Summary of the Divorce Process
Once the Opting Out/Separation Agreement has been signed, either person may commence an action for divorce. This involves commencing a lawsuit in which one person (the plaintiff) sues the other (the defendant) for divorce. Effective October 12, 2010, New York State allows an action for divorce to be commenced on any of the following grounds:
Source: New York Domestic Relations Law Section 170.
The last ground (under #7 above) is informally considered the “no-fault” grounds for divorce in New York. When you file for divorce it can either be contested or uncontested. A contested divorce means that one person is disagreeing with some aspect of the divorce. It may be an issue about your parenting plan (custody and visitation), support (child support or spousal maintenance), equitable distribution (division of assets and debts), or the grounds for divorce.
An action for divorce is considered uncontested when all the issues are resolved including which grounds for divorce will be used. When an action for divorce is uncontested, the defendant will allow the divorce to be granted by the Court without objection.
You have the option to either hire an attorney to prepare the divorce papers that must be submitted to the judge in order to obtain a divorce, or you may prepare the divorce papers yourselves. New York State provides the public with divorce forms that contain all the forms that need to be completed and filed with the court along with a copy of your signed and executed Opting Out/Separation Agreement.
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