There are two main parts to the divorce process. The first is known as filing for divorce and the second is completing or finalizing your divorce. Most persons place nearly all of the emphasis on filing; however, the most important step is finalizing your divorce. It is this last step that actually dissolves your marriage. Filing for divorce simply begins your divorce case with the court. Finalizing is harder because your paperwork is examined by the Judge. When filing the court staff simply takes your money in exchange for your paperwork, even if it is the wrong paperwork or incomplete. That’s why most “divorce online” websites focus on helping you prepare to file the paperwork, and they only guarantee their paperwork will be accepted for filing. How about actually helping you receive your divorce? They don’t! But, this website does.
Complete Guide - how to file for Divorce in New York
To file for divorce in New York you must submit a Summons with Notice or the Summons and Verified Complaint to the appropriate Clerk of the Supreme Court in your county. To determine which court you should file your divorce case with you must ask yourself a few questions. First, are you or your spouse a resident of New York? Have you or your spouse been a resident for a period of at least two years; or, have you or your spouse been a resident for a period of at least one year, and at least one of the following: 1) your marriage ceremony was performed, or 2) you lived in New York with your spouse as married persons; or, have you or your spouse been a resident of New York for a period of at least one year and your grounds for divorce happened in New York; or, are you AND your spouse a resident of New York (no matter how long) and your grounds for divorce happened in New York? Which party is a New York resident? If both, in what county does the Defendant reside? In what county did you both live when you separated? Answering these questions will help you determine where to file your Summons with Notice or the Summons and Verified Complaint.
Each Supreme Court may have their own requirements to include their own unique forms and documents that they require to be filed along with the Summons with Notice or the Summons and Verified Complaint. But, before you file any Summons with Notice or the Summons and Verified Complaint there are many other considerations. For example, will your divorce be contested or uncontested? Will your spouse be cooperative? Do you know the whereabouts of your spouse? These questions will determine how your case will be processed through the court. There are various legal and case processing requirements you must complete based upon your answers to the above questions. For example, if you do not know the whereabouts of your spouse you will have to take additional steps to try to locate your spouse and to provide notice to your spouse before the Judge will finalize your divorce.
Finalizing Your Divorce in New York
Finalizing your divorce is the ultimate goal. However, reaching this goal can be tedious, time-consuming, and expensive unless you have the proper knowledge. As noted above, there may be multiple steps between filing your divorce and finalizing it. The additional steps in between may be due to many factors such as your spouse not cooperating with you, or your spouse and you asking the court to make some or all the decisions for you.
Even in a simple, uncontested divorce case finalizing your divorce can be a headache if your Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage and Judgment of Divorce is not properly drafted or not determined to be satisfactory and legally sufficient. Many people obtain the services of website companies or non-attorney service providers who help with document preparation. In New York, judges will not sign off on an insufficient or poorly drafted Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage and Judgment of Divorce. Some will not sign off if you paid anyone other than a duly licensed New York attorney to prepare your documents. If a Judge suspects that you received your paperwork from a non-attorney, the Judge often will require that you appear at a court hearing and answer questions about your documents and where you obtained them.
Because the average person places the emphasis on filing (starting the divorce with the court) this is how non-attorney website companies exploit consumers because it is logical to think starting the divorce is the most important step. A careful review of such company websites reveals that they only guarantee their documents will be accepted for filing. But, as noted herein it is the Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage, and Judgment of Divorce that actually ends your marriage and the step of the process that involves the Judge. After reading this page, hopefully you realize that FINALIZING your divorce is what’s most important. This website can help you to not only file your divorce, but to finalize it.
Avoid the headache, use New York Divorce Online
You can use New York Divorce Online to complete your divorce 100% online, or you can use it to receive all your paperwork that you sign and mail to the court. Either way, you can be assured your paperwork is prepared by a duly licensed New York attorney and that your paperwork will be legally accurate and complete. You will not have to make any visits to the courthouse or have to appear before a Judge when you allow us to E-file your case for you. You should not have to appear before a Judge to answer questions about where you received your paperwork if you decide to file the paperwork yourself. Our documents indicate that they were prepared by a duly licensed New York attorney.
The website process is easy. You simply answer a series of questions online and a New York Divorce Online attorney reviews your answers and prepares all your divorce paperwork for you. The paperwork includes not only the Summons with Notice or the Summons and Verified Complaint but your Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage and Judgment of Divorce. In addition, the online attorney prepares step-by-step instructions that you can use to finalize your uncontested divorce with your local court. But if you like, you and your spouse can sign and notarize your paperwork online and have the case attorney electronically file your case with the court for you. In this scenario, you do not have to print a single piece of paper and you and your spouse can sign and notarize your New York divorce from anywhere.
What does it cost?
Divorce in New York is a two-step process. The total cost of the First Step service is $245 or two payments of $149. In the First Step, you receive an Index Number from the court.
To finalize your divorce in New York, you must complete a second action with the court, known as a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) but only after you have an Index Number. We offer an additional service to prepare and file the RJI and the related documents for $169.
The State of New York charges two court fees: $210 for the Index Number and $125 for the RJI. The state adds a modest convenience fee for payment processing.
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