How to File for an Uncontested Divorce in New York State

Proven Long Island trial lawyers explain the basic steps for a simple divorce

In 2010, when New York became the last state in the country to offer no-fault divorce, it became much easier to get the process started. However, as is often the case, spouses who file in haste — and without the advice of an experienced divorce attorney — regret it later, when the complexities of divorce in New York soon become apparent. But when you choose Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. to represent you, our experienced attorneys can keep it simple, expediting your no-fault, uncontested divorce. We offer this overview of the filing process, so anyone contemplating divorce will know what to expect and make the right choice about going with experienced, determined representation.

Preparing and filing divorce papers in New York

The New York State Unified Court System has a complete uncontested divorce packet available for download on its website that contains all the forms you’ll need if you can get your spouse to agree to an uncontested divorce. Of course, filing is filing, regardless of whether your spouse contests. So to get started you need:

  • Summons with Notice (Form UD-1) — This form combines your Verified Complaint and a Summons. In your complaint, you state your grounds for the divorce (or simply assert that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”) and your Prayer for Relief. The relief you seek is how you want the court to rule with regard to the ancillary issues: child custody, child support, division of property and maintenance (alimony).
  • Child support worksheet — If you have children with your spouse, you must include this worksheet with the summons.
  • Affidavit of Defendant (Form UD-7) — You serve this to your spouse to facilitate an uncontested divorce.

You must have three copies of each document: one to file with the clerk of the county court where you or your spouse resides, one for your records and one to serve on your spouse. You must pay a $210 filing fee, or, if you qualify, submit a poor person’s waiver form.

Serving your divorce papers on a spouse in New York

You cannot serve your spouse yourself, but if your spouse resides in New York, you can arrange for any New York resident over 20 years of age to perform the service. You must affect service within 120 days of filing your complaint with the court.

At this point you’ve gotten the ball rolling, but things are going to get much more complicated. If your spouse signs the Affidavit of Defendant, you can move forward. If not, you have to wait 40 days before you can try to get your divorce case on the court calendar. There are about a dozen more forms you must file to make that happen. After that, each spouse must make a detailed financial disclosure (Statement of Net Worth) to the other.

If things are starting to look a little too complicated, they’re about to get more so, as you see all the points in your spouse’s Response to the court that contradict your Prayer for Relief, and then try to verify your spouse’s Statement of Net Worth.

When it comes right down to it, divorce is not a DIY operation. You may think you’ll save on divorce costs by doing much of the work yourself, but the added stress and additional expense because of wasted time and the errors due to inexperience will come back to haunt you.

Retain divorce lawyers who know how to keep divorce simple. Call us today.

Don’t suffer setbacks making beginner’s mistakes. Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. can deliver excellent results in a timely fashion while keeping costs low. Contact us for a free initial consultation at 1.631.479.3839 or click to contact our office online