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Divorce in Erie County
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Online Divorce in Erie County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com provides paperwork services, not legal advice. The text below is for informational purposes only.
Many people who want to get a divorce in Erie County, NY, wonder how to go through the process and obtain a final decree of divorce in the easiest and fastest way. Although divorce is always a challenge, under certain conditions and with proper preparation, it can be cheaper and faster than commonly believed.
It typically takes less time to finalize an uncontested divorce. No contest is when the spouses are ready to negotiate and reach an agreement on the terms of their dissolution. In this case, you do not have to pay an attorney hourly throughout the divorce proceeding. So, if both parties agree, why not refuse a divorce trial and arrange a quick and inexpensive procedure?
In an uncontested divorce, various options and alternatives are available on how to arrange the divorce process. For example, the spouses may use OnlineDivorce.com to file for divorce in Erie County. This online service takes on all the paperwork issues.
Each state has its own Family Law and legal forms, and most counties have their own unique forms and filing requirements. It may be hard to sort them out on your own, even if the case is amicable and quite simple. OnlineDivorce.com determines, collects, and completes the needed documents taking into account the circumstances of each particular divorce case and local rules.
The completed and printable divorce papers are prepared online by OnlineDivorce.com within a couple of days. Online Divorce also provides step-by-step instructions on how to fill out and file the papers. You may finalize the paperwork in the convenience of your own home at a fair price with no hidden fees.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Erie County
According to the NY Dom Rel L § 170, in New York State, both no-fault and fault-based grounds for divorce are recognized.
Filing for divorce in Erie County, NY based on spousal misconduct as a cause of separation may bring the petitioner (the spouse who files the case) a more favorable settlement. Fault-based grounds must be proven before the court.
Fault-based grounds for divorce in NY, include:
cruelty and inhuman treatment;
abandonment (desertion of the spouse for at least one year);
imprisonment for at least three years that occurred after that marriage began;
divorce after a judgment of separation. (the Supreme Court draws up a judgment of separation, and the spouses live apart for one year).
The only no-fault ground for divorce in Erie County is the irretrievable breakdown in a relationship for at least six months. This implies that the spouses come to an agreement on such matters as child custody, property distribution, alimony, etc., before filing the Petition. Thus, the no-fault ground is perfect for those who want to apply for an uncontested divorce in Erie County.
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In an uncontested divorce in Erie County with children involved, the spouses have to agree on custody of the child.
There are two types of custody - legal and physical.
Legal custody refers to the parent's decision-making authority concerning the child's upbringing, education, health, etc.
Physical custody defines with whom the child lives and is in charge of the supervision of the child.
NY courts may grant either sole custody or share the parental rights and liabilities between the divorcing parents. Judges decide custody and visitation orders guided by the best interests of the child.
"Best interest" is not a specific term, so the judge considers each case separately to determine what would be the best for each child under the present circumstances. The child's health and safety are given top priority.
which parent has been the primary caregiver of the child during the marriage
each spouse's parenting skills, their ability to provide for the child's special needs, if any
each spouse's work schedules and child care plans
each spouse's mental and physical health
any history of domestic violence in the family
the child's relationships with brothers, sisters, and relatives
the child's preferences (depending on the age of the child)
each parent's ability to foster the good and smooth relationship with the other party and to encourage a relationship with the other parent when it is safe for the child;
and other factors the court may deem significant.
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Rules for child support in Erie County
Child support in Erie County is typically paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent who has physical custody and provides everyday care of the child. Thus, both parents are expected to contribute to the child's welfare.
In NY, child support can be either ordered by the Supreme Court during a divorce case or arranged with a written agreement between the parents. The court usually approves this agreement.
The Child Support Standards Chart, which is updated each year on April 1st, is used to determine the amount of child support.
In general, child support in NY depends on how many children are being supported and the gross annual income of the parent paying the child support. The NY online Child Support Calculator helps the spouses to estimate an approximate amount based on their financial information. In some cases, the court may assign a different amount of child support than recommended under the formula.
Rules for spousal support in Erie County
Alimony is a payment from one former spouse to another used to help the party with the lower income to maintain the standard of living established during the marriage.
Temporary alimony may be granted to the receiving party until he or she has gained the professional skills needed to find decent employment and become self-supportive.
Permanent alimony may be granted to the party if they have significant special needs or are unable to support themselves properly. This type of maintenance is typically reserved for divorces that take place after 10 years or more of marriage.
The court determines the amount of alimony based upon the following factors:
the length of the marriage;
the standard of living established during the marriage;
the equitable distribution of marital property and the income or imputed income on the assets so distributed;
the wasteful dissipation of marital property;
earning capacity of both spouses;
a spouses' need to incur training or education expenses (to achieve financial independence);
age and health condition of each spouse;
acts by one spouse against the other that inhibit the other's earning capacity;
child custody arrangement;
the cost of medical insurance for the parties;
the tax consequences to each party;
and any other factors the court finds just and important, depending on the case peculiarities.
Uncontested Erie County divorce with children
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Property division in Erie County
New York courts have adopted the equitable distribution model to determine how property is divided in a divorce. Under the NY Dom Rel L § 236 (2018), in a divorce proceeding, the marital property of the spouses must be divided equitably (not necessarily equally).
At the same time, the separate property of each party is not subject to division. Separate property includes everything acquired by each spouse before the marriage, personal gifts and inheritances, and the property acquired during the marriage in exchange for the separate property.
