A brief step-by-step guide of how uncontested divorces are handled at our office

  1. Retainer
    1. Once a prospective client has decided that they are ready to start a divorce, and have come into our office they will be given a retainer agreement. This retainer is an agreement made between the prospective client in which Mr. Lutzky explains the divorce process thoroughly. It also states additional fees that may apply. For example, if a certified copy is needed a fee of $10 is added, or if the prospective client’s spouse is not consenting to the divorce and then it must be served and an additional fee is charged.
  2. Divorce intake
    1. After the retainer is read, initialed and signed by our client, a paralegal will fill out a divorce intake. This is an essential step in preparing divorce papers, as the intake will provide Mr. Lutzky with the information needed, such as names and addresses of both parties, date and place of marriage, children’s names, and date of birth, if applicable.
  3. Consultation
    1. After the intake and retainer are properly filled out, prospective clients shall have a free consultation with Mr. Lutzky, at which point the client may express any and all concerns regarding the divorce process.
  4. Starting your case
    1. After meeting with Mr. Lutzky, and the decision to start has been made by prospective client, a deposit is left, the file shall be opened, and the divorce papers will begin to be processed.
  5. Signing summons and complaint/purchase index number
    1. On average, about 1-2 weeks after a deposit is made, the client’s papers will be ready to be signed. At this point it is required to pay the remaining balance so that the summons and complaint may be filed in court. However, if you cannot make the payments right away we will hold the papers until the balance is paid. Although this would delay the entire divorce process because the client’s spouse cannot sign their papers until the summons and complaint are filed, and an index number is purchased.
  6. Defendant’s affidavit
    1. Once the index number is purchased along with filing the summons and complaint, a contact letter shall be sent out to our client instructing that their spouse’s affidavits are ready to be picked up. The affidavits are then received by our client, and they are instructed to have their spouse sign in front of a notary public. This is time sensitive. From the date which the index number was purchased, our clients have 120 days to get their spouse’s signature. If this time elapses, then the process must be started over and your money will be lost.
    2. If our client’s spouse is not consenting to the divorce, then we shall need an additional fee for additional paper work which must be completed. We will also need a time and place where the service of the paperwork can be done and a short description of the client’s spouse, such as height, weight, hair and eye color, and any other identifiable features, as well as a simple photograph of the spouse. Once service has been completed we must wait 40 days to give the client’s spouse time to submit an answer if he or she wishes to do so.
  7. Filing the Divorce papers
    1. Once the client’s spouse has signed the proper affidavits, or the 40 days has passed since the client’s spouse was served, the papers are put in a specific order according to the Matrimonial Clerk’s Office in New York County, where we file all our uncontested divorces. At this time an Uncontested Matrimonial Clerk shall review the papers. Once approved by the Matrimonial Clerk, the papers are brought to the County Clerks Office for payment of a Note of Issue. Once this is completed the papers will be put in a waiting list to be signed by a Judge assigned to our case.
  8. Waiting
    1. At this point in the process we are simply waiting for the paper work to make its way to the assigned judge.
  9. Obtain judgment
    1. Once the divorce judgment is signed, scanned into the court’s computer system and ready to be picked up, the court mails our office a self addressed stamped postcard informing us that the judgment is ready to be picked up. If our client needs the judgment to obtain a name change or to make a change in immigration status, then it is recommended to obtain a certified copy at the cost of $10 from the county clerks office. If a certified copy is not needed, then a regular copy is then mailed to each party for free.