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How to handle your divorce case by yourself, tips from a New York Divorce attorney

The DIY (Do It Yourself) Divorce is becoming more and more popular with the recession situation that is going on. I even did a post, a really short one on it last November: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/the-diy-divorce-in-new-york. Also check out this post about FAQ’s about divorce:

http://www.divorcesaloon.com/divorce-in-new-york-frequently-asked-questions

I usually do not recommend you handle your divorce case by yourself unless it is uncontested, you have no kids and you have no property. If that is your situation, you can definitely handle the paperwork if you are inclined to be organized and independent and proficient with red tape. You should probably read a few books on divorce before you even begin. I did a post in December, was it? that recommended 8 books: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/8-books-about-divorce-that-you-may-find-useful you may want to check out one or two or get some resources for yourself.

I also did this other post called 10 tips which you may want to check out here (different from the one above): http://www.divorcesaloon.com/10-divorce-tips-from-a-new-york-divorce-lawyer

I guess what you need to do is first go to the court, or get on the court’s website to see all the forms and paperwork that you will need to fill out and file with the court. A lot of these forms are boilerplate so you can literally just substitute your name and your husband’s name and keep most of the other information. There will be some areas that you need to personalize, obliviously, but it should be fairly self-explanatory.

The most important thing is to make sure you have an affidavit of service that you served your spouse on an appropriate day. (You can’t serve on a Sunday or a Federal Holiday). And the affidavit of service has to be notarized. You usually have about 180 days to serve your spouse after you purchase the index number. If you don’t you may need to buy a new number but that rule is not set in stone. In some circumstances they may extend the time to serve but that is with court permission.

There will be a whole bunch of documents you have to prepare which you can usually find on the court’s website like the summons and complaint, affidavit of service, judgment of divorce, findings of facts, conclusions of law and a few others. It normally comes in a “packet” and so just by going to the court or getting on the website you will find them and simply need to plug in your information.

Make sure you keep copies of everything you submit to the court and make sure you serve the final judgment on your spouse and get an affidavit of service filed that you served the final paper on him or her.

But that’s it. Pretty easy if you have no children or assets, and if your spouse agrees. If there are any wrinkles like your spouse does not agree to the divorce, you have children or assets and you don’t agree on these issues, I do not recommend a pro se filing. But it’s up to you. Of course.

Check out our related posts on the Recession and divorce here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/index.php?s=recession

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