Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, but in some cases, couples may be able to agree on the terms of their separation without going through a contested court battle. This is known as an uncontested divorce, and it can be a simpler and less expensive option for couples seeking to end their marriage. In New York, there are specific grounds for uncontested divorce that must be met in order to proceed with this process. In this blog post, we will explore what these grounds are and what couples should know about uncontested divorce in New York.
Firstly, it is important to understand what an uncontested divorce is. An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all aspects of the divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. This means that the couple does not need to go to court and can instead submit their agreement to a judge for approval.
In New York, there are two grounds for an uncontested divorce. The first is known as the “irretrievable breakdown” ground. This means that the marriage has broken down irretrievably for at least six months, and both parties have agreed to a settlement of all issues related to the divorce. This ground is often the easiest and most common way for couples to obtain an uncontested divorce in New York.
The second ground for an uncontested divorce is known as the “living separate and apart” ground. This ground requires that the couple has lived apart for at least one year pursuant to a written agreement of separation. In addition, both parties must agree to a settlement of all issues related to the divorce. If these conditions are met, the couple can proceed with an uncontested divorce on this ground.
It is important to note that in New York, uncontested divorce is not available to all couples. For example, if there are minor children involved in the divorce, the couple must submit a parenting plan that addresses custody and visitation. In addition, if one party contests the divorce or does not agree to a settlement of all issues, the divorce will become contested and the couple will need to go to court.
To file for an uncontested divorce in New York, the couple must submit a number of documents to the court, including a summons, complaint, and signed settlement agreement. In addition, the couple may need to attend a hearing with a judge to finalize the divorce.
It is also important for couples to consider the benefits and drawbacks of this option. One of the main advantages of uncontested divorce is that it can be a more amicable and cooperative process. When both parties are willing to work together to reach an agreement, it can reduce the stress and animosity often associated with divorce.
An uncontested divorce can also be less expensive than a contested divorce, as it may not require as much time and resources spent on litigation. This can be especially important for couples who are looking to minimize their legal costs and avoid financial strain.
It is important to note that uncontested divorce may not be suitable for every couple or situation. If there are significant disagreements or conflicts between the parties, it may be difficult to reach a settlement agreement. In addition, some couples may feel that they need the guidance and decision-making power of a judge in order to resolve their issues fairly.
It is important to ensure that the settlement agreement reached in an uncontested divorce is fair and equitable for both parties. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the legal implications of the agreement and to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.
An uncontested divorce can be a viable option for couples seeking to end their marriage in a more cooperative and cost-effective manner. However, it is important to understand the specific grounds and requirements for an uncontested divorce in New York and to carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of this option before proceeding. Ultimately, it is crucial to have the guidance of an experienced family law attorney to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the divorce process.
Jean M. Mahserjian, Esq., P.C. is a law firm that specializes in family law, including uncontested divorce cases in New York. Our experienced attorneys can help clients navigate the legal requirements and process for obtaining an uncontested divorce, including determining whether they qualify for an uncontested divorce based on the specific grounds in New York.
We can assist clients in preparing and filing the necessary paperwork, including the summons, complaint, and settlement agreement, and ensure that all requirements are met before submitting the documents to the court. Our attorneys can also provide guidance and advice throughout the negotiation process to ensure that the settlement agreement is fair and equitable for both parties.
Our firm can represent clients in court hearings and other legal proceedings related to an uncontested divorce, such as finalizing the divorce decree and addressing any post-divorce issues that may arise.
Our goal is to provide compassionate and personalized legal representation to our clients, helping them to achieve a positive outcome in their uncontested divorce case. We understand that divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, and we strive to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for our clients.
If you are considering an uncontested divorce in New York, we encourage you to contact our firm for a consultation to discuss your options and learn more about how we can help you with your case.