For those who qualify, an uncontested divorce can be faster, cheaper, and better for the long-term post-divorce relationship of the spouses.
To find out more about uncontested divorces in New York, including eligibility requirements, advantages and disadvantages of an uncontested divorce, and how to receive a personalized consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer, read on.
Who is eligible for an uncontested divorce in New York?
New York law allows couples to obtain an uncontested divorce when both parties agree to the divorce as well as the division of property, alimony, custody and support.
Additionally, the couple must meet one of the following five residency requirements:
- The couple was married in New York and at least one of the spouses was a resident of the state for at least one year prior to filing;
- The couple lived in New York as a married couple for any period of time, and at least one of the spouses was a state resident for one year before filing;
- The grounds for divorce occurred in New York and one spouse was a resident for at least one year one year prior to filing;
- The grounds for divorce occurred in New York and both spouses are New York residents at the time of filing; or
- One of the spouses has maintained continuous New York residency for two years prior to filing.
An uncontested divorce may also be granted if the non-filing spouse fails to respond to a Summons and Complaint for divorce.
The advantages of an uncontested divorce
The biggest reasons that uncontested divorces are so popular is because the process saves time and money.
Traditional divorces may require months or even years of litigation during which an attorney will be charging fees for any work completed on the client’s behalf. A faster divorce means less attorney fees and that the parties can gain closure more quickly.
Uncontested divorces are less contentious and stressful which helps ensure that the couple remains on as good of terms as possible which is beneficial especially when co-parenting later.
As an added bonus, since there is less paperwork involved in an uncontested divorce, less of the couple’s private information is available via public record.
The disadvantages of an uncontested divorce
The two biggest disadvantages to uncontested divorces are their narrow availability and limited scope for dispute resolution.
Not all couples qualify for an uncontested divorce: in addition to the requirements for an uncontested divorce outlined above, those with complicated cases, children, alimony, support and substantial personal or business assets may be better suited for a traditional divorce.
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