How do I complete an Uncontested Divorce?

Giselle Ayala Mateus, Esq.

The Uncontested Divorce

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An uncontested divorce is one in which there is no disagreement on almost all issues such as custody, child support, division of property, debt allocation, and maintenance. Accordingly, in an uncontested divorce process, there is no litigation. Typically, the judge will simply sign off on the terms and issue a final decree of divorce. In an uncontested divorce process, there is rarely a hearing.

In New York, an uncontested divorce is where both spouses agree to end the marriage and have settled all of the major issues in the case, such as property division, child custody, and financial support.

Un divorcio no disputado es mucho más rápido y más barato que un divorcio tradicional, sobre todo porque el divorcio de relaciones domésticas asunto en el que un abogado no puede cobrar una cuota de contingencia. Por lo tanto, la mayoría de las veces, los honorarios de un impugnada (litigio) es por hora (que van desde $ 150 a $ 250 por hora).

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Grounds for the divorce

In New York, you and your spouse also have to agree on the “grounds” or reason for your divorce. New York allows “no-fault” divorce, so you don’t need to claim “fault-based” grounds for divorce, like adultery, abandonment, etc. Instead, you can use the “no-fault” grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for at least six months before filing for divorce, which means that you and your spouse no longer want to be married, and it’s not likely that you and your spouse will get back together. (New York Domestic Relations Law § 170 (7).)

Requisitos para un divorcio de mutuo acuerdo en Nueva York

In New York, you can file for an uncontested divorce when you and your spouse agree about the following:

  • – Desiring the divorce
  • – The grounds for divorce
  • – Property division (Usually the spouses agree there will be no distribution of marital property or debts)
  • – Alimony
  • – Child custody
  • – Child support
  • – Child visitation

Un divorcio no disputado no es posible cuando cualquiera de las cuestiones clave del divorcio que se acaban de discutir son un tema de desacuerdo. Si tampoco puede llegar a un acuerdo con un divorcio colaborativo, el divorcio contencioso es su última opción.

Residency requirements

To be able to file for divorce in New York, you also have to satisfy the “residency requirements” of the law, meaning either:

  • – you or your spouse has been living in New York for at least two continuous years immediately before filing for divorce, or
  • – you or your spouse has been living in New York for at least one continuous year immediately before filing for divorce and
    • * you got married in New York, or
    • * you lived in New York as a married couple, or
    • * the grounds for your divorce happened in New York. (N.Y. Dom. Rel. § 230.)

The Uncontested Divorce Process

Even though an uncontested divorce in New York is quicker than a contested divorce, it is still a long and sometimes complicated process with a lot of paperwork. Luckily, all of the necessary forms with step-by-step instructions are available online from the New York State courts. However, if you want to have the support of a professional that cares care of everything, G.A.M. Law Office P.C. offers the service for a flat fee.

Prepare your paperwork. The first step in obtaining your uncontested divorce in New York is to prepare your forms, including the Summons, Verified Complaint, and Settlement Agreement. If you have minor children, you must complete additional paperwork concerning child support and custody. For more information and the full list of forms, see the Sitio web de los tribunales de Nueva York.

Purchase an index number. Next, purchase an “index number” at County Clerk’s office in the county where you or your spouse lives. You must add the index number to your Summons and Verified Complaint.

Send the forms to your spouse. You must provide copies of the paperwork to your spouse, along with an Affidavit of the Defendant. If your spouse signs the Affidavit, the case can move forward. If your spouse doesn’t return the signed Affidavit of Defendant to you, you will have to serve your spouse, meaning someone other than you must hand your spouse the papers. Whoever serves your spouse has to fill out an Affidavit of Service.

File with the County Clerk. File the completed papers, including the Affidavit of Defendant or Affidavit of Service, at the County Clerk’s Office (in the same county where you purchased the index number). In some counties, you have the option to file online.

Finalize your divorce. The judge will review the documents and, if approved, will sign the Judgment of Divorce. After the judge signs the Judgment of Divorce, you have to file and enter it in the County Clerk’s Office. This process differs depending on the county in which you file, so ask the County Clerk in your county for specific instructions. Lastly, you must serve a copy of the signed and entered Judgment of Divorce on your now ex-spouse along with a completed Notice of Entry.

What Are the Advantages of an Uncontested Divorce?

