Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Monday, November 11, 2019

Making Sense of Divorce Paperwork: What Documents Are Needed?

It is often said it is easier and less costly to get married than to obtain a divorce. In some cases, this might be true. However, New York is one of the rare states that try to help individuals who want to get an uncontested divorce do so without the necessity of hiring an attorney. The state tells you what documents are needed and where to file your divorce forms. However, it does not offer legal advice. The court’s websites related to uncontested divorces state numerous times that divorce cases can be complex and it is wise to seek the advice of a New York family law lawyer.

Documents Needed to File a DIY Uncontested Divorce in New York

Again, we strongly encourage everyone to seek legal advice before proceeding with a divorce. However, if you decide to proceed with a divorce without a lawyer, you can do so by accessing divorce forms through the New York Courts website. The New York State Unified Court System has free instruction booklets and forms available online for individuals beginning a divorce action.

The court also provides detailed information about a DIY uncontested divorce for individuals with and without minor children under 21 years of age. The court advises users of the DIY uncontested divorce system to file several forms with their County Clerk’s Office, including but not limited to a summons and complaint. However, the court also notes that County Clerks may require additional forms and documents. You must also pay the required filing fee and serve the filed forms on your spouse.

Should I File a DIY Divorce in New York?

As experienced divorce lawyers, we would advise anyone to speak with an attorney before deciding upon a course of action. A quick review of the instructions for the DIY forms might convince you that you need an attorney to file a divorce action. The above forms are the forms required to open a divorce action. There will be many other forms related to custody, support, and property division that might be required in your case. 

Completing divorce forms can be stressful, especially when you are unfamiliar with legal terms and divorce laws. Filing divorce forms without an attorney can also result in an outcome that you did not intend or do not want. While New York uncontested divorce laws might be less complicated compared to the divorce laws in other states, the laws can still be difficult to understand. A simple mistake in interpreting a law or rule could result in the loss of alimony, property, or custody. 

Contact a New York Divorce Attorney for Guidance and Support

Before you consider filing divorce documents without an attorney, consider speaking to a New York divorce attorney about your case. Get the facts about your legal rights and your options regarding divorce, domestic support, custody, child visitation, and property division from an experienced lawyer. Do not risk that important decisions and steps could be overlooked because you were unaware of rules or divorce laws that might significantly impact your finances, family, future, and well-being. Contact Gassman Baiamonte Gruner, P.C. to speak with a New York divorce lawyer today.

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