Articles Posted in Uncontested Divorce

Generally, a judgment of divorce issued by a New York court dissolves a marriage and determines the rights and obligations of the formally married couple. In some instances, though, justice requires that such judgments be set aside. For example, as explained in a recent New York ruling issued in a divorce action, if a default judgment issued in dissolution proceedings is the product of fraud or deceit, there may be grounds for vacating it. If you have questions about how you can protect your rights in dissolution proceedings, it is smart to confer with a New York divorce lawyer as soon as possible.

Case History

It is reported that the parties married in 2008 in Queens County, New York. They had one child during their marriage. In 2022, the husband initiated a divorce action in Kings County despite the fact that neither party resided there. The trial court granted a default judgment of divorce in March 2022, citing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for over six months with resolved ancillary issues. In February 2023, the wife (filed an order to show cause seeking to restore the case to the court’s calendar, alleging that the divorce was based on false information and perjury by the husband.

Grounds for Setting Aside a Default Divorce Judgment

The court conducted an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the divorce judgment should be set aside and whether sanctions should be imposed on the husband. Further, the court explained that CPLR 5015(a)(3) allows a party to be relieved from a judgment due to fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct. Continue reading

Many divorces are contentious and require protracted litigation to resolve issues such as property division and alimony. In some instances, though, a couple’s decision to part ways is amicable, and they are able to end their marriage expeditiously via an uncontested divorce. While there are benefits to obtaining an uncontested divorce, it is critical for people seeking to dissolve their marriages in such a manner to understand the implications of their decision. For example, as explained in a recent New York ruling, a party that asks the court to vacate an order issued in an uncontested divorce likely faces an uphill battle. If you are thinking about a divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with a trusted New York divorce and family law attorney to discuss your options.

The History of the Case

It is reported that the husband and the wife married in 2000. The wife commenced a divorce action in 2017, and the parties subsequently negotiated the distribution of their property and entered into a separation agreement. The agreement provided, among other things, that the wife’s pension and the husband’s retirement account were the separate property of each party. The matter then proceeded as an uncontested divorce, and the court entered a judgment of divorce upon the husband’s default.

Allegedly, the court incorporated but did not merge, the separation agreement into the judgment of divorce. The husband then moved to vacate the judgment and the portions of the separation agreement dealing with the pension and retirement accounts. The court denied his motion, and he appealed. Continue reading

While many people think of obtaining a divorce as a long and contentious process, in some instances, parties can dissolve their marriages in a relatively seamless manner via an uncontested divorce. There are certain requirements that must be met for a couple to be eligible for an uncontested divorce, though, including that they must agree on key issues such as child custody, support, and property division. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on such matters, they must proceed with a contested, litigated divorce, and one party cannot unilaterally deem a divorce uncontested. Recently, a New York court explained the grounds for vacating an order granting an uncontested divorce, in a case in which it was fraudulently represented that the divorce was uncontested. If you wish to end your marriage, it is prudent to meet with a knowledgeable New York divorce attorney to evaluate your options and whether you may be able to seek an uncontested divorce.

History of the Case

It is alleged that in 2010, a divorce petition seeking to dissolve the marriage of the husband and the wife was filed in a New York Supreme court and that subsequent documents were filed in the case averring that the divorce was uncontested. Thus, a final judgment of divorce was issued in February 2011. In April 2020, the wife filed a motion asking the court to vacate the judgment of divorce, alleging that the filings were fraudulent in that they contained forgeries of her purported signature.

Reportedly, the court then scheduled an evidentiary hearing to address the wife’s allegations. Prior to the hearing, however, the court received stipulations affirming that the divorce documents did not contain the wife’s or the husband’s authentic signatures. Both parties claimed ignorance regarding how or why the divorce petition and subsequent pleadings came to be filed. Regardless, though, the court concluded that the judgment of divorce was fraudulently obtained.

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Simply because a marriage is ending does not mean that there is animosity and discord. Rather, many married couples mutually agree that their marriage should end and on the terms of their divorce. Thus, in some cases, a couple can seek an uncontested divorce. Simply because parties agree that they should end their marriage does not mean that they should proceed without an attorney, however, and it is prudent for people seeking a contested or uncontested divorce to retain an experienced New York divorce attorney to protect their rights.

Eligibility for an Uncontested Divorce

First, anyone seeking a divorce in New York must meet the residency requirement. This means that either the person or his or her spouse must have been living in New York for a minimum of two continuous years prior to filing for divorce, or that either spouse lived in New York for at least one continuous year and either got married in New York, lived in New York while married, or the grounds for the divorce took place in New York. Lastly, the residency requirement will be met if both spouses are residents of New York on the day the divorce action is filed, and the grounds for the divorce occurred in New York State.

If residency requirements are met, a petition for an uncontested divorce can be filed if both parties agree on several key factors. Specifically, both parties must agree to divorce and for the grounds of the divorce. They must also come to an agreement regarding how any marital property or debt should be divided, and whether either spouse should pay spousal support. In cases in which a couple has minor children, the parties must also come to an agreement regarding custody of the children and parenting time, and whether either parent will be required to pay child support, and if so, the amount of the support.

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