I belong to a private Facebook group of middle-aged women who share stories of age discrimination, infidelity, sexual dysfunction, depression, hot flashes, melanomas, empty nests, ailing parents, and other baubles of midlife mirth. Every so often, a new post will appear, announcing the rupture of a decades-long marriage, the wound of it so new and gaping you can practically taste the blood dripping off the words.
It gets better, I promise But it is also a proactive group, and tends to advise a take-no-prisoners practicality. The call to arms is a directive, not a suggestion. What if, even if she had the means, the built-in antagonisms and financial excesses of the American divorce industrial complex leave her longing for a less corrosive option, one that might put a more reasonable punctuation mark at the end of a failed marriage than an ellipsis made of tiny grenades?
Divorce in the U. My ex and I had only debt between us, no assets, so we decided to ask a mutual friend to be our mediator, at a friends and family rate. Big mistake. Though we both had a stated desire to keep things civil, the nature of our particular dysfunction—control issues, if I may be both coy and precise—was evident within the first two sessions, torpedoing mediation as a viable alternative.
Why were we in debt? For the same boring reason so many middle-class Americans are in debt: Our basic living expenses child care, health care, student loans, rising rents, college tuition, food, clothing, etc. By the time our third and final child was born, inthose hospital fees had only increased, so I freelanced throughout the first months of his life to keep us afloat, even as my industry, magazines and publishing, contracted, buckling under the strain of free content and lost advertising.
I took in boarders to stanch the flow but ultimately had to move to smaller, cheaper digs, which was itself another financial setback. Several serious and unexpected illnesses and their resulting chaos—including losing my executive-editor job at a health magazine and suddenly having to pay exorbitant COBRA fees—were the final nail in my financial coffin. Suffice it to say, like 40 percent of Americans in a study by the U.
Some weeks, there was not enough money for food. So for two and a half years post-separation, my not-yet-ex and I did nothing on the divorce front. I felt hopeless. Paralyzed by our lack of options. But the system in place—hire lawyers, go to court—held nothing for those of us living hand to mouth but not poor enough to qualify for free representation.
I was in survival mode, trying to make it from one day to the next. Then I sold a TV pilot, which finally gave my kids and me access to affordable health insurance through the Writers Guild for 18 months. I put my still-husband on my plan, too, because as his still-wife, I would be still-liable for his bills were he to get sick. My ex and I thus patched together our individual post-marital lives, a continent between us.
The DIY Divorce
I paid down our shared debt, tried to put money aside, and prayed for a day when we would have enough to call it quits officially. At one point, in pursuit of this goal, I had five jobs, a stress-related skin rash, and a brand-new heart condition that had me occasionally passing out at work: a direct result, some physicians suggestof intense emotional turmoil.
Meanwhile, life was inching forward. My ex moved in with a new girlfriend.When it comes to ending a marriage, most couples prefer to get through the process as quickly and with the least amount of financial exposure. But how easily can you dissolve a marriage without the use of a divorce lawyer? There are petitions that need to be downloaded, forms completed and filings to be made in your county or state of residence.
Handling your own divorce may seem like a simple way to save legal fees, especially when you and your soon-to-be former mate seem to agree on everything regarding the split. You feel that you both are able to handle the divorce civilly and with no chance of fighting over child support or visitation rights.
However, even the most rational and well-intentioned couples can fall into conflict during a divorce, which complicates matters even further. Unresolved rancor over domestic responsibilities and the parenting of children can turn things sour quickly. There are strict regulations, forms and paperwork and a single mistake or unexpected disagreement with your partner can turn a simple do-it-yourself affair into a nightmare situation. Couples who have been married a short period of time or are getting a quick annulment may opt to go this route.
If you still decide self-represent and get divorced without legal counsel, consider hiring a divorce attorney who can outline the process and review settlement agreement documents before submission. Divorce lawyers know the law in your state and understand how the system works.
How to File for Divorce in New York Without a Lawyer?
Whenever minor children are involved, large assets need to be divided, or future demands for spousal support are present, you want to have a trustworthy attorney in your corner — someone who will protect your interests. Hiring a divorce lawyer is also recommended if there is any prior history of substance abuse, domestic violence or child endangerment. Also, if you suspect that your spouse is being untruthful about assets, financial debts or if they are being particularly ugly about property division or anything to do with child custody, an attorney can help assure that your rights are protected.
Your legal counsel will not only listen to your concerns and expectations, but act as a buffer when divorces get nasty. Moreover, your attorney will help you navigate the proceedings as smoothly as possible. Our attorneys understand the myriad legal issues that arise in divorce proceedings, and provide seasoned guidance every step of the way.
Speak with an experienced attorney that can get you the compensation you deserve. For Immediate Service, Call Is a divorce attorney necessary? When you should retain a divorce attorney Divorce lawyers know the law in your state and understand how the system works.
