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Online divorce in New York

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Disclaimer: Online Divorce is not a law firm and its services, website and forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Online Divorce provides access to computer-aided self-help services at your specific direction. Online Divorce's website and written instructions provide general information about the divorce process only; we cannot give you any specific advice, opinions or recommendations as to your selection or completion of forms or your particular legal rights, remedies or options. OnlineDivorce.com is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires. Online Divorce does not sell blank forms. You may be able to download blank forms from a government website depending on your state.

Communications between you and Online Divorce are governed by our Privacy Policy but are not covered by the attorney-client or work product privileges. Your access to Online Divorce's website is subject to and governed by our Terms Of Use. Any purchase from Online Divorce is subject to and governed by our Terms & Conditions.

by Jamie Kurtz

Jamie Kurtz has been a practicing divorce lawyer since 2008. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2007. Ms. Kurtz was selected to Rising Stars for 2013 - 2016, 2019 - 2020, a peer designation awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. She also co-founded a law firm that specializes in uncontested divorce cases.

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Online Divorce in New York

divorce in New York

For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of New York, online divorce can be an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorces may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at OnlineDivorce.com makes it easy on the client. The site helps prepare all the necessary divorce forms and provides detailed written instructions on how to file for divorce in New York.

Our divorce document preparation service can assist those who want their divorce papers completed in a quick and stress-free fashion. New York has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, and our online system provides exactly what is necessary and applicable, with instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.

If the two spouses have an amicable agreement on the terms of the divorce, why should the process get drawn out, and why should money be spent on lawyers? Online divorces are often cheaper, quicker and easier.

Online divorce is often a great option for those who want to save money or hope to have the divorce quickly finalized and return to normal life. An increasing number of people are preparing documents for divorce online because it can be done in the comfort of one’s own home. Even for complex cases that involve children, property or other assets, the online route is possible. Clients first fill out a simple questionnaire and are given instructions at each step of the way.

The process at OnlineDivorce.com is 100% secure. We protect the client’s information and nothing gets filed until the client personally submits the divorce papers to a court. Filing for divorce in New York with OnlineDivorce.com can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.

Filing:

OnlineDivorce.com begins the divorce process by presenting a simple online questionnaire. It can be filled out alone or with the assistance of a spouse. A signature from the other spouse must be obtained, after which the divorce forms may be filed at local court. In New York, this is typically done at the courthouse in the county where the client currently resides. If the petitioner is not currently a resident, but the defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.

The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with the completed divorce forms. Clients can also obtain assistance from their local courthouse by calling or stopping by.

If there are any issues with the documents after the initial filing, clients may need to follow up. OnlineDivorce.com helps the client make small adjustments to their forms, as requested by the court, at no additional charge. The goal of the service is always to minimize stress and hassle.

Residency:

Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. New York is not an exception.

If only one of the spouses lives in New York when the divorce is filed, the residency requirement is two years. The requirement is reduced to one year if:

  • The spouses were married in the state and one of the spouses is still a resident;
  • They once lived in New York and one of the spouses is still a resident; or
  • The grounds for divorce occurred in New York.

In addition, there is not a residency time limit requirement if both of the spouses were residents of New York at the time of filing the divorce and the grounds for divorce arose in the state. The divorce can be filed for in a county where either spouse lives. [Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Domestic Relations Law, Article 13, Sections 230 - 231 and New York Civil Practice Laws and Rules; Rule 503].

There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date New York driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in New York

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Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of New York. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.

There are both no-fault and “general” (fault-based) grounds for divorce in the state.

No-fault reasons for divorce in New York include:

#1

Living separate and apart for one year under the terms of a separation agreement which is in writing and signed and notarized [proof of compliance with the terms of the settlement agreement must be submitted when the divorce is filed. In addition, a copy of the agreement or a brief memorandum of the agreement must be filed in the office of the clerk of the county] or

#2

Living separate and apart for one year under the terms of a judicial separation decree. [Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Domestic Relations Law, Article 10, Section 170 and Article 13, Section 230].

