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.
Process of Seeking an Uncontested Divorce
Once a person decides to seek an uncontested divorce, there are numerous forms that the person must file. First, a Summons and Verified Complaint must be filed, and then the non-filing spouse must be served with the Complaint and must sign an affidavit verifying the divorce is uncontested. If the spouse files an entry of appearance, the divorce will be deemed contested, but if the spouse neither signs the affidavit nor files an entry of appearance, the divorce will be deemed uncontested. Additional forms must also be served on the spouse if the couple has children under the age of 21.
The couple must then complete numerous forms and documents which will be submitted to the judge, including a Stipulation of Settlement or a Settlement Agreement which should define the agreed terms of the parties’ divorce. If upon review, the judge finds everything to be in the order, he or she will sign the Judgment of divorce, which then must be entered at the County Clerk’s Office.
Meet with a Trusted Divorce Attorney
Regardless of whether a couple mutually agrees to obtain a divorce and to the terms of their divorce, it is important to consult with a divorce attorney to avoid unknowingly waiving important rights. If you and your spouse are interested in obtaining a divorce, trusted New York divorce attorney Ksenia Rudyuk can advise you of your rights and options and assist you in seeking an efficient and just resolution. You can contact Ms. Rudyuk through the form online or at 212-706-2001 to schedule a consultation.