The court shall divide assets of the couple on a case-by-case basis, determining an equitable distribution of property guided by the following factors:
each spouse's income and property at the time of marriage, and at the time of filing for divorce;
the length of the marriage;
each spouse's age and health;
the need for a custodial parent to own the marital residence after the dissolution of marriage;
the loss of health insurance benefits, inheritance or pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage;
any equitable claim to an interest in the contribution made to the acquisition of marital property by the party not having a title, including joint efforts and contributions (including non-material and contributions to the career of the other party);
the probable future financial circumstances of each party;
the tax consequences to each party;
the wasteful dissipation of assets by either spouse;
any other factors which the court finds to be just and significant.
Mediation support in Erie County
Divorce mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution, aimed to help the parties to reach an agreement and avoid trial. The spouses are assumed to cooperate in resolving the most disputable matters of their dissolution case (property division, alimony, child custody, etc.) under the guidance of the impartial mediators.
In the Family Law of New York, there are no legal provisions for divorce mediation. Divorce mediation is an entirely voluntary process.
Nevertheless, in some cases, when the judge considers it's necessary, the court may order the divorcing parents who have underage children to attend Parenting Class. Parenting Class is an informative program designed to help the divorcing parents to make a Parenting Plan jointly and learn how to share the parental responsibilities with no harm to the child.
How to file for divorce in Erie County | Step-by-Step
For getting a divorce in Erie County, NY, the couple should meet at least one of the following residency requirements:
- At least one party has been a resident of the state of New York continuously for at least two years before filing the Petition.
- Either spouse has been living in New York State continuously for one year before the divorce motion is started, and, in addition: the marriage occurred within NY State; or the spouses lived in NY State as a married couple; or the ground for divorce happened in NY State.
- Both spouses currently reside in New York State and the ground for the divorce has happened there too.
In Erie County, NY, the Supreme Court (not the Family Court) is the relevant court to handle divorce cases. The Supreme Court judge is the only one who can grant a divorce. The petitioner (the filing party) has to contact the Supreme Court in the county where either party currently resides.
After determining the proper court, the petitioner has to collect all the legal forms required for the divorce case and file the Petition for Divorce and other papers with the Supreme Court of the county.
The plaintiff should buy an Index Number at the County Clerk's Office and file a Summons with Notice or a Summons and Verified Complaint. These papers are needed for serving divorce papers in Erie County, NY to the second spouse (called the defendant).
The plaintiff should know how to serve divorce papers. He or she may ask any adult person to serve the second spouse with the documents, but the plaintiff is not allowed to serve their spouse with the Summons on their own.
The serving process must be made within 120 days of the filing of the petition with the clerk. The defendant then has forty days to make a response by returning the form acknowledging receipt of the papers.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney
fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels
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Filing fees for divorce in Erie County
When filing for divorce, the plaintiff has to pay a one-time mandatory court filing fee. On average, the filing fee in Erie County, NY is $335.
If the plaintiff cannot afford to pay the filing fee, he or she may request a fee waiver and file an Affidavit in Support of Application for Waiver of Filing and Service Fees and Costs.
How long will it take?
The length of the divorce process in Erie County, NY, may vary greatly depending on whether the case is contested or not, as well as other peculiarities of the case. A do-it-yourself divorce is typically quite straightforward and quick, while a divorce with legal representatives is usually a more drawn out process. It is impossible to establish a clear timeline since each case is unique. Before choosing between a DIY-divorce or using divorce lawyers, the spouses should consider the unique circumstances of their case.
New York doesn't imply any waiting period. If the spouses are ready to negotiate and cooperate, the divorce may take as short as about three months.
Filing for divorce in Erie County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Erie County?
The cost of the divorce procedure in Erie County includes the mandatory filing fee as well as the costs of any other services the spouses would like to use. Services could include, but are not limited to, the assistance of legal representatives, online paperwork drafting services, service fees, mediation, counseling, and parenting classes.
In general, an uncontested divorce is usually much more affordable since the spouses can often avoid the high costs of using attorneys.
How do you file for divorce in Erie County without a lawyer?
Filing for divorce without a lawyer is legal in Erie County NY. However, this option is advised only for those spouses who mutually agree to proceed on their own and do not have a lot of assets to divide or complicated issues to resolve.
The steps of a DIY-divorce are the same as for any other uncontested dissolution.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Erie County?
The most common divorce forms required to be filed to start an uncontested dissolution procedure include:
Summons with Notice
Affidavit of Service
Affidavit of Plaintiff
Affidavit of Defendant
Child Support Worksheet
Qualified Medical Child Support Order
Judgment of Divorce
Certificate of Dissolution
Income Deduction Order
NYS Case Registry Filing form
Child Support Summary Form
Can I file for legal separation in Erie County, New York?
In Erie County, NY, legal separation is available for those spouses who no longer want to live together. Legal separation formally sets out the rights and liabilities of each spouse concerning the property, child custody, and other essential matters, but without actual divorce. Legally separated spouses are not allowed to remarry.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
Either spouse is allowed to remarry after the court issues a Final Divorce Decree. The State of New York has no waiting period.
Divorce in Erie County online
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Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing times - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
based in other countries? No wonder some clients are provided with outdated divorce forms that will
be rejected by the court. The result? Those people lose their time and money because these
unprofessional services do not keep their state forms up-to-date.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service, some sites post reviews by non-existent "customers".
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