#3

The relationship between husband and wife has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. [Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Domestic Relations Law, Article 7, Section 170].

General reasons for divorce in New York include:

#1

Adultery;

#2

Abandonment for one year;

#3

Imprisonment for three or more consecutive years; and

#4

Cruel and inhuman treatment. [Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Domestic Relations Law, Article 10, Section 170].

Please note that some of these reasons for divorce will require proof in the court, making them a bigger challenge than others.

OnlineDivorce reviews

Wesley H., Missouri

I started my divorce on my own, spending loads of money on lawyer visits in the beginning. So I decided to google for other ways and using this site was so much more simple!

James V., Texas

I had a very successful business at the time. So, making sure I had the right forms was very very important during my divorce. I was so surprised at how easy and smooth this process was.

Chloe J., Florida

After years of a tumultuous marriage, I finally decided that I needed to reclaim my life. I was looking for how to go about it and came across this site and they simplified and made the process of divorce easy for me. I never thought it would’ve been possible.

Will S., Colorado

Stress-free and easy! I was initially gonna hire a lawyer but I found online divorce the next best option. No muss, no fuss divorce. No big legal words that I’d have to have read 10 times to understand!

Marco P., California

California is expensive and divorce can be even more expensive in the end but I can say that this site payed everything out for me to follow, from child support to alimony. My ex agreed to go this way as well so it was a much less expensive option for us.

Tamara B., Nevada

Because of the whole dissolution of the marriage, I was struggling with two children and just in limbo with my husband at the time because of child support and alimony. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. I just want to say that this site helped me sort it out. Thank you.

Theresa S., New York

I live in upstate NY and unfortunately one day I found myself in a situation for divorce. I was all out of whack, needed answers to take action. Enough was enough so I did it on this site. Everything was clear to understand, all forms and what to put in which box.

Livy B., Illinois

Onlinedivorce.com is the bomb! I mean, using it was so easy to follow. So, if you find yourself in this situation do your divorce here if possible. Documents for all stages, alimony, child support and all!

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Custody of the child in New York

Custody of the child

Either joint or sole child custody will be determined according to the best interests of the child. Neither of the parents is entitled to custody. There are no factors specified in this statute. [Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Domestic Relations Law, Article 13, Section 240 and New York Case Law].

Rules for child support in New York

Child support is designed to make sure the children of divorcing parents will have access to the same level of care and lifestyle that they had before the divorce took place. After all, the children should not suffer because the parents choose to divorce. Child support is not meant to be punitive in nature. New York has put into place specific state-mandated child support guidelines which apply in almost every case, barring exceptional circumstances. With this, both parties’ gross incomes and certain child related expenses are considered when calculating the child support obligation. In the majority of cases, child support payments continue until the child reaches eighteen years of age, and they can extend until the completion of the child or children’s secondary education.

Temporary and permanent child support may be granted depending on the needs of the children.

Uncontested New York divorce with children

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Rules for spousal support in New York

Rules for spousal support

Alimony, which is sometimes known as spousal support, is on occasion ordered by the court to allow one spouse to live in a manner established during marriage after the divorce. It is often ordered if one spouse has a much higher earning power than another--such as if one spouse had served as a homemaker during much of the marriage, for instance. This support or assistance may be decided upon by the couple together before filing or may be awarded by the court in a contested case. The court may award rehabilitative (short-term) or more permanent alimony to either of the spouses in either lump-sum payments or as monthly/yearly payments or both.