Let Us Review Your Case Speak with an experienced attorney that can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact Us. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.Do you know that you can file for an uncontested divorce without a lawyer?
If you want to call it quits in your marriage, you can file for divorce yourself as long as your spouse agrees. There are many means to achieve it, but then, you need to understand the meaning of uncontested divorce. You should also know the processes that you must go through if you want to achieve your purpose. In a state like New York, filing a divorce without a lawyer is possible. That is if you know what to do but you need to meet the New York requirements of residency.
To file for your divorce in New York State, you or your spouse has resided in the State for a minimum of one year. It is not everybody that knows about this requirement but one year is the highest time you must reside in the state before you talk of divorce.
Filing for an uncontested divorce is easy in New York without a lawyer. You can handle it, but you must make sure that you meet the requirements to succeed.
The truth is that it may seem hard at first but is achievable. Take courage, do your research, gather the documents and meet the requirements. After all these, you are already a getting what you want.
Your email address will not be published. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.There is no waiting period in New York before a judge will enter a decree of divorce. The fault grounds for divorce in New York include:. In the case of a no-fault divorcethere is no need to assign any blame on your spouse and there is no need to give a specific reason for the breakup.
No fault New York divorce can be based on any of the grounds as follows:. Only the supreme court handles divorce cases in New York and you cannot get a divorce in the family court, which can help you with all other issues such as child custody, support and visitation before you file for divorce. If you are facing extreme financial hardship and cannot file for your divorce without financial help, then you can apply for the waiver of the court fees.
The New York Courts Website has information and resources of how to file for divorce in the state. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, then you can go to lawhelp. Documents Needed for Filing for Divorce. Some of the documents required for filing a divorce in New York areas below:. If you are filing for divorce in New York and your divorce is an uncontested one, then you can use the following forms:.
Once you have signed the papers and the forms have been notarized, you must file them with the county court clerk along with the court fees. You can check the county list to see if you can e-file your papers. In a contested divorce both spouses do not have an agreement on some or all the issues of the divorce. So, in this case, there will be a trial, where the judge will hear the testimony of the witnesses and decide on the various issues.
Contested divorces usually take a long time and you need to make repeated appearances in the court and it is also expensive. In the case of an uncontested divorce, there is an agreement between your spouse and you about all the issues such as property division, child custody and support, alimony, etc. As per the New York law, your spouse and you must also agree on the reason or grounds of your divorce. And, since there is an agreement on all the issues between your spouse and you, there is no need for the judge to have a trial.
Also, you must state that your marriage is broken irretrievably and that there are no chances of your spouse and you getting back together.
Also, a divorce is considered as uncontested when a spouse files for divorce and the other spouse does not participate in all the divorce. If your divorce case is straightforward, i. You can use the LawHelp interactive program which will require you to answer questions, based on which the program will fill out the New York state approved divorce forms and once you complete the program and submit your answers, your final documents will be generated, which you can use to file for divorce.
You are eligible to use the DIY program if:. However, if the issues pertaining to your divorce are complex and you cannot resolve them on your own, then it is best to hire a family law lawyer who can help you with all the divorce laws. Our favorite provider is 3stepdivorce.When you file for a no-fault divorce, you don't have to prove any wrongdoing on the part of your spouse, such as adultery, cruelty, or abandonment.
Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia are true no-fault divorce states.How to File For Divorce in New York
This means that you can only file for a no-fault divorce in those jurisdictions. You cannot claim wrongdoing in these states. In the remaining states, you can file for a no-fault divorce, or you can submit based on your spouse's conduct.
When granting a no-fault divorce, the court treats your marriage like a contract that is ending. Witnesses do not testify to the morals or manners of one party. Instead, your marriage will terminate based on the irreconcilable difference or the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, depending upon your state's laws. Although your spouse's behavior may not affect the divorce, it can affect other issues such as child custody or visitation.
Filing for a no-fault divorce is easier, faster, and less expensive than claiming fault. If you and your spouse agree on the divorce, then you can file yourself without a lawyer's help, saving you yet more time and money.
Here are the steps to follow for a no-fault divorce. Check your state laws for any requirements for filing a no-fault divorce. For example, some states require that you and your spouse are physically separated for a period of time before filing. Additionally, your state may require proof of residency before filing for divorce. Once you file for divorce, your state may order a waiting period before the divorce is final. If you're filing for a no-fault divorce on your own, you should understand these rules as they impact your divorce's timing.
Once you meet your state's requirements for filing, you should complete the applicable no-fault divorce forms, such as the petition for divorce. Contact your local county clerk's office for copies of these forms. Also, ask your local court about the required filing fees. After you complete the divorce forms, you'll need to provide copies to your spouse.Divorce is a legal action brought in Court that ends or "dissolves" a marriage. A divorce is granted when a Judge signs an Order called a Judgment of Divorce.
