I am a Brooklyn Divorce Lawyer and I am an attorney that specializes in Divorce by Publication. Many clients have questions about the “No signature required” divorce in New York. This article will explain to you if you get a no signature divorce or if you need a divorce by publication.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A NO SIGNATURE REQUIRED DIVORCE IN NEW YORK?
In Order to obtain a Divorce in New York State the law requires service of a Summons with Notice or service of a Summons and Complaint. Once served personally, your spouse has twenty days to respond to the documents (if served in New York State) or the non response by your spouse will be considered a default. This is what some lawyers and document preparation agencies call a “No Signature Required Divorce.” To the lay person, this terminology may be misleading because it may imply that their spouse does not have to know about the divorce in order for them to obtain a divorce. This is not true. The spouse seeking the divorce (the “Plaintiff’) must present proof to the Clerk of the Court, via an Affidavit of Service, that the necessary documents were served on the other spouse (the “Defendant”) and the time for the Defendant to respond has elapsed. The best way to have your spouse served with divorce papers is through a licensed process server.
AFFIDAVIT OF DEFENDANT
Once your spouse receives the necessary divorce papers (the Summons with Notice or Summons and Complaint), your spouse can acknowledge service and sign the Affidavit of Defendant, granting you the right to proceed with the divorce without any further action on their part. This is a True Uncontested Divorce. Your spouse does not necessarily, in the legal sense, have to be served, i.e. personally, as long as he or she acknowledges, in this Affidavit, service of the papers. Thus some divorces can be completed by virtue of just mailing out the divorce papers to your spouse and your spouse returning a signed Affidavit of Defendant to you for processing with the Court.
DIVORCE BY PUBLICATION
If you cannot find your spouse, and thus cannot obtain an Affidavit of Service, then you have to ask the Court’s permission to serve your spouse in a different way. One way is via a Divorce by Publication. This is done when you have no idea of where your spouse may be located. In order to obtain a divorce by publication, you have to complete a number of steps to diligently attempt to find your spouse and document these attempts. You must then present proof to the court that you did your investigation and still have not been able to find your spouse. If the court believes you have made all reasonable attempts, it will grant you the permission to serve the divorce papers by publicizing notice of the divorce in a newspaper for a three week period of time. After this period elapses, then you may move for your judgment of divorce.
120 DAYS TO SERVE OR CASE DISMISSED
It takes a highly skilled legal professional to get this process done in an efficient manner as the rules for divorce by publication are very complicated and the law only allows you 120 days to serve a summons and complaint or your case can dismissed.
Please be advised that this is Attorney Advertising. This Advertisement is designed for general information only. The information presented in this Ad should not be construed to be neither formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
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George M. Gilmer, Esq.
26 Court St. Suite 314, Brooklyn, New York 11242
718 864 2011 (office)
718 788 1611 (fax)
George M. Gilmer, Esq. has made over one thousand Court appearances since being admitted to practice law (including arguing before the United States Court of Appeals). He is admitted in New York State, the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York (Federal Court) and the United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit). He has vast experience in Divorce by Publication cases. Put his experience to work for you!
The Law Office of George M. Gilmer assists clients with Divorce, Family Law, Personal Bankruptcy, The New Bankruptcy Law, Immigration and Special Education Law matters in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.