Divorce Attorney Putnam
If you are looking for a divorce attorney in Putnam County contact Gregory Salant. Complex issues involved in a divorce can be stressful. However, if you and your spouse can agree on distribution of property, custody of children, and support and visitation, the divorce can be accomplished quickly. In New York State, divorces are handled in the county Supreme Courts.
Here are the basic steps for filing a divorce in New York:
Verify your eligibility
Section 230 of the New York Domestic Relations law is very specific on the residency requirements, which must be met to file for divorce:
- If your marriage was officiated in another state, either you or your spouse must have lived in New York for at least two continuous years before filing for a divorce in NY.
- If you were married in New York State, you and your spouse must have lived together in the state as a married couple for at least one continuous year before filing for a divorce.
- If you and your spouse are alleging grounds other than “irretrievable breakdown” (no-fault divorce)you must be able to show that the grounds occurred in New York state for one continuous year of residence.
Choose the grounds for divorce
You can either choose no-fault divorce or at-fault divorce. In a no-fault divorce, neither spouse is held responsible for the divorce. A no-fault divorce can be granted on grounds such as irretrievable breakdown, irreconcilable differences or incompatibility, after a period of at least six months. In a fault divorce in New York, divorcing spouses seek a fault-based divorce by alleging grounds such as cruel and inhuman treatment, abandonment, imprisonment, adultery, etc.
Pay the filing fees
The fee for filing a divorce varies, but the fee must be paid at the time you file. If your income is low, it may be possible to waive some or all of the filing fees. To qualify, you must file a notarized, “Affidavit in support of application to proceed as a poor person.” The judge will review your application.
Prepare and file forms
When filing for a divorce, certain documents are required by the Court. The form scan be obtained from the New York Court’s website with instructions included. The form that begins a divorce action is the Summons with Notice (Form UD-1)” or the “Summons (Form UD-1a)” and “Verified Complaint (Form UD-2).”Either form requires you to provide information concerning, the “grounds” for the divorce as well expectations regarding child custody, child support, division of property, and maintenance. Once the forms are filled out, you will need to make two additional copies and submit them to the county clerk’s office. The court will keep the original copy and two file-stamped copies will be returned, one for each spouse. An “Index Number” will be assigned to your case and put on your forms, along with the filing date. You will be expected to pay another fee to the clerk’s office for the index number.
Serve the Forms
The spouse filing for the divorce is required to “serve” a copy of the summons and complaint to the other spouse within 120 days from the date of filing. If you have children you must also serve a copy of the Child Support Standards. Also include the Affidavit of Defendant (Form UD-7), which verifies that your spouse agrees to the divorce. Your spouse is required to sign and send back the documents within 40 days. If your spouse does not return the affidavit, then you need to prepare an “Affidavit of Service (Form UD-3),” to prove that your spouse received copies of the paperwork. If your spouse files a “Notice of Appearance”, which states that he/she is not in favor of divorce, then your divorce is no longer uncontested. In that case, you should consult an attorney on how to proceed.
Place your divorce on the court calendar
Once your spouse has signed the Affidavit of Defendant, you can request an immediate calendar entry for the divorce. If your spouse did not sign the Affidavit of Defendant, you will have to wait a minimum of 40 days to request a court date. Divorce procedures vary from county to county. Some courthouses may request a formal hearing. It is best to contact an attorney to help you. To avoid trial and a contested divorce, you and your spouse should try to settle all issues pertaining to property division maintenance (alimony), and child custody and support. These issues can be dealt with by coming to an agreement or through mediation.
Depending on the county where you are filing your divorce, you may or may not have to appear in court for final judgment. Some courts may grant your divorce by signature. In this case, you will receive a postcard from your divorce package in the mail. You can pick up the final divorce decree at the clerk’s office.
If you have any questions during this difficult time, contact Gregory Salant, divorce attorney in Putnam, for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-683-2500.