Divorce In New York For Free

Last Updated on April 2024

If you can’t afford divorce expenses in New York, you have a few options available. You can request a fee waiver by submitting an Affidavit of inability to pay court costs. Additionally, you may ask the court for temporary orders for financial support before the divorce is finalized.

Of course, you have to put in some extra effort if you want to get a completely free divorce or try to minimize your expenses as much as possible. However, it is absolutely worth it, considering the fact that the marriage dissolution process in New York can cost several thousand dollars even if it is uncontested. Expenses on contested dissolutions can exceed $10,000 and mostly depend on the complexity of the process and the legal assistance of lawyers involved in the case.

Among other things, regardless of the type of your divorce, you will also need to cover court fees, which are around $335 in the state. However, some citizens can’t afford this expenditure. That is why it is important to be aware of how you can avoid or at least reduce the expenses involved in dissolving a marriage.

Who Can Get a Free Divorce With No Money?

The woman is worried that she will not be able to file for divorce without money.
Obtaining a completely free divorce involves some expenses unless the parties are eligible for specific exemptions or assistance programs.

To get a divorce for free, you must be in a category of people who are eligible for a fee waiver or, as it is called in New York, “poor person’s relief.” Also, you should apply for an uncontested divorce that will allow you to avoid hiring lawyers.

Who is typically eligible for a waiver? This category usually includes individuals with an income below 80% of the median value in the state who do not have enough money to cover basic needs. Also, those who receive benefits from the government in the form of Food Stamps, Medicaid, etc., can ask the court to waive the fees.

Another option to reduce expenses is a temporary order for financial support from one spouse to the other until the end of the divorce process. That way, the requesting party will be able to cover their needs, pay the necessary fees, and hire an attorney if needed.

You can get the court order regarding temporary financial support if your spouse has a high income and earns significantly more than you or if they fully supported you financially during the marriage. You will need to indicate your request in the divorce complaint.

If you and your spouse have agreed on the divorce and all the associated issues, you can avoid hiring an attorney and complete the process on your own. In this way, each party will save a significant amount of money.

However, if the dissolution of marriage is contested, representing yourself in court on your own may not be the best solution. For this purpose, it is worth considering engaging an attorney. According to the current data, average prices for legal representation in New York vary from $250 to $450 or more per hour.

How to Waive Court Fees?

The court fees paid for the divorce hearing are on the table.
It is possible to waive divorce fees under certain circumstances, such as demonstrating financial hardship or qualifying for fee waivers.

To waive court fees and initiate divorce with no money, you need to fill out and file a Notice of Motion and Affidavit with the court. In these documents, you must provide truthful information about yourself, your case, your sources of income, all property owned, etc.

Also, the judges in different courts may require additional financial information from you, so it is best to check with the Court Clerk’s Office beforehand what specific documents may be needed and be ready to provide them upon request.

After you submit your application, you should wait for the court’s decision on whether you are eligible for a fee waiver and whether you may not cover the mandatory fees.

Where to Get Free NY Divorce Forms?

If you are going to represent yourself in court and want to know where to get free divorce papers to initiate the divorce process, mind that most of them are available on the New York Courts website. Also, you can obtain them from the Court Clerk’s Office.

Though dealing with papers completely on your own will allow you to save money, the process will likely take a lot of time and can potentially delay filing. You have to find out what forms you need, search for their latest versions, and fill them out properly, which can take days or even weeks.

Since many people do not know how to prepare divorce documents and want to save time, they choose the assistance of lawyers with the paperwork, which can be quite costly considering high hourly fees.

As an alternative, it is possible to use online services that offer help with divorce forms for a reasonable price. Our service can provide documents for uncontested cases only. To get the ready-to-use New York divorce forms in PDF, you just need to complete an online questionnaire about your divorce case, and the system will then pick up all the necessary forms and fill them out with the information you provide. After that, within a few business days, you will be able to download the papers from your profile; you will also receive detailed instructions on what further steps to take and how to file with the court.

Free Legal Aid Divorce Help

In some cases, you may be able to get free or low-cost legal help from public organizations that assist with different law matters if you qualify for it.

Options below are mostly available to low-income citizens and especially those whose grounds for divorce involve abuse or violence.

One of the opportunities to find the appropriate legal professional for your case is to visit the LawHelp website. In addition to using helpful information available, you can also go to the “Find a Lawyer” section and, by entering your county zip code and case type, find an organization that can assist you with a divorce. This way, you can find an attorney who will handle your case from the beginning to the end free of charge or at a reduced price. In the legal field, such free assistance is also known as pro bono.

Another option is all sorts of referrals. If you need a divorce lawyer’s assistance and don’t know who to consult, you can contact the New York State Bar Association. The organization focuses on providing a free referral to a specific professional who specializes in cases similar to yours. You can schedule an appointment with an attorney and get a consultation for a small fee, which can even be below $50 for half an hour.

In any case, it is possible to find potential ways of reducing your divorce expenses, especially if you start a no-fault uncontested divorce and can represent yourself in court on your own.

Considering Filing for Divorce?

Start by creating a free account on our website to see if you qualify for an online divorce in New York. Prepare all the paperwork needed for filing an uncontested divorce online without lawyers.

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