New York Uncontested Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
A. When both you and your spouse agree on the key issues of a divorce, it is possible to get a New York uncontested divorce. This enables you and your spouse to maintain control and make your own decisions, rather than going to trial and letting a judge make them for you.Q. What issues must we agree on to get an uncontested divorce?
A. To get an uncontested divorce, you must agree on
- Desiring the divorce
- The grounds for divorce
- Property division
- Child custody
- Child support
- Child visitation
A. Rather than moving to a contested divorce, you can have a collaborative divorce, where the parties openly communicate and work together to come to an agreement with the help of specially trained collaborative divorce attorneys.Q. When is a contested divorce the only option?
A. An uncontested divorce is not possible when any of the key divorce issues just discussed are a topic of disagreement. If you also cannot reach agreement with a collaborative divorce, a contested divorce is your final option.Q. What is the process for getting an uncontested divorce in New York?
A. Getting an uncontested divorce is cheaper and faster than a contested divorce. After one of the parties files for divorce, you file streamlined paperwork stating grounds for the divorce and giving information relevant to property and child custody. If both parties agree on everything, or even if your spouse does not respond or appear at the hearing, the court will grant an uncontested divorce.Q. What are the advantages of an uncontested divorce?
A. There are a number of advantages to getting an uncontested divorce in New York.
- It’s faster, because there are fewer proceedings and negotiations. You can move on with your lives much sooner. You can avoid much of the stress of a contested divorce, which involves all the processes of any litigation: discovery, calling expert and character witnesses, making motions, introducing documents into evidence and testifying
- An uncontested divorce is much cheaper, even if both parties have attorneys, than a contested divorce, due to lower court costs but primarily due to lower attorney fees.
- It’s more harmonious and less likely to engender bad feelings than a contested divorce, which is important if you have children together.
- You and your spouse maintain control. You cannot know what a judge may order.
- Your financial documents remain private rather than becoming part of public record as they would in a contested divorce. This may be of importance to someone in business.
A. You are not required to have an attorney, but it is always wise to have legal counsel to protect your interests.Q. Can an uncontested divorce become contested?
A. Yes, if during the divorce process differences develop on key issues, there is sometimes no choice but to move to a contested divorce.Q. Can a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement make it more likely our divorce will be uncontested if we divorce?
A. Yes. If you reach agreement on key matters at a less emotional time when you are not contemplating immediate divorce, it can make a divorce much smoother and more likely to be uncontested.