This Order is also referred to as a Divorce Decree. It is legal to file for divorce without using an Attorney. When a person represents themself without having a Divorce Attorney, they are referred to as proceeding " Pro Se. To satisfy the New York No-Fault grounds for divorce you and your spouse must agree that your marriage has irretrievably broken down for a period of at least six months. You need to obtain, fill out, sign and file the required uncontested divorce forms with the Court.
Your spouse will also have to sign some of the divorce papers. Instead of filling the NY uncontested divorce papers out completely by yourself, you can consider using a paralegal service or an online divorce forms preparation service.
Go to the Court to get a certified copy of the Judgment of Divorce for you and your spouse. Congratulate yourself for being smart enough to learn about the New York uncontested divorce process, and to learn how to get divorced without a Lawyer.
Attorney Provided Online Divorce: The divorce forms are prepared in an Attorney's office - not online. In order to file for an uncontested divorce in New York, you need to have all of the required divorce forms filled out correctly.
One way to do this, is to hire an Attorney who will prepare your divorce forms by using information you provide to the Attorney when you meet with the Attorney in their office.
Some divorce Attorneys advertise that they provide cheap divorces and "Online Divorce" and have a website where a customer can enter some basic information about their divorce that is emailed to the Attorney for their review. If the customer decides to hire the Attorney to prepare their divorce papers, they provide the remainder of their information about their divorce to the Attorney via email, an online questionnaire, or by visiting the Attorney's office.
When the Attorney has all of the information about the case, the Attorney creates the divorce forms and fills them out with the customer's information. The customer then reviews the divorce forms by either traveling to the Attorney's office, or by having them mailed, or emailed to them. If any corrections are necessary to the divorce forms, the Attorney makes them and the customer reviews them again.
Thus, when an Attorney advertises that they provide "Online Divorce" the bulk of the effort is performed by the Attorney "in their office" to create the divorce forms and complete them, and the customer has to spend considerable time waiting to have the divorce forms mailed to them for review, or they need to spend time to travel to the Attorney's office to provide information about their case, and to review the divorce forms. Also, many Attorneys have divorce paralegals in their office who type and prepare the divorce papers for their clients.
In addition to Attorney provided divorce online, there are also cheap paralegal services that provide divorce help and type up uncontested divorce papers for their customers and provide them to their customers online, by mail or in person. How to get a quick and cheap online divorce? Use LetsGetDivorced. If there are minor children involved it just takes a little longer to enter all of the information into their online uncontested divorce questionnaire.
By using LetsGetDivorced. This eliminates having to spend time to travel to an Attorney's office to provide information and review documents, and also eliminates having to spend time to wait for divorce paperwork to be mailed to them from an Attorney's office for their review.There are multiple grounds that can be alleged in New York in a divorce action. Therefore, it is likely that most, if not all, future divorce actions will be brought under this ground, although all of the other remaining grounds are still available.
Paragraph 7 above is the No-Fault ground for divorce and what this essentially means is a divorce will be granted on that ground only after the parties or the court has resolved ALL issues in the marriage. This is different from all of the other grounds for divorce which requires that the party prove the ground for divorce before a final determination will be made on all of the other economic and custody issues of the marriage.
It is extremely difficult to determine how much a divorce will cost. I have seen divorces range from a few thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars.
Because each case has its own unique qualities and sometimes peopleit is hard to state how much it will cost. Therefore, the ultimate question is what will be the end result? Given this landscape, it is important to have an attorney that is experienced and practices in the area of family and matrimonial law to assist you in protecting your rights throughout the divorce process. It is much more difficult and significantly more costly to try and undue an agreement reached that may never have happened if you had an attorney from the start.
How to File for Divorce in New York Without a Lawyer?
You could very well have to end up living with an unjust result. While you have no obligation to hire an attorney in any case, do you really want to go forward in a divorce without an experienced attorney? Unless you are a brain surgeon, you would not perform brain surgery on a loved one, would you? Instead, you would leave it up to the trained professional who has been through the process before.
Although you may not like the idea of having to hire and pay for an attorney, doing so may be the best decision you make. While New York became the last state in the country to enact a No-Fault divorce law in Octoberit still has the various grounds for divorce that can be alleged in a divorce action which will assign marital fault.
When New York enacted the No-Fault divorce law in Octoberit also enacted a guideline to be used in determining a presumptive award for temporary maintenance. Note: These guidelines only apply to temporary awards of maintenance and are not to be used in determining a permanent award of maintenance. The presumptive award of maintenance is to be paid by the spouse with the higher income. The court has discretion to adjust the presumptive award if the court determines the award to be unjust or inappropriate.
You should speak with an attorney on this issue as the specifics of who can maintain an action for annulment on these grounds and the time periods applicable to each ground are too involved to set forth here.