Save hundreds, even thousands of dollars on your NY uncontested divorce while avoiding mistakes and delays. Most divorces in New York are uncontested. An uncontested divorce can be prepared by attorneys, who may charge up to $2500 or more for even a simple case, and by paralegals and so-called “document assembly” companies who charge $199 or even less, but may just provide you with a set of forms and written instructions and you are on your own.

An uncontested divorce is only possible if both you and your spouse agree to all the material terms, i.e. distribution of assets, alimony, child custody, child support, etc. If you do not agree it is possible to hire an attorney to attempt to negotiate with your spouse and come up with an agreement. which can result in an uncontested divorce.

In order to be divorced in New York State the Courts must have Subject Matter Jurisdiction. If either you or your spouse have resided in NYS for the last 2 years the New York Courts have jurisdiction (jurisdiction can exist in other situations as well).

Until a few years ago New York State was not a “no fault” state for divorces and therefore you needed “grounds” to divorce. Under the new Law, there is a grounds of irreconcilable differences which have lasted at least six months. If you cannot wait the six months, presumably you can still use the old grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment. This ground requires physical, mental or psychological cruelty however for very short marriages it is somewhat easier to get a divorce on this grounds.

Divorce Mediation is another possibility. Although not yet that popular in New York State, Mediation is widely used in certain of the states as an alternative to the acrimonious and tremendously costly contested divorce. Mediators are either attorneys or social workers with special training and knowledge of the law. Although mediators are impartial, you still need a qualified NY divorce lawyer who is familiar with New York law to review the mediation agreement to see if it is fair and equitable. Successful mediation allows an uncontested divorce.

Most of the people who contact me for uncontested divorces are young or youngish and consequently have not yet accumulated a lot of assets to “fight over”. However, issues of alimony (which is called “maintenance” in New York State) must be resolved, typically with waiver provisions, and if the client has any kid of pension, 401K or other retirement vehicle a stipulation should be prepared with special language to avoid the client’s having any problems down the road taking the money out after the divorce.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended to show general principles, and should not be relied upon for decision making without consultation with an experienced Divorce Lawyer or Family Law attorney as to your particular situation. Contact via email does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Paul W. Matthews Esq 305 Broadway, Suite 801, NYC 10007 tel (347) 461-0760