2024 How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in New York?

Divorce can become a long and tedious process for all parties involved. Each party wants to come to a resolution as quickly as possible. The biggest factor in determining how long the divorce proceeding will last is whether or not the divorce is contested or uncontested. In either type of divorce, a New York divorce lawyer is valuable.

While there are numerous resources available to help guide you through the process, an experienced New York divorce attorney can help provide a hands-on approach to understanding the steps in divorce proceeds in the state of New York.

Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce

It is important to understand the differences between a contested divorce and an uncontested divorce. A contested divorce happens when both parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce agreement. This type of divorce will often require the involvement of attorneys, court hearings, witnesses, and a ruling from the judge. All of these steps can lengthen the divorce process.

An uncontested divorce occurs when both parties can mutually agree to the terms of the divorce agreement. In these cases, it is often unnecessary to have a court hearing or witness testimonies. Engaging proper legal counsel can still be a benefit, as having an experienced family law attorney review the divorce agreement can always be beneficial.

Process for an Uncontested Divorce

The typical uncontested divorce process includes a few different steps:

  • Filing. The first step is to file a summons at the county clerk’s office. This is where the spouse, who is also known as the plaintiff, files the divorce. The other spouse, known as the defendant, is served the divorce papers.
  • Serving. The defendant is served with the divorce papers along with any other relevant information.
  • Response. The defendant generally has thirty days to issue a response to the divorce papers. The three types of responses can be agreement, contesting, or no response. In the event of no response, a default judgment could be made.
  • Scheduling. In an uncontested divorce, the defendant will respond with an agreement to the divorce. Once the required documents are filled out, notarized, and submitted, the case is ready for the judge’s review.
  • Judgment. Once all the required documents have been submitted, a judge will review the documents and sign a judgment of divorce document. The defendant will be served this document finalizing the divorce.

The Timeline of an Uncontested Divorce

In general, an uncontested divorce can be finalized in six weeks to three months. The timeline will largely depend on how quickly divorce documents can be signed and notarized, how quickly the spouses can coordinate and work together, and how long it takes to get the documents before a judge.


Q: Do I Have to Go to Court for Uncontested Divorce in New York?

A: For an uncontested divorce, it is fairly unlikely that divorcing spouses will have to appear before the court. As long as the spouses can settle on all terms of the divorce agreement, then it is unlikely that they will have to appear before the court. It is important to remember that if children are involved, this may increase the likelihood of appearing before the court. A judge will always ensure that the best interests of the child are being met in every divorce including children.

Q: What Is the Fastest Way to Get a Divorce in New York?

A: An uncontested divorce in which both parties agree to all terms of the divorce agreement can be finalized in roughly six weeks. This timeline can vary depending on the details and complexity of the divorce. It can also vary depending on the time of the year, as courts are generally closed on holidays, especially during the holiday season late in the year. In an uncontested divorce, both parties can get the necessary paperwork from the county clerk’s office and file it with the county clerk.

Q: How Much Does Uncontested Divorce Cost in New York?

A: Generally speaking, the only cost involved in an uncontested divorce may be the court filing fee. This fee is roughly $335. If both parties agree to all of the terms of the divorce agreement, there is no need to go to trial or before a court. There are instances in which parties cannot agree to terms, and divorce attorneys become involved to help come to an agreement. Each case is unique in its own right, but if both parties come to a full agreement, the costs can be minimal.

Q: Do You Have to Be Separated for a Year to Get a Divorce in New York?

A: The short answer is that it depends. If you are filing for a no-fault divorce, then spouses typically have to be separated for at least a year before the divorce can be finalized. If one party is seeking a divorce based on the fault of the other party, it will depend on the fault. The grounds for an at-fault divorce can include but are not limited to, adultery, imprisonment, abandonment, and cruel treatment.

The Legal Help You Need

Filing for a divorce can be a long and tedious process. Generally, all parties want the divorce to be processed and finalized as quickly as possible so that they can get on to the next stage of their lives. An uncontested divorce is usually smoother and quicker than a contested one, but there could be questions and complexities that arise while working through the divorce process. You deserve to receive accurate answers to any questions that you may have.

The Trotto Law Firm, P.C., can help answer those questions and help you gain an understanding of how New York State family law functions. Our legal team can provide assistance whether the divorce is contested or uncontested and whether there are children involved or not. We are dedicated to serving clients in the state of New York. Contact our legal team to see how we can add value to your mission of having your divorce finalized in a reasonable and timely manner.

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