The decision to divorce your spouse is usually one that requires a lot of careful deliberation and often a lot of stress. Now that you have arrived at this decision, you face the challenge of actually obtaining the divorce. In New York, you have the option of seeking an uncontested divorce – the fastest and most trouble-free type of divorce available. But you must meet the requirements for this type of divorce before you attempt to file New Your divorce papers on your own.
Uncontested means that you and your spouse are in agreement about the need for a divorce, how your property will be divided and how your children will be taken care of. If you and your spouse are in disagreement about any of these things it will make it very difficult to proceed with the divorce. If the disagreements become too severe, you will likely need to seek outside help for resolving them – either through divorce mediation, collaborative lawyers or by seeking your own personal attorney. The more intense the disagreements, the more costly and time consuming the divorce becomes.
If you have worked out a plan with your spouse that you can both agree to, you are in a good position to seek an uncontested divorce. New York allows you to fill out your own divorce paperwork and submit it to your county clerk. Doing this will allow you to move forward and end your marriage. CompleteCase.com offers you a way to take the guesswork and anxiety out of the form filling process. With CompleteCase.com, you can be directed to the exact divorce papers required in New York for your specific circumstances, and you’ll get help filling out these forms accurately and completely. This way you know that you are filing the right divorce documents, which will help you avoid any unnecessary or costly delays.
According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in New York in 2011 was 2.9 for every 1,000 residents. The divorce rate in New York is lower than many other states in the country.
New York allows couples to seek either an at-fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. In an at-fault divorce, you must prove that your spouse is responsible for the need to divorce. Some accepted grounds for an at-fault divorce in New York include adultery, imprisonment and cruel and inhuman treatment. For most people, it is easier to seek a no-fault divorce as you do not need to prove anything other than the relationship is irretrievably broken. In New York, the relationships must be broken for at least six months. In addition, New York generally requires that you or your spouse have lived in the state for at least one year before you can file for divorce.
The New York Courts website tries to make the complicated divorce process easier through its DIY program for uncontested divorces. As long as you meet the requirements for uncontested divorce, including being over 18 years of age, having no children, being in a marriage that has been over for at least six months and having all of your property issues settled, you can go through the program.
Even with the program offered by New York, you should prepare to spend some time working through all of the instructions and filling out the various online divorce papers. You can expect to complete the Summons With Notice or Summons form, as well as the Verified Complaint. These forms will demand detailed information from you, and they must be filled out correctly to avoid any delays in your divorce.
If you want to get through the divorce paperwork as quickly as you can, you may find that the New York online divorce papers from CompleteCase.com a better option. CompleteCase.com provides personalized solutions to divorce form selection and completion, ensuring that you fill out only the documents you need for your case. Our experts also work with you to make certain your divorce forms are complete and accurate so that you have everything completed correctly the first time.
When you have completed your divorce papers, online or otherwise be sure to make two copies of the documents. You will need a copy to file with the county clerk, a copy to serve to your spouse and a copy for your records. Only the Supreme Court Of New York has the authority to handle your divorce case. Family Law courts in New York are not able to do this. So make sure you go to the right court for your case. You can find more information on the right court on the New York Courts website.
When you identify the right court, you will must bring in your completed divorce paperwork and submit them to the county clerk. The clerk will require you to pay a state fee to assign your case. When you pay the fee, the clerk will assign you an Index Number.
New York requires you to serve a copy of the divorce papers to your spouse. You must do this within 120 days of filing with the clerk. You can serve the paperwork in several ways. If your spouse will not contest the divorce, you can serve the papers yourself. If someone else serves the papers, you just have to make sure they are over 18 years of age.
Your spouse has 40 days to return the form that acknowledges receipt of the divorce documents. If your spouse does not return this document, then the person who served your spouse will need to fill out an Affidavit of Service to prove that the papers were served. Once all the required paperwork is in, you can add your divorce case to the court calendar. When the judge reviews your documents, he or she can then grant the divorce.
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It's great to have an option like this when dealing with an amicable, uncomplicated divorce - no need for attorneys when there's nothing to hash out.
By Deborah Sharp, USA TODAY
Couples can find a mate, fill out a bridal registry and plan a honeymoon on the computer. Now they can also divorce online.
A Web site started last year by a Seattle attorney gives the unhappily wed in Washington, California, Florida and New York the option of dissolving their marriages online. Texas is next, and several other states are being considered.
The site is the latest twist in a do-it-yourself trend. Changing trends in the USA Average age of first marriage Divorce year male female Divorced Americans Divorces granted 1970 23.2 20.8 4.3 million 0.7 million 2000 26.8 25.1 19.9 million 1.2 million Sources: U.S. Census; National Center for Health Statistics
No national figures exist on self-representation. But some experts estimate that as many as half of 1.2 million couples divorcing annually in the USA do so without a lawyer representing at least one of the parties.
The Web site, www.completecase.com, differs from the many self-help sites offering advice, referrals or downloads of documents needed to file for divorce in a particular state.
For $249, the Web site prompts couples with questions on everything from dividing financial assets to deciding where the kids celebrate birthdays. The software then uses their answers to fill out the documents that a couple can download and submit to a court.
Requirements vary by locale as to whether a couple must show up in court or can mail in or fax their divorce filing. But in all cases, a judge must still sign the order ending a marriage.
Randy Finney, a family law attorney for 11 years and the founder of the Web site, says it was designed for uncontested divorces. It's not for couples with convoluted finances or for those fighting over child custody and who gets the dog.
"The decision to get a divorce comes way before the decision about how to get a divorce," says Finney, 35, who is happily married. "I don't think anyone takes their wedding vows so frivolously that they're going to get a divorce just because they can do it for $249."
