An "uncontested divorce," as opposed to a "contested divorce," is where (a) you and your spouse agree on all divorce-related issues (i.e., child custody and support, division of marital property and spousal support); and (b) your spouse cooperates with the execution of the divorce documents or is served with the "Summons and Complaint" and fails to appear in the proceedings or otherwise challenge the divorce. If your spouse will cooperate, an uncontested divorce is the quickest, friendliest, and most affordable way to dissolve your marriage without any required court appearances.
An Uncontested Divorce is always the best option when you and your spouse are able to work through your differences and reach an agreement regarding key issues related your assets, children, and support. Aside from avoiding a very costly legal battle, by pursuing an amicable uncontested divorce you will have saved yourself a great deal of stress and, if you have children, you and your spouse will have paved the way for a healthy working relationship.
If you and your spouse are in agreement regarding the terms of your divorce, including child custody and support (if applicable), division of marital property or spousal support or if your spouse will not seek to contest the divorce once served, then your divorce will remain uncontested.
To file for a divorce in New York, you must satisfy one of the following residency requirements:
You or your spouse must have been living in New York State for a continuous period of at least two years immediately prior to the date you start your divorce action; OR
You or your spouse must have been living in New York State on the date you start your divorce action and for a continuous period of at least one year immediately prior to the date you start the divorce action, and at least one of the following must also be true:
In order to file for a divorce in New York State you must have a ground (a legally acceptable reason) for the granting of a divorce by the New York courts. The seven legally acceptable reasons, or grounds for divorce are:
If you are not a New York resident but your spouse resides in New York and meets the "Residency Requirements," you may file an action for divorce in New York State.
If neither you nor your wife maintains a residence in New York, you will not be able to file a divorce in New York. This rule does not apply to military personnel or parties who have temporarily relocated.
The "No-Fault" ground for divorce is the most recent ground permitted under New York Law. To get a divorce using this ground, your relationship with your spouse must have broken down irretrievably (so that it is impossible to repair or reconcile) for a period of at least six months. In order to use you this ground, you and your spouse must resolve all the economic issues of distribution of marital property, spousal support, child support, and the custody and visitation with the minor children of the marriage.
The simplest of the grounds and the least contentious ground is the "No-Fault" Ground. We recommend that you select the No-Fault ground, (i.e., irretrievable breakdown in relationship).
Certainly. As long as you were married in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages, and provided you meet the New York State "Residency Requirements," you are eligible to get divorced in New York.
Yes. Provided that your "Home of Record" is within New York State, even if you are stationed elsewhere, you may still file a New York Divorce.
This depends. As long as your spouse is willing to cooperate with the divorce proceeding, his or her military status will not affect your divorce. If, however, your spouse is unwilling to cooperate (by signing the settlement agreement or divorce affidavits), we may run into an issue attempting to serve him or her. Active-duty service members in most cases are protected from divorce proceedings. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), U.S. service men and women cannot be sued or begin divorce proceedings while on active duty. If your spouse is an active-duty service member, please be sure to bring this issue to your attorney's attention during your consultation.
No. You do not need to provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate, but we will need some information that is contained in the marriage certificate such as:
In the event that your spouse refuses to cooperate with the divorce process or is unwilling to sign the proposed settlement agreement or divorce affidavits, we will need to have him or her served by a process server. This, in effect, will give the defendant (your spouse) notice of the proceeding and action for divorce. Once properly served, if the defendant (or their attorney) does not respond by filing a "Notice of Appearance" or an "Answer" with the Court, we may request that the Court enter a default Judgment of Divorce against the defendant.
Our flat-fee legal services are limited to "uncontested" divorce. In the event that your spouse contests the divorce by filing a Notice of Appearance or Answer with the Court, your case will be transferred to our litigation branch where you will have the option of continuing with our "of-counsel" legal representation (a new retainer will be required at that time) or you may always opt to proceed as a pro se litigant (self-represented). In any event, our staff and attorneys will be available to discuss these options and assist you with the transition.
