I served my spouce with papers, it's been over 4 months since this has happened, what do I do now?

Asked over 1 year ago - Bethpage, NY

I served my spouce with the divorce summons a few months back, and he has not responded, and I don't know what to do now. There is no assets between us, no children, property, no investments ect, I am not asking for anything but to be divorced. I need help on what o do next I am not using a lawyer because I can not afford one, and since there are no assets.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Morghan L Richardson

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    Answered . It sounds like you qualify for a default divorce. You can proceed with the rest of the divorce filing and submit the affidavit of service with the divorce package. You might want to ask the court help office at the court where you filed for an uncontested divorce package. It is also available on the New York Courts website. Good luck! Filing your own divorce without a lawyer is a huge task, even if you have no kids or assets.

  2. Howard M Lewis

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    Answered . You need to get the return of service on what you served him with and file it with the court then ask for a court date to move the case along. Summons do have an expiration date so be careful and mkae sure it was properly served.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  3. Jeffrey B. Peltz

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    Answered . You need to file the affidavit of service. Pleae note service needs to be done by someone other than you who is at least 18 years old. Then you purchase the Note of Issue and file your papers on default.

  4. Howard E. Knispel

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    Answered . If your Summons was served properly, you file the Affidavit with the County Clerk. Then you need to file for a default. You should retain an attorney to file the papers. Many attorneys will charge a set fee for uncontested matters.

    The above is a general answer and is not considered legal advice. You should contact an attorney before... more
  5. David Alexander Browde

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    Answered . File a motion for a default judgment.

    Under the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in New York it may be necessary to remind you that this answer... more
  6. Edwin Drantivy

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . Unfortunately, service is incomplete until you file a proper Affidavit of Service with the Court.

    You would be well-served to discuss your dilemma with a New York landlord-tenant attorney in a confidential forum as soon as possible.

  7. Timothy Jay Quinn

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    Answered . It must be very confusing for you trying to do this without an attorney. I will answer your question, but first let me recommend that you should contact the State Bar of New York. They may be able to refer you to someone who can help you Pro Bono ("without charge"). There are many fine law schools in New York State and some of those schools may have clinical programs where law students assist people who cannot afford private legal counsel. In Texas, where I practice, the State Bar of Texas actually publishes forms on their website to assist people who cannot afford an attorney and want to do their own divorce.

    I cannot speak for the State of New York, however I am guessing the process is similar in most states, you start with an (1) original petition for divorce. You would file this with the District Clerk in the county where you have been a resident for at least 90 days (time period varies by state). Next you would notify the person whom you have sued of the lawsuit by (2) filing a notice. Notice is a form generated by the District Clerk and you might find the forms for requesting notice there at the district clerk's office. Next you would file a (3) motion to set a hearing on your case. Most states have very strict rules how much time you need to wait after the party has been served with notice before the hearing can be set. This would be found in the New York Rules of Civil Procedure (for civil cases filed in New York), which you may find online. After waiting for the prescribed period (3 days in Texas) you can request the district clerk place your case on the docket. This is done by filing a motion to set and order to set in Texas. Your state may have a different name but it should be something similar. The district clerk will give a date for the hearing. This notice of the hearing must also be served on the other side, using the process server again will be best. In busier counties, the courts will have a separate docket for people appearing Pro Se (without an attorney). Look to see if your county has a separate Pro Se docket. This can usually be done either by asking the district clerk or going to the district clerks website. When you appear, if your original petition for divorce met all of the requirements (names of parties, dates of marriage and separation, reason for divorce, jurisdiction of the court, the fact that there are no children of the marriage and no real property issues, and a prayer asking the court to grant you relief) you should be able to take a default judgment if the other side does not appear.

    Again, this is a real simple explanation and I think if you are confused you should talk to a New York State family lawyer. Some lawyers might only bill you for one hour to look over your forms.

    Here is a link provided by the New York Bar Association that might help:

    http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/forms.shtml

    Hope this helps--Good Luck

    Answering a question on AVVO.com is for general advice only and does not in any way create an attorney-client... more

Related Topics

Divorce

Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Serving divorce papers

Service of process in divorce is the official term for notifying the defendant spouse that a divorce petition was filed with the court.

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