An uncontested divorce conjures thoughts of two people who agree amicably to part ways. When a married couple has no minor children and little, if any property, the process may be as simple as satisfying a waiting. And filling out some forms at the courthouse.
However, not every uncontested divorce is that simple. The route to avoiding a disputed proceeding may take you through several steps and involve a considerable length of time.
Section 170 of the Domestic Relations Law affords seven legally sufficient reasons to end a marriage. Some of those likely would be raised only if one of the spouses wants to fight the divorce. Within these grounds lie imprisonment of one of the spouses, abandonment by the other, or other actions that place a spouse in physical or mental danger, and adultery.
Parties who do not fight to divorce will usually seek it on a no-fault basis. These include and irreconcilable breakdown or disintegration of the marriage and a six-month period of such. if the parties separate under a separation agreement, they must live separate and apart for one year before getting a divorce.
As such, an uncontested divorce doesn’t mean just that you and the other party agree to no longer be married. Under New York law, a divorce is not contested when there exists no disputes about any marital issues. This means that you and the other party have agreed on how to divide the marital property, handle alimony or other spousal support and custody and support of the children.
You will need to file in the Supreme Court division a lawsuit to request an uncontested divorce. The court system provides forms that you can use for obtaining an uncontested divorce. If your marriage has been over for at least six months and you have no children under the age of 21, you can use a computerized program to complete the necessary forms. If you have children younger than 21, you use paper forms provided by the court system.
You will need to show with your uncontested divorce request that you have resolved all of the property and financial disputes that may otherwise arise. Having a signed separation agreement goes a long way in that proof. One of our Brooklyn uncontested divorce attorneys can counsel and assist you with preparing a separation agreement.
Other documents that you may submit with an uncontested divorce petition are things such as a domestic violence or similar protection order, your marriage certificate and income, expense or other information to show that you are not able do to extreme financial problems to pay the court fees.
Meet with one of our Brooklyn uncontested divorce lawyers before you plunge into a do-it-yourself legal proceeding.
One of our lawyers will help you understand the consequences of asking for a divorce, especially an uncontested one. When you get an uncontested divorce, that means you enter into a settlement agreement or otherwise resolved any disputes. As a result, you may sacrifice very important rights. These may include your right as a dependent spouse to get alimony or seek a property division.
If you are not careful, you run the risk of settling marital property matters without getting a full view of the marital and separate assets involved and your rights in them. With the services of one of our attorneys, you can obtain a complete list of items such as bank and other financial accounts, retirement plans, employment information and other assets, along with the more tangible and physical items. The process of settling affairs post-marriage also includes listing and allocating debts, such as loans, credit cards and mortgages.
Gathering information represents just one of the tasks involved in getting an uncontested divorce. With information in hand, you or one of our lawyers can help negotiate terms for you in any separation agreement. Depending upon the extent and type of assets, negotiation may prove fairly involved and lengthy. These factors counsel against you trying to navigate an uncontested divorce or other marital dissolution process on your own.
Speak with one of our Brooklyn uncontested divorce lawyers to determine whether an uncontested divorce is best for you if the end of the marriage is imminent.
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