"Uncontested divorce" means you and your spouse are in agreement on all of the issues arising from your marriage, financial and child-related. (Or perhaps there are no issues.) If so, we may handle your case for a "flat fee," as opposed to an hourly fee, as follows:
Simple divorce (no issues): $800 + filing fees
With Settlement Agreement (Very Simple): add $400-700
With Settlement Agreement (Simple): add $700-1,200
With Settlement Agreement (Medium): add $1,200+
The filing fees are $343. These fees are paid to the court; we do not keep any part of them.
To be clear, these fees involve preparing all of the paperwork to process your divorce, including customizing your settlement agreement to reflect exactly what you and your spouse have agreed upon. The fees do not include negotiating with your spouse over what those terms should be. If you and your spouse do not have a verbal agreement yet, you would not qualify for an uncontested divorce.
Reviews - Uncontested Divorce
Here are a few comments from the dozens of clients we have helped obtain an uncontested divorce since 2007:
"I was worried and a little emotional about getting this process started. Maria met with me in the office and patiently explained how the process would work and that they would handle all of the details. My husband lives in Germany. Maria and Brad coordinated having my husband sign and notarize the papers at the nearest US Embassy, including how to make an appointment with the notary at the embassy. Everything was handled promptly and Maria gave me status updates throughout the process. I would highly recommend Maria and Brad to handle an uncontested divorce."
- C.H., sales associate (2015)
"I hired Brad and Maria after I tried to do everything on my own. They said it would be easier to discontinue my case and start a new one and made the arrangements for that. They sent the uncontested divorce papers to my husband in Oregon and he eventually agreed to sign. My case was handled promptly and professionally. I am glad to have my Judgment of Divorce!"
-- D.T. (2015)
"I was stationed overseas with the Army. I hired Mr. Andrews after my previous attorney sat on my case for a year, doing nothing. He and Maria drafted a settlement agreement but my wife wouldn't sign it. Mr. Andrews requested a court conference and arranged it for a day when I could be in New York. At the courthouse, the four of us (me, my wife, and our attorneys) worked out a final agreement, and the divorce was wrapped up a few weeks later. I was very glad to get this taken care of."
- F.R., D.S., U.S. Army (2015)
"I found this office on Google because it was close to my workplace. Maria handled everything at the outset and the uncontested divorce papers were filed promptly. However, the courts were taking a few months to process the papers. An emergency came up and I needed to have the divorce processed as soon as possible. I went to the office without an appointment and Brad met with me right away. For a small fee, the next morning he met me at the courthouse to expedite the papers. We met with the clerks, then the judge, and after a couple hours the papers were completed. Really saved the day. Highly recommend this office."
- K.M., project coordinator (2015)
"I hired an office in the Bronx which I thought was a law firm to handle my divorce. They messed everything up and were unable to fix it. My mom searched on Google and found this office. They stopped my previous case and filed a new case in Manhattan. A few months later the divorce was granted. I am very glad I found this office to help me with my divorce."
-- R.R., medical assistant (2015)
"Brad handled my legal matter quickly and competently, and always responded to e-mail right away."
- D.D., medical student (2012)
"Mr. Andrews took the time to answer all of my questions and saw my legal matter through to completion."
- ML, United Nations employee (2011)
"Mr. Andrews handled my divorce with efficiency and speed. He made a difficult process as brief and painless as possible."
- S.S., music teacher (2010)
"Brad took the time to answer all of my questions. I would definitely recommend him to any of my friends or relatives!"
- T.B. (2009)
"Bradley helped me resolve my divorce in an efficient and professional manner. He was always available to assist with questions and concerns, and helped make the process as comforting as possible. His work was much appreciated and I would definitely refer him."
- M.P., private equity professional (2009)
Frequently Asked Questions - Uncontested Divorce
Q: How long does it take to get a divorce?
The short answer is a few months. The longer answer is that the process is two stages. The first stage is that our office prepares the paperwork and you and your spouse make arrangements to review and sign the papers. In theory, this part can take as little as two or three days, but if your spouse does not make himself or herself available and we have to keep following up, this can take longer. The second stage is the court's processing the papers - usually a few months.
Q: Will you file the papers, or do I do it?
We file everything for you. This is a law firm. We are a full-service operation.
Q: Will you coordinate with my spouse, or should I do that myself?
We coordinate with your spouse. If you prefer to do it yourself for some reason, that's perfectly fine. Either way is fine with us.
Q: Will I have to appear in court?
No. In the vast majority of cases, you do not have to appear in court. Occasionally, the judge will require you to come in and explain some particular aspect of your divorce. That's only where there is something amiss about your papers. If we see something out of the ordinary in your case, we'll let you know right away.
Q: Will I need a settlement agreement (contract)?
That depends on what's involved in your case. If you are dividing joint property, paying or receiving alimony, or need to establish a custody and visitation schedule, then yes, you'll need a settlement agreement.
Q: What are the court's filing fees?
There's a $210 fee when you start the case and get a case number. There's a $125 fee when you file the packet (affidavits, etc.). There's an $8 fee for a certified copy of the judgment of divorce. All told, the fees come to $343.
Q: Will I need to come to your office in Midtown?
It's easier for us if you come by our office at the beginning to sign the retainer and again at the end to sign your affidavit. However, if that's impractical or inconvenient, you can send the retainer by email and the affidavit by regular mail. You'll need to have the affidavit notarized at a bank.
Q: What if I don't know how to contact my spouse?
We will search for your spouse using a variety of methods. If we find your spouse, which we usually do, we will have him/her served with papers. If we cannot find your spouse, we will ask the court to permit us to serve your spouse using an unconventional method (for example, serving the papers on a relative) or by publication in a local newspaper. This is more time-consuming than a normal, uncontested divorce and our fee is higher. Contact us for details.
Q: I started the process with a different attorney (or a document service) and the process seems to have stalled. What do I do?
This seems to happen a lot. What to do depends on where exactly the process has stalled. Sometimes your case can still be driven to completion. In other cases it may be better to discontinue the previous case and start over.
What if my spouse won't sign the papers, even though he/she promised?
If that's the case, then you don't really have an uncontested divorce after all. You'll need to have your spouse served with the summons, at which point he/she will have 40 days to respond (20 days by law, plus a 20-day grace period in divorce cases). If he/she responds to the papers, then our firm will withdraw because it is not an uncontested divorce. If not, then after 40 days, you can file for a "default divorce."
Q: I moved to New York earlier this year. Can I file for a divorce?
The wait period before you can file for divorce is either one year or two years. It's one year if you were married in NY or if you were residing together in NY as husband and wife. Otherwise, the wait period is two years. Note that if either spouse meets the requirement, you can file. Thus, if you moved to another state last year but your spouse has remained here in NY, you can file.
Q: What documents do you need to process the divorce?
Technically, we don't require any documents; we only require certain information. However, we usually ask the client for a copy of the marriage certificate and their health insurance card. If you need assistance figuring out what the child support obligation should be, we'll need the most recent tax return and W-2 for both you and your spouse.
Q: What do I have to pay at the start?
We prefer payment in full up front. If that's not possible, we can accept a partial payment, with the rest to be paid before filing the final Uncontested Divorce packet.
Q: Can I pay with a credit card?