New York uncontested divorce works well for parties who are relatively amicable. If you are unable to work with your spouse or reach agreements, uncontested divorce is likely not for you. Uncontested divorce is not advisable where there is a history of domestic violence.
New York uncontested divorce is obtained by entering into a binding agreement with your spouse, and then commencing an action for divorce and filing the agreement and other uncontested divorce papers with the court. To review the process in detail, visit our New York Uncontested Divorce site.
Parties can reach an agreement by direct negotiations or by negotiations that are facilitated with the assistance of attorneys or a mediator.
The agreement is filed with other uncontested divorce papers with the court. The judge will sign the divorce without requiring the parties to appear before the court for trial. The terms of the agreement will be incorporated in the judgment of divorce and will thus become an order of the court.
We believe that, ethically, an attorney can only represent one party.
New York uncontested divorce requires that you reach an agreement that addresses all issues that are relevant to the divorce, including, but not limited to, the division of real and personal property, responsibility for debts, child support, custody, visitation, health insurance and tax issues.
A mediator can be an attorney, but that’s not required. Although New York does certify divorce mediators, anyone can hang out a shingle and call himself a mediator, without having taken courses or having earned certification. Hiring an untrained or uncertified mediator is no different from hiring an electrician to do your plumbing. It is your prerogative, but it will surely impact your mediation.
Having independent attorneys can benefit the mediator and the divorce mediation process. If a dispute occurs in mediation and the parties are in disagreement, the mediator can ask each of the parties to consult with their attorneys on that issue. Afterwards, each party can resume divorce mediation with a better understanding of their legal rights, the position that they want to take, and their spouse's position. A New York divorce mediator should not provide legal advice to either party, and a mediator cannot provide the in-depth individual advice that each party needs to successfully complete the mediation process.
Parties meet with the mediator to identify and resolve issues connected to the divorce. Between sessions with the mediator, they should consult with their own attorneys to review their progress and receive advice for the next phase of negotiations. The divorce mediation process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year, depending on the difficulty of the issues presented and the ability of the parties to reach agreements. When the parties have completed mediation, they will receive a non-binding memorandum of understanding, which must be reduced to a written legal agreement to be enforceable in New York.
If you are contemplating mediation, you can contact our office for a consultation to discuss the mediation process. Two of our three attorneys are trained as mediators. We do not do the mediation ourselves, but we enjoy working through the mediation process with clients and we refer many of our clients to mediation. If you would like to contact a mediator first, we recommend Capital District Mediation.
It is important that the schedule not depend on whether the children want to see the other parent. If you allow your children to control the schedule, you can cause a tremendous amount of conflict, which often results in accusations that the parent who is denied access has been alienated from the children. There is no magic age in New York when a child can decide whether to visit with the other parent. A child who does not see both parents regularly is a child who has been denied a full and complete upbringing. The result can be psychological scars that last for years.
New York has guidelines for the calculation of child support, but allows judges discretion depending upon the unique circumstances of any given family. If you wish to propose a figure outside the guidelines, you must give factual support for your deviation.