Uncontested Divorce in New York

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People generally believe that an uncontested case is very simple as compared to a contested process. Obviously, this belief is true. However, there is a tedious process of filling forms, which every divorcing couple has to undergo along with passing through the procedures. These procedures are defined by the state laws. These laws differ from one country to another and from one state to another. In the United States of America, family laws are guided by the state government and as such 50 states in the nation have 50 statues pertaining to divorces. New York, one of the most famous states, has developed laws that address to contested and undisputed issues. As a result couples who want an uncontested divorce in New York have to abide by the state laws in order to protect their legal rights.

In order to help you gain a better understanding of the uncontested divorce in New York, we provide here some relevant information about the various aspects of such dissolution.

Residency Requirements

In order to file for an undisputed case, the couple has to meet anyone of the following requirements:

  • The marriage must have happened in the state and anyone of the partners must be residing in this state during the commencement of the court action and also lived here for a period of 1 year prior to the action.
  • The spouses must have lived in this state as husband and wife and anyone of the partners should be residing in this state during the commencement of the action and also lived here for a period of 1 year prior to the action.
  • The grounds for the case should have occurred in this state, and both partners should be residents of the state before the process begins.
  • If the spouses were married outside the state and they didn't live together as husband or wife in this state and the grounds for the divorce also did not happen here, then anyone of the spouses should be a resident of the state presently and have been living here for a continuous period of 2 years before the procedural formality begins.

Grounds for Uncontested Divorce

DRL is an abbreviation of Domestic Relations Law. According to the state DRL, the grounds for mutual separation are as follows:

  • DRL 170.6: Conversion of a separation agreement after residing apart and separate for a period exceeding one year
  • DRL 170.5: Conversion of a separation agreement
  • DRL 170.4: Adultery
  • DRL 170.3: Imprisonment after marriage for a period exceeding 3 years
  • DRL 170.2: Abandonment for an unbroken period of 1 year
  • DRL 170.1: Inhuman and cruel treatment

The latest addition is the irretrievable breakdown in marriage for a period of minimum six months.

Forms related to Uncontested Divorce in New York

  • Verified Complaint: This consists of information as to why the divorce is being pursued and the requested relief.
  • The Affidavit of Service: This document must be filed within 120 days after the Summons has been delivered. The Affidavit serves as a proof that the Summons was served by the Sheriff or a process server.
  • Summons: This document is used to intimate the Defendant that an action has been filed. There are two versions of this form:
    • A copy of the Summons is served with the Verified Complaint.
    • The Summons is served with Notice without the Verified Complaint.
    The Defendant is provided 21 days (31 days if the Summons is served outside New York state) to respond using both these versions. If the spouses are in agreement, the first version is more likely to be used.
  • Request for an Index Number: This form is filled in when the action is filed. In several jurisdictions, it is called as the Docket number.
  • Certification: This document authenticates that the action is not lighthearted. It is a one-page form. One copy of this document is appended with each form that is used in the action.
  • Affidavit of the Defendant: The Defendant can agree to the action using this form. Simultaneously, the Defendant can waive any rights as per the Service members Civil Relief Act.
  • Affidavit of Plaintiff: This document is used as a substitute to oral testimony in all cases, with the exception of those where adultery is the ground of divorce.
  • Statement of Net Worth: This is a complete declaration of the finances of the Plaintiff. The data in this form is useful to decide maintenance and property division.
  • The Affidavit (Affirmation) of Regularity: The court uses this form for the verification of 2 issues:
    • Whether the Defendant was correctly notified of the action?
    • If the Defendant has responded, then the nature of response.
  • Sworn Statement of Removal of Barriers to remarriage: In instances when the couple was married in a religious ceremony, this form is essential.
  • Notice of Settlement: When the Plaintiff asks for a qualified medical order or judgment or any order signed by the court, then the other party or the Judge may request to use this Notice.
  • Affidavit Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law 75-J: If the marriage of the divorcing couple has resulted in children and the court has never issued any order directing custody, then this affidavit is used.
  • Request for Judicial Intervention: This form is not needed in New York City. It is used when the court is supposed to issue orders ex parte.

Some other forms are as follows:

  • Note of Issue
  • Child Support Forms
  • Notice of Entry
  • Certificate of Dissolution
  • USC113
  • Judgment of the Court
  • Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

It is necessary to understand that completing your paperwork while furnishing all the required documents will simplify the process and save a lot of time and energy. So before filing for an uncontested divorce in New York, you should be aware of the basic requirements and meet those requirements carefully.

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