Not everyone is thrilled with the notion of cyber-divorce.
Judges and lawyers fret that couples who use the Web site may believe they've had legal counsel when they haven't. And leaders in the movement to save marriages complain that point-and-click divorce further undermines the institution's supposed sanctity.
"I can only think of one use of the Internet that's worse and that's pornography," says Dennis Rainey, executive director of FamilyLife, a religious group based in Little Rock. "We're trying to do all we can to call people to keep their wedding vows."
FamilyLife has joined with 30 other organizations since 1999 in drawing 175,000 spouses nationwide to "I Still Do" ceremonies that affirm marriage.
Despite the marriage celebrations, about one-fifth of American men and women have been divorced at least once.
A study released last month by the U.S. Census shows about 90% of Americans will marry at some point. For men, 54% married just once. For women, 60%. Serial marriage is rare: Only 3% of Americans have married three times or more; 13% have married twice.
Finney estimates his Web site has helped 1,000 couples unhitch. Stacey Kiss of Seattle is among those who traveled to virtual Splitsville. The self-described "Internet junkie" says it took her and her husband of seven years about three hours one night to click through the Web site's detailed questions.
"We never got along on anything through our entire marriage, but we still managed to come to an agreement," says Kiss, 36, a hospital business-services manager. "Why drag it out and make it complicated?"
She says the online split was cheaper and easier than her first, traditional divorce. Now single, Kiss says she's comfortable with dot-com divorce, but she draws the line at cyber-dating.
"I like surfing the Web," she says, "but not for men."
Ernesto Gomez and his wife Blanca had been planning to get a divorce for three years. They had already separated and worked out custody and child support for their two kids. But they had stalled on filing because they didn't want to deal with the hassle and expense. Hiring a lawyer, they were told, would cost at least $1,500. Using a free service offered by the court would involve numerous meetings spread out over several weeks.
So when Gomez heard an ad on the radio for a service called completecase.com that would let him fill out the paperwork online for just $249, he decided to give it a try. Four days after he logged onto the site, he had the papers completed and filed in court. "CompleteCase gives you step-by-step instructions. You can't miss anything," says Gomez, a distribution-center manager in Miami.
Gomez is not the only one turning to the Internet to simplify the process. Other services, like divorcewizards. com and divorcesyourself.com also offer quickie online divorce kits, usually for $300 or less. No lawyer is involved unless a client chooses to pay extra for a consultation by phone or e-mail.
Brian Lee, president of legalzoom.com says his site has handled more than 30,000 divorces since its launch in 2001. Though people still have to convey their forms to the court, the process of filling out the paperwork can take less than an hour, thanks to simple online questionnaires that hand-hold customers through the process.
Online divorce is not an option if the couple can't agree on the terms. Even when they can, not everyone thinks it's a good idea. "Instant divorce is the last thing we need," says Mike McManus, president of the marriage advocacy group Marriage Savers. Instead of a divorce, McManus says, couples often just need time to cool off before working out their differences.
Still, such services are spreading. Utah and California offer do-it-yourself sites that let you fill the forms out online (for $20 at utcourts.gov/how to; free at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp) Traffic on the California site rose from 6,800 page views in May 2002 to nearly 17,000 in May 2003. --By Anita Hamilton
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; Nov 19, 2001; MARTIN MILLER;
Abstract: Californians can legally split from their spouses over the Web site http://www.completecase.com and never have to set foot in a courthouse or lawyer's office. Legal papers can be completed within anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the split, according to Randolph Finney, a Seattle-based family law attorney who founded the site.
For Californians, once the judge signs the documents, they are "legally binding and enforceable," says Finney, but per state law the divorce doesn't become finalized for six months.
Full Text: (Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 2001 All rights reserved)
The circle of online life is now complete. You can date online; you can marry online; and now you can divorce online.
Californians can legally split from their spouses over the Web site http://www.completecase.com and never have to set foot in a courthouse or lawyer's office. Legal papers can be completed within anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the split, according to Randolph Finney, a Seattle-based family law attorney who founded the site.
For a flat fee of $249, the site walks divorcing couples step-by- step through such issues as community property and calculating child support payments. When the online form is completed, the applicant simply signs the papers and mails them to the courthouse.
But it's not for everyone. It works only for those couples who are parting amicably and filing for an uncontested divorce. "If you can't agree on who gets the kids, our site is not for you," says Finney, a married 35-year-old.
The site debuted earlier this year, but only to residents of Washington state. Last month, California was added, and soon Florida, New York and Oregon are expected to be added. So far, the site has helped process hundreds of divorces, says Finney.
The site has drawn critics who denounce the online divorce as yet another blow to society's bedrock institutions. The very ease of the process, some contend, makes family and marriage as disposable as an old appliance. Indeed, a similar site in England was recently condemned by the pope as immoral because it made divorce too easy.
Naturally, Finney disagrees. "I think our Web site has the opposite effect," he said. "If you're going to get divorced, let's do it in a civil manner. I really don't believe having something available that makes it easier and costs less money is going to encourage divorce."
The inspiration for the project came from his law practice, where he primarily handles divorces. It took about a year to get the site up and running. "On almost a daily basis, I would get clients who said they needed a divorce but didn't have the money or the patience with the legal process to pursue it," he said. "These people are really stuck between a rock and a hard place."
For Californians, once the judge signs the documents, they are "legally binding and enforceable," says Finney, but per state law the divorce doesn't become finalized for six months. "It isn't quite as fast as a Las Vegas divorce," he says.
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