The term “no signature divorce” can be a bit misleading. Although you can complete a divorce without your spouse’s consent, you must take steps to notify him or her of your intention to divorce. If you cannot locate your spouse, you can still file for divorce, but only after you have taken steps to attempt to locate and serve him or her with the divorce papers.
After serving your spouse with either a Summons and Complaint or a Summons with Notice, he or she must respond to the summons within 20 days if he or she is within New York or 30 days if he or she is out of state. If an individual does not respond to the summons, the filing partner may move forward with an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces require effort on the part of the filing spouse and the court.
How is this Process Different from Regular Divorce Proceedings?
The difference between this type of divorce and a conventional divorce is that with a conventional divorce, the party served with a summons either answers the summons, making the divorce a contested one, or sign an Affidavit of Consent, which means he or she agrees to the divorce and it can be added to the court calendar. A party served with a divorce summons has 40 days to sign an Affidavit of Consent.
Before moving forward with a divorce if his or her spouse fails to respond, the filing spouse must make a good faith effort to find his or her former partner to serve him or her with divorce papers. If the filing spouse cannot locate his or her former partner, he or she may have the divorce summons published in the newspaper for a period of three weeks.
When an individual does not respond to a divorce summons at this point, the filing spouse may proceed with his or her divorce.
What is the Benefit of a No Signature Required Divorce?
A no signature required divorce, also known as a default divorce, can be a fairly quick, inexpensive process for the filing spouse. Rather than spending time and money on court appearances, a default divorce allows an individual to end his or her marriage and move forward with his or her life in a straightforward manner. Some couples choose to intentionally default on their divorces in an effort to save money, but this can backfire by keeping one or both parties from exercising their rights during the divorce. Do not do this without consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer.
Work with an Experienced Divorce Attorney in Brooklyn
To learn more about default divorces and other issues that could be relevant to your divorce, contact experienced divorce lawyer Theodore Alatsas Esq to set up your free consultation in our Brooklyn office. During your consultation, we can examine your case more closely to determine how you can protect your rights through the divorce process.