If your spouse is simply not willing to cooperate or you are in disagreement regarding the substantive issues of the marriage as they concern your children or property/assets, you may need to seek the representation of a litigation attorney. These issues must be agreed upon in a written stipulation or decided by a Judge before a divorce will be granted. Please contact us directly should you require assistance in locating a litigation divorce attorney in your area.
Yes. However, before we can proceed with a divorce, we will need to have your spouse served. In cases where your spouse has abandoned you and his or her whereabouts are unknown, the Court will require that we take steps to locate him or her. We must document our efforts to locate your spouse in a process called "due diligence." This will require retaining the services of a private investigator (additional fees apply). In the event that our efforts to locate your spouse are unsuccessful (and we are not able to obtain a valid address at which he or she may be served), we will need to file a formal motion (application) with the Court requesting alternate service on a family member or via publication/legal notice (posting the Summons with Notice in a court approved newspaper). Once all these procedural requirements have been satisfied, we will be in a position to request that the court enter a default judgment of divorce against the defendant. In such cases, the procedures and additional investigative service will delay the divorce process significantly. For a comprehensive breakdown of the fees and expected timeframe required in such cases, please be sure to inquire directly with our legal team.
There are two ways to legally end a marriage - annulment and divorce. An annulment is a legal procedure that cancels a marriage between a man and a woman. Annulling a marriage is as though it is completely erased - legally, a judgment of annulment declares that the marriage technically never existed and was never valid. In order to obtain an annulment, the Plaintiff (the party initiating the divorce) will need to satisfy very specific grounds such as fraud or duress. In most cases, the Plaintiff will also need to establish the basis for a request for an annulment by providing the corroborating statement of a third-party. A divorce or legal dissolution of a marriage is the termination of a valid marriage between a man and a woman returning both parties to single status with the ability to remarry. There are seven available grounds for divorce in New York, the most common and simplest of which is the "irretrievable breakdown in relationship" ground, also known as the "No-Fault" ground for divorce.
Absolutely. When you retain Yaniv & Associates, you will have the benefit of a professional, full-service law firm. Your case will be assigned to a dedicated attorney who will review your case information, offer guidance, and prepare all required legal documents. You will also have access to our support staff and paralegals who are always ready to assist. We are a team of super-friendly, knowledgable, and experienced Attorneys, Paralegals, and Legal Assistants. Don't be fooled by our affordable rates. We employ cutting edge technologies and systems to keep our administrative costs low and, in turn, offer you an exceptional client experience for a very reasonable fee.
NYS court filing (and disbursement) fees will range between $365 and $400 depending on the filing requirements of your particular case. These fees include the purchase of an Index Number, Request for Judicial Intervention, Note of Issue, Certificate of Dissolution and Stipulation filing. A breakdown of Court filing fees is available on the Unified Court System website.
If you do not have enough money to pay the court costs and fees for your uncontested divorce, you may ask the court to permit you to proceed without having to pay the court costs. An application for "poor person's relief" is made by motion and must be supported by an affidavit which must set forth the amount and sources of your income, and list your property with its value; state that you are unable to pay the costs, fees, and expenses necessary to proceed with an action for divorce. You will be required to document your income. If the judge approves your application, the judge will sign an order listing which fees and costs you do not have to pay.
That is a question we get asked often. The court's processing time for an uncontested divorce will vary from county to county. In the 5 Boroughs of New York City, the average processing time for an uncontested divorce is typically 10-12 months. Upstate New York counties have significantly shorter processing times ranging from 5-6 months. The following counties have reported backlogs of approximately 10-12 months:
If you'd like your divorce processed faster, for any reason, please upgrade your case to an "Express Divorce," You will have the option to upgrade to an Express Divorce during your client interview/intake. Our team will prioritize and fast-track your case and file it in select Upstate New York counties with the quickest processing times. When you upgrade to an Express Divorce, your divorce will typically be granted within approximately 90 days or 30 days, depending on the express option you select. Please note that while the estimated time-frames are generally accurate, we cannot guarantee a specific outcomes.