There are a number of advantages to getting an uncontested divorce in New York.

– It’s faster, because there are fewer proceedings and negotiations. You can move on with your lives much sooner. You can avoid much of the stress of a contested divorce, which involves all the processes of any litigation like discovery, calling expert and character witnesses, making motions, introducing documents into evidence and testifying

– An uncontested divorce is much cheaper, even if both parties have attorneys, than a contested divorce, due to lower court costs but primarily due to lower attorney fees.

– It’s more harmonious and less likely to engender bad feelings than a contested divorce, which is important if you have children together.

– You and your spouse maintain control. You cannot know what a judge may order in a contested divorce.

– Your financial documents remain private rather than becoming part of public records as they would in a contested divorce.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Uncontested Divorce?

You don’t need to hire a lawyer to get an uncontested divorce in New York and you can represent yourself during the process. Spouses can try to handle everything themselves or use an online service that eases the process. Even though there’s no court battle in an uncontested divorce, one or both spouses can hire attorneys to help them through the uncontested divorce. You might want to talk to a lawyer, for instance, if your case feels complex or you have unanswered questions.

If you choose to work with us, at G.A.M. Law Office, we can give you advice on your proposed settlement, the uncontested divorce process, and make sure you complete the paperwork correctly and see that you file your paperwork on time.


Do you have an immigration petition?

¿Qué ocurre si se divorcia después de obtener la tarjeta verde?

If you got a green card from marrying a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but you are interested in filing for a divorce, you may be wondering what will happen to your immigration status. Depending on certain circumstances, you may be able to remain in the United States For help with your after green card and divorce case, programe su consulta gratuita con nosotros.

Divorcio después de presentar la solicitud de visado

If you only filed a visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a divorce means the end of your attempt to obtain a green card. Waiting for approval doesn’t come with rights or protections to be admitted or remain in the United States. If your I-130 Petition was already approved, then consult an attorney because you could be entitled to file a VAWA petition.

Divorcio después de obtener la aprobación de la residencia condicional

Cuando un inmigrante se casa con un ciudadano estadounidense o un residente permanente, el USCIS puede conceder una tarjeta verde de 10 años o un estatus de residencia condicional, que es una tarjeta verde de dos años que se otorga al cónyuge de un matrimonio corto (menos de dos años) una vez que la petición ha sido aprobada. Si un cónyuge inmigrante se divorcia después de obtener la residencia condicional, podría ser un reto conseguir la aprobación de la residencia permanente.

Transcurridos dos años desde la fecha de aprobación de la residencia condicional, el titular de la tarjeta verde debe presentar el formulario I-751 para eliminar las condiciones de la tarjeta verde y adquirir el estatus de residente permanente durante 10 años.

En caso de divorcio, debe presentar la solicitud por su cuenta y pedir al USCIS que no exija la presentación conjunta. Para ello, es necesario aportar pruebas convincentes de que el matrimonio empezó siendo auténtico, a pesar de acabar en divorcio.

Algunos ejemplos comunes de pruebas son:

  • – Copies of mortgage and rental agreements
  • – Children’s birth certificates
  • – Bank and credit card statements
  • – Life insurance shared by both spouses

Recuerde que no puede utilizar el mismo tipo de pruebas que presentó anteriormente al USCIS. Cuanto más recientes sean los documentos, mejores serán sus posibilidades.

Divorcio después de obtener la aprobación de la residencia permanente

Si ha solicitado con éxito la tarjeta verde (estatus de residente de 10 años), no debe preocuparse Puede continuar con su proceso de divorcio.

Solicitar la nacionalidad estadounidense tras el divorcio

Si quiere hacerse ciudadano estadounidense, después de tres años no podrá hacerlo si no sigue casado con el ciudadano estadounidense que lo ha solicitado. Por lo tanto, puede solicitar la ciudadanía estadounidense después de 3 años. Además, al solicitar su ciudadanía es posible que el USCIS revise de nuevo su expediente de inmigración y la información del matrimonio. Si los funcionarios de inmigración determinan que usted obtuvo su tarjeta de residencia por medios fraudulentos, no sólo perderá la posibilidad de convertirse en ciudadano estadounidense, sino que también podría ser deportado.

If you are interested in filing for divorce in New York, contact our divorce and green card professionals at G.A.M. Law Office

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