Filing for a Cheap Divorce in New York
This article discusses the consequences of hiring a non-attorney to draft and file uncontested divorce papers. Many of these divorces get rejected by the court due to errors in the papers. Also, divorces that are filed by non attorneys may not fully protect clients that have accounts or properties.
Does Cheap Uncontested Divorce Protect Clients?Almost all of us are used to seeing ads and billboards for $299 quick divorce. However, does these types of divorces protect the average client in the future?
There is no question we all want to save money, and no one wants to spend their hard-earned savings unnecessarily. These advertisements almost never mention whether there are more fees if the parties have children or properties. Also, to the surprise of many clients, they later learn that they have to pay an additional $335 for New York State mandatory court filing fees.
In addition, many of the “cheap divorce” advertisements are completed by paralegals and lawyers not specializing in matrimonial law. Professionals without the correct expertise can often overlook important aspects in a divorce. For example, if one spouse owns properties, such as a house or condo, a stipulation of settlement must be filed with the divorce papers. Also, if there are children in the marriage the divorce must indicate which parent will have custody and the amount of child support to be paid. Many divorces I see are done incorrectly because there is no mention of the children of the marriage or a stipulation of settlement outlining the division of the properties. For example, if a person owns a house and a stipulation of settlement is not included with the divorce papers, the other spouse can reopen the divorce years later and claim an interest in the house. Also, if there are children born during the marriage, but child support and custody are not discussed in the divorce, the court will reject the divorce papers.
What Happens If There Are Mistakes In My Divorce Papers?If divorce papers are drafted incorrectly and the court rejects the papers due to errors, the client takes the risk of his or her divorce being dismissed if the paralegal or lawyer they hired is unable to correct the mistakes. Unfortunately, there are many lawyers that do not specialize in divorces and make crucial mistakes in final divorce papers, which results in the papers getting rejected by the court. Almost 50 percent of divorces are rejected by the court because the lawyer or the paralegal that drafted the divorce failed to file mandatory documents.
Recently, my office submitted to the court corrections on a divorce that was filed by a paralegal back in 2011. The paralegal never included the issues of custody and child support in the divorce papers and almost every single document was done incorrectly. As such, the court rejected the divorce. Furthermore, if your spouse hires a lawyer to contest the divorce, you will need an attorney to negotiate a settlement and draft a divorce agreement in order for the court to accept the divorce.