce is possibly the best kind, as it means you’re for equality during your marital termination. With less anger and drama, especially if you have children, this option is the better route for all parties involved.

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