Date = 20-12-2013. If you live in the state of New York and want to get divorced quickly, just follow the steps below.
Step 1. Agree with your spouse on all matters
A speedy divorce will require you and your spouse to agree on all matters including:
- Property division. This includes not only your personal property but also your bank accounts, your investments, and retirement accounts.
- Debt distribution. You will need to list each of your debts and who will pay them on your divorce forms. This includes, but is not limited to, credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, and all past due medical, utility and utility bills.
- Possession and visitation of the minor. The divorcing parents must decide with whom the minor (s), called the parent with physical custody, will live and when the other parent, called the parent who does not have physical custody, will exercise the visitation or time regime of parental authority with the minor (s). If the minors will live part of the time with both parents, a schedule should be established and given to the Judge on your divorce forms.
- Alimony for the minor. Complete a Child Support Worksheet to determine how much child support the non-custodial parent must pay to the parent who does.
Step 2. Determine your grounds for divorce
Grounds for divorce in New York include:
- Inhuman and cruel treatment which means cruel treatment of one spouse that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the other spouse and makes life together unsafe or inadequate.
- Abandonment which means that one spouse leaves the other spouse without their consent or without good reason to do so for a period of 1 year or longer.
- Imprisonment of one of the parties for 3 consecutive years or a longer period.
- Adultery of one of the parties.
- The parties live separately according to a sentence, resolution or agreement of separation of bodies.
- Irremediable rupture of the marriage bond for a period of at least 6 months.
Step 3. Decide if you want to return to your maiden name
If you want to take back your maiden name instead of keeping your spouse's last name, you must specify it on your divorce forms. Many women with minor children choose to keep the spouse's last name, so that they have the same last name as their minor children. This decision is entirely up to you, however, you can take back your maiden name even if you have minor children. You will not be able to change the last name of your minor child.
Step 4. Get an unanswered divorce package
There are two different packages available for unanswered divorces, one for those with children under the age of 21 and one for those without children under the age of 21. Make sure you choose the right package. You can get the package on the New York State website or by visiting your local Clerk of Court's office.
Step 5. Fill out the appropriate forms
You will need to complete a Summons with Service or a Summons and Complaint, which can be found in your uncontested divorce packet. The Complaint is a longer form than the Notice and should be used when you have minor children, health insurance, or to establish specific details that are not described in the Notice form.
Step 6. File your divorce forms with the County Clerk
You will pay the filing fee in cash or by bank draft at the time of filing. You can call to make sure your form of payment will be accepted, as some counties in New York only accept money orders. Currently, the filing fee for a divorce complaint in New York is $ 210. Also, you should have a self-directed stamped stamp that will be used later to inform you that your divorce is final and that you can collect your Divorce Decree.
Step 7. Provide a copy of the forms submitted to your spouse
Anyone over the age of 18, who is not a party to the lawsuit, can notify your spouse or provide a copy of the forms. You can hire a friend, a professional process server, or pay the County Sheriff's department to deliver the documents. If you decide to hire a friend to notify your spouse, keep in mind that they cannot do it on a Sunday.
Step 8. Complete and file an Affidavit of Service of Lawsuit
The person you choose to serve your spouse must complete an Affidavit of Service of Claim that you must submit to the Court within 120 days of submitting your divorce forms. The Sheriff's Department and professional process servers will generally take care of this if you hire them to serve your divorce papers.
Step 9. Have your spouse complete and sign the Defendant Affidavit
This form is in your unanswered divorce packet and should be filed with the County Clerk once it is completed. The form notifies the Court that your spouse agrees to the process and the reparation requested in your Notification or Complaint and that he waives all time limits.
Step 10. Complete the remaining forms
Now you can complete the remaining unanswered divorce forms. The forms you need to complete will depend on your specific situation and you should read the instructions for all the forms in your unanswered divorce packet to determine the appropriate forms for your situation. All parties must complete them:
- Notice of Litigation. This is the form that informs the Court that everything has been done in accordance with the process and both parties are ready for the divorce decree to be issued.
- Request for Judicial Intervention (“RJI”). If no hearing is scheduled, this form must be completed so that a Judge will be assigned to your case, so that they can sign the judgment granting the divorce and any other resolution.
- Sworn Declaration of Regularity. This form informs the Court that all divorce documents were served on your spouse and that they signed and filed a Defendant Affidavit.
- Plaintiff's Affidavit or Affidavit of Factual Basis. This form provides basic information to the Court about your marriage, minor children, health insurance and any custody or protection resolution that has been issued.
- Proposed Basis of Fact and Law. This is the document that the Judge will use to establish all the legal and factual grounds necessary to issue a divorce decree in accordance with the terms they have agreed to.
- Section 130 Certification. This document certifies that your claim has not been filed without merit.
- Divorce certificate. This is a Department of Health form that New York law requires to be filed with the Court in all divorces.
- Divorce sentence. The Divorce Judgment is the Resolution of the Court that grants the divorce.
Step 11. Submit your completed forms
You will need to pay a $ 125 filing fee for Notice of Litigation in cash or through certified funds. You can call to make sure your form of payment will be accepted, as some counties in New York only accept money orders.
Step 12. Obtain a certified copy of your Divorce Decree
Once the Judge has signed all the appropriate resolutions and filed them with the County Clerk's Office, your divorce will be final and the Clerk will send you a document with a “registered” stamp and the filing date of your divorce. Once you receive said document, you can go with your identity document (“DI”) and pay $ 8.00 to the Clerk's Office to obtain a certified copy of the Divorce Decree.