The Meaning Of Uncontested Divorce
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In every divorce, the pertinent issues touch on four crucial issues. These issues are the division of property, child custody, child support and alimony. Uncontested divorce means that the divorcing couples have agreed on the major issues surrounding the divorce. The best part about uncontested divorce is that if the divorcing spouses reach an agreement, they will file their paperwork without the necessity of court appearances. Once the required period set by the state law elapses, the divorce will be considered final. However, uncontested divorces are dissimilar. Additionally, some uncontested divorces do not run smoothly. Normally, when you and your spouse do not have minor children, no tangible properties and have few assets, uncontested divorce becomes simple. Uncontested divorce may be effective for self-supporting spouses.
Uncontested Divorce Requires Negotiation
Divorcing couples having minor disagreements in a given area or two may be able to avoid the costly contested divorce in courts. However, they will be required to negotiate with each other until such a time when they will reach a complete agreement. If they can communicate effectively, the couples can negotiate directly. If you and your spouse are not feasible, you may choose to enlist the services of a mediator to help in ferreting out the disagreements. It is also possible to seek the services of attorneys. However, this option will only increase the cost of divorce.
Requirements for an Uncontested Divorce in NYC
You are ready to file for an uncontested divorce when you and your spouse agree on the following:
- to get divorced
- the grounds for the divorce
- how to distribute any marital property and debt
- who will have custody of the children and parenting time for the other parent
- whether the non-custodial parent will make child support payments and how much, and
- whether either spouse will pay spousal maintenance (aka alimony.)
To file for divorce in New York, you are also required to satisfy the “residency requirements” of the law. This means that either:
- you or your spouse has resided in New York for at least two consecutive years immediately before filing for divorce, or
- you or your spouse has resided in New York for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before filing for divorce and
- you were married in New York, or
- you resided in New York as a married couple, or
- the grounds for your divorce took place in New York. (N.Y. Dom. Rel. § 230.)
Jointly Filing for Divorce
If couples are having complex situations, they may carry on without attorneys. Nevertheless, they will need to trade cautiously as one or both parties may give up substantial legal rights. It is important that one understands what the laws in his or her jurisdiction states about divorce. In some states, divorcing couples are allowed to file their paperwork jointly. In different states, it is usual for divorcing couples to acknowledge the terms of divorce and have one spouse enlist attorney’s services to lead in the preparation of the paperwork. In this situation, the attorney can represent only one party and leave the other party that is not represented at a great legal disadvantage. Before the divorce is finalized, it is always advisable that the divorcing couples hire an attorney to go through the paperwork.
Uncontested Divorce: The Benefits
One of the benefits of uncontested divorce is savings in terms of divorce cost. One can complete an uncontested divorce by paying the court filing fees, which is usually a few hundred dollars. Even when the divorce couple has used the services of an attorney to prepare and review the paperwork or aid in negotiations, the fees remain low. The fees will be low provided the couples reach an agreement without undertaking court proceedings. Through uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will stay out of courts. In addition, minimizing conflicts can aid in speeding up the recovery time. Couples having complex situations and regular disagreements may not find uncontested divorce to be of much help.
Uncontested Divorce: Out of Court Arbitration
Even though uncontested divorce may not be a solution to different divorcing couples, it is always imperative that before opting for contested divorce that a couple considers out of court arbitration. Protracted litigation is expensive and adversarial. It is for this reason that limiting litigation is always important in conserving assets and reducing conflicts.
Uncontested divorce lowers the conflicts between the divorcing spouses by having fewer opportunities that can cause conflicts to arise. Information made in a divorce proceeding is open to the public unless it was filed under seal, which is rare. Through uncontested divorce, less information is filed with the court. This way, less information will go to public records. As such, divorcing spouses may opt for uncontested divorce given that they will minimize the private information to be made public. The issues involved in any divorce are many. They range from who will support the child to how the property shall be divided. To this end, an experienced divorce attorney can be of much help to you. The attorney will find a cost-effective path to complete the divorce besides guarantying you better results.
An Overview of The Uncontested Divorce Process in NYC
Even though an uncontested divorce in New York is more expedient than a contested divorce, it is still a long and often complex process with a lot of paperwork. On the bright side, all of the necessary forms are available online from the New York State courts with step-by-step instructions.
Completing the Necessary Divorce Paperwork
You will need to complete the following forms and documents to secure your uncontested divorce:
- Notice of Automatic Orders
- Notice Concerning Continuation of Health Care Coverage
- Summons With Notice (Form UD-1 or UD-1a)
- Verified Complaint (Form UD-2)
- Affirmation of Regularity (Form UD-5)
- Affidavit of Plaintiff (Form UD-6)
- Affidavit of Defendant (Form UD-7)
- Affidavit of Service (Form UD-3)
- Sworn Statement of Removal of Barriers to Remarriage (Form UD-4) and Affidavit of Service (Form UD-4a)
- Qualified Medical Child Support Order (“QMCSO”) (Form UD-8b)
- Note of Issue (Form UD-9)
- Child Support Worksheet (Form UD-8)
- Support Collection Unit Information Sheet (Form UD-8a)
- UCS-111 (USC Divorce and Child Support Summary Form)
- Findings of Fact/Conclusions of Law (Form UD-10)
- The judgment of Divorce (Form UD-11)
- Part 130 Certification (Form UD-12)
- Request for Judicial Intervention (“RJI”) (Form UD-13)
- Notice of Entry (Form UD-14)
- Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage
- Self-Addressed and Stamped Postcard
The first step in the uncontested divorce process in New York is to prepare the Summons With Notice or Summons and Verified Complaint. Make two copies of the summons. Then, take it to the County Clerk’s Office where you can pay for an “index number,”. This is the file number that gets assigned to your divorce. It goes on the Summons With Notice or the Summons and Verified Complaint before filing it with the Clerk.
Although litigation is unnecessary in an uncontested divorce, the help of a well informed attorney could help relieve some of the stress of the process.