Before getting a Westchester County divorce, it is important to choose the grounds to file on and make sure you or your spouse meet the residency requirements.
You can initiate the case in the local court if either of you has been living in New York for at least 2 years. This period can be shortened to 1 year if the reason you are divorcing happened in NY, you lived there as a married couple, or you got married in the state.
Westchester County Divorce Procedure
Here is how to start a divorce in New York:
- Date, sign, and notarize the divorce paperwork that you completed.
- Go to the Westchester County Circuit Court and file your forms with the clerk.
- Collect the copies of the main set of documents you filed and the Affidavit of Defendant.
- Give the papers from step 3 to your spouse within 120 days after the filing date.
- Get the notarized Affidavit of Defendant from your spouse.
- File the rest of the forms with the court and wait for the judge to review them.
- Get the Judgement after the judge signs it and give it to the clerk.
- Provide a copy of the Judgement to your spouse by following the proper legal procedure: Hire a process server in Westchester County, NY or Ask anyone over 18 to serve your spouse and Make sure they give you a notarized Affidavit of Service.
Additional or alternative steps will be required if you have children or there is a chance that your spouse will contest the case.
In general, a divorce procedure in NY will differ depending on whether spouses:
- Choose a fault or a no-fault ground.
If you file for divorce claiming that your spouse is at fault for the breakdown of your marriage, there will be a need to prove that. This will both prolong and complicate the overall process and require you to get legal assistance.
Most couples divorce based on the 6-month irretrievable breakdown, as there is no need to prove fault in that case or even hire a lawyer depending on the situation. Some spouses end their marriage after legal separation, and the rules that apply to them differ from those for divorcees.
- Reach an agreement.
Property division, liabilities for debts, maintenance, custody, and child support will be the major aspects of your divorce discussions. You can make decisions on them together and go through all the legal processes relatively quickly, specifically if you are filing based on an irretrievable breakdown. This would make your divorce uncontested, and you will be able to follow the procedure outlined above.
Westchester County Divorce Forms
The list of common Westchester County family court forms includes:
- Verified Complaint
- Summons with Notice of Divorce
- Notice of Automatic Orders
- Notice Concerning Continuation of Healthcare Coverage
- Notice of Guideline Maintenance
- Part 130 Certification
- Annual Income Worksheet
- Affidavits (of Plaintiff and Defendant)
- Affidavit of Service
- Note of Issue
- Sworn Statement of Removal of Barriers to Remarriage
- Affirmation of Regularity
- Request for Judicial Intervention
- Judgement of Divorce
- Notice of Entry
It is likely that you will need most of these uncontested divorce forms to end your marriage in NY. However, they are not the only ones. A court will require you to file additional paperwork if there are children involved in your case or you are asking for maintenance.
Some of the Westchester County clerk forms that cover divorce cases with children are:
- Application for Child Support Services
- Child Support Worksheet
- Support Collection Unit Information Sheet
- Qualified Medical Child Support Order
- Case Registry Form
You will need to make calculations in a few of these documents based on your and your spouse’s financial information. Use the state guidelines to understand how your income and expenses affect the sums you put in the form fields.
Westchester County Clerk Fees
It will be necessary to pay a fee of about $335 to a Westchester County matrimonial clerk when filing your paperwork. The initial filing fee will be around $210, and there will be another one of approximately $125 to pass the final set of forms to the judge.
Note that the notary and process service fees are not covered by the court one and should be paid directly to the respective specialists. There will also be fees for making copies, which are not included in the filing costs.
If you cannot pay the clerk fee, a court may waive it for you, given that you ask for it and provide a sworn statement that you experience financial hardship. It should be evident from the paperwork you submit that there are no options for funding the proceedings due to your low income.
Divorce Courts in Westchester County, New York
You will find the location, contact details, and work hours of the Westchester County divorce court below:
Westchester County, NY Divorce Court Information
Court Name: Westchester County Supreme Court
Court Title: In the Circuit Court of Westchester County, Alabama
Circuit Court Location: 111 Martin Luther King Blvd., White Plains, New York 10601
Court Phone: 914-995-3070
Court Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm
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