Steps to Filing a Divorce

How to File for Divorce in Westchester County, New York

The divorce action starts with the plaintiff filing a Summons with Notice or Summons and Verified Complaint in the County Clerk’s office in the county in which the plaintiff and/or defendant reside. The divorce papers must state the grounds for divorce and the relief being sought. After the Summons is filed, it must be personally served upon the defendant.

The defendant responds to the Verified Complaint by serving and filing a Verified Answer. The Answer addresses the allegations in the Complaint and may contain a counter-claim. If a counter-claim is filed by the defendant, then the plaintiff will reply to the counter-claim.

Discovery guidelines, court dates, and preliminary orders are discussed and resolved during a preliminary conference in court. The court sets a compliance conference date to ensure that the case is proceeding in an organized fashion toward trial. If the parties can negotiate and resolve all of the issues prior to trial, the terms of the parties’ Agreement will be incorporated into their Judgment of Divorce. In collaborative divorce and mediation, the parties reach an Agreement without going to court. Uncontested divorce papers are filed based on that Agreement and the court signs a Judgment of Divorce.

During the trial, the plaintiff and defendant testify and call witnesses. The judge hears both sides of the case and then issues a decision. The court signs a Judgment of Divorce based on its decision. Once the Judgment of Divorce is signed, the parties are actually divorced.

Helping Families Make Smooth Transitions

Contact the White Plains divorce attorneys at Carton & Rosoff PC for assistance in filing for divorce in Westchester County, Putnam County, New York County, and Bronx County. Our attorneys will guide you through each step of the divorce process.