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The Uncontested Divorce Process

Residents of New York have several options when seeking a divorce. One of the most straightforward options is the uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse agree on divorce terms and meet the requirements for residency with a legally accepted reason for the divorce, you might be able to proceed through the uncontested divorce process

Meeting the requirements for residency and reason for the divorce

Before you file for divorce in New York, you must first meet its residency requirements. To meet residency requirements, you might need to show that you or your spouse have been continuously living in the state for 1 or 2 years, depending on other factors. Additionally, where the marriage took place as well as where the ground, or reason for the divorce, happened will also affect residence requirements.

The couple must also list a legally accepted reason for filing for divorce. The accepted reasons include:

  • Irretrievable differences between the couple for at least 6 months
  • Physical or sexual abandonment for at least 1 year
  • A spouse’s imprisonment of at least 3 years
  • Adultery
  • Abuse such as cruel and inhuman treatment that puts their spouse’s physical or emotional wellbeing at risk

Following the steps towards uncontested divorce

If you decide to use the uncontested divorce option, you need to go through the following steps:

  • File for the divorce with the County Clerk’s Office
  • Serve the other spouse, or defendant, with copies of the filing documents within 120 days of filing
  • Wait for the defendant to respond
  • Complete the uncontested divorce papers if the defendant defaults or signs an “Affidavit of Defendant”
  • Receive the Judgment of Divorce if the judge approves the divorce

Finally, if you have minor children, you must also arrange custody and support issues before you file for an uncontested divorce. If your spouse, however, answers the divorce filing, then the divorce would follow another process as it would become a contested divorce.




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