Contested & Uncontested Divorce Laws In New York State

Photo of author
Written By AndrewPerry

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur pulvinar ligula augue quis venenatis. 

What is a contested divorcement?

If your spouse is not happy with any aspect of the case, such as the divorce attorney itself, property division, child custody or financial support, a contested divorce can be filed. Uncontested divorces are more complex than contested ones. A contested divorce is more complicated than an uncontested one. It is best to hire an attorney.

What is uncontested divorce?

Uncontested divorce means that you don’t expect your spouse or your lawyer to disagree with any aspect. Uncontested divorce cases can be handled by you, although a lawyer may still be useful, particularly if your spouse has one.

You will need to file paperwork with the court in order to get an uncontested divorce. You and your spouse do not usually have to appear in court.

What is the cost of a divorce?

On page 5 of the divorce packet, the NY Courts website lists a list of initial divorce filing fees. The majority of the costs for an uncontested divorce may be incurred by the initial court filings. For contested divorces where motions are often filed, experts may need to be ordered and usually a lawyer is required. However, costs can rise significantly.

You can file an application to proceed as poor person if you are unable to pay the filing fees. This is, for instance, an affidavit to be filed to request that the filing fees are waived. You won’t have to pay fees if you are eligible.

An hourly rate is usually charged by attorneys. It can range from $175 to $450, or even higher depending on your experience. An advance retainer is a deposit that you pay to secure your appointment. There are two options: you can get an attorney at no cost through the NY Finding a Lawyer page, or you could be eligible to have a court appointed attorney to represent you in custody and visitation matters.

What are the steps to take if I believe the divorce will not be contested?

Step 1: Grounds

To request a divorce, you must first establish grounds (legally acceptable reasons). You can find more information in the section: What grounds are required for divorce?

You must have a legally binding agreement, which must contain specific legal language. A lawyer should be hired to draft the agreement in order to meet the legal requirements. The agreement must be signed by both of you in front a notary. After signing, it should be filed in the appropriate court in your county. You must then live apart for at least one calendar year, in accordance with your agreement before you file for divorce.

You don’t need to create a separation agreement if you are filing for a fault based divorce or a no-fault divorce. We recommend that you hire an attorney to assist with your divorce filings.

Step 2: Fill in and submit the forms, and pay the fee

The Uniform Uncontested Divorce Packet is required for an uncontested divorce. These forms can be downloaded from our Download Court Forms page. You can also find more information on the NY State Courts site. Although many of these forms are complicated, we recommend that you consult an attorney. If your spouse has abused you, the court can request that you keep your address secret if you fill out forms on your computer. Ask the clerk for assistance. Do not include your address on any forms. An attorney is important if you know or expect that the divorce will be contested.

Aronov Esq Contested Divorce Lawyer 98-14 Queens Boulevard Rego Park, NY 11374 (718) 206-2050