Filing and Serving an Uncontested Divorce

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Once you have decided to file for divorce in New York, there are a few steps to take before proceeding.  These steps include filing the paperwork and serving your spouse with the divorce documents.  It is a good idea to consult with an attorney as well, to ensure that you protect yourself and your assets.  Using a divorce attorney is also a good idea, since they can help with mediation and ensure that your uncontested divorce process is smooth and easy.

Prepping and Filing for Divorce

If your spouse decides to agree to the divorce and you are ready to file for divorce, you still need to fill out many forms.  If your divorce is uncontested, you can use the New York Courts website to obtain all the Uncontested Divorce documents.  The site also has a very detailed list of instructions for proper filing.  The most important documents are:

1)      Summons With Notice (Form UD-1) or the Summons (Form UD-1a)

2)      Verified Complaint (Form UD-2)

These documents will require lots of in depth information regarding the marriage, and the reason you are filing for divorce.  They also require you to provide information as to whether you need some form of “relief.”

1)      Child custody

2)      Child support

3)      Property and asset division

4)      Alimony

When you perform this first step of the divorce process, you need to fill out the documents in triplicate, and then file them in the county where you or your spouse lives.  After you file these documents at the county clerk’s office, your case will be assigned an “Index Number,” which you need to put on your forms that you have dated.  After you file the documents, you will need to pay the filing fee.  An alternative to paying the fee would be to ask the clerk for a “Poor Person’s Waiver” form and, if you qualify, the fee may be waived.

Serving your Spouse

Serving the documents means that you will need to provide your spouse with a copy of the summons and the complaint forms within 120 days of filing the divorce forms.  You must serve the documents yourself or have a New Yorker over the age of 18 serve your spouse the papers in person on any day, except Sunday.  When you serve your spouse with the documents, you will need to provide them with an “Affidavit of Defendant (Form UD-7),” which they will need to fill out and send to you within 40 days.

When you have children involved in the case, you will need to provide your spouse with the summons and a copy of Child Support Standards Chart.


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