The New York State Unified Court System offers free instruction booklets and forms for people starting a divorce.
Before you use the booklets and forms provided by the, we strongly suggest that you give serious thought to using a lawyer for your divorce, even if you believe that your divorce will be “uncontested” (i.e., your spouse will Not oppose the divorce in any way). There can be a lot more to think about than just ending the marriage and filling out court papers. (For example, there may be property to divide between you and your spouse, or you may need an Order of Protection and/or child support and other financial support, among other things.)
- Call the Bronx County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (718) 293-5600;
- Go to lawhelp.org if you cannot afford a lawyer;
- Visit the court system’s courthelp website;
- Contact your local bar association for a referral;
- If you live in the New York City area, go to the Collaborative Family Law Center to learn if you may be eligible for reduced-fee or free collaborative law services through a court-sponsored pilot program.
- Ask at any courthouse about lawyer referral services.
Divorce Resources – Here you will find divorce information and frequently asked questions, how to get legal help, free divorce forms with instructions, information on Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR), resources for parents, and more.
Alternative Dispute Resolution - If you are involved in a conflict or dispute, Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR) may be right for you. ADR refers to a variety of out-of-court processes that resolve conflict peacefully and promote creative solutions, areas include: About Mediation, Free or Low-Cost Mediation, Divorce and ADR, Agricultural Mediation, Mediation and Cases Already in Court, Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program, Questions about ADR.
Divorce Forms – The New York State Unified Court System offers free instruction booklets and forms for people starting a divorce.
Divorce Resources in Your County – This page features courts that provide county-specific online divorce information. Before you start the divorce process, see the brief descriptions below of the information provided by each county. Use the links provided to quickly access this information.
Divorce Info and Facts -Divorce Information and Frequently Asked Questions: This page provides basic information about divorce and a general overview of the divorce proccess in New York. You may also want to read about Divorce Resources in Your County . Please be aware that some counties may have their own forms and filing instructions. For further information, please contact the Supreme Court in the county where you reside before attempting to file your divorce papers.
Domestic Violence – The State of New York defines domestic violence (DV) as:
- A pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.
DV impacts the lives of thousands of New Yorkers each and every day with tragic and sometimes fatal results. This type of violence is a crime. Moreover, DV affects the lives of men and women from all backgrounds and circumstances, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, education, occupation, etc.
If someone has been a victim of abuse, or has been threatened with abuse, they can ask the court for an order of protection– an order to limit the behavior of the person who threatened the harm, or actually committed the harm. A person in a dangerous emergency situation requiring immediate intervention should call 911 for assistance.
Legal resources for unrepresented litigants - The Divorce Resources website provides useful information for unrepresented litigants regarding divorce. There are resources on a wide range of topics, including Divorce Forms and instructions, Supreme Court contact information, finding a lawyer, parent resources, domestic violence, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and frequently asked questions
Parent Resources – The court-sponsored Parent Education and Awareness Program is designed to educate divorcing or separating parents about the impact of their breakup on their children. The primary goal is to teach parents ways they can reduce the stress of family changes and protect their children from the negative effects of ongoing parental conflict in order to foster and promote their children’s healthy adjustment and development. These parenting strategies are detailed in the Parent’s Handbook.
If you have parenting or financial issues to work out, you may want to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes like divorce mediation or collaborative family law. These out-of-court processes often save time and money, reduce stress, and even improve relationships between parents and their children after divorce. ADR may not be appropriate in cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, or where one spouse cannot locate the other.
Supreme Court contact information – Click the name of a county to find address, telephone, and other contact information for your local Supreme Court Clerk’s Office. Remember, the Supreme Court of the State of New York is the only court that handles divorce cases. You should go to the Supreme Court in the county where you or your spouse now live to file your divorce papers. You cannot get a divorce in Family Court.