To get a Jewish divorce when you are a woman, you have to obtain a “GET.” The GET basically removes any barriers to your remarriage and this is non-negotiable in a New York Divorce. You do not have any choice but to get a GET from your husband. Without it, you cannot get a civil divorce. By law, both parties have to swear under oath that they will remove any barriers to remarriage in a Jewish divorce or when people subscribing to the Jewish faith divorce. Actually, even if you aren’t Jewish, you still have to swear that you will remove any barriers to remarriage. It is a standard clause in a divorce petition.
A lot of husbands refuse to give the GET to their wives or use it as a negotiating tool. When this happens, the woman remains a “chained wife” because she cannot, certainly not in New York, obtain a divorce without the GET.
Once you have a GET, you still have to serve your spouse for the civil action. You need to prepare a summons and complaint. And a defendant’s affidavit if your spouse will sign it. You need to have your spouse served by someone over the age of eighteen who is not a party to the action. You cannot serve your spouse on a Sunday or national holiday. You must ask your spouse if he or she is in the military service. You must present the papers to your spouse so that the words: ACTION FOR DIVORCE are clearly visible on top.
Your spouse would then have 30 days to answer the summons. If not, you get a divorce by default. If your spouse answers and challenges any provisions of the divorce papers, then you may need to enter into a settlement agreement after negotiating with your spouse.