Divorce can be a stressful process, but it does not have to be overwhelming. In New York State, it is possible to file for divorce without a lawyer if both parties are in agreement on all matters. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to file for divorce in NYS without a lawyer.
I. Gather Your Documents
The first step in the process is to gather all of the necessary documents. This includes a copy of your marriage certificate, along with any financial documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. You should also get copies of any court orders, such as a temporary custody order or a restraining order.
II. Fill Out the Forms
Once you have all of the necessary documents, you can begin to fill out the forms. These forms are available for free from the New York State Unified Court System. They can be printed off from their website or can be picked up from any county court. The forms required for an uncontested divorce include the summons and complaint, the affidavit of defendant, and the acknowledgment of service.
III. File the Forms
Once the forms are completed, they must be filed with the court. This can be done either in person or by mail. It is important to note that the forms must be correctly filled out and filed correctly in order to be accepted.
IV. Serve the Documents
Once the forms are filed, they must be served to the other party. This can be done by either a process server or by the sheriff’s office. It is important to note that the documents must be served in person, as they cannot be served by mail.
V. Attend the Hearing
Once the documents have been served, there will be a hearing to decide the terms of the divorce. This hearing will be presided over by a judge, and both parties will have the opportunity to present their case. After the hearing, the judge will issue a decree of divorce, which will be the official order of the court.
VI. Finalize the Divorce
Once the decree of divorce is issued, it must be finalized. This can be done either in person or by mail. If the divorce is uncontested, the process will take less than two months. If the divorce is contested, it may take longer.
Filing for divorce in NYS without a lawyer is not a difficult process. However, it is important to follow the steps outlined in this article in order to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that all of the necessary documents are correctly filled out and filed. With the right guidance, you can file for divorce in NYS without a lawyer and get the process underway.