We offer an Express 60-Day Divorce Option. Expedited divorce can be completed within 60 business days from the date we receive all executed documents.
a. We stand by our commitment to our clients. At Yaniv & Associates, client satisfaction is our highest priority, and this is evidenced by the thousands of happy customers who have used our services over the years. Our promise to you: we will do our very best to ensure that your divorce is completed professionally and in a timely manner and with minimal stress or legwork on your end. Our staff and attorneys are available for questions or to resolve any issues during normal business hours. When you contact our offices, you will be treated with the professionalism, compassion, and courtesy that New Yorkers have come to expect from our firm.
No. Provided that your divorce remains uncontested, no court appearances will be required at any time.
No. Our flat-fee legal services include all filing requirements and non-litigation submissions to the Courts. Neither you nor your spouse will need to file or submit any documents to the Court.
The Courts, in most cases, require a Social Security Number (if available) as a method of identification in a divorce proceeding. If there are children of the marriage, Social Security Numbers will also be used to run a DRL Section 240 registry search in which the court searches the Family Court records for any relevant proceedings that may impact custody or visitation of the minor children. If either party does not have a Social Security Number, the Court will require an alternative form of identification.
If you or your spouse does not have a Social Security Number, you may provide other forms of government ID such a driver's license, valid Passport or State issued identification.
You (and your spouse) will have the option of receiving your documents by one of four methods:
Legal documents sent via email will arrive electronically in PDF format and may be downloaded and printed using a secure link provided by our offices. The PDF download will include instructions on how to properly sign and notarize your documents. All documents will arrive complete and signature-ready.
If you have opted for an Express Divorce, you will receive your documents via the Notarize.com online notary platform and you will be able to securely sign and notarize your legal documents right on your smartphone or desktop. No printing or mailing will be required.
Yes. All legal documents must be signed and notarized before a US notary public.
If you or your spouse are currently out of the country, we recommend that you make an appointment for notary services with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your region. Appointments may typically be made through the region-specific Embassy website.
Yes. At this time, New York State Courts require original documents as part of the matrimonial filing process.
In limited cases, the Courts will accept scanned copies of original executed documents. If you are an active duty service member presently stationed in a remote region (or at sea) with limited access to mail, please advise our attorneys so that special accommodations may be made for you.
In the event that your spouse refuses to cooperate with the divorce process or is unwilling to sign the proposed settlement agreement or divorce affidavits, we will need to have him or her served by a process server. This in effect will give the defendant (your spouse) notice of the proceeding and action for divorce. Once properly served, if the defendant (or their attorney) does not respond by filing a "Notice of Appearance" or an "Answer" with the Court, we may request that the Court enter a default Judgment of Divorce against the defendant.
Certainly. We can terminate the divorce proceeding by consent of both parties at any time prior to entry of a judgment of divorce. If your uncontested divorce pleadings have already been submitted to the Court and your matrimonial file is pending a final judgment of divorce, the Court will require that we file a signed "Stipulation of Discontinuance" in order to stop the divorce proceeding.
A divorce is "final" once the judge assigned to your case has signed the "Judgment of Divorce" and it has been entered by the County Clerk's offices.
Yes. In New York, a "Judgment of Divorce" serves as a divorce certificate evidencing that a divorce proceeding has been finalized in connection with the parties to the divorce. Once your divorce has been finalized, you (and the defendant) will receive a copy of the Judgment of Divorce.
Absolutely! We can legally change your surname/maiden name as part of the divorce. There is no extra fee for this. Once your divorce has been granted you will receive a Certified Judgment of Divorce. Your Judgment of Divorce will grant you the right to resume the use of your prior surname. You may present your Judgment of Divorce at the DMV, Passport Agency, or any other government office which requires proof of your divorce and your legal name change.
