Is on-line divorce possible in the U.S.?

One of the most popular phrases searched on the Internet in the divorce field is “on-line divorce.” This suggests that many people want to end their marriage in the quickest and most uncomplicated way possible. The Internet is used in all new ways for shopping or banking to speed up many things, but the legal system is not yet there.
There is no on-line divorce, meaning an on-line legal procedure that leads to a court decision finishing your marriage done entirely on the web.
However, there are many on-line tools that help in gathering necessary information, even in preparing divorce papers (legal forms that need to be filed with the court). The Internet is also very useful in finding professional legal help, as today virtually every law firm advertises on-line and they even share some of their knowledge through various blogs.

The goal of this post is to gather and describe the most useful on-line tools that can help in getting a divorce in the State of New York. It also presents step-by-step New York state divorce procedure.

New York State Unified Court System Website

New York State unified court system website is a mine of knowledge. You can access it here:
Besides legal statutes and forms, you will find on this website answers to frequently asked questions, instructions on DIY divorce, information on alternative dispute resolution and resources for parents. – support in marital property issues is an online negotiation tool that facilitates the divorcing couples in reaching an agreement on marital property division without the spouses meeting directly with each other.
When you divorce, marital property division is necessary and required by the court to determine what is community property and what is separate. After that, you might decide how to divide your community property by signing the marital settlement agreement and this way you will not give up entire control of property division to the court. You will also need to agree on asset values and divide your debts.

When your relationship is going through very difficult moments, it is sometimes hard to talk about even trivial issues. Yet property division is a necessary part of the formal divorce process. E-negotiations allow you to make these decisions without face-to-face or telephone contact with your spouse. For that reason, can be a great on-line tool that will save you time, money and emotional turmoil.

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Law Help Interactive – support with divorce papers

A great online tool you can use when you file for an uncontested divorce in New York State without using a lawyer is Law Help Interactive. It is a platform that helps you fill out legal forms (online divorce papers) necessary to start a divorce action in your court.
Law Help Interactive has been created by nonprofit organizations and is available for free. It will help you bring the cost of your divorce to a minimum.
You can use this program if:

  • you and your spouse are over 18 years of age,
  • you and your spouse have no „children” under 21 years of age,
  • your marriage has been over for at least 6 months, and your relationship cannot be saved,
  • all marital property issues, including debt, have been settled between you and your spouse ( is helpful here in reaching an agreement in your financial disputes)

To create necessary on-line divorce papers with Law Help Interactive you will fill out an online questionnaire. At the end of it, you will be able to request your finished divorce papers. Once the document comes up, you can download or print it from your computer and file it with your court.
Please note that a signed marital settlement agreement is necessary to use Law Help Interactive. To be able to sign this settlement agreement you can use and negotiate property division with your spouse at

Step – by – step New York divorce

As divorce can not be reached entirely on-line, it is helpful to know the exact ‘where and when’ after you prepare your online divorce papers.
Where can you get a divorce?
The only court that handles divorce cases in New York is the Supreme Court of the State of New York. There is a branch of this court in every of New York’s 62 counties. You should go to the Supreme Court in the county where either you or your spouse now live. Look at:
For help with child support, child custody, child visitation, spousal support and paternity issues you can go to your local Family Court.

Step by step timeline

  1.  Buy an Index Number ($210) and file with the County Clerk’s Office:
    a Summons with Notice ( or
    a Summons ( and Verified Complaint (which has the reasons for the divorce,

    The Verified Complaint might be followed by any ancillary (secondary) relief.
    Some of the most common ancillary reliefs are:
    • child support
    • post divorce maintenance
    • equitable distribution
    • exclusive occupancy
    • attorney fees
    • expert fees

  2. Serve your wife/husband the papers
    It has to be done by another person over the age of 18.
    (Affidavit of Service:
    To have your spouse served in any other way, you must get permission from the court. You can apply for such permission by filing an application for alternate service with the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office in the county where you filed your divorce case.
  3. File Request for Judicial Intervention
    These papers are stamped by a clerk and your case is assigned to a Judge or a Special Referee. There is a $125 court fee at this time.
    If the Judge finds that there is something wrong or incomplete with the papers, the court will let you know so that you can come in and correct them.
    If you filed for uncontested no-fault divorce, the Judge would sign the Judgment of Divorce, and the court would contact you. The Judgment needs to be filed in the County Clerk’s Office.
    If your divorce is a contested one you proceed as explained below.
  4. Exchange and file a Statement of Net Worth
    It must be done no later than 10 days prior to the preliminary conference.
  5. Preliminary Conference
    It must take place within 45 days of judicial assignment/filing of Request for Judicial Intervention.
    Parties must be present, and the judge shall address the parties.
  6. Compliance Conference
    It will be scheduled, if necessary. It is another conference to ensure that both sides have all the information necessary to go to trial.
  7. Discovery
    Discovery shall be completed and a Note of Issue filed no later than six months from the date the preliminary conference was held. The court may shorten or extend this period.
  8. Trial
    A trial shall be scheduled no later than six months from the date the preliminary conference was held.
    At the conclusion of the trial, the court will issue a written decision. Following this decision, a judgment of divorce must be prepared by the lawyers. Once the final judgment is signed, it must be „entered” with the county clerk, and notice of this entry must be served to the opposing side.