Either spouse can be awarded support after divorce, this is done without regard to marital fault, and is based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • The income and property of the spouses, including any marital property divided as a result of the dissolution of marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The current age and health of both parties;
  • Both the present and future earning capacity of both parties;
  • The requirement of one party to incur education or training expenses;
  • The existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household;
  • Acts by one party against another that may have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include but are not limited to, acts of domestic violence as provided in section 459a of the social service law;
  • Any transfer of property made in anticipation of divorce;
  • Any noted wasteful dissipation of marital property;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage and the career of the other spouse, including services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other spouse;
  • The tax consequences in place of each spouse;
  • The ability of the spouse seeking support to become self-supporting and the time and training necessary;
  • Any reduced lifetime earning capacity as the result of having foregone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities during the marriage;
  • The presence of children of the marriage in the respective homes;
  • The care of the children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws that has inhibited or continues to inhibit a party's earning capacity;
  • The inability of one party to obtain meaningful employment due to age or absence from the workforce;
  • The need to pay for exceptional additional expenses for the child(ren), including but not limited to, schooling, day care, and medical treatment;
  • The past equitable distribution of marital property;
  • The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage, and the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties; and
  • Any other factor the court deems just and equitable. [Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Domestic Relations Law, Article 13, Section 236, Part B].

Property division in New York

Property division

When a couple chooses to divorce in New York, they must distribute property in a fair and agreeable manner.

New York is an “equitable distribution” state. The couple’s separate property, which includes property acquired before a marriage and any gifts or inheritances whenever acquired, is to remain with the spouse who owns it. Separate property also includes any increase in value or property acquired in exchange for separate property. Marital property acquired during the marriage will be equitably divided between the spouses, based on the following factors:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
  • The income and value of each spouse’s property at the time of the marriage and at the time of filing for divorce;
  • Any probable future economic circumstances of each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The age and health of the spouses;
  • The amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • The probable future financial circumstances of each spouse;
  • The potential loss of inheritance or pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage;
  • Whether the property award is instead of or in addition to maintenance;
  • Custodial provisions for the children and the need for a custodial parent to occupy the marital home;
  • The type of marital property in question [whether it is liquid or non-liquid];
  • The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating an interest in an asset such as a business, profession, or corporation and the desirability of keeping such an asset intact and free from interference by the other spouse;
  • The tax consequences to each party;
  • Any noted wasteful dissipation of assets;
  • Any transfer of property made in anticipation of divorce;
  • Any equitable claim that a spouse has in marital property, including joint efforts and expenditures, and contribution and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner, and homemaker, and to the career and career potential of the other spouse; and
  • Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the spouses. Marital fault may be considered. Financial disclosure of assets and income are mandatory.

[Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated; Do­mestic Relations Law, Article 13, Section 236, Part B].

Why us? Review the OnlineDivorce.com difference

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Contested Divorce

Average prices start at $2000

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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The premier uncontested divorce tool

Fully-guided, fast and affordable process. Experienced and reliable online divorce service using top-notch technology.

  • Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
  • Award-winning customer support
  • One flat fee (for both spouses) to access all completed documents for filing
  • Free revisions and free name change, no hidden fees
  • Detailed state-specific filing instructions
  • Review all and make changes from the comfort of your own home
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Other Online Divorce Services

Average prices start at $300

Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.

  • Automated document preparation
  • Processing time varies but may take more than three business days
  • On-demand customer support, quality varies
  • One flat fee claimed, however many sites have hidden fees
  • No experience: many sites started operating just a few years ago

Mediation support in New York

There are no legal provisions in New York for divorce mediation.

For those divorcing spouses who wish to file their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. Obtaining mediation in this manner can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.

Divorce forms in New York

New York forms produced by OnlineDivorce.com are court approved divorce forms. We have automated the process of filling them out to simplify matters and avoid any difficulties which may occur with filling out paperwork alone. By utilizing OnlineDivorce.com, clients can simplify the process of preparing divorce documents to help both parties move forward with their lives.

Divorce in New York online

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Filing fees for divorce in New York

When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

How long will it take?

The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.

Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really file for divorce in New York without a lawyer?

New York family laws allow divorcing spouses to represent themselves before the court, regardless of the type and circumstances of a particular divorce case.

A do-it-yourself divorce without a lawyer is regulated by the same rules of the civil procedure as a legally-assisted divorce. Therefore, the spouses who would like to arrange a divorce without an attorney may get the needed information and legal forms by contacting a Court Clerk's office or visiting the NY Courts website.