Yes. However, if you will be entering your Judgment of Divorce in a foreign jurisdiction please be aware that, in many instances, you may need to have the Judgment of Divorce authenticated by the U.S. Department of State that issues both Authentication Certificates and Apostilles. If you intend to present your Judgment of Divorce to a foreign jurisdiction, please be sure to discuss this with our legal team.
In NYC and the 5 Boroughs, the average court backlog for an uncontested divorce is anywhere from 10-12 months (depending on the county you reside in). If you reside in a downstate New York county and need your divorce completed faster, your best option for a quick divorce is our "90-Day Express Divorce." We also offer a premium "30-Day Divorce" service upon request. With either option, your divorce will be completed within 90/30 days from when we receive all executed documents in connection with your file.
Once you complete our client intake questionnaire, you will be given the option to select expedited processing. Be sure to select either the "90-Day" or "30-Day" Express Divorce" option and your divorce will be placed on an expedited processing track.
You are eligible for an "Express 90-Day Divorce" if the following requirements are met:
You are eligible for a "30-Day Express Divorce" if the following requirements are met:
In order to expedite the processing time for your divorce, we may file your divorce (using a specialized court-runner service) in select upstate New York Counties. This is permissible under CPLR Section 509, provided that both parties consent. Utilizing a court-runner service and by moving your case upstate New York, we can avoid the extensive backlogs affecting NYC and the 5 Boroughs and process your divorce within 90/30 days rather than the standard 10-12 month timeframe.
Absolutely, as long as both parties consent to the divorce, New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) Section 509 permits the filing of a Civil Action in any New York County designated by the Plaintiff. Your case will be filed in upstate counties where processing times can be accelerated. Your divorce will be signed by a New York State Judge or Matrimonial Court Referee, and you will receive a valid New York State Judgment of Divorce recognized domestically and internationally.
Express divorce fees are as follows:
Express filing fees cover the administrative costs and disbursements necessary to expedite your divorce and are non-refundable.
While we are not legally permitted to guarantee any specific outcome, we are committed to our client's satisfaction and will take all steps necessary to ensure that your expedited divorce is completed within the prescribed timeframe. Statistically, the processing time for an expedited divorce proceeding rarely exceeds 90 days (or 30 days, if applicable). However, there are sometimes circumstances beyond our control that may delay your divorce. We, therefore, cannot make any guarantees in connection with time-frames or timing of Judgments.
Yes, barring any unforeseen court closures or issues raised by the court related to custody of the children (if applicable), your expedited divorce will be finalized (signed by a NYS Judge) within approximately 90-days (or 30-days) from the date we receive both parties' properly executed documents..
In New York State, the general rule is that any property or assets acquired by either party during the marriage is subject to "Equitable Distribution" in a divorce proceeding. That means that all marital property and assets, including homes, businesses, vehicles, savings accounts, stock accounts and retirement accounts (to name a few) will be divided between the parties. This rule will apply to debts incurred during the marriage. Finally, where there are minor children of the marriage, child support will be also be awarded to the party who has custody of the children. In all cases, however, parties to a divorce are free to work out any alternate terms as they see fit regardless of the "fairness" or "equitability" of the agreement.
The best way to memorialize the terms of your divorce, including your agreement regarding the division of assets, debt, child custody or any financial support is to have these provisions drafted into a written "Settlement Agreement" or "Stipulation of Settlement." Our experienced attorneys will discuss all relevant issues with you during your divorce consultation and draft a customized Settlement Agreement, addressing all marital issues between you and your spouse, as part of your divorce.
A "Settlement Agreement" or "Stipulation of Settlement" is simply a written agreement or contract, between you and your spouse, drafted by attorneys, which addresses all relevant marital issues. Once you and your spouse execute a Settlement Agreement or Stipulation, the document is incorporated into your divorce paperwork and becomes a legally binding and enforceable contract.
