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Understanding New York’s Divorce Process

The NY divorce process can take place in different ways depending on the circumstances of the filing parties. In some cases, both parties enter into a separation agreement, which is then later converted into a divorce action. Both parties sign the separation agreement, and various factors are decided upon.

In order for a divorce to be obtained based on a legal separation, the parties must live separately for a minimum of one year before filing an action for divorce in New York.

Another way that divorce can be obtained is through the filing of an action for separation. This method is similar to the legal separation method, except that it is accomplished through the court system. Unless the estranged parties can make an agreement without court intervention, the court will decide on the terms of the divorce and then issue a decree or judgment of separation. In this situation, the parties must wait one year from the date of the judgment to file an action for divorce.

Questions about the NY divorce process? Don't hesitate to contact our office at (516) 406-8381 for your free consultation today.

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

The third and final way that divorce can be obtained is through the direct filing of divorce. In 2010, New York became the very last state in the country to allow no-fault divorce cases. What that means is that individuals wanting to file for divorce in NY do not have to prove fault in order for the divorce to be obtained. All divorce requires is for one party to swear that an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship has been taking place for a minimum of six months. Prior to the divorce being granted, an agreement by the court must be made that involves decisions regarding the following terms:

Since each marriage and split is different, not all factors will be relevant for each case. At Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C., we can take the time to facilitate a resolution to your case based on the specific factors of your circumstances. We have 20 years of experience fighting for the most favorable outcomes for our clients. Regardless of the situation of your case, we can point you in the right direction to ensure that your rights are protected and the best interests of your child or children are safeguarded.

The Uncontested Divorce Process in New York

There are essentially five steps to filing for an uncontested divorce. Before filing, be sure that you meet the residency requirement and have a ground for the divorce. Once these are taken care of, you must:

  1. File a "summons with notice" or "summons and complaint" with the County Clerks Office. Some divorce cases may be filed over the Internet, so be sure to check your county list to see if you're eligible. There will be a fee involved with filing as well.
  2. Serve the defendant with either your summons with notice or summons and complaint. This cannot be done personally, as only someone else over the age of 18 must do so. The individual who served the defendant must also complete an Affidavit of Service to prove that the papers were delivered the appropriate way.
  3. Wait for the defendants response. He or she may contest the terms, agree to everything, or not respond. If they do not respond then the divorce may be defaulted.
  4. If the Defendant signs the Affidavit of Defendant or defaults, then complete the rest of the uncontested divorce papers including the "note of issue" form.
  5. If the divorce has been approved by the judge, then a Judgment of Divorce will be signed and each party will receive a copy.

Pleadings in a Divorce Case

In a marital dissolution case, the pleadings include the complaint, the answer, and the reply. These steps are governed by New York Civil Practice Law and Rules §§ 3001 - 3045. Once the party filing for divorce makes the verified complaint, the verified answer will have to be brought forth, either in the affirmative or as a counterclaim. Motions and trial will then take place to make the decisions that will affect the remainder of all parties' futures. The final judgment will then be processed.

Put our years of experience to work for you by contacting our firm for assistance and detailed answers regarding the divorce process in Nassau County!

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