Ending a marriage is often complex and it can be made even more complicated if one party does not give their consent. If you wish to divorce your spouse and cannot locate them, they do not respond to the divorce summons or they do not agree to the divorce and contest it, the attorneys at Needle | Cuda in Brewster can advise you about the legal steps to take. We provide seasoned counsel to clients in Dutchess, Westchester and Putnam counties, as well as New York City.
Generally, to divorce in New York State, your spouse must be personally handed divorce papers. If you do not know where your spouse is, you must make a serious attempt to locate them. If you are unsuccessful and the court feels you made a strong effort to find your spouse, the court may allow you to serve the summons by alternate means. If your spouse does not respond after the required time, you can file for divorce by default.
If your spouse has been served with the divorce summons that you filed with the court and they do not respond within the required timeframe, you may be able to proceed with the divorce without their signature. Once served divorce paperwork, the person served must respond within 20 days, or 30 days if they live outside of New York State. If they do not, they are in default and the divorce can proceed without them. There are specific court rules for serving divorce paperwork. You must ensure that your spouse is formally and properly served or they could deny that they ever received the papers and you could potentially have to start the process over. Our law firm can guide you in the proper service of the summons and aid you in finalizing your divorce if your spouse does not respond.
The lawyers at Needle | Cuda in Brewster help clients understand the divorce process in New York and assist them throughout every step. Call 203-557-9500 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.