Written by attorney Jane B. Freidson

How to File an Uncontested Divorce in New York without a Lawyer

Make Sure You and Your Partner Are in Full Agreement about Everything, Including Grounds for Divorce

Both you and your partner will have to sign the divorce papers, so if you have no agreement, you will have no uncontested divorce. One of you will be the "Plaintiff," who is the person who initiates the divorce and states a legal ground for obtaining it; the other of you will be the "Defendant" who is the person who may either consent to the divorce or defend against it in court. The more complicated your financial picture is, the more likely it is that you would benefit from legal advice or mediation with a trained divorce mediator to help you identify all legal issues raised by your separation. But if you and your partner have already agreed about how to divide everything, and if you have already divided all that there is to divide, you don't need a formal agreement. Be sure to close all joint bank accounts and credit card accounts so that there are no loose ends. Remember, that if you have children or real property, you should not try to file for divorce without legal advice.

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