Generally, a Settlement Agreement will not be necessary where there are no children or assets to address, but it is always advisable to have a Settlement Agreement prepared, in any event, simply to ensure that neither party seeks to revisit the terms of the divorce at a later date. Often parties may believe that they have no marital property when, in fact, they overlook such assets as pensions, retirement accounts, and issues related to spousal support.
Certainly. Once you retain our services, we will ask you to forward a copy of your previously executed agreement(s). Your Separation Agreement/Prenuptial Agreement will be incorporated, by reference, into your uncontested divorce and Judgment of Divorce.
All property acquired during the marriage, real property or otherwise, is subject to equitable distribution. That is, regardless of whose name is on the title to the marital home (or the mortgage), both parties are entitled to an equal share of the home's equity. You and your spouse may opt to sell the home and split the proceeds or alternatively, one party may purchase the other's interest in the home. During your divorce consultation, our legal team will discuss your options and assist you in resolving divorce-related issues affecting your home or other real property.
Both parties are entitled to an equal share of the home's equity regardless of whose name is on the title to the marital home (or the mortgage).
Regardless of whose name is on the title to the accounts, provided that these funds were accumulated during the marriage, both parties are entitled to an equal share.
Yes. You and your spouse are each entitled to share in the marital portion of the other's pensions and retirement accounts. However, you may seek to waive your rights to these types of retirement accounts. Either way, please be sure to discuss this with our legal team as the division of retirement accounts require the preparation of a special Court Order called a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order."
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order or "QDRO" is a Court Order prepared by an attorney or pension analyst in connection with a divorce proceeding which will allow for the division and distribution of a pension plan or other retirement account without incurring any tax liabilities typically associated with distributions from retirement accounts. QDROs are intricate documents, which require the pre-approval of the plan administrators and signature of the Judge presiding over your divorce. QDROs need not be submitted simultaneously with a divorce proceeding and, in fact, may submitted after the divorce has been finalized. If you intend to divide any pensions or retirement accounts as part of your divorce, be sure to discuss this with our legal team.
Yes, we can address any types of assets including real estate, 401(k)s, pensions, and other financial accounts. Please note that while we do provide for the division of retirement accounts in your Settlement Agreement, our services do not include the preparation of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs). A QDRO is typically required in order to affect a penalty-free transfer of funds from one spouse's pension or retirement account to an account belonging to the other spouse. However, we do work closely with several pension preparation services to which we will refer you, if needed, upon review of your file.
Much as equitable distribution applied to assets acquired during the marriage, credit card debts, bank loans and the like, which were accumulated during the marriage are generally subject to division. That means that even if your spouse incurred the marital debt under his or her name, you may both be responsible for any outstanding accounts. In most cases, however, the division of debt will be prorated based on the relative incomes or earning capacities of the parties. As always, in an uncontested divorce proceeding, you and your spouse have the luxury of dividing the debt in any way you see fair.
Generally speaking, Child Support is paid to the custodial parent (the parent who has physical custody of the children) by the non-custodial parent.
In New York, children under the age of 21 are eligible for Child Support.
In New York, children under the age of 21 are eligible for Child Support.
Yes. If you have an existing Family Court Order concerning Child Support or Custody, we will incorporate the terms Ordered by the Family Court into your Judgment of Divorce. This will serve to continue any existing Order of Custody or Support that had been previously issued by the Court. We will, of course, need to include a copy of any such Order(s) in your divorce filings.
Yes. You are eligible for support as long as your Children are under 21 and not legally emancipated (financially independent).
If your child is legally emancipated, that is, your child is financially independent, lives on his or her own and you do not claim this child on your tax return, you will not be able to seek support for this child even if he or she is under the age of 21.
