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How do I deal with an uncontested divorce?

Divorce can be a messy process, with disputes causing costly and lengthy problems between spouses. Fortunately, the end of a marriage does not necessarily have to be contentious, although even simple divorces without acrimony should not be attempted alone.

How can I file for an uncontested divorce?

The New York State Supreme Court is the only authority to receive and judge a case for divorce on Long Island. If a couple has been separated for at least six months and they have no children, they may file forms through the Uncontested Divorce Program. Couple with minor children may need to submit additional forms.

What papers do I need to file?

The county clerk's office will require a summons with notice or a complaint to begin the legal process of divorce. Notices of other related issues, such as responsibility for health insurance and any settlement agreement, will be necessary as well. The County Clerk's Office will require these forms and their fees in person or submitted online through the New York State Courts Electronic (NYSCEF) system.

What happens next?

If there is a defendant in the divorce case, he or she must be informed of the motion for divorce in person in a process called "service." If you do not know how to contact a defendant, the Clerk of the Supreme Court may be able to assist with alternative service.

It is recommended that plaintiffs suing for divorce and defendants who must answer a divorce suit always contact an attorney. Legal representation can make sure that papers are filed appropriately and a person's interests are protected in an uncontested divorce.

Source: New York State Unified Court System, "Filing for an Uncontested Divorce," accessed March 08, 2018

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