Uncontested Divorce: A Step by Step Guide
If you want to file an uncontested divorce, you can either do it yourself or you can find an attorney to prepare and file the paperwork for you. Below are the steps that need to be taken to get it done.
First, meet or consult with your attorney and bring all the paper work. If you are pro se (your own lawyer) gather all papers such as your marriage certificate, social security number, health insurance cards, birth certificate for you and the children, etc.
Second, determine for sure that your divorce is uncontested, meaning have a talk with your spouse and make sure that you both agree to dissolve the marriage.
Third, prepare a summons and verified complaint. Make sure to sign the verification for the complaint and your attorney will sign the summons. In your verified complaint you should articulate the grounds for divorce. Why are you getting a divorce? There are several different grounds in New York but “irreconcilable differences” is not one of them.
Fourth, obtain an index number for your divorce. That will cost you about $210.
Fifth, have someone over 18 serve the papers (summons and verified complaint) on your spouse.
Sixth, obtain a defendant’s waiver (meaning your spouse signs papers to say he or she won’t contest the divorce)
Seventh, obtain a note of issue (this puts your case on the court’s calendar)
Eighth, submit additional paperwork such as a dissolution of marriage certificate, affirmation of regularity, part 130 certification, etc.
Ninth, wait to get a judgment of divorce (about six weeks).
Tenth, serve a copy of the judgment of divorce on your spouse.
(This is the simplified version but you should get an attorney to complete your papers if you are not sure about all the paperwork and timetable.)