Child support may be paid weekly, bi-weekly (every two weeks) or monthly depending on the parties' preferences. Child support may be paid directly to the custodial parent by check or money order or through the Child Support Services of the Support Collection Unit in your specific County. If you opt for child support to be paid through Child Support Services, the payor spouse may have his or her Child Support obligation deducted (if employed) from his or her paycheck on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Child Support funds are then forwarded to the Support Collection Unit by the payor's employer and the payee spouse will receive regular child support payments through the Support Collection Unit.
In the case of self-employed parties, establishing child support income can be tricky because of how self-employed individuals receive income distributions or how they calculate their actual earnings. The income stated on self-employed individual's tax return is not always an accurate representation of their actual earnings. Unless you and your spouse are willing to impute (agree on a reasonable amount as and for income), you will need to consult with our legal team in order to arrive at an accurate figure for purposes of calculating Child Support.
Yes. If you have an existing prior Order or a written agreement requiring you to pay Child Support for children from a prior relationship, you may deduct any such amounts actually paid as Child Support from your gross income. This will essentially reduce your Child Support income when calculating your present support obligation.
Yes. Spousal support paid to your spouse will reduce your Child Support income dollar for dollar such that your income will be reduced by the amount actually paid for spousal support prior to calculating a Child Support obligation.
"Add-on" expenses, such as educational and out-of-pocket" medical costs, which are reasonably necessary for the maintenance of the minor children are generally shared by the parties on a pro-rata basis. This means that each party will only be responsible for these expenses in proportion to their income. For example, if you earn $60,000 annually and your spouse earns $40,000, you will be responsible for 60 percent of any add-on expenses and your spouse will be responsible for 40 percent.
In most cases, if you are unemployed and do not have any alternate source of income, your Child Support obligation will be reduced to $25 per month. This is the minimum support requirement permitted in New York. Family Court judges, may, at their discretion, impute income to unemployed parties if the Court believes that parent's unemployment is unjustifiable or intentionally prolonged.
No. Child Support is a right and entitlement that belongs to the minor Child or Children and, therefore, cannot be waived entirely by the parties even if they agree to waive their rights.
Yes. We will need to furnish the Court with documentation evidencing that Child Support has previously been established and that Child Support Services are in place.
No. You must apply for spousal support (also known as maintenance) through the Family Court or through the Supreme Court (in a divorce proceeding) for a determination. Alternatively, if you and your spouse have reached an agreement regarding spousal support you may stipulate to an amount in a written settlement agreement. During your divorce consultation, our attorneys will guide you through your rights and options.
The amount of support that will be awarded to a "non-monied" (or the spouse with less income) spouse will depend on numerous factors including the relative earning power of the parties, the difference in incomes, the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during the marriage and the length of the marriage. During your divorce consultation, our attorneys will explain your rights and options.
Typically, if you are unemployed for good-cause and your spouse is receiving income from various sources, you will be entitled to support. The amount of support you will receive depends on factors such as the relative earning power of the parties, the difference in incomes, the lifestyle enjoyed by the parties during the marriage and the length of the marriage. Our attorneys will be sure to explain your rights and options.
Temporary Maintenance (or Pendete Lite relief) is support which is typically awarded to "non-monied" spouse by the court while a final determination of a divorce proceeding is pending. You must file a special application in order to obtain temporary support. Temporary support is determined based on New York State guidelines and can be calculated using a Temporary Maintenance Calculator. Final support award may ultimately vary from the temporary award.
Typically, the shorter the duration of the marriage, the shorter the obligation for support. In the case of a short-term marriage (less than a year), many courts will not require support to be paid to a "non-monied" spouse, unless there are extraordinary circumstances warranting an award of support. Support is determined on a case by case basis and will require the parties, or in the event a case is contested, a court, to consider numerous factors.
The best way to ensure that neither party revisits the issue of spousal support in the future is to execute a written Settlement Agreement or Stipulation of Settlement whereby both parties waive rights to support. While in some counties it is against public policy to waive rights to support in extraordinary circumstances, a well-drafted stipulation will ensure that under ordinary circumstances neither party will be able to revisit the issue of support.