Nevertheless, please note that though the DIY divorce option is entirely legit, law experts recommend carefully evaluating your situation to not lose more during the divorce than you save on attorney fees. The risks are especially high when a contested divorce is at issue, or, for example, if the parties have minor children or significant assets, either spouse lives abroad, etc.

How can I file for divorce in New York without a lawyer?

There are several mandatory steps each plaintiff has to take to file for divorce in the state of New York.

Make sure New York residency requirements are met. The party who initiates the case (called the plaintiff) has to gather all the necessary divorce forms and documents. One may obtain an uncontested divorce packet going to the Court Clerk's office or using the New York Courts website's self-help section. Then, the forms should be filled out according to all the requirements, signed, and notarized.

Those spouses who would like to save time and efforts can resort to OnlineDivorce services at this stage. OnlineDivorce.com selects the legal forms according to a specific divorce case's circumstances and fills them out correctly within two business days. The customer can be sure that all the papers are completed following the New York State laws and requirements, and the court will approve them with no complications.

Then, the plaintiff shall file the papers with the Supreme Court in the county of current residence and pay a court filing fee to start the case officially.
The next step is serving the other spouse with the copies of the documents, following civil procedure rules.

After the second party receives the forms and answers, the spouses who do not contest the case should sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and file the rest of the forms.
Besides, in New York, another divorce option is available for couples who do not have minor children, real estate, and substantial assets. A so-called Summary Dissolution allows filing a Joint Petition and avoiding the service of process stage.

How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in New York?

The expenses associated with any divorce in New York include the court filing fee, which is mandatory for all plaintiffs, except those who are qualified to request a fee waiver due to financial hardship.

Other costs may vary depending on what type of legal aid or related services the spouses use. Such services could include but are not limited to, the assistance of lawyers, mediators, counselors, appraisers, etc., online paperwork drafting services, parenting classes fees, and more.

However, an average uncontested divorce is considered more affordable than the average (more lengthy) contested process, due to the high attorney fees charged per hour.

How long do you have to live in New York to file for divorce?

The spouses should meet the state’s specific residency requirements, where they will apply for divorce, starting the case in the place where they currently live, not where the marriage occurred.

New York Laws establish the following requirements, and the spouses have to comply with at least a one:

  • Either spouse must have been a resident of the state of New York for at least two years before filing for divorce.
  • Either spouse has been living in New York State for one year before the divorce motion is started, and the marriage occurred within New York State, or the spouses lived there as a married couple, or the ground for divorce happened within the state.
  • Both spouses currently reside in New York State, and the ground for the divorce occurred there too.
How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in New York?

Once served with divorce papers, the defendant has to file the response within a specific time.

A defendant served in New York has 20 days to respond. If they receive divorce papers outside of New York, this term extends up to thirty days.

Filing the response allows the defendant to put forward their views or disagree with any provisions included in the divorce petition. In contrast, if the defendant fails to respond within the given period, the plaintiff can ask the court for a 'default judgment,' and the defendant's interests won't be considered.

How do you get a free divorce in New York?

Even if the spouses can manage their separation out-of-court and without lawyers, avoiding related costs, they still have to pay a court filing fee to start the case.

Therefore, in theory, a completely free divorce is available only for plaintiffs qualified for a fee waiver due to financial hardship.

To waive the court fees, the plaintiff should prove they cannot afford to pay it, filing an Affidavit in Support of Application for Waiver of Filing and Service Fees and Costs with the court.

What papers do I need to file for a divorce in New York?

The most common divorce forms typically required to be filed to start an uncontested divorce procedure in NY State are:

  • Summons with Notice
  • Summons
  • Verified Complaint
  • 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

 

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 20 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.

I received the completed documents one day after I had finished my application on the website. The further instructions were clear, so I managed to file the papers with the court with no difficulties.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Jennifer C.