No Fault | Uncontested Divorce

by SKU

Published: Dec 12, 2017 | Updated: Nov 8, 2022 |

uncontested divorce lawyer buffalo ny

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NO FAULT | Uncontested Divorce

No Fault Uncontested Divorce is the most inexpensive and discreet way for people to obtain a divorce in the State of New York. It only works, however, when both parties are in agreement about the terms of the divorce. The terms include: custody, child support, maintenance (formerly called alimony), distribution of marital assets and debts.

What are the advantages?

a) Neither party will be required to appear in court.
b) Low cost

What are the disadvantages?

a) It is not fair if one spouse dominates the other in the negotiation process.
b) Will not work if the parties are unable to talk rationally with one another about settlement.
c) Only one party is represented by an attorney.

How It Works?

The first thing you need to know about uncontested divorce is that the lawyer you get to do your uncontested divorce cannot represent both of you. Typically the lawyer will meet with the party that initially made contact and enter into a retainer agreement. The lawyer will work with that party to draft an agreement that is likely to be acceptable to both parties. The lawyer will also produce additional documents that the unrepresented party will have to sign to avoid going to court.

After the documents are produced, the client will deliver the proposed document's to the unrepresented party for review. If the unrepresented party feels uncomfortable signing the papers he or she is encouraged to hire a lawyer for the purpose of reviewing the papers. Once the parties are both satisfied with the proposed papers the divorce agreement is executed by both parties and the unrepresented party executes the documents necessary to avoid going to court.

Once the unrepresented party executes the documents more documents are prepared by the represented party and submitted to the court for review and signature.

How long does it take?

Uncontested divorce can happen faster than people realize. I once obtained a divorce for a couple in twenty (20) days (he paid extra), but it usually takes eight (8) to twelve (12) weeks if there are no delays.

How much does it cost?

The attorney fees for uncontested divorce vary widely. Some lawyers charge as much as $2500.00, and others advertise that they can do it for as little as $450.00 (they usually don't include the costs or say in the advertisement that you will have to pay more for a divorce agreement). It would be a huge mistake to get divorced without an agreement.

The minimum expenses and court costs for an uncontested divorce in the State of New York are about $350.00.

In general, beware of the lawyer who charges $450.00 because he or she will likely have organized his or her practice around an extremely high volume of divorces and relatively little time will be spent with individual clients, and he or she will expect to increase the fee if children are involved, if any significant assets or unusual debts are involved, or if anything else about the divorce requires that he or she spend significant time on the divorce. Again, it would be a huge mistake to get divorced without an agreement.

Also beware of the cheap "do it your self" internet divorce companies because you will most certainly be doing all the work with little or no direction. In the end you will wind up paying a lawyer to fix your mess after the court rejects your papers. Remember, if it sounds to good to be true it is, and there is no such thing as a free lunch.

In addition, please understand that there may be additional costs and attorneys fees associated with real estate transactions and other transactions necessary to complete the terms of the agreement that are not included in the price for divorce.

My rates for an uncontested divorce are as follows:

Attorneys fee: Range $1000.00 to $1500.00 (depending on the circumstances.)
Minimum Costs: $350.00 (index number, RJI, note of issue, dissolution, certified copies)

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