FAQ's | By the People

Divorce FAQs

Is the price listed the total price?

It costs $590.00 in order to draft the legal documents necessary for a divorce, however the court fees are not included in this price.

After I fill out my information on the forms and pay for the divorce package, what happens next?

After you complete the forms, all you have to do is call us at (631) 727-5705 in order to schedule a meeting where you sign the paperwork and we file it to the court clerk.

How long does it take for my divorce to be official?

Uncontested divorces usually take up from two to three months depending on how quickly it takes for the necessary documents to be compiled and how preoccupied the court is upon filing the remaining documents in order to place the divorce under the uncontested category.

What if I don't live in the state of New York, can I still get a divorce?

Yes assuming that your spouse has resided in New York State for an uninterrupted period of time exceeding one year immediately preceding the commencement of the divorce and can meet one of the residency requirements.

Does it matter if my spouse and I got married in another state?

You can still get a divorce in the state of New York as long as you fulfill one of the residency requirements.

How long have you been in business?

Christian Hess founded By the People in 2008 and has helped hundreds of people get a divorce in New York.

Will you be available if I need help completing the necessary paperwork?

Yes, you can reach us at (631) 727-5705. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you have in regards to this process.

What is an uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is a divorce where the terms and conditions are agreed upon by both spouses (before the filing of any legal documents), and the spouses will not bring any issue regarding the divorce to court.

Will I ever need to appear in court?

If the divorce remains uncontested, it will not be necessary for you to appear in court unless the court has an issue concerning your divorce. If there are any disagreements between you and your spouse regarding the terms and conditions of uncontested divorce (Division of Property, assets/liabilities, Specified Grounds, etc.), your divorce would be considered contested and appearing in court will become necessary.

Can I still get a divorce if my spouse refuses to sign the papers?

Yes! After your spouse has been presented with the divorce papers, your spouse can choose to sign them or do nothing. (If your spouse signs the divorce papers, that will expedite the divorce proceedings). If your spouse chooses not to sign the divorce papers, getting a divorce is still possible, however you will have to wait approximately 40 days.

Is it possible to change my married name back to my maiden name?

Yes, we will change your married name back to your maiden name if you wish

Do I need to provide a copy of my marriage certificate to get a divorce

No, you do not need to provide us with a copy of your marriage certificate. You only have to provide the information displayed on the certificate.

Can I still use your services for a "contested" divorce?

No, the services provided by By the People Legal Document Service Providers are for uncontested divorces only.

If I stop the divorce, can I restart with By The People at a later time?

If you discontinued the divorce for any reason, all information you provided will be disregarded and your case will be officially closed. ***By The People Legal Document Service Providers reserve the right to determine whether or not to accept your case at a later time.***

What are the "Grounds for Divorce" in New York?

According to the New York Domestic Relations Law §170, “Grounds for Divorce” in New York include:

  • Cruel and Inhumane Treatment
  • Abandonment (consisting of a period of one or more years)
  • Imprisonment for a period of at least three consecutive years (and still in prison while the the divorce is commenced)
  • Adultery
  • Judgment of Separation
  • Separation Agreement
  • Irretrievable Breakdown in the relationship for a period lasting at least six months)

What are the "Residency Requirements" in New York State?

According to the New York Domestic Relations Law §170, the “Residency Requirements” in New York State include:

  • The marriage ceremony commenced in New York State and either spouse was a resident of New York state during commencement of the action for the divorce and resided in this state for an uninterrupted period consisting of one year immediately before the action began.
  • The couple lived as husband and wife in New York State and either spouse is a resident of New York State during the commencement of the action for divorce and resided in this state for an uninterrupted period consisting of one year immediately before the action began.
  • The grounds for divorce occurred in New York State and either spouse is a resident of the state during the commencement of the action for divorce and resided in this state for a continuous period of one year immediately before the action began.
  • The grounds for divorce occurred in New York State and both spouses are residents of New York during the time that the action is commenced.
  • If you and your spouse were married outside of New York State and you never lived together as husband and wife in this state and the grounds for divorce did not occur in this state. Either you or your spouse must currently be a resident of New York State and have continuously resided in the state for a period of at least two years prior to bringing this action for divorce.

What is the cost to have a Separation Agreement drafted?

At By the People Legal Document Service Providers, drafting a legal Separation Agreement will cost $350.00 plus court fees.

How will I know when the divorce is finalized by the court?

Usually, the court will send you a "letter" with details regarding the status of your divorce and how to obtain a copy of the signed Judgment of Divorce.

How much child support do I have to pay?

According to the New York Child Support Standards Act, the following percentages are applied to the first $141,000 of combined parental income. The percentages are dependent on how many children under the age of 21 are:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • 35% for five or more children

According to New York Law, parents are responsible for supporting their children until they are 21 years old.

If I am the Custodial Parent receiving child support, is it possible to have the Child Support payments come to me directly or do I need to use the services of the Support Collection Unit?

If you are the Custodial Parent, you have the option to use the services provided by the Support Collection Unit or to have the payments delivered directly to you (by your spouse).

I have a “Child Support Order”, is it necessary for me to provide the court with a copy?

Yes, if you have a Child Support Order, you will need to provide us with a copy because we need to reference some material on the order and attach it to the divorce papers in order to appropriately file it to the court.