Suffolk County Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Providing Legal Services and Advice for Clients Facing a Divorce in New York
A divorce can be extremely stressful for those affected by it, both from a financial and emotional standpoint. For that reason, some couples may choose to get an uncontested divorce to save time and close this difficult chapter in their lives while minimizing conflict. Learn how uncontested divorces work in New York and why working with a Suffolk county divorce attorney may be a favorable decision for your case.
What Is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested divorce takes place when both sides wish to terminate their marriage without blaming the other party for the end of the relationship. In addition, both sides are capable of agreeing on issues pertinent to the divorce. In order to get an uncontested divorce, the couple must be ready to agree on a variety of topics, such as child custody and support, marital property division – including how marital assets and marital debts will be split between the two parties – and the grounds for the divorce, if applicable.
An uncontested divorce tends to be quicker and less expensive than a traditional litigated divorce. The couple can resolve their issues in an amicable manner and submit their settlement agreement to the court for approval electronically without even going to court.
What Are the Steps to Getting an Uncontested Divorce in New York?
In order to initiate an uncontested divorce in the state of New York, you and your spouse must fulfill residency requirements, i.e., living in New York for a certain amount of time preceding the divorce. Next, you will need to prepare the appropriate forms to initiate the divorce, which may vary depending on whether you have children together or not. Those forms usually include the Summons and Verified Complaint, the plaintiff’s affidavit, and your separation agreement, among other forms.
The required forms will then need to be filed with the Supreme Court clerk’s office of the county where you wish to start the divorce and pay any required fees. The divorce complaint will need to be served to your spouse once it is filed with the court, and your spouse needs to file a document called an Affidavit of Defendant in Action for Divorce. Filing this document means your spouse is in agreement with all the items of the divorce, and the divorce may continue as an uncontested divorce. If your spouse files an Answer instead and expresses their disagreement on any of the aspects of the divorce, you will likely be looking at a contested divorce. In both situations, you may want to be working with a divorce attorney to protect your rights and take the right steps.
After the Affidavit of Defendant is received, you and your spouse may be required to file a series of other forms and documents and pay any applicable fees to the court. Finally, a judge will examine your case and decide whether your divorce is approved or not. If the divorce is approved, the judge will sign the Judgment of Divorce and finalize your case.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in New York?
While most uncontested divorces in New York tend to be quicker than contested divorces, the length of time an uncontested divorce may take varies depending on how busy the court may be and how promptly your ex takes action and provides the necessary documents. On average, an uncontested divorce can be finalized in approximately six to ten months in Suffolk County and each jurisdiction has different time frames.
The main causes of delays in a divorce are a disagreement between the parties and/or a spouse that is either uncooperative or slow to respond. It is worth mentioning that once you have started the divorce process and your spouse has been served with divorce papers, he or she has a deadline to respond. If no response is received, the spouse will likely face a default judgment, which usually benefits you as the plaintiff. Every divorce is unique, and you may want to consult with an uncontested divorce attorney in Suffolk county to discuss the specifics of your case.
Do I Need a Divorce Attorney Even if I Am Getting an Uncontested Divorce?
The state of New York has a “do-it-yourself” divorce option for qualifying couples without minor children to get an uncontested divorce, and while that may be a feasible option for those without complex marital assets and no children, having at least the guidance of an attorney is extremely important to make sure you are not giving up your rights.
The role an attorney can play in an uncontested divorce is essential – even if your divorce is amicable, it may be hard to know what steps to take next and how to respond when your ex is making unreasonable demands. While you may self-represent in an uncontested divorce, it is better and less risky to rely on a seasoned Suffolk County divorce law firm such as the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC.
Attorney Gina M. Pellettieri and her team at the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC, have assisted countless clients in the Suffolk County area and vicinities in navigating their divorce process and reaching a favorable resolution. Regardless of how simple or complicated your divorce may be, reach out to our firm at 631-250-3698 to discuss your case and get the answers you are looking for.